It’s the most wonderful time of the year and once again we’re decking the halls and roasting those chestnuts with Ed Sullivan. With Thanksgiving and the holiday season right around the corner, let Ed entertain you with some of the best holiday moments from the show!
Now a staple of the holiday season, The Little Drummer Boy was co-written by Harry Simeone when he was hired by 20th Century Fox to create a Christmas album. Their appearance on the show on December 20th, 1959 was the first time the song was performed on TV.
Created by Jim Henson in 1955, the Muppets made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show on September 18th, 1966, projecting them into the public arena. Over the course of the show’s run, the Muppets made another 24 appearances.
Born in Malden Massachusetts, Ed, Vic, Joe and Gene Ames were among the first to perform on the Ed Sullivan Show when it went by its original title Toast of the Town. As of publication, Ed Ames is the final surviving member of the quartet.
No stranger to the stage, Jane Morgan performed in many hit Broadway shows including Kiss Me Kate, the King and I and Hello, Dolly. During this episode, which aired December 15th, 1968, Morgan performed with the cast of Mame before switching over to this festive rendition of We Need a Little Christmas.
Douglas serenaded the audience during the Ed Sullivan Show’s 21st Christmas episode that aired on December 22nd, 1968. In the midst of his own TV show, Douglas and Sullivan both featured popular artists of the time such as the Rolling Stones and Herman’s Hermits.
Virgil Fox closed out the Ed Sullivan Show’s 20th Christmas episode on December 24th, 1967. During his introduction, Sullivan reminisced about his childhood, helping his sister Helen pump their local church organ during their Christmas mass in Port Chester, New York.
Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson made her first appearance on the show when it was known as Toast of the Town in 1952. It was also her first national TV appearance. This prompted a parade to be thrown in her honor in Dayton, Ohio. She went on to appear a total number of 6 times.
A Juilliard graduate, Roger Williams performed “Flight of the Bumble Bees” on The Ed Sullivan Show on December 18th, 1960. Following the piece, Sullivan joined Williams on stage and asked him, in the spirit of the season, to play “O Come All Ye Faithful.” Williams happily obliged. He’d appear on the Sullivan stage another 13 times.
Born in Louisiana, Peter Gennaro made his home on the Broadway stage choreographing and performing in such notable shows as The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Guys and Dolls and Annie, for which he won a Tony for Best Choreography in 1997.
Johnny Mathis made 13 appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show, his first being in June of 1957. Like many that went on the show, his appearance propelled him into stardom. He would go on to be Oscar nominated for best original song “Wild is the Wind,” released that very same year.
We’ve curated this holiday playlist to bring you some unforgettable talent to brighten up the season. Thank you for spending the holidays with us! Don’t forget to subscribe to the Ed Sullivan Show YouTube channel and check out our holiday playlist for even more festive videos. From everyone at the Ed Sullivan Show, we wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday season and a happy new year!