Based on a True Story: Not a Memoir by Norm Macdonald:
Star Search was a show where they searched for stars. The show had different categories such as junior dancers, spokespersons, singers, and comedians. Once a year they would do a special International Star Search, where they would gather up a bunch of foreigners and try to make them stars. That’s why they contacted me. I was a foreigner. The good news was, if I won, I’d go from a nobody to a star.
Sam Kinison had told Dennis Miller about me—told me I was international—and Dennis, who is a very generous man, helped me, as he would many times in my career. Dennis passed my information on to the show’s host, Ed McMahon.
Ed was famous for sitting beside Johnny Carson and laughing his deep, genuine laugh at all that Johnny uttered. If you’re the best at something, you become a rich man. And Ed McMahon was very rich.