'Ed Sullivan Show' reprised for holidays

December 20, 1992|By Susan King | Susan King,Los Angeles Times

What better way to celebrate a really big holiday than with a really big shew?

Bob Newhart takes time out from his CBS series, "Bob," to emcee the two-hour special, "Holiday Greetings From 'The Ed Sullivan Show' " tonight. Mr. Newhart is no stranger to "The Ed Sullivan Show," having appeared on it numerous times.

"Holiday Greetings" is the third in a series of retrospectives of the memorable CBS variety series, which aired from 1948 to 1971. The first two drew large audiences. The latest special mixes new performances with old clips.

The new segments feature Paul Anka performing his '50s hit, "Put Your Head on My Shoulder," and Roy Rogers and Dale Evans singing "Christmas on the Plain" and their signature song, Happy Trails to You." Kermit and Miss Piggy are on hand to do a number from their new movie, "The Muppet Christmas Carol."

The bulk of the special, though, will be footage of vintage holiday performances, including Elvis Presley singing the gospel tune, "Peace in the Valley," Gene Autry doing his best-selling version of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," and Bing Crosby crooning his most famous song, the Oscar-winning Irving Berlin favorite, "White Christmas."

Other musical highlights: Diana Ross and the Supremes, Frank and Nancy Sinatra, Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli, Bobby Darrin, Petula Clark, Neil Diamond, the Animals, the Dave Clark Five, Herman's Hermits, Jerry Lee Lewis, Loretta Lynn and the Righteous Brothers.

The Three Stooges, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner -- doing a holiday version of "The 2,000 Year-Old Man" -- and Senor Wences supply the comedy.

(For a keepsake shew, Buena Vista Home Video has just released "A Classic Christmas From the Ed Sullivan Show," for $16.95, with more than a dozen holiday performances from the series.)

"Holiday Greetings From 'The Ed Sullivan Show' " airs tonight at 9 on CBS.

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