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Ed McMahon: 10 Things You Might Not Have Known

10 quick facts about the late Ed McMahon, one of pop culture’s all-time greatest sidekicks

1. His full name: Edward Leo Peter McMahon, Jr.

2. McMahon is best known for The Tonight Show and his role as the American Family Publishers sweepstakes spokesman, but he was also a spokesman for Budweiser, co-host of the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon and hosted Star Search from 1983-1995, where he helped launch the careers of Search contestants like Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Drew Carey, Brad Garrett, Dave Chappelle, Kevin James, Martin Lawrence, Dennis Miller, Alanis Morissette, Rosie O’Donnell, Ray Romano, Adam Sandler and Usher.

3. The Tonight Show wasn’t the first McMahon/Johnny Carson co-starring gig. McMahon was hired as the announcer on the ABC game show Who Do You Trust?, hosted by Carson, in 1958.

4. Among his other jobs: a circus clown on a Philadelphia TV show, veggie slicer salesman on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, door-to-door cookware salesman, shoe shiner, dry cleaner, bingo caller and a World War II flight instructor and Korean War pilot.

5. His great-great-great-grandfather, Patrice de Mac-Mahon, duc de Magenta, served under Napoleon and later served as the President of France from 1873-1879.

6. McMahon claimed that mayonnaise was originally called “Macmahonaise” and was named after his great-great-great-grandfather, who loved the condiment.

7. McMahon’s classic “Heeeere’s Johnny!” catchphrase inspired the Weird Al Yankovic song “Here’s Johnny,” a parody of the El DeBarge Short Circuit movie soundtrack hit “Who’s Johnny.”

8. McMahon was a fan of The O.C.

9. He also co-hosted a TV Land talk show with ALF.

10. McMahon played Duncan, the big baddie who was causing trouble for Jim Brown‘s titular character in the 1973 blaxploitation flick Slaughter’s Big Rip-Off. “They’re gonna get Slaughter, or get slaughtered!” says the announcer in the movie’s trailer.

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