Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

‘A Really Big Show’: What Ed Sullivan Said About Canadian Talent 50 Years Ago

Before Wayne’s World, there was Wayne and Shuster. And long before other celebs like Drake, Ryan Reynolds and Celine Dion had people taking notice of Canadian talent, a crop of early actors and musicians showed the rest of the world that there was more to this country than hockey and maple syrup. Just ask superstar host Ed Sullivan. Fifty years ago this month, Sullivan shared his thoughts about talent from our country in The Canadian Magazine, distributed with the Calgary Herald and other newspapers.

“From the days of Mary Pickford, Canada has always been a great talent incubator, and your performers seem to me to have a freshness, a spontaneity, a kind of open enthusiasm, that sets them apart,” Sullivan wrote. He noted the comedy duo Johnny Wayne and Frank Shuster appeared on his TV show — the Ed Sullivan show — 65 times in 14 years. Paul Anka and Guy Lomardo were two other Canadians that got shout-outs from Sullivan in this magazine article published Oct. 9, 1971: