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About Ed Sullivan
Ed Sullivan was the premiere exponent of the definitive and longest running variety series in American television history.
For 23 years Ed Sullivan hosted his enormously popular CBS Sunday night variety show and managed to entertain his extremely diverse audience with rock stars, opera stars, circus acts, magicians, puppetry, jazz artists and every other type of performer one could think of.
As a sports reporter, gossip columnist and some time radio presenter, Sullivan was known on the Broadway scene from the early 1930s. He also acted in some comedy films and musicals during the 1930s and 1940s.
But, Ed Sullivan become a famous man in 1948. He was hired by CBS to host the network's first variety show, 'The Toast of the Town', later renamed after Sullivan.
Sullivan's critics say had little stage presence experience, wandering around aimlessly. Nevertheless, the audience seemed not to mind; here was an ordinary man bringing them the stars of the present and future. Sullivan had a knack of balancing his show for his audience, mixing a classical pianist with rock and rollers, and unassailable music legends with fresh unknown faces. He had an eye for new trends and sounds, and was a talent scout for the nation; generations of pop fans remember him introducing Americans to Britain’s biggest ever band with an awkward “Here they are, THE BEATLES!”
The series ended in 1971 and Sullivan made numerous cameo appearances in films until he died in 1974.
Edward Sullivan was born Sept. 28, 1901 in New York, N.Y., U.S. He began his career as a journalist and wrote a Broadway gossip column for the Daily News. Known for his talent at discovering interesting new performers, he was hired by CBS to host its variety program Toast of the Town (1948–55), later called The Ed Sullivan Show (1955–71), where he presented diverse entertainment (combining, for example, a concert pianist, a singing fireman, and a boxing referee with Hollywood celebrities in a single show) in a program that became a national institution for more than 20 years. Sullivan's terse way of introducing guest performers and distinctive mannerisms made him a popular target for comedians.
Ed Sullivan changed the older generation's mind about the moral values of Elvis Presley. He presented opera to teens and puppet mouse Topogigo to children. He bolstered the British Invasion, hosting The Beatles, their opposites The Rolling Stones. Ed Sullivan provided the performing venue from circus acts to classical violinists. Ed Sullivan died of natural causes in October of 1974.