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June 23rd, 2009
08:27 AM ET

Ed McMahon

...passed away early this morning. Share your thoughts and memories here. Also check out this iReport assignment.

Filed under: Heidi Collins • Tony Harris
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. lynn g. in Oklahoma

    We have lost a legend. Condolences to all his family. He was one of a kind for sure!

    June 23, 2009 at 8:32 am |
  2. Lynda McKinney

    Hi CNN:
    In producing your retrospectives on Ed McMahon, please don't forget his wonderful work with Jerry Lewis on the MDA telethons. He carried Jerry's torch many times when Jerry was too tired to go on after staying up for hours on end. He did a wonderful job and will be sorely missed. A realy good guy.

    June 23, 2009 at 9:08 am |
  3. rakesh

    for neda's sake
    womens of iran go on hunger strike, till there is peace in your country.

    June 23, 2009 at 9:09 am |
  4. Marilyn Jacobs Furey

    I was very saddened to learn of Ed McMahon's death. As an associate
    director for NBC I worked on the "Tonight" Show for a time while the show
    was still coming from New York. Ed was always a gentlemen and so lovely to me. The one thing I will always remember is that I was out in
    California when they were doing Johnny's last "Tonight" Show so I
    drove out to Burbank to say goodbye to the people on the show. On my
    way out I ran into Ed, who said "aren't you going to stay for the show?"
    I have always regretted that I didn't. As we know that was a memorable
    show, and had I accepted Ed's invitation I would have been there to
    share it.

    June 23, 2009 at 9:15 am |
  5. Bill Bowers - Toronto Canada

    The day was not complete without watching the 11:30 Tonight Show--Carson and McMahon were the creators of this time slow and nobody can come close. There level of class to late night TV will never be replaced. I will miss them both as it truly is an end of an era.

    June 23, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  6. steve jones

    I'm a retired banker in Texas and I watched The Tonight Show almost all of those thirty years that Mr. McMahon was on it. He was such a great partner to Mr. Carson and the two of them played off of each other's humor to create a wonderful show. He will bee missed.


    June 23, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  7. Shaq in Tennessee

    What a legend we have lost. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family .He will truly be missed.

    June 23, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  8. Spacebeagle

    Ed was a funny guy that made made a person feel good. He and Dick "American Bandstand" Clark were in Philadelphia at the same time.
    I'll remember his Tonight Show opening "Here's Johnny" and his work on the Jerry Lewis MD telethon.

    June 23, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  9. DJ

    I grew up in the late 80s to 90s so I fondly remember Ed McMahon from watching Star Search as a child. When I look at shows like American Idol today, I se them as cheap imitations. Ed McMahon was the original. He always put a smile on my face. He had a distincitve voice, a gentlemenly charm, and was the perfect host. And who could forget the publishers sweepstakes? Ed McMahon for me was like Dick Clark on New Years Eve. A real part of Americana. There will never be another like him and I will miss having him on this earth.

    June 23, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  10. David

    I remember when I was little how awesome it was when I was allowed to stay up and watch Johnny, Ed, Doc and on occasion Don Rickles. I miss those days and wish I could go back. I will miss you Ed. RIP

    June 23, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  11. Igalious Mills

    Ed McMahon was a true and loyal side-kick for Johnny Carson. When Johnny Carson went back home, I painted a picture of the house and sent to Mr. Carson and was to appear on the"Tonight Show" the same night the little boy living in the house at that time, appeared on the show to present this artwork. My recent artwork consist of a painting presented to Queen Elizabeth II, the late Bob Hope, Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Bill Cosby and a host of others. According to letters received from the White House during the Clinton and Bush Administration, I was under consideration to receive the Presidential Freedom Award. A letter has been sent to President Barrack Obama in hopes to still be under consideration for this award.

    Ed McMahon was key to the success of the "Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson.

