Former “Tonight Show” sidekick Ed McMahon broke his neck in a fall last year and was recovering after two surgeries, his publicist said Thursday.
Susan DuBow said the fall happened last March. She said she did not believe McMahon was at his Beverly Hills home when it happened.
“It’s been a tough year, but I’m working hard in rehab and doing the best I can to get through it,” the 85-year-old McMahon said in a statement.
DuBow said she was not allowed to release any further information for legal reasons. McMahon was recently seen walking around at a public event in a neck brace.
McMahon is perhaps best known as Johnny Carson’s sidekick for decades on “The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson.” He worked with Carson on the game show “Who Do You Trust?” in 1957 and was known for never failing to laugh at Carson’s quips.
McMahon’s trademark opener for each “Tonight” show was: “And now h-e-e-e-e-e-ere’s Johnny!” followed by a small bow toward the star.
In March 2005, McMahon fell at his home in a gated community in Beverly Hills. He suffered mild concussion and received several stitches for a gash in his forehead.
McMahon also was co-host with Dick Clark of the “Bloopers” shows and he has made regular appearances on The Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon.