In the 1960s, Ames shifted careers and began persuing acting. His first starring role was an off-Broadway production of Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible.’
However, on television, Ames was likely best known for his role as Mingo, the Oxford-educated Native American in the 1960s adventure series “Daniel Boone” that starred Fess Parker as the famous frontiersman.
Due to his role in “Daniel Boone,” Ames became skilled at throwing a tomahawk, which led the actor to one of his most memorable moments of his career during a hilarious appearance on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson’ on April 27, 1965.
While on the show, Carson asked Ames to demonstrate his skills by throwing a tomahawk at a target of a cowboy outlined on a wooden panel.
Ames’ throw landed directly in the groin of the wooden cowboy, which caused the studio audience burst into laughter.
It’s a classic moment, which Carson repeated every year in his anniversary show:
As James Lileks asked in 2005, after Carson had passed away, “Ed fargin’ Ames throwing the tomahawk – was it funny because he planted it the yarbles, or because it resembled homo erectus? Both?”