    I. Mills
    Port Arthur, Texas

    June 23, 2009 at 9:50 am |
  12. Larry Shultz

    Ed McMahon death – He also had a 35- 40 year association with Jerry Lewis and the Labor Day Telethon. He was with Jerry in New York the Labor Day when the tote board broke because it went over one million dollars for the first time. He has backed up Jerry Lewis on the telethon extremely well. He will be missed not only by fans but by the all of Jerry's kids that he has helped along his long career.

    June 23, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  13. Victor Hernandez

    Dear Ed,

    That prom joke would of been a whole lot funnier if you would of said, "You got the "Herp" before you did." That would of been maybe next time sir. RIP

    June 23, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  14. Steven Mills

    Grew up watching Ed on the Tonight Show......what a lovely gentleman he was, so sad with his passing. My sympathies to all his family.

    Steve...a devoted fan

    June 23, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  15. Jason Iowa

    Ed McMahon will also be remember through his tremendous work through the Horatio Alger Association. He and his fellow members give thousands of deserving students a chance to attend the college of their choice, like me in 2008. I will always remember his charisma and it was a great pleasure to have met him.

    June 23, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  16. Willie Smith

    Growing up, I always watched the Tonight Show. And Mr McMahons laughter put the iceing on the cake. He will be forever missed. He lived a good life which came with ups and downs but no matter what there will only be one Ed McMahon ,may he rest in peace!

    June 23, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  17. Joyce Salmon

    I was very sad this morning to hear that Ed McMahon has passed away but even more sad that there is so much media focus on his recent financial problems. This man was a true gentleman. I heard him say on a talk show several years ago that the most satisfying thing he was "privileged to do was award the Publisher's Clearing House money to deserving folks across this country". He was also someone who volunteered his time to raise money for those less fortunate. His final years were difficult to say the least and my heart went out to him.Just for today can't those of you in the media zero in on the things that made him so dear to viewers and support his grieving family? It would mean a lot to me.

    June 23, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  18. David

    I enjoyed Ed on the tonight show and also star search, but remember him mostly with Dick Clark taking advantage of fellow old folks through Publishers Clearing House.

    June 23, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  19. Tami Papenfus

    Heidi, you neglected to mention that Ed McMahon was co-host with Jerry Lewis for many, many successful years and raised millions of dollars for Muscular Dystrophy. My kids grew up going door to door collecting money for Jerry's kids every Labor Day. Ed McMahon played "second banana" to Jerry Lewis every year and his role with Jerry was just as important, I think even more important, than being "second banana" to Johnny Carson. Please include his involvement with Muscular Dystrophy as one of his more memorable and important contributions during his life. I think he'd like that.

    Thank you and I enjoy your program each morning while I'm getting ready for work.

    Las Vegas, Nevada

    June 23, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  20. Janet Goldstein

    We were leaving for London at Dulles Airport , when we saw Ed Mcman behind a desk, my daughter then 5 said where is "Johnny Carson" ED said just a minute and went through a door smiling, and came out with him. When Mr Carson saw My young daughter he patted her on the head and said hello ! But they both laughed . I think Ed had said to him there is a young lady waiting to see you , thinking a young woman was there. They were constantly playing jokes with each other. It was the weekend of President Reagan inorgoration.. It made quite a story to take to the relatives in London.. Very fond memory of them both..

    June 23, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  21. Victor Hernandez

    Dear Ed,

    We all know, understand and appreciate the contributions you made to our lives by being apart of the hope and will of many people. You were there to encourge us all on then, like Ryan Secrest does now. You took pride knowing that you and Johnny were americans only source of true good laughter for a good while there. I enjoyed watching my father laugh at something that I knew only he you and Johnny knew what the hell you all where laughing at. You made us jump leaps and bounds in the way we do comedy and media today and well if i had just one thing to say to you, it would be to rest well and yes I havent won the publishing clearing house and I dont think I ever will and I hope you lied in your bed wanting to win the same thing we all do. God works in mysterious ways brother! Rip

    June 23, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  22. Gordon

    Heidi, I remember that Ed McMahon gave a brilliantly compelling performance ( as a character actor ) as a co- star in a film , portraying the role of a timid , 'hen-pecked' husband, trapped in a terrifying hijacking , along with a disparate menagerie of various New Yorkers (such as Beau Bridges – the returned wounded / traumatized Nam veteran) , held captive by two switch-blade wielding hoodlums (Martin Sheen and Tony Musante) while commuting on a subway car, in the 1967 b / w film "The Incident" (directed by John Cassavettes?), which also portrayed the victimizing of the elderly, a homosexual, minorities, etc. in a powerful drama that should not be forgotten when estimating the valuable contribution of the above mentioned legends.

    June 23, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  23. Ervin Raab

    What an institution, Ed.

    Kudo's to the good works....

    June 23, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  24. Davids

    Ed McMahon was a fine Marine Officer! Semper Fi!!

    June 23, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  25. Tony Puzyn

    Goodbye Ed ....It seems the magic bittersweet 80's comes calling home another fellow human , you and Johhny are sorely missed by all those whe shared your era in entertainment, peace is now eternally yours. Tony.

    June 23, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  26. The Coop

    What a great t.v. personality Ed was. I especially loved the spontaneous belly laughs he had with Johnny. He would laugh so hard at times, that Johnny would hand him a tissue to wipe his eyes. I believe that Ed and Johnny have to be considered as one of the great comedy teams of all time. Thank goodness we have so many videos of the two of them together. Rest in peace Ed.

    June 23, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  27. Beth

    Ed created a place for himself and put the world at ease with his patient listening skills and poignant Irish wit. He was a confident man who knew how to give and will be remembered with warmth.

    June 23, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  28. Natalie Stewart-Stewart

    Semper Fi! Another WWII veteran has died.

    Any number of times on the Tonight Show, Ed McMahon mentioned his service as a Marine. In fact he was an aviator in WWII and Korea. Might future CNN reports include this information?


    N J Stewart-Smith
    Army veteran

    June 23, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  29. Del "Abe" Jones

    Heeeeere’ s Johnny
    Ed McMahon 1923 – 2009

    His first gig when he was fifteen
    He did a bingo game in Maine
    But, as sidekick to Johnny Carson
    Are the great memories, which remain.

    He was a Marine fighter pilot
    And fought in World War Two
    And when Korea came along
    He served us, in that war, too.

    He was first hired on by Johnny
    To do, “Do You Trust Your Wife”
    Both, moved on to, “The Tonight Show”
    And that, really, defined his life.

    He and Johnny were a team
    That kept many up, late at night
    To see what they would do next
    And, they always did it right.

    He was an actor and producer
    In far too many shows to mention
    He was a star in his own right
    And he always drew attention.

    We have lost another great one
    He surely was, one of a kind
    One of those fine human beings
    Who will live on, in heart and mind.

    Del “Abe” Jones
    White Bluff, TN

    June 23, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  30. Dick McMahon

    When Ed McMahon was a host on NBC Radio’s Monitor, I sometimes voiced feature reports as well. On one occasion the network inadvertently sent me one of his checks. I should have made a copy of it as a remembrance … but I sent it back. He was a cool guy.
    Dick McMahon – Coos Bay, Oregon

    June 23, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  31. Robin Di Carlo

    When you think/hear the word "Sidekick"
    whom else but Ed McMahon comes to mind
    GodSpeed Ed!

    June 23, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  32. Daniel s. Reyes

    Yes This Man Is Truly An Icon In Entertainment. I Remember Back In The Days Watching The Show Bloopers And Practical Jokes With My Mom And Dad. I Also Remember Seeing Him With The Balloons and Big Check From Publishers Clearing House. My Condolences Goes Out To The Family And He Will Always Be remembered And Missed. Thanks Ed For The Smiles And Laughs.

    June 23, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  33. Monica Kudrna

    Many late nights were spent with my sister and I, jumping up on my dad's bed to watch Late Night with Ed and Johnny. Thank you for the laughter and the memories.

    June 23, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  34. Gerald

    RE: Ed McMahon

    I think that Ed McMahon was the first Ronald McDonald for the McDonald Corp. I have not researched this, but I beleive it is true.
    Mr McMahon will be missed.


