Ed McMahon, 1923-2009

quiz_ed_mcmahon.jpg “Who cares?” a follower on Twitter asked today, when the subject of the death of Ed McMahon came up.

I guess I don’t have a great answer for it, although I do think there’s value in remembering the icons of mass media when it was really mass media. Like McMahon, the Milton Berles and Dinah Shores poured the foundation for the influence of television.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

“Here’s Johnny!” I wonder how many people think that’s Jack Nicholson’s line?

Long before people talked about what was on Daily Show last night, they talked about what was on Carson.

The Archive of American Television has a series of interviews with McMahon here.

McMahon also was the last of a breed. Like Ted Williams, he was a star who interrupted his career, to go fly planes in the war in Korea.

After Carson, McMahon went on to host a series of forgettable shows and commercials — Cash for Gold — which just made us old-timers feel sad for the guy.

  • Steve Mullis

    Kind of a shame to go down in history labeled a “sidekick” though. Then again, better than not being remembered at all.

  • tiredboomer

    Is the status of your job important if you perform it well and enjoy going to work every day?

  • bsimon

    //McMahon also was the last of a breed. Like Ted Williams, he was a star who interrupted his career, to go fly planes in the war in Korea.”

    That was the most – perhaps only – interesting aspect of the story today; wikipedia says he flew fighters & was a test pilot & instructor in WWII, then flew bird dogs in Korea, which is an interesting swtich in & of itself. Regarding his tenure on the Tonight Show, I never quite understood the point of having him there. Having said that, how do you get that job?

  • Mary

    Late night sidekicks are so important. Someone’s gotta yell “hoyooo!” when your joke flops!