Ed McMahon passed away today. Ed (and Johnny) kept me up laughing and in awe many nights, especially in high school, when I did my home work on the kitchen table (so I could watch the TV in the den.)
Ed was a veteran of WWII and a combat veteran of The Korean War. Ed's marine air corps experience would come up very infrequently on the show. (Read the obituary to the end. It's quite a life, with major league ups and downs.) I've met and seen (on the television) many veterans like Ed who didn't speak of their service but who carried it with great pride.
When Budweiser was a sponsor of The Tonight Show, Ed would toss Johnny a bottle of Bud just when Johnny needed to hold it up to the camera (while standing on stage a good distance from Ed.) I only saw Johnny drop it once, and that drop made all the other tosses even memorable. A memorable life and character, indeed.