Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ed McMahon, Johnny Carson’s Loyal Longtime ‘Tonight Show’ Sidekick Is Dead

Ed McMahon
Ed McMahon, the top banana of second bananas, died peacefully early Tuesday morning at Los Angeles' Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, publicist Howard Bragman says.He did not give a specific cause of death but did cite a "multitude of health problems the last few months."

McMahon, 86, was a household name for 30 years as the announcer and sidekick to Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. His trademark opening "Heeeeeere's Johnny!" became part of the cultural lexicon, echoed most memorably by Jack Nicholson in 1980's The Shining.McMahon also served as host, announcer and sidekick on numerous other television shows, including Star Search, TV Bloopers & Practical Jokes and Jerry Lewis' annual Muscular Dystrophy telethon. He appeared as himself on such shows as Scrubs and Just Shoot Me.

After leaving The Tonight Show with Carson in 1992, McMahon remained in the public eye as a product pitchman, most recently playing off his iconic image in a Cash 4 Gold commercial during this year's Super BowlHe also became synonymous with American Family Publishers, showing up at the doors of unsuspecting winners to present a giant-sized check.In recent years, he was in the news for home and money troubles. In 2001, he had to leave his Beverly Hills mansion after becoming sick from toxic mold. .


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