The Ed Sullivan Show

The Ed Sullivan Show Cast

Series Description

The Ed Sullivan Show was a variety series. For an incredible 23 years, this series (originally titled, "Toast Of The Town" for the first eight seasons) brought the finest acts of the day into American homes. Whether one's interests lie with opera or rock music, ballet or broadway showgirls, comedy, Chinese acrobats or ventriloquists, one was sure to find it on this program!

Ed Sullivan Show Cast

Ed Sullivan (Host)
Ray Block And His Orchestra
June Taylor Dancers

Ed Sullivan Show Trivia:

When the Ed Sullivan Show ended in 1971, it was not due to falling ratings. CBS simply decided to "modernize" its offering and felt that this series appealed mostly to older viewers.

The first eight seasons were titled, "Toast Of The Town. Check that page for more information".

The Ed Sullivan Show was nominated for an Emmy for "Best Variety Series" every year from 1952-1956! It won in 1956 and also won Golden Globes in 1959 & 1960 for "Best TV Show"!

In 1964, 73 Million households were watching the Ed Sullivan Show to see the first U.S. nationwide appearance of The Beatles!

Elvis Presley performed live on the Ed Sullivan Show several times. For his final appearance on June 23, 1963, he was shown from the waist up only to protect the audience from being exposed to his gyrating hips!

On January 15, 1967, The Rolling Stones were asked to change the lyrics of their hit song from, "Let's Spend the Night Together" to "Let's Spend Some Time Together". They agreed and were later invited back to perform. On September 17th of the same year, The Doors were asked to not use the line, "Girl, we couldn't get much higher" from their hit song, "Light My Fire". It was felt that parents at home viewing the show would think that the lyrics referred to drug usage. The Doors refused to make the change and were never invited back to the show.

Ed Sullivan was called "The Great Stone Face" by many! His lack of an apparent personality was stangely appealing and probably contributed to his success. Looks can be deceiving, however. Newspaper columnist Harriet Van Horne once wrote, "He got where he is not by having a personality, but by having no personality; he is the commonest common denominator." Ed Sullivan sent her a short note which read, "Dear Miss Van Horne, You bitch. Sincerely, Ed Sullivan." So Ed could have a hard personality when it suited him, but it could also be "soft". When dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson died broke, Sullivan paid for his funeral out of his own pocket.

Performers on the Ed Sullivan Show were given only a certain amount of time to complete their acts. If they were running over, Ed Sullivan would indicate to them that they needed to wrap things up. On August 31, 1969, Jackie Mason was making his 16th appearance on the show. Maybe due to his frequent appearances he forgot that Ed was the boss. Anyway, when Ed signaled to him to finish up, Jackie apparently made an obscene gesture to Ed. He was never invited back again.

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