Sunday, April 28, 2013

"The Ed Sullivan Show" - Live (1961)

Just kick back and watch this complete Ed Sullivan show from 1961. It’s what most families did on a Sunday night back then. Back then Friday nights were for flirting, Saturday nights were for dating, and Sunday nights were for the Ed Sullivan Show. Each week for 3 decades, Mr. Sullivan, a former newspaper columnist, showed that he had his fingers on the entertainment pulse of America. An invitation to perform on his show could make or break an act in the space of just a few minutes.

Usually broadcast live from New York City, this episode is a bit different, as it is live from Las Vegas. In the years ahead Ed Sullivan would also broadcast an occasional show from Miami, as he did when the Beatles made their second US appearance on his show in 1964.

In this show, Ed brings out the usual variety of acts, consisting of comedian Jerry Lewis, some dancers, Phil Harris, and even the standard introduction of a celebrity in the audience. The sun in Vegas must have done him some good, as even in this old black and white tape you can see that the usually pallid Mr. Sullivan has been spending some time by the pool.

Shows like this don’t exist anymore. We all have our little niches of satellite radio and cable TV to filter out the things in which we are not interested. It’s convenient, but it narrows our scope and tolerance for things that may be a bit different from what we like personally, drawing us all a bit further apart in the process. As the old saying goes, “They just don’t make them like they used to.” And we are the less for that loss.

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