Toast of the Tube
For 23 straight years, from 1948 to 1971, Ed Sullivan dominated Sunday night television. Hosting his hour-long Toast of the Town, which became The Ed Sullivan Show in 1955, the newspaper columnist with the stiff-as-a-board posture also defined the TV variety show in much the way that Johnny Carson defined the talk show. Now, the entire cornucopia of entertainment assembled by the awkward man who had an eagle eye for talent — more than 1,000 hours’ worth — has been purchased by Andrew Solt from the Sullivan family for TV and home-video use. Solt, who recently compiled Elvis: The Great Performances for video, will use the best of this material in TV shows and home videos, starting next year. The range of performances will be staggering, since nearly every major entertainer of the time appeared on the program, from Bob Hope and opera singers through Elvis to the Beatles, along with an array of high and low novelty acts, including the Italian mouse-puppet Topo Gigio. As Sullivan regularly said, ”Please welcome back?”
Wine for the Road
According to the Celebrity Guide to Wine, coming Oct. 25 (Paramount, $19.95), it’s okay to ice down the vino and drink it with pizza. Hosted by Bernard Erpicum, matre d’ at Los Angeles’ Spago, the hour-long how-to tape is intended to ”demystify” the wine experience, says executive producer George Paige.
On hand to educate the masses are Peter Weller, Whoopi Goldberg, Dudley Moore, and other stars, who perform funny vignettes between lessons on choosing and and ing the stuff. ”All the actors worked for scale because they knew Bernard from Spago,” Paige says. ”Peter Weller and Whoopi Goldberg don’t even drink.” That didn’t stop Goldberg from giving advice on what to eat with wine. ”She took the script and improoised everything,” says Paige, ”but most of what she made up we couldn’t use. She started talking about what wine to drink with road kill. We said, ‘No, Whoopi.”’ Paige says Moore declined to reenact his Arthur character for his skit. ”He said jokes about drinking and driving just aren’t cool today.”