I’ve been reading “Always on Sunday” by Michael Harris, about tv host Ed Sullivan. Sullivan broadcast from 1948 to 1971, making his “shew” the longest-running variety show in US broadcast history.
Unlike the smooth television personalities of today, part of Sullivan’s appeal was his awkwardness:
Sullivan called over his guest Jack Jones at dress rehearsal and asked, “Wasn’t Allan Jones your father?”
“He still is,” the singer replied.
The line got a big laugh from the studio audience and Sullivan told Jones he wanted to do it in the show.
That night Sullivan asked, “Is your father still alive?”