A short location feature in which Ed Sullivan visits actor Harry Belafonte on the set of the movie Odds Against Tomorrow is now available to view on the official YouTube channel of Sullivan’s celebrated variety series.
The two-minute clip is taken from the October 18, 1959 edition of The Ed Sullivan Show. The October 1959 show also featured appearances by vocal quartet the Ames Brothers and basketball player Wilt Chamberlain.
The host’s support for politically outspoken and Black entertainers was famous, giving them exposure on the show when other broadcasters and sponsors were nervous about the consequences. Before Belafonte’s October 1953 appearance, the entertainer explained his views on oppression to Sullivan with such conviction that the presenter not only stood by him but had him on the show a total of ten times.
In the feature, we see Sullivan getting out of his car and greeting Belafonte, as they discuss “Mayor Kelly” giving the film crew and cast the freedom of his town, Hudson, NY, for filming. John L. Kelly was mayor of Hudson from 1952-59.
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