Ed Sullivan was a boomer institution. Not only did it provide talent and variety to the masses, Ed Sullivan introduced all of us to the Beatles and to Elvis.
The Ed Sullivan Show was an American television variety show that ran on CBS from June 20, 1948, to June 6, 1971, and was hosted by New York entertainment columnist Ed Sullivan. It was replaced in September 1971 by the CBS Sunday Night Movie. It was one of the only shows to ever be a talk show or variety show that ran for more than two decades. Despite the many different shows that ran opposite it, because of the many things that were introduced on Ed Sullivan, Acts like the Supremes and the Beatles and Elvis, the show ranked highly for as long as it stayed on television.
In 2002, The Ed Sullivan Show was ranked #15 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. In 2013, the series finished No. 31 in TV Guide Magazine’s 60 Best Series of All Time.
Ed Sullivan and The Beatles
Ed Sullivan introduced The Beatles to 73 million American television viewers on February 9, 1964. While teens anxiously awaited seeing “the youngsters from Liverpool” that they had been hearing on the radio, parents shuttered at the “long haired hippies” from England.
Sullivan’s introduction was mostly drowned out by screaming fans as he uttered the famous words, “Now yesterday and today our theater’s been jammed with newspapermen and hundreds of photographers from all over the nation, and these veterans agreed with me that the city never has the excitement stirred by these youngsters from Liverpool, who call themselves The Beatles. Now tonight, you’re gonna twice be entertained by them. Right now, and again in the second half of our show. Ladies and gentlemen, The Beatles. Let’s bring them on.”