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Ed McMahon – Was He Ever the Spokesperson for Publishers Clearing House?

After the demise of Ed McMahon, the most common question that people had in their minds was, “How are Publishers Clearing House going to notify their winners now”? This question arose due to the reason that most Americans believed that Ed McMahon was the spokesman for Publishers Clearing House. But is it true?

Well, a straight and simple answer to this question is No. Ed McMahon was never the spokesperson for Publishers Clearing House. It was never that he worked for PCH and neither did he appear in any of their commercials nor was he related to the Publishers Clearing House in any manner. Let us know the actual truth behind this rumor. 

Who was Ed McMahon?

Ed McMahon’s voice can be heard by anyone who loves watching Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show”. He was the one who did the introduction for “The Tonight Show”. Whenever Johny, the comedian, used to walk on the stage he used the catchphrase “Here’s Johnny” each night. 

For as long as 30 years, Ed McMahon worked on The Tonight Show after which he made an appearance on Star Search and TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes. All this happened between 1962 to 1995. However, the most appreciated role performed by Ed McMahon was that of a spokesman. He was a spokesperson for a magazine, however, it was not the Publishers Clearing House.

Was Ed McMahon Ever The Spokesperson For Publishers Clearing House?

No, Ed McMahon was never the spokesperson for Publishers Clearing House. Although he did work for a magazine as a spokesperson, it was not Publishers Clearing House. Ed McMahon instead worked for a rival company named American Family Publishers (AFP). 

AFP and PCH are two companies that used sweepstakes to promote themselves. Both of these were highly valued marketers who sold magazine subscriptions to other products. While promoting themselves, both companies used to offer products having a value enhancing reds and thousands.

However, American Family Publishers (AFP) could not sustain much in the market and it filed for bankruptcy in 1998 since then it does not exist. This can be one of the reasons that people associate Ed McMahon with Publishing Clearing House. But the truth is that Ed McMahon never worked there. 

Reasons Why Ed McMahon Was Not the Spokesperson For PCH 

If I talk of reasons why Ed McMahon was never the spokesperson for Publishers Clearing House, it would become easier for you to differentiate between the truth and the rumor.

The Television Commercials

Some of you might remember the commercials that Publishers Clearing House put forward for promotion in which they used to notify the sweepstake winners by sending the members of the “PCH Prize Patrol ” to the doorstep of the winners letting them know that they had won huge cash prizes. 

Sometimes they even appeared with a big cheque. The important fact is that Ed McMahon was never seen in any of those commercials. This proves that he did not work for Publishers Clearing House. 

American Family Publishers

Not PCH, but you can easily recognize Ed McMahon in television commercials of a similar rival brand, that is, American Family Publishers. Like Publishers Clearing House, this company used the method of sweepstakes to promote its brand. 

However, AFP played pretty smartly and the “Publishers” in their television commercials were printed small enough to not be recognized by people. It was purposely done because the company knew that the people had misunderstood both. 

Ed McMahon’s Face on the Envelopes

During those times, Ed McMahon’s face was imprinted on the envelopes that were sent to American households. However, this was done by the American Family Publishers and not by Publishers Clearing House. 

The most legit reason for that is the fact that Ed McMahon never really worked for Publishers Clearing House. Ed McMahon even mentioned PCH as his rival company in a television commercial while he was working with the American Family Publishers. 

A 1994 Television Commercial

A television commercial from 1994 shows that Ed McMahon appeared at the doorstep of a woman to present her with the prize that she had won by sweepstakes. In the commercial, you can conveniently acknowledge Ed McMahon and one of his friends and co-worker, Dick Clark. Ed McMahon went to provide the price as a spokesman for American Family Publishers and not Publishers Clearing House. 

So evidently, Ed McMahon was never the spokesperson for Publishers Clearing House. Not only this but there is also a picture of Ed McMahon with a woman presenting her with a big cheque. The cheque was offered to the woman by American Family Publishers and not by Publishers Clearing House. Hence, it was American Family Publishers with whom Ed McMahon worked.

Ed McMahon Controversy:Whom Did He Work For?

Even though Publishers Clearing House have given their statement clearly telling everyone that Ed McMahon never worked for them, the people seem to be not ready to accept it. This is nothing but the “Mandela Effect” wherein the memory does not end up matching the reality that is in front of the people.

Many even claim that they have seen Ed McMahon and Dick Clark in one of the advertisements put forward by Publishers Clearing House. However, the truth is that if you look carefully, you will be easily able to discover that the name of the company in the advertisement is blurred, which automatically gives rise to confusion.

However, clearly understood that both PCH and AFP were popular publishing companies at that time and the most known rivals of each other, so the advertisement that people often misjudge is actually that of American Family Publishers and not Publishers Clearing House. Now that AFP is no longer in existence, people often mistook it to be Publishers Clearing House. 


Ed McMahon took over the job of a spokesperson much later after 1995. Since then, it has been a matter of great discussion if he was ever the spokesperson for Publishers Clearing House and the direct answer is no. As stated above, Ed McMahon worked for a rival company American Family Publishers which was later caught in bankruptcy and was finally shut down in 1998. 

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