Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Gayle Ronan Sims' last obit: Ed McMahon

Before Gayle Ronan Sims went into the hospital for a lung transplant a couple of months ago, she completed the finishing touches on the advance obit she wrote about Ed McMahon, Johnny Carson's TV sidekick on "The Tonight Show."

She requested that we post that obit on the Obituary Forum when McMahon's time came. It's time now. McMahon died this morning (June 23, 2009).

Gayle's time came sooner. She died April 16, 2009, not long after undergoing transplant surgery.
Her byline appears on McMahon's obit in today's Philadelphia Inquirer. (Per Philly Inky policy, this link will not remain online indefinitely. Once it disappears from the Internet, it can be ordered from the Inquirer archives.)

She began the obit this way: Ed McMahon, 86, who began his half-century television career in Philadelphia before becoming Johnny Carson's sidekick on The Tonight Show where his stentorian booming announcement "Heeere's Johnny!" became his trademark, died this morning.

Gayle's story gets front-page treatment on the newspaper's mainpage at http://www.philly.com/.

Gayle was the champion of incorporating multimedia into obits. She probably was responsible for assembling the slideshow that accompanies his obit.

As was her custom, I'm sure Gayle searched YouTube.com for video of McMahon and designated at least one video that would be appropriate to run with his obit. I'm guessing its omission was an oversight on the part of the folks who posted the obit online this morning. Perhaps it will be added later.

In the meantime, here's a video of McMahon in his role as straight man to Carson's Karnak the Magnificent.

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