Veteran American TV personality Ed McMahon, best known as Johnny Carson's sidekick for almost 30 years on The Tonight Show (1962-1992), died earlier today in Los Angeles, reported NBC. He was 86 years of age. While exact reasons for death were not announced, McMahon had been in extremely poor health since he was admitted to the hospital back in late February -- reportedly with pneumonia.
Best known for his second banana role to Carson, including his trademark "Heeeeeeeeere's Johnny!" intro to the show, McMahon was an all around television personality. A regular on countless TV shows over the decades, he was a game show host, announcer, comedian, and endorser of numerous products. Long before American Idol existed, McMahon hosted the popular talent search TV show Star Search. As an NBC personality regular, he would often be one of the presenters at the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. For a time he also co-hosted with Jerry Lewis at his fund-raising telethons for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).
Over the years he appeared in many TV ads, including for Budweiser beer, and most recently he was in an ad during this year's Super Bowl along with MC Hammer for Cash4Gold following his well publicized tragic fall into tough financial woes -- his house was foreclosed on in recent times. McMahon also did a series of short parts and walk-on parts in movies and TV shows over the years. And of course, Ed McMahon will also always be remembered as the presenter of American Family Publishers Sweepstakes, which would arrive in TV vans at the homes of winners. Below are a series of video clips from the life of Ed McMahon, including a recent era one for FreeCreditReports.com in which he parodied his old American Family Publishers Sweepstakes days.
"MC" Ed McMahon raps in ad for FreeCreditReports.com
Tonight Show live dog food advert with Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon (1972)
Ed McMahon + Jerry Lewis
Ed McMahon with Johnny Carson on Tonight Show
Star Search intro, 1986 with Ed McMahon
Cash4Gold TV ad with MC Hammer from this year's Superbowl -- one of the last appearances by Ed McMahon. Sadly and fittingly, the spot finishes with Ed uttering the words, "Goodbye, old friend."