10 Fun Facts About the Beatles' Ed Sullivan Debut


3. Dinner was at the Playboy Club.
Huge crowds of ballistic teenagers kept the Beatles mostly cooped up in their Plaza Hotel suites during their stay in New York. They did get a rare, relaxed evening on the night after their first Ed Sullivan performance, though. Local radio DJ Murray The K took the three Beatles who weren't running a dangerous fever to the famous Playboy Club.

With a police escort, the foursome walked several blocks from CBS' Studio 50 to 59th Street where they were ushered inside the club's Penthouse lounge for dinner with a view. The lads finished the night at the Peppermint Lounge, where they reportedly danced the twist until 4 a.m.


2. Their third Sullivan performance was their first.
The Beatles' first two Ed Sullivan performances were live, recorded a week apart. But their third appearance on the show, which aired Feb. 23, 1964, had been recorded on the afternoon of their first appearance, February 9. It was performed in front of the first U.S. studio audience to witness the Beatles -- a completely different audience than the one that saw their more famous live debut. The set list included "Twist and Shout," "Please Please Me" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand."

1. It wasn't the Beatles' first U.S. talk-show appearance.
Yep, Jack Paar had 'em first. While Sullivan was the first American TV show to book the band, variety show host Jack Paar pulled off a coup by broadcasting a filmed BBC performance of group on his NBC show over a month before they appeared on CBS. Paar had seen the group in London at the Royal Variety Show in November, and purchased film featuring shots of screaming girls and The Beatles performing "She Loves You."

Paar played the "kooky" footage for laughs, deadpanning "It's nice to know that England has finally risen to our cultural level," after the clip ended. In mere weeks, of course, the Beatles would be way too big to laugh at anymore. In fact, Paar called in a few favors in order to get tickets to their Sullivan show for his kids.


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