A Look Back at the Legendary Ed Sullivan Show and its Iconic Host

Originally Called Toast of the Town

The year 1948 marked the beginning of fame and fortune for Ed Sullivan, a man who was born in 1901 and raised in New York, and passed away in 1974 at the age of 73. 1948 was the year CBS hired him for their very first variety show called “Toast of the Town.” The network executives knew from the get-go that the show was going to be a game-changer.


Milton Berle, Ed Sullivan, Fran Warren, Everett Sloane, Mel Allen at the Michael Awards, 1950. Photo By Everett Collection/Shutterstock

The show was revolutionary as it had a combination of video, audio, and vaudeville, which led to the term “vaudeo.” Despite its initial title being Toast of the Town, the show was still unofficially called the “Ed Sullivan Show” for years after it started airing on TV. The name was later officially changed to the name we all know now in September of 1955.

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