Is Ed McMahon a candidate for The Home Front's title of America's least sympathetic housing crisis victim? (The title is now held by former slugger Jose Canseco, who held off a gutsy challenge from ex-NBA star Latrell Sprewell last month.)
Let's look at the situation, from the Associated Press:
Ed McMahon, who for decades appeared as Johnny Carson's sidekick on the Tonight Show, is fighting to avoid foreclosure on his multimillion-dollar Beverly Hills home, according to published reports.
The former Star Search host was $644,000 behind on payments on $4.8 million in mortgage loans when a unit of Countrywide Financial Corp. filed a default notice February 28 with the Los Angeles County Recorder's Office, the Wall Street Journal first reported late Tuesday.
Sounds pretty unsympathetic. I mean the guy was essentially the Ryan Seacrest of his generation. Why wouldn't he be able to pay his mortgage?
From the AP:
He has been unable to work as a pitchman for various products since he broke his neck 18 months ago, said his spokesman, Howard Bragman.
And it says here that McMahon also served in the military during the Korean War.
McMahon got his big break when he was offered a job in New York with CBS; however, he was recalled into the Marine Corps due to the Korean War. After several months of training in Miami and El Toro, McMahon arrived in Korea in February 1953. He flew 85 artillery-spotting missions in the Cessna OE Bird Dog before returning home in September 1953.
In light of those factors, I'm going to rule that Ed McMahon is in fact not an unsympathetic housing crisis victim. Call me a softie, but I do have some sympathy for Korean War veterans with broken necks.
(Of course, God knows how many artillery-spotting missions Jose Canseco would have run had he just been born sooner. Oh, space-time continuum, why must you be so rigid and cruel?)
It's an open question, though: Is Ed McMahon a tragic victim of the housing crisis or a common deadbeat?