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The End Of Ed Sullivan June 6, 1971

Ed Sullivan Show
Express Newspapers/Getty Images
It was one of those TV shows that was a constant in our house. It was on Sunday night. And I mean every Sunday night.

The Ed Sullivan Show. It premiered on June 20th, 1948 and was cancelled 42 years ago on June 6th, 1971. It was the longest running variety show in television history.

Who appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show? Well, name someone, anyone, who was in the entertainment business in those 23 years and…yep, they were on Ed’s show.

Opera singers, comedians, dancers, dramatic actors, circus performers, mime’s, impressionist’s, puppeteers, and on and on and on.

Simply put: The Ed Sullivan Show was vaudeville brought into our living room’s week after week after week.

The basic format never changed. There was Ed, off to the side of the stage, usually arms folded, actually the ‘anti-television star’. He always looked slightly uncomfortable, but there he was, introducing each and every act.

And speaking of introducing, it was the Ed Sullivan Show that introduced America to the newest performers and act’s of the day. Some became legend’s while others came and went and became a ‘Whatever Happened To’ question.

The most memorable show?

Well, for me and millions of others it was, of course, our introduction to The Beatles. I remember to this day, nearly a half century later, sitting on the linoleum floor in our living room in a little farm house in southern Minnesota and watching. Wow, I loved it!

My Dad and Mom? Yeah, not so much.

You couldn’t hear them sing, of course. Too many young girls in the audience, too much screaming.

But it was Ed that brought them, and so many others, into our homes every Sunday night for 23 years.

Ed passed away a little over 3 years later in October, 1974 at the age of 73.

Boy, wouldn’t it be great to have a fun variety show back on TV instead of all these so-called reality shows?

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