Clip Licensing

The Ed Sullivan Show:

For all licensing needs of “The Ed Sullivan Show” please contact Mary Sherwood at

In 1990 SOFA Entertainment purchased the library, amassing over 10,000 performances which are now available to license. We have digitized all the original kinescopes and videotapes to broadcast quality offering producers and filmmakers access to a wealth of remarkable, one-of-a-kind performances. Our material appears in documentaries, museums, award shows, feature films and talk shows. Some recent notable licensees include:

  • CNN’s “The Sixties”, “The Seventies” and “The History of Comedy”
  • “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”
  • The Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame
  • EPIX’s “Laurel Canyon” documentary
  • The Smithsonian Institution Air and Space Museum
  • “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
  • “CBS Sunday Morning”
  • “The View”
  • 2019 “Super Bowl Today”
  • “The Kennedy Center Honors”

“The Ed Sullivan Show” is the premiere variety show in television history. Starting as “Toast of the Town” in 1948, it was hosted by New York columnist Ed Sullivan and lasted for 23 years. Families all over the country gathered together every Sunday night at eight to see a really big show. Over 60 million people, or 83% of TV viewers at the time, watched Elvis Presley on September 9, 1956. Although it has been off the air since 1971, it remains one of the most influential programs ever. It was named the 15th Greatest TV Show of All Time by Entertainment Weekly, and was named #31 in TV Guide’s 60 Best Series of All Time.

The show had something for everyone. From icons in music, theater, dance, film, television, sports and politics to the latest craze and break-through performers, Sunday night with Ed Sullivan was the place to be. “The Ed Sullivan Show” brought to America’s living rooms  history-making live performances from Elvis Presley, The Doors, The Rolling Stones and The Supremes. Featured each week were comedians – Joan Rivers, Rodney Dangerfield, Richard Pryor, Carol Burnett, George Carlin and Phyllis Diller. Star athletes including Jackie Robinson, Mickey Mantle, Muhammad Ali, Joe Namath, Arnold Palmer and Althea Gibson all shared tips and insights. Broadway and Opera stars brought show tunes and arias into our homes. There was always an act to delight the youngsters too – Topo Gigio, The Muppets and circus performers. The celebrated giants from all genres knew that when you made it to the Sullivan Show you made it, period!