Beatles 50th Sullivan Anniversary Count Down…5 Days
There was only thing the Ed Sullivan staff and crew knew for sure…they were on at 8 and off at 9! Everything else…well, it was up to Ed! I’ve talked to about half a dozen people that worked on the Sullivan show, and aside from the opening line above, they will all tell you that Ed did not really understand television…even after all those years on it. Sullivan was an newspaper man and to him, a change just meant editing his column and resetting the typeoliner. He was notorious for rearranging the show even while it was on the air. At the last minute, he would ask acts to stretch out a song or ask comedians to cut one of their routines in half. On stage “keep him on the paper” was the secret instruction to staff and crew…it meant two things. First, it meant keep him from making changes to the final line up sheet, and second, it meant (like a puppy) keep him on stage in his corner as he was bad about wandering off. As a newspaper man, he worked alone and never with a team and he really never understood “team work”. The rule was, to get along with Ed, it’s best to stay out of his way. He had a very short temper and could cuss a blue streak calling you every name in the book, and fired many people on the spot. Below is what I think is the most interesting article I’ve ever read on Sullivan. It’s a 1997 piece in “Vanity Fair” by Nick Tosches. Enjoy!
The God of Sunday Night: Remembering The Ed Sullivan Show
“To be seen with Sullivan Sunday night was to be a star Monday morning. To be called over to shake Ed’s hand was to connect with the Brightest Lights in the Big Room. Still, he was a guy the smarties liked to razz, a Broadway Nixon with sweat streaming down his forehead.”