Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rest in Peace Ed McMahon

When I heard that Ed McMahon had died I couldn't help but remember when I first heard of him. I forget the exact year it was but I was just a young boy and my Mom and Dad were out looking at carpets. Since we moved into a new home in the early 70's it had to be in the late 60's early 70's era. In the store was a big stand up ad. Many TV stars of the day were on it and I knew them all. Except one. I asked my Dad who the guy was. Dad said he was Ed McMahon. "Who's that?" I asked again. He told me he was on TV late at night around 11:30pm.
Now my bedtime was much earlier then that. So it wasn't hard to understand why I didn't know him. I had never seen the Tonight Show at that time. It was the first time I knew that there were programs on TV after the 11 o'clock news.
As I got older and was able to stay up later I came to know Mr. McMahon and his friend and boss Johnny Carson better. Also, my love of TV, Flims and radio grew by leaps and bounds.
Mr. McMahon was actually a very talented individual. He couldn't sing or dance but he could announce. Yes ladies and gentlemen announcing is a talent. It helps to be born with a deep voice but even tenors can have success if they have talent. Luck also plays a big part in a persons success. Mr. McMahon's was when he was lucky enough to be teamed up with Mr. Carson.
His talent as an announcer took him far. He began to do more commercials and MC other TV shows like Star Search, Jerry Lewis' Labor Day Telethon, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, TV Bloopers and Practical Jokes and more. Even showed he was a pretty good actor in movies and TV shows. My first time seeing him as an actor was in the 1970's classic movie "Fun With Dick and Jane." Ed played Dick's boss. He fired Dick and in the end Dick and Jane get their revenge. Here is a trailer to the film.

Finally having success on his own people were starting to ask why he still stayed on the Tonight Show. His answer was that his Mother raised him not to stray far from the well. As long as Johnny kept doing the tonight show he would stay with him.
With all of the commercials, TV Shows and movies you didn't have to stay up late to know who Ed McMahon was. By comparison the popular Johnny Carson was a recluse. Ed had to work twice as hard to get what Johnny had. Ed McMahon had the job that every announcer dreamed of and took it to another level.
In the last few years he was plagued with health and financial issues. He almost lost his home but made a deal to keep it. Saddly his health issues got the best of him. Announcing is a talent and skill that seems to be dying as well. With the passing of Ed McMahon we lost an American Icon. Not just a great second bannana or sidekick. We lost the last of the great announcers. Below is a video of an early TV show that he announced for. It is called "Two for the Money."

Below are some commericals that he did.

If you click here you can see a car ad he did for American Motors Corporation.

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