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The Ed Sullivan Show (1948–1971)
"Toast of the Town" (original title)

TV Series  |  TV-G  |   |  Comedy, Music
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 658 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 1 critic

The classic prime time variety show most famous for its vaudeville acts and its rock music performances.

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Airs Tue. Dec. 01, 4:30 AM on NBCSN





24   23   22   21   20   19   18   17   16   … See all »
1971   1970   1969   1968   … See all »
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Series cast summary:
 Himself - Host / ... (1,054 episodes, 1948-1971)


Ed Sullivan's show was straight out of old vaudeville; brief acts of every description, from slapstick comedy to operatic arias. At least once, he showed a film, the only known film of Anna Pavlova (doing her Swan Dance). The Muppets' first TV appearance was on Ed Sullivan. Stiff and expressionless, with a peculiar voice and a talent for mispronunciation, Sullivan was at least as recognizable as Cronkite to early 60's viewers. Written by Molly Malloy <mailcall@intersource.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Music


TV-G | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 June 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Ed Sullivan Show  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(1965-1971)| (1948-1965)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Voted #15 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. See more »


Bing: You certainly get around.
Bob: I have to, with my kind of act.
See more »


Referenced in Days of Wine and Roses (1962) See more »


Mahna Mahna
Written by Piero Umiliani
Performed by The Muppets
See more »

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User Reviews

Irreplaceable performances
31 March 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I used to watch this program sometimes when I was growing up. Technically,of course, it is light years out of date--no flashy special effects, no elaborate staging, nothing except a host that acts like either a marble statue come to life, or a cold fish (take your choice!), and singers(pop and otherwise), actors, dancers, comedians, classical music virtuosos (such as then 13-year old Itzhak Perlman) and acrobats simply "doing their thing".

I took it for granted then. I didn't realize that we were sometimes seeing rare, priceless footage that we would seldom, if ever, see again in the future, and that it contained such gems as original cast performers singing the hit songs from legendary Broadway classics such as "My Fair Lady", "West Side Story", "Camelot", and "Man of La Mancha"-in full costume, yet. I always thought, "Well,we have the albums,and there's no reason these segments wouldn't be rerun someday. Besides,we'll have the film versions of the shows,so who needs to be so eager to catch the Broadway performers?"

How wrong I was.

Because, up until the advent of video remastering and restoration, and the invention of the VCR, these shows disappeared, apparently gathering dust in the CBS archives because modern-day programming and technology had made them seem so old-fashioned. Now they are back. Some years ago,Disney had the foresight to issue a video called "The Best of Broadway Musicals from the Ed Sullivan Show", and this priceless tape, which has since been transferred to DVD, contained Julie Andrews singing "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?", Andrews and Richard Burton singing "What Do The Simple Folk Do?", Carol Lawrence and Larry Kert singing "Tonight",Richard Kiley singing "The Impossible Dream",etc. And recently, when Ed Sullivan was broadcast on Nick-At-Nite,not only was Kiley shown singing this song, but we were also given the rare treat of seeing the original Aldonza/Dulcinea, Joan Diener, singing the lovely "What Does He Want of Me", a song omitted from the film version of "Man of La Mancha".

That is the kind of program this was.

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