The Ed Sullivan Show was an American Television variety show broadcast on the CBS Network in New York City from 1948 to 1971. It was a ratings disaster for the network until The Rutles were booked on the show in 1964.
The Ed Sullivan Show (originally called Toast with your Coffee) was first shown as a morning variety show. Ed would spend most of his time in a robe and slippers, stirring his coffee with a spoon and introducing silly acts such as Topo Gigolo, a mouse puppet with a lounging jacket who tried to get dates with uninterested lady mice, and ventriloquist Senor Winkie who used a part of his anatomy as his dummy.
In 1962, the network decided to move the show to prime time where Ed finally put down the coffee and put on a suit.
On 9 February 1964 the Rutles, who just arrived in America the day before, were booked to appear on the show. The studio was a originally a reconditioned closet. A video recording made during rehearsals showed that Barry kept banging his head on the ceiling. Ed pressured the network for larger facility, due to the popularity of the band. CBS finally relented and gave the show a proper studio which was filled to capacity by hundreds of screaming fans.
The show maintained high ratings after the Rutles' performance due mainly to the appearance of other Leggy Mountbatten represented bands such as Arthur Hodgson and the Kneecaps, Les Garçons de la Plage and Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young, Gifted and Black.
In 1970, Punk Floyd appeared on the show. They proceeded to put their instruments through the walls and set the studio on fire in the first thirty seconds of their performance. The band was asked to leave and not invited back again. Dirk had to be physically restrained.
On Thanksgiving Weekend 1980, Nasty and Chastity showed up in the studio to promote their album, Triple Ecstasy and the song (Just Like) Sliding Over. By this time the show had been off the air for 9 years and the theatre was closed.