A Fan for 50 Years
I can remember watching the Ed Sullivan Show, as a 6 year old. Mostly I watched in the summer, when I was allowed to stay up later on Sunday nights.
When I was about 11, I sent a fan letter and seemed pretty pleased when an autographed 8X10 photo arrived. I tested to see if the signature was real, by licking my thumb and smudging the Ed. It didn't seem to concern me that I sort of ruined that treasured autograph.
But my best memories of the show are from when I was 6. We were living in Staten Island, the year the Beatles came to New York. Everyone was excited about seeing the wild, new group on the Ed Sullivan Show. It was exciting to think they would be performing just a ferry ride away.
I was sent to bed at my usual time that Sunday night, but Mom and Dad woke me up as promised. I sat in my pajamas and watched with my parents and older siblings. I had my first crush, on Paul.
Before the Beatles
But before seeing the Beatles on the show, I fell in love with Topo Gigio, the adorable Italian puppet.
Topo, debuted on the show about the time I turned 6. We lived in Iowa then, so the show came on earlier. Dog acts, jugglers and even Jerry Lewis couldn't compete with this adorable little guy, when he asked "Eddie" to tuck him into bed. "Eddie, keesss me good-night?" I loved him.
My Own Topo
I recently unearthed my own hideous version of Topo Gigio. I bought him for very little $, when I was 11 in Italy. Topo Gigio was very popular with Italian fans in 1969.
So for my 6-year-old-celebration today, I found my own Topo and I watched some YouTube videos of the Beatles and Topo Gigio, on Ed Sullivan.
My 60-year-old-self critiqued. I was surprised to watch the Beetle's performance. The music quality seemed pretty poor. I was surprised to see how skilled the puppetry was with the little puppet! Cheers for Topo and Ed!