Comic icons pay tribute to Ed Sullivan

July 20, 2011 at 8:58 PM
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LOS ANGELES, July 20 (UPI) -- Carol Burnett, Joan Rivers, Ray Romano and Jerry Seinfeld are to appear in a tribute to the classic American TV variety program "The Ed Sullivan Show."

Producer Andrew Solt, whose company SOFA Entertainment acquired "The Ed Sullivan Show" library more than 20 years ago, announced Wednesday its "Ed Sullivan's Comedy Legends" special is to premiere on PBS stations Aug. 6.

The program will also feature footage from performances by George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Rodney Dangerfield, Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Red Skelton and Flip Wilson.

Mary Tyler Moore is to serve as host of the show.

"These are the people that I watched when I was a kid … that made me want to become a comedian. I would sit there in front of the TV and I was fascinated by what they were doing and all I wanted in life, and still want, is to be one of them -- which I am now," Seinfeld said.

Rivers said she has "such a soft spot in my heart for Ed's show."

"It's the only original part of me I have left, unfortunately," she quipped, a reference to the many cosmetic surgeries she has undergone.

"['The Ed Sullivan Show'] was my introduction to stand-up comedy," said Romano. "Where else would I have seen it?"

"This is the kind of program that you're happy to share with your children and your grandchildren," said Burnett. "This might even be the first time they've been exposed to these comedy legends ... . PBS is preserving an important part of our American heritage -- comedy that the entire family can laugh at together."

"The Ed Sullivan Show" ran from 1948 to 1971. Sullivan died in 1974 at the age of 73.

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