One of television’s most recognizable faces – and voices – has left us.
Ed McMahon, best known as Johnny Carson’s sidekick for more than thirty years on The Tonight Show passed away this morning at the age of 86.
McMahon’s entertainment career spanned more than fifty years, including stints as a game show host, announcer, actor, and commercial pitchman.
Aside from his gig on The Tonight Show, McMahon hosted the syndicated Star Search for its entire 12-year run, from 1983 to 1995. The show helped launch the careers of many stars, including Jenny Jones, Sinbad, Brad Garrett, and Britney Spears. In the first few years of its run, Star Search regularly was in the Nielsen top 20 weekly syndicated rankings.
McMahon was also paired with Dick Clark for NBC’s TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes, a popular show which ran from 1983 to 1986 (though not with critics.)
More recently, McMahon has battled health problems, including a bout with pneumonia, and with creditors – he filed for bankruptcy and nearly lost his Beverly Hills home.
Recently, he did a Super Bowl ad for Cash4Gold.com with another person with money troubles – MC Hammer.
It was a sad chapter to what was a great career. There won’t be another one like Ed McMahon.