It was a most unlikely intersection of the game of life that featured a stint on The Boardwalk in Atlantic City as a pitchman … turned Philadelphia broadcaster … ultimately to the biggest show in America … The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

In his early days, Ed McMahon worked at Woolworth’s department store and sold vegetable slicers on the Boardwalk.

But, not just any vegetable slicer … Ed McMahon sold the Morris Metric Slicer on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City in the 1940’s.

McMahon was also a United States Marine fighter pilot during World War II and a fighter pilot during the Korean War.

Before McMahon’s Atlantic City Boardwalk Barker career, he was a 15-year-old “Caller” at a Maine bingo game.

Following this, McMahon spent three years on the carnival circuit and various state fairs.

McMahon also played the role as a clown in 1950, before landing his own late night television show in the 1950’s on WCAU-Philadelphia.

McMahon’s first broadcasting job was at radio station WLLH-AM in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Archie and Ruby Morris taught McMahon, how to sell the vegetable slicer. McMahon was putting himself through college at the time and was said to have made $ 500 a week from Atlantic City Boardwalk and Beach patrons.

The box on The Morris Metric Slicer read $ 2.00, however, McMahon would announce to forget about that price and sold each unit for $ 1.00.

McMahon sold the slicers on the Atlantic City Boardwalk at Pennsylvania Avenue and on St. James Place in Atlantic City.

In his autobiography, McMahon wrote about his sales techniques, “With the blade in the lower position, just look how thin you can slice a tomato. You could read a newspaper through that tomato slice. I know a lady in Bayonne, New Jersey, who had one tomato last her all summer long,” wrote McMahon.

After all of these unique stops along the way … McMahon landed the job that he would become most known for … becoming Johnny Carson’s announcer, sidekick and second banana on NBC's The Tonight Show for 30 years from 1962 to 1992.

Ed McMahon & Johnny Carson via Facebook.
Ed McMahon & Johnny Carson via Facebook.

It was here that McMahon created a phrase that he went on to officially trademark …

”Heeeeere’s Johnny.”

SOURCESEd McMahon biography, I Grew Up Or Lived In Atlantic, NJ Facebook Page.

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