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The Ed Sullivan Show's YouTube channel is keeping the iconic CBS variety show alive 50 years after its cancelation

  • Ed Sullivan was appointment television from 1948 to 1971, with its biggest moment coming when The Beatles performed in 1964. SOFA Entertainment purchased The Ed Sullivan Show's library in 1990, and last summer it teamed with Universal Music Enterprises teamed up to create an official Ed Sullivan Show YouTube channel, which makes available daily uploads of Ed Sullivan clips. To date, there are more than 1,300 that have been digitally remastered. “The goal is to stay true to the variety-show format,” says SOFA president Josh Solt. “So you’ll see rock, you’ll see jazz, a Broadway novelty, magicians, some amazing sports figures. Going back to the history of the show, we have a responsibility to curate across all of these genres.” The New York Times' Elisabeth Vincentelli says of the old clips: "Watching the live performances, it’s obvious that the show and its besuited, clenched-jaw host — who, on the surface, was the personification of a square father figure — were trying to both reflect and define midcentury American pop culture in all its genius, idiosyncrasies and contradictions while toying with the concept of what constitutes a modern canon. The program’s everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach endures to some extent in the reality competition America’s Got Talent, which springs similar surprises — you never quite know what type of act is coming next. The Ed Sullivan Show aired for the last time 50 years ago this month, and yet, even now, surfing around its YouTube channel elicits a constant sense of discovery."

    TOPICS: The Ed Sullivan Show, YouTube, Ed Sullivan, Retro TV