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This Was Television On June 20

1948: The Ed Sullivan Show debuts

Originally known as “Toast of the Town,” the iconic variety program had been informally called by its more common name well before officially adopting it in 1955.

Sullivan, with no prior TV experience, worked as a theater and entertainment columnist in New York.

During its 23-year run on CBS, the show became a central cultural touchstone of 20th-century America.

The inaugural “really big show” showcased Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis’ comedic talents, along with Rogers & Hammerstein offering a sneak peek of their upcoming production, “South Pacific.”

Sullivan not only introduced America to acts like Elvis Presley, The Beatles, and The Jackson 5, but he also broke Humphrey Bogart’s record by inspiring stand-up comics to perform over 15,000 terrible impressions in a single year. -A.D.

Today marks the birthdays of notable individuals: John Goodman, renowned as the quintessential sitcom dad, turns 60; Martin Landau, known for his role in the “Mission: Impossible” series, celebrates his 83rd birthday; Josh Lucas, who finds it hard to believe “The Firm” actually aired, is now 41; Tress MacNeille, famous for voicing Babs Bunny and numerous other characters, turns 61; John Mahoney, beloved for his portrayal of Crane with a cane, celebrates his 72nd birthday; Anne Murray, the celebrated songstress of CBC, turns 67 today.

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Muskan Ghimire
Muskan Ghimire
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