Ed Sullivan Never Hesitated To Ban Guests From Appearing on His Show

Ed Sullivan Show it was the perfect platform for new artists, actors and actresses to make their name known for the world to see. The TV show is also a great place for acts that are already in place to gain new fans. Ed Sullivan was very strict about who allowed it on his show, however, and not everyone wanted to play by his strict rules.

The Rolling Stones were just one band that didn’t get along with Sullivan. From refusing to change lyrics to singing the wrong songs, some artists just decided to play by their own rules. While some were allowed back on the show, others never got another chance.

‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ had a long run

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Most guest show guests have a bit of a flame that makes them stand out from the crowd. They are funny, smooth talking, and engaging. That was not Sullivan.

Sullivan flew about it as if he was ever sure of himself. He was often humbled, put in an introduction, and appeared so strong that he became nicknamed “The Great Stone Face. But he was very popular with fans.

Sullivan got his start in the media as a sports writer. It wasn’t long before it was clear he had a knot for finding new talent, and he was able to predict who would go big, and who would shower out.

In 1948, Sullivan became the host of the show Town toast. This has been renamed Ed Sullivan Show in 1955, and Sullivan continued to help emerging artists find their voice.

Ed Sullivan gave many new artists the opportunity to be heard

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Ed Sullivan Show this was one of the most popular mix shows to make to the air, and perhaps one of the longest lasting shows. Acts like the Jackson 5, Elvis, and Fred Astaire appeared on the show. While music was a big part of Sullivan’s show, there were other acts as well.

Sullivan was not a one-pony pony. It featured ballerinas, puppet shows, opera singers, and comedy shows. Viewers never knew from week to week who was going to appear on stage next. Many of the acts chosen by Sullivan went on to become some of the leading artists in the world.

Sullivan was known for high standards, however. It did not allow artists to use a lot of skin, curses, or brutal or hairy language. On more than one occasion he instructed artists to wear jackets or change words.

Some were so excited to be on Ed Sullivan Show they were willing to play together. Not everyone was so willing to stick with it, though.

Not everyone wants to play by the rules

Ed Sullivan
Ed Sullivan | Steve Oroz / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

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according to The Decades, there were five acts that refused to play by Sullivan’s rules. The Rolling Stones are perhaps the most famous. Sullivan did not like the boys not wearing jackets and refused to wash their hair. Mick Jagger was upset that he had to change his words from “let’s spend the night together” to “let’s spend some time together.”

Nonetheless, the Rolling Stones played nicely, and were welcomed back to the concert six times. Not everyone was so lucky.

The doors refused to change their words, and they were never invited back to the ceremony. Comedian Jackie Mason refused to cut his routine short when President Lyndon Johnson was due to speak, and was banned from the show for two years.

Bo Diddley was another famous ploy to counter Sullivan’s anger. He had originally planned to sing his name song on the air, but Sullivan had other plans. Instead he directed Bo Diddley to sing ‘Sixteen Tons’ with Tennessee Ernie Ford. When the cameras started moving, Bo Diddley went with his first plan, and was never allowed on the show again.

Bob Dylan never appeared on the show, and this was his choice. In normal fashion, Sullivan instructed Dylan to change some of his words.

Dylan didn’t want to do that, and instead of going on stage and doing things the way he was, he chose to walk away. Because he was after the costume forecast, he left Sullivan in a tight spot, and Dylan was never invited back.

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