And now, he-e-e-re's Ed!

August 01, 1994|By Howard Henry Chen | Howard Henry Chen,Sun Staff Writer

If you think you can sing, dance, or tell a funnier joke than the old stalwarts you see on television now, break out the sequins and the tights: Ed McMahon's "Star Search" is coming to town.

You won't be able to audition today, but you can meet Mr. McMahon. He's touring the country to drum up support for the 12th season of "Star Search" and will be in Owings Mills from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. today at Boston Chicken, 10237 Reisterstown Road. He'll be touting the changes on his show and will be choosing the winner of a trip for two to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

His Baltimore-area stop is one leg of a 35-city national tour designed to stir interest in the show, which has been revamped with a new set, a new format and a new segment host: former MTV VJ Martha Quinn.

"Star Search" is a syndicated, one-hour music/variety program that has launched the careers of performers such as comedians Rosie O'Donnell, Dennis Miller and Martin Lawrence and actress Lara Flynn Boyle. "You'll see a new vibrancy, and with all the changes, it's going to be quite a show," Mr. McMahon said during a telephone interview.

At a Boston Chicken store in every city stop, Mr. McMahon will draw the winning name for the trip to Florida. Also, the Boston Chicken in each city will donate $1,000 to the Starlight Foundation, a charity that grants a wish to seriously ill children, according to Richard Sharoff, president of Superior Foods of Maryland, operator of Boston Chicken.

"I'd like to collect $100,000 to give to the kids," says Mr. McMahon, "and most of them want to go to Disney World."

As part of the tour, Mr. McMahon will stop in cities that mark milestones in his life and career, including Studio 6B at the NBC studios in New York, where he began his "Tonight Show" career with Johnny Carson; a Philadelphia stop that will commemorate the first time he appeared with Dick Clark on television; and Lowell, Mass., where he will visit radio station WLLH, which introduced him to radio broadcasting.

The tour will wind down Aug. 12 at the Disney-MGM Studios theme park in Orlando, the new home of Ed McMahon's "Star Search." The new show, according to Mr. McMahon, will also include new theme music, a live backstage segment and new judges, "everyone from Sid Caesar to Heavy D."

To register for the Florida drawing, pick up entry forms at any Boston Chicken restaurant. Anyone who would like to audition for "Star Search" can pick up entry forms at participating Blockbuster video stores.

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