Ed McMahon's publicist and confidante, Howard Bragman, spoke with the Today Show in the wake of the 86-year-old entertainer's death Tuesday.
"I want Ed McMahon to be remembered for the first 84 years of his life, not the last couple of years," his publicist, Howard Bragman told the
Today Show Tuesday.
PHOTO GALLERY: Ed McMahon Through The Years
When Lauer inquired about if McMahon's economic woes (his house was nearly foreclosed upon last year) might have hastened his passing, Bragman said, "It had to be a lot -- he was not a young man."
Bragman said that McMahon -- often referred to as Johnny Carson's second banana -- relished his role on the Tonight Show, complementing Carson with his well-timed arsenal of laughs, guffaws and wisecracks.
"Ed mastered that job," he said.
Bragman told Today Show host Matt Lauer that McMahon had been hospitalized for three months at UCLA Medical Center, and died surrounded by his loved ones.