I think one of the reasons I can’t get into American Idol is because my heart will always belong to Star Search.
Way back in the day (and by day, I mean the 1980s), there wasn’t a better way to end Saturday morning’s quality programming than with a little Star Search action. Little moppets with their taffeta dresses and tiny tuxedos, belting out a Dolly Parton song while their decked-out parents sat beaming in the audience. Hack comedians with gimmicky puppets. Dance troupes doing their own routines to classics like Footloose. Before text messages, before Ryan Seacrest, before everyone started wondering what exactly was in Paula’s cup, we had Ed McMahon classing it up, neon stars, a whole lot of lights and, oh, yes, the future stars of America.
I’m sure most people will be sorry to hear of McMahon’s passing because of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson or his part in handing over gigantic checks to old people and women who don’t know the meaning of the word “bathrobe.” But I will always see him here, where a few stars (Justin Timberlake, Usher, and Joey Gladstone) were born.