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September 14, 2014

Ed McMahon

Top TV Stories of 2009: People we lost

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 13th 2009 4:03PM
So we come to that time of year when we list all of the TV celebrities that have died over the past year. We hear about these people passing away at various points of the year (sometimes a few the same week), but it's really odd to see them all listed together at once like you'll see after the jump.

It's like 40% of pop culture dies every year.

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Our Favorite TV Sidekicks: They're the True Stars of the Talk Shows

by Liane Bonin, posted Nov 18th 2009 4:14PM
On June 23, 2009, the trademark laugh of the greatest sidekick of all time was silenced as Ed McMahon floated up to the great sidekick couch on the sky. While Publisher's Clearing House commercials and 'Star Search' reruns will never be the same, the good news is that McMahon, who rose up in the wake of some pretty stellar sidekicks himself, set the bar high for those to follow.

Perhaps he set it too high, though, as newcomers to the talk show field like Jimmy Fallon and Craig Ferguson have chosen to fly solo on their talk shows. And that's a shame. Like wine in a box and BBC America series, these straight men of the chat circuit are all too often underappreciated and overshadowed but consistently, inconspicuously deliver the goods.

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South Park: Dead Celebrities - open thread

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 8th 2009 2:01PM
South ParkYou knew that when South Park returned it would work in one of the many celebrity deaths that happened over the past several months. But last night's episode actually had, well, all of them: Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, David Carradine, and all the others. Ike started to see their ghosts and was sent to a psychiatrist for it. Here's the full episode. Chipotlaway is disgusting but hysterical.

What did you think?

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Joan Rivers on longevity, Brooke Shields, and not caring about Johnny Carson

by Joel Keller, posted Sep 10th 2009 3:02PM
Joan RiversJoan Rivers was in Pasadena in July to promote her show on TV Land, How'd You Get So Rich?, but when I spoke to her after her presentation, I was more interested in a couple of issues. First, her longevity in a business that takes even older comedians and tosses them to the side (Cosby, for instance, is more community activist than comedian these days). Second, I wanted to ask her about her experience on The Apprentice, which included her feuds with wedding planners, Clint Black, and Annie Duke.

But, Joan being Joan, she also randomly let loose on Brooke Shields, Sarah Palin, and whoever else was in her mind during the ten minutes we spoke.

We start off by talking about longevity. She feels one of the reasons she stays relevant is that she doesn't live in the past. "I don't give a shit about Johnny Carson," she said.

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Don Rickles on the D-List, The Tonight Show, and more

by Nick Zaino, posted Jul 7th 2009 2:03PM
Don RicklesIt's always great to see Don Rickles on TV. He's rarely out of form, and he has a knack for sailing some great zingers past the censors. Which means his appearance on last night's My Life on the D-List was a perfect opportunity, a place where he could be a bit more loose.

We got a taste of that from him, walking around Kathy Griffin's house, but we also got a glimpse of the guy I have heard about from comedians who've met Rickles - the old softie who is ever willing to talk shop with other comics. It was a great moment when Griffin and Rickles talked about how both of their mothers would try to tell them not to pick on people so much, with Griffin's mom providing a bit of the dialogue. Meeting Rickles was on Griffin's mother's "bucket list."

I thought I'd use the occasion to take a look around YouTube to find some of Rickles' best TV appearances. He seems to have been everywhere, from The View to cable.

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Vandals deface Ed McMahon's Walk of Fame star

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 29th 2009 10:06AM
Jeez, Ed McMahon just can't catch a break. First his death last week is overshadowed by the deaths of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, and now someone put some sort of black goo and ripped newspapers on his Hollywood Walk of Fame Star.

Ed McMahon's star

But this particular story has a happy ending, as you'll see after the jump.

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Legends of the Superheroes: the most bizarre video you'll see today

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 25th 2009 10:04AM
Since Ed McMahon passed away earlier this week, I figured I'd post this bizarre lost TV special he hosted in 1979. It was called Legends of the Superheroes, and it ran on NBC in 1978. It was basically a live-action version of The SuperFriends cartoon (with a laugh-track but without Superman and Wonder Woman). But this second episode was a roast. That's right, imagine The Dean Martin Roast only with superheroes like Batman and Green Lantern. The cast included Adam West, Burt Ward, Frank Gorshin, Howard Morris, Ruth Buzzi, Charlie Callas, and William Schallert.

(Here's video of the "Challenge" episodes.)

[Thanks to Shaun]

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What You Missed Last Night: Conan pays tribute to Ed McMahon

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 24th 2009 10:38AM
You knew that Conan O'Brien would pay tribute to Ed McMahon (who died yesterday), the only question was how. Last night Conan showed clips of some great Tonight Show moments with Ed and Johnny (though not enough in my opinion), and he also showed a great clip of Ed and Andy Richter playing quarters on Late Night.


