Ed McMahon Publishers Clearing House Connection Sparks ‘Mandela Effect’ Blame

Ed McMahon Publishers Clearing House

Longtime television partner Johnny Carson According to some TV fans, Ed McMahon once served as the Publishers Clearing House spokesperson. As a matter of fact, McMahon was never seen with the PCH reward patrol. The Tonight Show legend served as the spokesperson for American Family Publishing, an infomercial company with a very similar name.

Ed McMahon Publishers Clearing House

One particular notion of reality, the “Mandela Effect,” is to blame for the confusion. People who believe Nelson Mandela died in jail in the 1980s when in fact he lived until 2013 and became president of South Africa are the ones who gave the claimed “effect” its name.

A marketing firm called Publishers Clearing House (PCH) sells items and magazine subscriptions, but it is most known for its contests that offer substantial cash awards. They had non-stop advertising throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

They showed Americans receiving big sums that may alter their life. However, the business was charged with deceiving customers over the likelihood of actually winning. In order to control direct mailing companies, Congress passed the Deceptive Mail Prevention and Enforcement Act in 2000 in response to these worries. With all 50 states, PCH has resolved legal disputes.

Ed McMahon Publishers Clearing House

The magazine subscription business McMahon actually worked for, American Family Publishing (AFP), and PCH were frequently confused for one another. This may be the reason some believed McMahon worked for PCH. In the sense that they frequently used sweepstakes promotions, AFP was like PCH.

Even on the mailers that clients received, McMahon’s visage could be seen. McMahon stated he would “personally” visit contest winners in the advertisement. PCH mailings did not feature his face.

Another image shows McMahon holding a sizable check for “at least” $5 million, but it has the “Big Win” insignia rather than PCH’s. This picture comes from a cameo appearance McMahon made on NBC’s reality series $25 Million Dollar Hoax in 2004, as Snopes notes.

In another advertisement for Neighborhood Watch, McMahon made an unexpected request of the homeowners: they join up for the service rather than receive a monetary reward.

Additionally, McMahon frequently appeared in sitcoms to present characters with huge checks. McMahon did this in episodes of Roseanne, Who’s The Boss?, The Nanny, and Boy Meets World, a YouTube user notes.

McMahon also handed out a small check to Jay Leno on The Tonight Show as a joke. In an episode of The Golden Girls, Betty White’s character also says McMahon works for PCH.

Additionally, McMahon’s interview with Tom Green, in which he asserts to have given away $110 million in prizes, was found by Snopes. He asserted that he actually “walked up to people’s doorsteps” to personally present the winnings.

Dick Clark would work with McMahon to distribute the rewards after being hired by AFP. Snopes did not discover any pictures or videos of McMahon making the delivery, though.

Because of his 30-year relationship with Carson, McMahon is still adored today. In 1957, they started collaborating on the game program Who Do You Trust? McMahon joined Carson when he took over NBC’s The Tonight Show, staying with him until his retirement in 1992.

Additionally, McMahon presented TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokers and Star Search. On June 23, 2009, McMahon passed away at age 86.

Did Ed McMahon work with Publishers Clearing House?

McMahon’s employment with Publishers Clearing House is not supported by any evidence. But he was a representative of American Family Publishers. The term “Publishers” was significantly smaller in older American Family Publishers television advertising than the phrase “American Family,” maybe because the business was aware of how many American families had confused the two companies and thought McMahon worked for the rivals.

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