The Ed Sullivan Show
The Ed Sullivan Show premiered in 1948 and was a landmark variety hour that propelled many acts to superstardom and some to controversy. Richard Pryor, Elvis Presley, Joan Rivers, and countless others got their start or at least grew in popularity after appearing on the show.
Ed Sullivan’s endorsements helped many artists tremendously. Half the country (and Forrest Gump’s mom) did not approve of Elvis Presley’s oh so sexual pelvic sorcery, but Sullivan told America that Elvis was a “very nice person” and that helped those more conservative off the fence.
However, Sullivan could also hold quite the grudge. A few performers and comedians drew his ire when they did not want to conform to the Network and Sullivan’s family friendly views. Jackie Mason allegedly gave Sullvian the finger and an angry Sullivan banned Mason from ever returning, effectively denying him millions in potential contract deals. All over something Sullivan could have easily misinterpreted.
Many of these “inappropriate” lyrics and or acts are laughable by today’s standards but have these conservative views really gone away? Side boob used to be deemed risky but ok for media but throw in the shadow of a nipple? Nope, not having it.