For generations of Americans, the name Ed Sullivan was synonymous with entertainment and showmanship, thanks to an influential career spanning decades and a legacy that lived on well after his passing. A native of New York City, he began as a sportswriter, radio personality, and nightclub emcee before being tapped in 1948 to host a vaudevillian type of show on the new medium of television. Originally titled "Toast of the Town," the program was eventually renamed "The Ed Sullivan Show" (CBS, 1948-1971) after becoming one of the most popular shows of its day under his direction. Sullivan was undeniably a star-maker, and arguably, an arbiter of national taste, showcasing the hottest new acts like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, alongside up-and-coming comedians, such as George Carlin and Richard Pryor. This was in addition to an ever-changing roster of classical pianists, dance troupes, plate-spinners, puppets, and anything else he felt would entertain his vast viewing audience. While conservative in his personal views, Sullivan was an avid supporter of African-American performers, flying in the face of controversy when he showcased acts like The Supremes, The Four Tops, and The Jackson 5. As the cultural landscape began to shift in the late 1960s, Sullivan's ratings slipped out of the Top 20 slot it had held for so long, and in 1971 "The Ed Sullivan Show" was cancelled. It was telling, however, that decades after his series went off the air, many entertainment giants still expressed debts of gratitude to Sullivan, and hammy emcees in small towns everywhere were still kicking off talent shows with the exclamation that audiences were in for "a really big shoo."