Johnny Carson’s Gag Was ‘Wrecked’ by Ed McMahon’s ‘Painful Moment’


Ed McMahon’s ‘Painful Moment’ ‘Wrecked’ Johnny Carson’s Gag

Ed McMahon served as Johnny Carson’s co-host on The Tonight Show for 30 years, introducing the late-night television icon thousands of times with his signature line, “Heeeere’s Johnny!”

But, as McMahon recalls, he had to learn when to share his jokes and when not to.

At least once, this meant learning the hard way.

What was Carson’s reaction when McMahon “wrecked his gag”?

McMahon wrote a book called Here’s Johnny about his time on The Tonight Show.

When he started working with Carson, he said he was experienced enough to stay in his lane as a co-host.

However, McMahon recalls getting in the way of Carson’s comedic routine.

“I always knew my place on the show, especially after one painful moment in our New York days,” he wrote. “Although selective zingers from me did work, I always knew my place on the show,” he wrote.

“I hear mosquitoes only go for really passionate people,” he said, as Carson demonstrated an anti-mosquito spray.

McMahon wrote that his reaction to the set-up was almost reflexive: “There’s another one!” he exclaimed, then slapped his wrist.

Carson was actually setting up the joke for himself, and McMahon ended up “wrecking Johnny’s gag.”

During the next commercial break, McMahon apologized, according to him.

He remembered Carson responding, “That’s fine, Ed.”

“In your new job at Bayonne Chevrolet, you’ll be able to do whatever you want.”

Of course, that was a joke, and McMahon stayed with Carson throughout his time as host of The Tonight Show, but he learned that “I had to pretend laughing was my entire job.”

McMahon wrote in Here’s Johnny that on The Tonight Show, he had to be careful when he shared his humor.

“Most of the time on the show, I knew when to talk and when to keep quiet, even though it was often difficult to keep my mouth shut,” he said, adding that playing co-host to such a charismatic host as Carson wasn’t always easy.

McMahon wrote, “Being [Carson’s] sidekick was a challenging role.”

He admitted that there were times when he had to “stop [himself]from responding to something [Carson] said” because he already had his own shows.

“I had to help him without getting in his way,” he explained, “to be in there when I was needed but step back when I wasn’t, without ever looking as if I was..”

Short entertainment news from Infosurhot.

wpcc-script async src=”//”]

Comments are closed.