    June 23, 2009 at 11:29 am |


    June 23, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  36. Glenda of Redondo Beach

    I met Ed McMahon in the early 90's at the Los Angeles Forum (before a hockey game). Ed and I were in the VIP lounge and Ed thought he knew me. He gave me a very warm handshake and said he hadn't seen me in a long time. I just smiled because I knew I looked like another actress whom he had me confused with. He was so warm and friendly coming across just like he did on TV. I'll miss him.

    June 23, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  37. Richard, Phoenix,Arizona

    We are appropriately reminded that when individuals passing away of their impact on those who they touched. This is so very true about Ed and his accomplishments and sucesses.

    Thanks and God Bless his family


    June 23, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  38. David

    Ed McMahon had a big heart and as a young person when I would see him on tv, that's what I was noticing though maybe I couldn't have said it. One of the neatest things that ever happened to us as kids was when our parents let us stay up in the summer to watch the Tonight Show. You got a sense of belonging from that show watching Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon and their guests. Also for me, a sense that things in the world were in order and peaceful, kind of friendly. I'd like to send my thoughts and prayers to Ed McMahon's family and loved ones.

    June 23, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  39. Ed Crotts

    ooops, my last post somehow got on the wrong blog, sorry. I watched mr McMahon over the years and had great respect for him. You will be missed Ed. By an awful lot of people. Your humor and spirit was an insperation. thank you and good bye.

    June 23, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  40. Sue Collins

    I just want to express my sympathy to Ed McMahon's family on his passing. I loved to watch his interactions with Johnny Carson and Jerry Lewis. He always made you laugh. He seemed to play the straight faced person, but, you could tell he was having a hard time holding back a laugh. I also enjoyed when he and Johnny would do the "Carnac" spot in the show, it always made me laugh. He will be greatly missed. I was saddened today when I heard the news. My best wishes to his family and friends. Sue

    June 23, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  41. Bob Watts

    I just want to thank Ed McMahon because he reminded me of a much better time in our history. Ed is in a class of people such as Spencer Tracy, Glen Ford, Humprey Bogart, etc. He and Johnny Carson gave me many a happy night and with the changes of a greedy business and political world people like Ed will no longer exist. Rest in Peace and I will see you soon.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  42. Cotizadora

    Good Bye Mr. Ed – you will be missed.

    June 24, 2009 at 12:07 am |
  43. Charlie Erickson

    You were among the best, Ed.

    Another Veteran of WW2 passes on, Though his memories will always march on.

    My condolences to his family and close friends.

    Rest in Peace brother, and Semper Fi.

    Charlie Erickson
    SGT, U.S. Army 1968 – 71.

    June 24, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  44. Jimmie Johnson

    I stated I thought Ed McMahon was a hack for any infomericial that could turn a buck. I didn't have any respect for him. He wasted his money on trophy wives and blamed others for the loss of his house. Just because he died doesn't mean all opinions change.

    June 24, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  45. hugo

    I miss him like millions of americans.
    A great man.God bless him for all eternity.

    June 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  46. yvette stephen

    Ed Mcmahon was a great announcer, and we will always remember
    his laughter on the Johnny carson show. our prayers go out to his
    entire family. May he rest in peace.
    yvette stephen
    & family

    June 26, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  47. jim in florida

    If "We The People" can find the money to bailout Wallstreet and the Auto industries we should be able to find a few $$$$ to help California and other states with their shortfalls. Atleast with essential services!!!

    July 2, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  48. Susan Blais

    Living and working in southern California, one cannot help but be aware of the tremendous amounts of money that we pay for the schools, hospitals, jails, welfare, etc etc for those who have not properly processed into this great country. Legal immigration is the most joyful experience for all...........the other is a weight we taxpayers cannot bare. Anyone who runs a business or has raised a family knows the limitation of taking on more responsibility than one can provide. The illegals need to go home and wait their turn so America can process and welcome the legal allowance.

    July 2, 2009 at 12:58 pm |

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