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Ed McMahon did not work for Publishers Clearing House

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 23rd 2009 6:40PM
Ed McMahonDuring some of the television obits I've been hearing about the late, great Ed McMahon, one of the most common misunderstandings about the Tonight Show sidekick's career has been perpetuated: that he worked for Publishers Clearing House, handing out big checks to unsuspecting sweepstakes winners.

Well, Ed did work for one of those sweepstakes-and-subscriptions houses, but it was PCH's main rival, American Family Publishers. He often appeared in the AFP's ads and mailings with his Bloopers and Practical Jokes buddy Dick Clark.

Not once did McMahon work for PCH, but as Bob pointed out in his obituary, jokes about his sweepstakes work often kept the mistake alive.

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TV News Daily: Jessica Simpson Lands VH1 Reality Show

by Andrew Scott, posted Jun 23rd 2009 12:00PM
Jessica Simpson and Sandra Bullock

Jessica Simpson lands a new reality show gig on VH1, Ed McMahon passes away at 86, FX picks up the TV rights to 'The Proposal' and more TV news.

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Ed McMahon Dies at 86

by Andrew Scott, posted Jun 23rd 2009 11:00AM
Ed McMahon'Tonight Show' sidekick Ed McMahon died early this morning in Los Angeles.

According to his publicist, Howard Bragman, McMahon, who was hospitalized with pneumonia in February, died at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center after suffering a "multitude of health problems the last few months."

Among the reported ailments: bone cancer, an anonymous source told the Associated Press.

He was 86.

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Ed McMahon dead at 86

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 23rd 2009 9:22AM
Tonight ShowLongtime Johnny Carson announcer and sidekick Ed McMahon has passed away at age 86.

This probably isn't a surprise to most people, since McMahon has been in poor health for a number of years and also injured his neck severely in a fall in his home in 2007.

McMahon is best known, of course, for being the announcer and couch mate for Carson on The Tonight Show for 30 years. McMahon also hosted the original version of Star Search for many years, co-hosted Bloopers and Practical Jokes with Dick Clark, and was a staple of the annual Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon every September. Besides appearing in a number of TV shows and movies, he was also a spokesman for American Family Publishers (though, oddly, every single joke about these commercials with the giant checks and McMahon mentions Publisher's Clearing House for some reason).

McMahon died at Ronald Reagan/UCLA Medical Center in L.A.

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Does your day need a Hiyoooo? You're welcome

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jun 6th 2009 11:03AM
Ed McMahon, the inspiration behind Hiyoooo.comDid you ever tell a joke that really wasn't funny but you knew would draw huge laughs if you just had someone willing to back you up? Have you ever really zinged someone that had it coming, but the zing alone wasn't enough to drive that emotional stake into their ego? Ever just wish that you could have the glory and majesty of Ed McMahon in your home? Now you can have all three.

Introducing Hiyoooo.com, the world's first virtual sidekick. Just say what you gotta say, click Ed's giant head, and all of your statements carry the air of "Hey now"' better than any rap battle audience ever could.

I've been using this thing all throughout my day: in the home, at the office, with my dog. This thing has become so useful in my daily life that I'm thinking of hiring the Shamwow guy to spread the power of its message. I'm sure he could use the money.

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Greatest 'Tonight Show' Moments

by AOL TV Staff, posted May 13th 2009 6:00AM
Hugh Grant The Tonight Show'The Tonight Show' has been a late-night institution for more than 50 years (yes, that's right -- half a century).

Jack Paar, who took over the reins from Steve Allen in '57, put the show on the map, with big-name guests and outspoken antics. Johnny Carson, who stepped in when Paar left, made the show appointment viewing for millions of fans and became one of the most beloved TV hosts of all time.

Now, with Jay Leno's last 'Tonight Show' airing Fri., May 29, and Conan O'Brien taking the desk while Leno makes the unprecedented move to prime time, to a 10 PM slot in the fall, we look back and count down the top 20 moments of 'The Tonight Show.'


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Who's the best late-night sidekick of all-time, McMahon or Richter?

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 1st 2009 3:07PM
Tonight ShowA few years ago, Entertainment Weekly named the 50 best sidekicks of all-time, and Tonight Show announcer Ed McMahon came in at number one. But Slate's Troy Patterson has other ideas.

He chooses Andy Richter as the best late-night sidekick of all-time for his stint on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

Patterson doesn't really count Paul Shaffer or Kevin Eubanks as "sidekicks" because they're more bandleaders than sidekicks, but I bet an argument could be made that either of them do fit the definition.

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