Jennifer Armstrong
June 23, 2009 AT 12:00 PM EDT

David Letterman has issued a statement remembering late-night’s original sidekick, Ed McMahon, who died today at 86:

“Ed McMahon’s voice at 11:30 was a signal that something great was about to happen. Ed’s introduction of Johnny was a classic broadcasting ritual — reassuring and exciting. Ed was a true broadcaster, and an integral part of Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. We will miss him.”

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