Ed McMahon is dead at the respectful age of 86. I grew up watching him spar with Johnny Carson and he was an amazing straight man. Most of the time he'd let Johnny have the laugh, but once in a while he'd take one for himself, leaving Carson dumbfounded.
I've seen his signed 8x10s in local restaurants so I suspected he was a Central Coast regular. Then a few months back when I was in the hospital for a week I got to see a lot of Ed. The final room that they put me in (they sometimes move you around a lot in hospital--for instance they can't have a man and woman in the same room without a nurse present at all time as a chaperone. I needed to have my own chaperone because when I was a little off my nut I was considered a flight risk. My final room was designed to hold two patients but they ran out of room and slid in a third. I never got his name but I know he worked in Hollywood behind the cameras and he'd hurt his leg on the job. He had a lot of guests and one of them was Ed McMahon. Ed was in fantastic shape. He looked lots better than he does in the Publisher's Clearing house and other commercials he did. He seemed in very good health and he was a funny as could be. He spent time with his friend but he also worked the room. He made me laugh.
Of course I'd been hallucinating for days prior to seeing him, so I could have still been tripping balls and made the whole experience up in my mind. But I don't think so. I think I really saw him.
Either way, R.I.P. Ed and thanks for the laffs.
Oh, and if you're too young to remember or never watched the show, for years Alpo dog food was a major sponsor of the Tonight Show and Ed would do live commercials wherein he would feed a bowl of Alpo to a starved dog while delivering his pitch. It usually went somewhat poorly.