50 Years Later, ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ Still Charms and Challenges

The long-running variety show went off the air a half-century ago this month. But much of it is officially available on YouTube. Here’s a look at some of the best moments.


By Elisabeth Vincentelli

Between 1948 and 1971, millions of Americans had two appointments on Sunday: church and “The Ed Sullivan Show” on CBS — a connection the 1960 Broadway musical “Bye Bye Birdie” made when it praised the show’s host in the number “Hymn for a Sunday Evening.”

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