So long, loyal sidekick

Johnny Carson’s laughing second banana dies at age 86

Ed McMahon, the most famous sidekick in the history of late night TV, died this morning at the age of 86. As Johnny Carson’s second banana on The Tonight Show for almost 30 years, McMahon became famous for his obsequious laughing at Carson’s jokes, many of which were at McMahon’s own expense. And if you were too young to stay up and watch him on Carson, you might have seen him as the host of shows like Super Bloopers and Practical Jokes and Star Search, as well as the countless business ventures to which he lent his image—most famously, the American Family Sweepstakes, which told us that we might already have won millions of dollars.

The New York Times

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