June 23rd, 2009
03:57 PM ET

Stars react to Ed McMahon

Ed McMahon's friends and colleagues in the entertainment world are reacting to his death at age 86.  It's clear he's being remembered fondly.   What are your memories of Ed?

"He was a star in his own right.  Being a sidekick didn't mean he was any less.  Johnny defined what the host should be and Ed defined what the sidekick was."

     –Doc Severinsen, "Tonight Show" bandleader

"Ed McMahon was a friend from the day I first walked on a stage on the Johnny Carson show and sat down between Johnny and Ed.  That kind of fun will never be repeated.  Ed was the best at what he did and will never be replaced.  Another giant is gone."

     –Don Rickles, comedian and frequent "Tonight Show" guest

"Fifty years ago, Ed and I were next-door neighbors.  Over the years, our friendship grew while he became one of America's favorite television personalities.  We were together for years.  Ed was a big man, had big talent and a really big heart.  We'll all miss him."

     –Dick Clark, McMahon's co-host on "TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes"

"I remember him with great affection.  I remember him (as) very solid whenever I hosted the show... When you needed him, he was a rock, a real rock.  He went beyond "The Tonight Show" and had his own identity and America liked him very much.  He was a good guy.  He was the neighbor."

      Joan Rivers, comedian and frequent "Tonight Show" guest host

"Ed McMahon defined professionalism in broadcasting.  We'll miss him!"

     –Paul Shaffer, "The Late Show with David Letterman" bandleader

"He was always a welcome guest.  He was a wonderful storyteller, a wonderful straight man, the ideal straight man for Carson."

     –Larry King, interviewed McMahon 16 times on CNN's "Larry King Live"

"America has lost one its greatest and most memorable television personalities today.  From Dick Clark's 'Bandstand' to 'Star Search' and the 30 years he spent in our living rooms as an integral part of the 'Tonight Show', Ed brought joy and laughter to millions of Americans.   Maria and I were deeply saddened to learn of his death and send our thoughts and prayers to Ed's wife, Pam, and children, Claudia, Katherine, Linda, Jeffrey and Lex.  Today we join the rest of the country in mourning the loss of this icon who was truly woven into the fabric of America."

     –Calif. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

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