Bill Webber, a Broadcast Pioneer

Johnny Carson & Bill Webber in 1964

Ed McMahon & Bill Webber in 1964

On Thursday, May 21, 1964, Bill Webber of WRCV Radio interviewed Johnny Carson, host of "The Tonight Show." Johnny had been on the program for less than two years. He also spoke with Carson's side kick, Philadelphia's own Ed McMahon, who at that time was still living in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania and commuting to New York for the broadcast.

Ed McMahon had worked at WCAU from September 12, 1949 until he joined Johnny on ABC's "Who Do You Trust?" in 1958. That show was on the network at 3:30 pm daily, but WFIL-TV, the ABC affiliate didn't carry it at that time. Channel 6 was airing Bandstand which started at 2:30 with the ABC network joining at 4 pm. So the "Who Do You Trust" program ran on a delay at 1:30 pm.

Broadcast Pioneers' Vice-President Ed Harvey tells us that when McMahon returned from the Korean War, WCAU owed him a job. Ed Harvey was working seven days a week at the time and hosting a television program called "Fun & Fortune." When McMcMahon returned from the service, they allowed Ed Harvey to have a day off and gave the TV broadcast to McMahon.

Broadcast Pioneers' President Pat Delsi tells us that Charlie O'Donnell was offered McMahon's post on "Who Do You Trust?" At the time, Charlie was the announcer on American Bandstand and doing radio and television at WFIL. Charlie decided to stay with Bandstand and WFIL. That left the position open and it eventually went to Ed McMahon.

Broadcast Pioneers member Bill Webber adds that these interviews were done at "Arthur's Steak House" in center city Philadelphia. Bill also mentioned that the interviews, after being aired locally over WRCV radio, were picked up by NBC radio and used on their weekend series, "Monitor."

From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Photos originally donated by Broadcast Pioneers member Bill "Wee Willie" Webber
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