Pasadena, Calif. — When longtime radio broadcaster Pat McMahon walked to the podium at the Pasadena Convention Center last weekend, he thought he was there as the emcee to help honor the best broadcast work for 2013 across 13 western states. Among them would be his KTAR colleagues in the Best News Website division for their clean, easy to read, and up to the minute digital content.
“I am truly honored to be your emcee this year,” McMahon told the crowd of western journalists from as far away as Hawaii and Alaska. “Although, I’m sure many of you are wondering who the hell I am.”
To give them a clue, APTRA’s outgoing president Robby Messer opened the evening with highlights from McMahon’s longtime career on the beloved “Wallace and Ladmo Show.” Those who didn’t know him soon learned their childhood had missed years of laughter and the ever-sought-after Ladmo Bags.
Many Arizonans grew up watching McMahon play Aunt Maud, Rich kid Gerald Springer, and Captain Super on the show through the 60s, 70s and 80s.
“We were the first children’s television show featuring a professional transvestite,” he told the crowd.
Years before landing at KPHO-TV in 1960, McMahon already began making radio in-roads in Davenport, Iowa with his own American Bandstand-type show, and serving in the U.S. Army’s Special Services entertaining fellow soldiers across the country. When he was asked on the fly to do a brief bit on the “Wallace & Ladmo Show” he stuck around until it wrapped up in 1989. His wild success on the Emmy Award winning children’s show often overshadowed McMahon’s more serious broadcast work covering the tsunami in Indonesia and the Reagan-Gorbachev Summit in Geneva.
McMahon could have retired in the 90s, but chose instead to continue his award winning career at KTAR and AZ-TV developing “The McMahon Group” and “The God Show.” Throughout his lifetime, McMahon has delighted in noticing the incredible, the absurd and the incredibly absurd. His humorous and sometimes serious observations bring life to his daily commentaries on KTAR’s “Arizona’s Morning News” show, which earned him a Best Commentator Edward R. Murrow Award earlier this year.
Before handing out the Station of the Year awards at the Mark Twain Awards Saturday night, Messer took a moment to focus the journalists’ attention on the evening’s emcee, “We came to realize the best person to induct into the APTRA Hall of Fame this year is a person whose career has truly covered an entire spectrum of news, entertainment, and back,” Messer told the crowd. “This year’s APTRA Hall of Fame Award goes to you, Pat.”
For Messer, it was an honor to give APTRA’s ultimate prize in Television Journalism to his childhood idol. For McMahon, it was a chance to be a bit like a kid on the receiving end of the coveted “Ladmo Bag.”
“I am deeply touched,” McMahon said while removing his glasses, “to be in such good company.”
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Water tips to save money, help save the Earth
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon
- What you need to know about Alzheimer's disease in Arizona
- Spring clean your windows like a pro with these 8 tips
- 7 films that should have won best-picture Oscars
- New plumbing technology saves money and improves your home
- Survey shows Arizona CFOs optimistic about 2016
- How chronic pain can affect your love life
- 5 potential warning signs about your child's development