The Top 10 Ed McMahon McMoments


The world was saddened to learn that television legend Ed McMahon passed away at 86 years of age last night. But thanks to magic of the internet, we can all relive some of Ed’s best and most hilarious moments with the click of a button. Intern Zack Mast has compiled 10 of Ed McMahon’s most genius moments in a list we are calling 10 Best Ed McMahon McMoments. Some will seem familiar, and others will completely blow your mind…

10. We here at would like to remember Ed for his career and not the credit woes that plagued his late-life reputation, but this commercial featuring a self-aware “Ed McGangsta” trying to take back his big checks (from winners, if 0:40 is any indication, still living in the ’80s) is an instant classic:



9. In one of the most ingenious clip show framing devices ever, Ed McMahon plays along as everyone’s favorite sitcom puppet other than Brad Garrett — the inimitable ALF — guest-hosts The Tonight Show, replete with Ed remaining the ever-loyal straight-man sidekick:



8. This classic Budweiser commercial stars Ed McMahon and Frank Sinatra, the two least-likely-to-be-cowboys celebrities around… taken hostage by Indi… Native Americans. Still, in spite of it all, Ol’ Blue Eyes and Ol’ Johnny’s Side find the time to kick back and enjoy a cool, refreshing Bud label (BONUS: Note the eerie but awesome mention of “non-returnable” gold, foreshadowing Mr. McMahon’s epic last hurrah):



7. In this clip from 1979’s Legends of the Superheroes, hosted by The McMahon Man himself, Ed steals the show with a single line. We won’t spoil it for you. (Hint: It’s a message for Batman, and there may or may not be trouble in Gotham city!):



(More footage of this genius special over at Warming Glow)

6. Now, every ’80s celebrity needs a catch phrase, and Ed McMahon was no exception. His constant shouts of “Yes, sir! You are correct, sir!” on The Tonight Show are a staple of his legacy. Too bad he never actually said it. That was the legacy of another late comedy legend, Phil Hartman, in one of his many immortal impressions:



5. What would a Dean Martin Celebrity Roast of Johnny Carson be without a little time spent knocking around Ed McMahon, too? In this clip, coming to you from way back when comedy roasts were still classy, Pat Buttram and Steve Landesberg hurt Ed’s feelings and warm our hearts all at the same time:



4. No tribute to Ed McMahon can be complete without a mention of TV Bloopers and Practical Jokes. It just can’t. So, for the sake of completing this tribute properly, here’s a clip featuring both a TV Blooper and a Practical Joke that stars none other than a young and possibly stoned Jason Bateman:



3. We could show you a clip of Phil Hartman taking his impression to new heights in that classic “Carsenio” SNL skit, but instead, here’s the real Ed soaring to real heights on the real Arsenio Hall Show (BONUS: This clip includes a brilliant dog food commercial featuring Ed finally getting a “leg up” on Johnny Carson – that joke will make sense once you see it, trust me):



2. Whoa, whoa, whoa—what? Remember the Jackson 5, that old boy band from the ’80s that still puts New Kids on the Block to shame? You know how, in terms of television style, presence, and programming, Ed McMahon and the Jackson 5 are complete opposites? Well, here they are together on The Jackson Variety Show, proving that all variety shows need to succeed is the right combination of incredible and incredible (sorry, Nick and Jessica):


(Note: We can’t embed the video, so just click the image to watch the magic unfold.) 

1. And finally, here’s a poignant reminder that Ed McMahon is a treasure to be remembered and valued forever, an icon and a legend of American television who will be sorely missed. Mr. McMahon, you are gold, and we would never cash you in. Ladies and gentlemen—Mr. Jerry Lewis and Mr. Ed McMahon: