"We've got some really big tropes":
- Broadcast Live
- Cool Old Guy: Ed himself. He was already in his sixties when The Beatles first appeared on his program in February 1964.
- He also gave national exposure to the likes of Richard Pryor and George Carlin and featured youth-friendly artists such as The Rolling Stones, The Mamas And The Papas, and The Doors (even if The Doors were never invited back). And even though Joan Rivers and Barbra Streisand aren't exactly considered "youthful" these days, they got a big help by appearing on Sullivan's show when they were young (or youngER in Rivers's case) upstarts in The Sixties.
- The Eponymous Show
- Flipping the Bird: Comedian Jackie Mason nearly saw his career destroyed after being accused of having done this during a 1964 appearance. Sullivan banned him from appearing on the show again for nearly two years, and only relented after Mason (who vociferously denied having made the gesture, or even being aware of its meaning) initiated a libel suit.
- Long Runners: The show lasted for 23 years (1948-1971) and within the series, the Canadian comedy duo, Wayne and Shuster, appeared 67 times.
- Muppet: Jim Henson made several appearances in the show's later years.
- Variety Show