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Despite the title, there is pain in Ed McMahon’s new autobiography, For Laughing Out Loud. It opens with Ed mocking himself and his eternal subservience to Johnny Carson, who provides the briefest and most perfunctory of introductions. One can sense the clenched teeth as McMahon admits that even he has no idea what it is that he does, but defiantly declares that he does it well. However low his self-esteem, McMahon remains a gentleman, filling his book, in proper old-Hollywood tradition, with references to “my good friend the great Dick Clark,” “the brilliant producer of the Tonight Show Freddy de Cordova,” “the magnificent Tom Arnold,” etc. Though he has recorded albums, acted in films, performed in nightclubs, and generally been omnipresent on television screens, what Ed McMahon is, is simply the best Ed McMahon of all; and he’s the main attraction as he discusses and signs copies of his book at 6:30 p.m. at the National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW. Free. For reservations call (202) 662-7523. (Dave Nuttycombe)