Tuesday, March 06, 2007
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ED!
Today is Ed Mcmahon's 84th birthday. What an incredibly blessed life this good and kind man has known. He was the perfect foil for the late great Jonny Carson one of the funnierst men who ever lived. Ed was born in Detroit, Michigan, and was raised in Lowell , Massachusetts attending both Boston College and The Catholic University of America, majoring in speech and drama. At The Catholic University of America, he joined the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1949. Believe it or not, kind friends, Ed McMahon began his "showbiz" career as a bingo caller in Maine when he was fifteen. Prior to working as the announcer, he worked as a carnival barker for three years as a teenager and put himself through college as a pitchman for of all things-- vegetable slicers on the Atlantic City boardwalk. No wonder he was such a perfect pitch man! In the 1950s, he emceed the game shows Snap Judgment , Concentration and Who Dunnit?. During World War II, McMahon was trained as a United States Marines fighter pilot and also served as a flight instructor and test pilot. He was discharged in 1946, remaining in the reserves.[ After college, Ed was re-activated into active Marine duty. He was sent to Korea in February, 1953. He flew unarmed OE Bird Dogs on 85 tactical air control and artillery spotting missions. Amazingly, he remained in the Marine reserves, retiring with the rank of Colonel in 1966 and was then commissioned as a Brigadier General in the California Air National Guard Ed McMahon and Johnny Carson first worked together as announcer and host on the daytime gameshow Who Do You Trust? (1957-1962). McMahon and Carson left that to do The Tonight Show in 1962. For more than 30 years, McMahon introduced the Tonight Show with a drawn-out "Heeeeeeeeeeeeeere's Johnny!" His booming voice and constant laughter earned him the nickname the Human Laugh Track. My memories of him with Johnny Carson are strong and wonderful. So Happy Birthday dear Ed.