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Ed Sullivan facts

While investigating facts about Ed Sullivan Show and Ed Sullivan Theater, I found out little known, but curios details like:

Before his death, Ed Sullivan believed he was suffering complications from his long-standing battle with ulcers. He did not know that he had been diagnosed with advanced esophageal cancer the month before, a diagnosis his family and doctors had kept secret from him.

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The Doors were banned from the Ed Sullivan show after saying "higher" when performing Light My Fire although agreeing to change it during rehearsal to "better" as it could be referencing drug use.

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  1. Febuary the 9th, 1964, almost half (45%) of all US television viewers tuned into the same program: The Ed Sullivan Show and The Beatles

  2. Woody Allen contributed to The Ed Sullivan Show, Candid Camera, and The Tonight Show early in his career.

  3. Viola Smith, who began her career as a drummer in the 1920s, featured on the cover of Billboard magazine in 1940, performed on the Ed Sullivan Show 5 times and is still playing today at 106 years old!

  4. The September 9th, 1956 appearance of Elvis Presley on the Ed Sullivan Show drew a TV audience of 60 million viewers. The only shot him from the waist up.

  5. In 1964 Billy Graham, after watching the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, said that the Beatles were "a passing phase" and "symptoms of the uncertainty of the times and the confusion about us."

  6. The Kim Sisters were the first South Korean/Asian music group to achieve success in the U.S. market. They performed on 'The Ed Sullivan Show' over 20 times and their cover of the song "Charlie Brown" by The Coasters reached #7 on the Billboard singles chart in 1962.

  7. When Elvis Presley made his 3rd appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, he was only filmed dancing from the waist up because of a rumor that he had been hanging a small soda bottle down his pants "to create the illusion of a large, swinging endowment."

  8. In May of 1966, Ed Sullivan misspoke on the previous week’s show and, instead of teasing the appearance of singer Johnny Rivers, inadvertently said “Joan Rivers”, prompting her first appearance on the popular CBS show.

  9. Similar to the Doors with Light My Fire, when the Rolling Stones appeared on Ed Sullivan they were forced to change their lyrics. "Let's spend the night together" became "Let's spend some time together" to which Jagger rolled his eyes each time when singing and slipped up a few times anyway.

  10. After The Doors failed to alter a drug reference in their performance on "Light My Fire" on Ed Sullivan, the show's producers told them they'd never do the show again. Morrison's response: "We just did Sullivan".

ed sullivan facts
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Ed Sullivan called Fidel Castro a "fine young man" when he appeared on his late-night talk show.

The Beatle's second song on the Ed Sullivan Show was written about the state of Iowa. - source

Judy Garland is credited with doing the first ever recorded 'mic drop' , on the Ed Sullivan show in 1965 - source

Also featured on the same legendary episode of the Ed Sullivan Show that The Beatles made their American debut was future Monkees member Davy Jones doing a song from the musical "Oliver"

Elvis helped increase Polio vaccination rates in the US from 0.6% to 80% within 6 months by agreeing to get vaccinated live on the Ed Sullivan show. - source

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About Clayton "Peg Leg" Bates a one legged award winning tap dancer who appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show over 20 times

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Canadian comedy duo Wayne & Shuster hold the record for most appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. They made 58 appearances.

The New York Hilton Midtown has hosted every U.S. president since John F. Kennedy as well as the Beatles during their 1964 visit to the Ed Sullivan Theater. The world’s first handheld cell phone call was made by hotel guest Martin Cooper in front of the hotel in 1973

The music video for OutKast's 'Hey Ya!' mimics that of The Beatles 1968' performance of 'Hey Jude' on The Ed Sullivan Show

Also featured on the same legendary episode of the Ed Sullivan Show that The Beatles made their American debut was future Monkees member Davy Jones doing a song from the musical "Oliver"

Ed Sullivan's music director wasn't impressed with the Beatles after their live TV show debut in the US, stating "The only thing that’s different is the hair, as far as I can see. I give them a year."

How old was ed sullivan when he died?

Michael Jackson was only 10 years old when he performed the Jackson 5's No.1 hit single: "I want you back" on the Ed Sullivan show.

In 1956, Ed Sullivan showed America what nuclear holocaust looks like in a 6 minute animated short (A Short Vision)

The Ed Sullivan show once scared the public with a face-melting cartoon depicting a nuclear apocalypse

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