The Ed Sullivan Show: Season 17, Episode 19

Episode #17.19 (9 Feb. 1964)
"Toast of the Town" Episode #17.19 (original title)

TV Episode  |  TV-G  |   |  Comedy, Music
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 34 users  
Reviews: 1 user

The first appearance of the Beatles on American television.


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Title: Episode #17.19 (09 Feb 1964)

Episode #17.19 (09 Feb 1964) on IMDb 8.6/10

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Episode credited cast:
Himself - Host
Themselves - Rock Group
Georgia Brown ...
Nancy (scene from 'Oliver')
Fred Kaps ...
Himself - Magician (archive footage)
Cast of Oliver ...
Themselves - Singers
Himself - Impressionist
Tessie O'Shea ...
Herself - Singer
Charlie Brill ...
Himself - Comedian (as McCall and Brill)
Herself - Comedian (as McCall and Brill)
Wells and the Four Fays ...
Themselves - Comedic Acrobats
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ronnie Kroll ...
Joan Lombardo ...
Bet (scene from 'Oliver!')
Terry McDermott ...
Himself - Olympic Speed Skater / Audience Bow


Ed Sullivan welcomes The Beatles as his guests in their first appearance on American television. The British rock group sings five of their current hit songs. Dutch comic magician Fred Kaps performs card tricks and a salt shaker stunt, the cast of the Broadway musical "Oliver" performs several numbers and Frank Gorshin does his impression of an imagined committee meeting of the U.S. Senate with its members all famous movie actors. British singer Tessie O'Shea performs three songs, including her hit, "Two-Ton Tessie from Tennessee", the comic team of Mitzi McCall and Charley Brill perform a comic sketch concerning the travails of a Hollywood producer trying to find the right woman for a part in a major motion picture and the comic acrobat team of Wells and the Four Fays perform a number of tumbling stunts. Written by David Bassler

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Music





Release Date:

9 February 1964 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


73 million TVs were tuned in to watch. See more »


Impressionist: Well, it's an election year and once again a lot of the Hollywood stars are ou campaigning for the candidates of both parties because of their interest in politics, of course. A funny thing occured to me - what if these stars decided to run for these offices themselves? They'd have no trouble getting votes because of their popularity and in a short time, the stars would be running the country. I can see it now - you're in the nation's capital - Las Vegas, Nevada...
See more »


Referenced in The Simpsons: Bart of Darkness (1994) See more »


I've Got Rhythm
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Performed by Tessie O'Shea
See more »

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User Reviews

The Beatles' first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" is still fascinating to watch, 50 years later
10 February 2014 | by (Baton Rouge, La.) – See all my reviews

Since yesterday was the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' historic U.S. TV debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show", I thought I'd mark the occasion by rewatching it that day. Ed begins by mentioning the telegram from Elvis Presley and his manager, Col. Tom Parker, wishing The Fab Four well. With that, Paul, George, John, and Ringo perform "All My Loving", "Till There Was You"-during which their names appear under their faces with John's also saying "Sorry, girls, he's married", and "She Loves You". Next, a pre-recorded bit by magician Frad Kaps of card tricks and salt shaker which I found lame since he presumably was underehearsed. After that, the cast of "Oliver!" performs "I'll Do Anything" of which one of its members was Davy Jones as The Artful Dodger. If that name sounds familiar to you, then, yes, it's the same one who would eventually join a TV-created, Beatles-inspired music group called The Monkees. Other cast member Georgia Brown would then solo on "As Long as He Needs Me". Frank Gorshin-a couple of years before his fame as The Riddler in the "Batman" TV show-next does his impressions of various movie stars in congress which I found hilarious. Entertainer Tessie O'Shea then does a medley of show tunes. After that, McCall & Brill perform a Hollywood audition which was underwhelming to me. The Fab Four then return with "I Saw Her Standing There" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand". Finally, Wells & The Four Fays perform some amusing acrobatic physical comedy. Except for the ones I noted weren't good, I mostly enjoyed the acts with the highlight of course being The Beatles with their hit songs they performed. And hearing those screaming teen girls with the camera shots on them was fascinating to watch. Good thing they didn't seem as loud as I remembered thinking they were since I last watched this. So this turned out to be the most watched broadcast of this time-approximately 73 million-because of the pandemonium of this group from Liverpool, England, causing a British Invasion here in America just a few months after the tragedy of the Kennedy assassination. They were a breath of fresh air in comparison to other, more traditional kinds of music at the time that was popular. So on that note, this historical broadcast is highly recommended. P.S. The commercials of that time are included as part of the program.

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