Ed McMahon was a television pioneer who warmed "The Tonight Show" couch for nearly 30 years as Johnny Carson's jovial sidekick and announcer.
In his final years, health and financial woes marked an unexpected turn of events for the high-profile TV celebrity whose career began in 1949 and spanned more than half a century. During that time, he was rarely absent from the screen.
He was the host of the syndicated "Star Search" for 12 years and a co-host of "TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes" with Dick Clark on NBC for nine years.
He also played a clown for eight years on the "Big Top" live circus show on CBS in the 1950s, and co-starred with Tom Arnold in a sitcom, "The Tom Show," on the WB network in the late 1990s.
And there were stints as host of the game shows "Missing Links," "Snap Judgment" and "Whodunnit?" in the 1960s and '70s.
In between, McMahon did commercials for Budweiser beer, Alpo dog food and hundreds of other products and services.
At one point in the early 1980s, he reportedly was the spokesman for no fewer than 37 banks. And for years he served as the spokesman for American Family Publishers' national sweepstakes, famously informing Americans that "You may already have won $10 million!"
But McMahon will be best remembered as the prototypical late-night talk-show announcer and second banana, who enthusiastically boomed out in his rolling baritone the familiar words, "And now, heeeeere's Johnny!"
As Carson's loyal, quick-to-laugh sidekick and comic foil, McMahon had so many catchphrases he could have done a medley of them in his nightclub act.