Sunday, November 21, 2010
REALLY BIG SHOW WITH REALLY BIG LAUGHS - THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW - CBS-TV CIRCA 1948-1971
In the 1950's and 1960's, America's hottest comedy club was your parent's living room.
No cover charge. No drink minimum, Just the greatest array of comic talent that you could fit with the confines of a 21 inch television screen.
All for free.
YOu just had to turn your dial ( TV's once had dials for channel tuning) to your hometown, CBS Television station at 8pm Eastern time(7pm Central) on any Sunday night.
That was the time for television viewers to participate in a true American ritual and a show business institution , THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW.
First entitled THE TOAST OF THE TOWN when it debuted in 1948, it was one of the nascent Tiffany Network's first and finest offerings.The name of the weekly, video variety show was changed in 1955, to honor the clunky and constrained host.
The show was performed "LIVE" from CBS-TV's STUDIO 50, which was re-named THE ED SULLIVAN THEATER IN 1966.
Today, that facility is home to THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN.
Sullivan, while an awkward personality on camera, had an innate ability to successfully combine video and vaudeville. A native New Yorker,he was a teen aged boxer and an acclaimed Broadway columnist, before stepping in front of the primitive cameras and under the scalding lights required to produce the earliest network broadcasts.
Smart and facile, his acute awareness of social trends and his surgically sharp, journalistic instincts help to drive the stellar roster of guests. Sullivan, along with producers Marlo Lewis and Bob Precht, delivered the most diverse programs on the tube. On any given Sunday, recording artists, night club comics, plate spinners, opera stars, poets and puppets would share the sprawling stage of CBS Studio 50 on Broadway.There were no barriers of gender, color, race, ethnicity or religion. Talent was the only ticket to center stage.THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW defined variety in video.
While the earliest TV stars were comedians, and the actors who portrayed cops or cowboys, Sullivan defied definition as a performer. America embraced the stoic star as a family member.
Sponsored for many years by The Ford Motor Company's Lincoln/Mercury Division, Sullivan ( aka The Great Stone Face)was a welcome presence on Sunday nights for 23 television seasons.His program was still drawing large, household audiences in 1971, when his show, like THE RED SKELTON HOUR and THE JACKIE GLEASON SHOW, were cancelled, as CBS and advertisers sought to cultivate younger, more urban demographics.
So many careers were launched, sustained or revived on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW. The Beatles are ,actually, a small, albeit incandescent, part of the show's history. Like NBC's TONIGHT SHOW, Sullivan's weekly revue was a crucible for comedy. One appearance could launch a career.
Here from THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW YOU TUBE site, are six classic comic peformances from the mid-1960's through the early 1970's, when the program was in its primacy.Enjoy!!!!
RICHARD PRYOR - 1966
JOAN RIVERS - 1967
RODNEY DANGERFIELD 1970
GEORGE CARLIN 1966
THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS 1966
HENNY YOUNGMAN 1966