All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ed McMahon, Bingo Caller

Ed McMahon got his professional start calling bingo at a carnival in Mexico, Maine.
On our arrival in Mexico it turned out we had joined one of the toughest carnivals on the road. The night before a guy had been killed by another guy. He got angry and hit his friend over the head with a sledgehammer. That smarts!

The carnival had closed for the night and the wake was going on when we pulled into the grounds and started setting up to be ready to start calling bingo bright and early the next morning. This was hard work and all five men in the troupe including Frank, the boss, worked at it. It meant raising the tent, setting up the counters in the interior and the display table in the back, hooking up the PA system and the lights that would make the prizes look prettier than they really were.

We did what they told me was good business and I was enjoying the whole new experience tremendously. I was beginning to feel at home among the people, the sights, and the smells of the carnival and I wanted to be 100 percent one of them. [Here's Ed: The Autobiography of Ed McMahon, pp. 87-88]


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