Britain's Most Loved and Best Comedy Double Act

Ed Sullivan - 17th March 1963

Feature from 2010

Very first appearance

Me and my shadow
17th March 1963 – Appearance 1
Eric and Ernie’s very first appearance on American television. They are introduced as ‘That fine team More, Cam and Wise’, with just a slight pause between the More and the Cam. Eric later joked it made them sound like three people.

As the pair enter stage left, Ernie begins in the usual style, albeit slightly slower than normal.

“Good evening ladies and gentlemen, it’s very nice to be here. It really is wonderful to see all your happy, smiling faces.” – silence
Eric, looking sheepish replies, “Happy, smiling, faces...” – silence
Ernie moves in and puts an arm around Eric shoulder, Eric looks offended, shrugs and mutters “geroff...” – silence

A few more attempts squeezes a few laughs and then Eric really confuses them by announcing another act. It’s the old joke of the sword swallower who swallows a four foot sword.

“What’s clever about swallowing a four foot sword?” asks Ernie, looking a bit nervous.
“He’s only three feet tall.” Comes the answer to almost silence.

Failing, they move quickly into the Swiss slapping dance, finally a laugh as Eric gets slapped by Ern. It seems the audience understand simple slapstick.

Back to the chat and again the audience falls silent, even after Eric’s seemingly ad-lib. For the rest of the routine a few titters, mostly when Ern sings ‘I’m not much to look at’ with Eric chipping in the one-liners.

The paper bag routine ends the slot, getting a few laughs as the pair leave the stage with Ed promising more of them later in the show.

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17th March 1963 – Appearance 2
Back for more. This set begins with Ed trying to introduce the boys, but constantly gets interrupted by each of them in turn asking what the other said and who’s on next.

“As I was saying ladies and gentlemen...” Ed begins after Eric’s first interruption.
“Excuse me.” Ern buts in, seconds after Eric has left. “What did he say?”
“He asked me what I was doing.” Ed stumbles.
“He wasn’t talking about me was he?” Ern questions.
“No, no.”
“You see he talks behind my back. I have to watch him all the time.”
Ed stumbles again with his lines and it seems Ernie rescues him.
“Who’s on next?”
“Morecambe and Wise.”
“Oh good,” replies Ern, re-using Eric’s joke of a few moment ago, “I’ll stop and watch them.”

Soon the boys are alone on tage and they drop into the ‘Me and My Shadow’ routine. As the music plays, Eric keeps vanishing behind the curtains as he tries to keep in step with Ern.

Because of the lack of banter in this segment and only applause at the end, it is difficult to tell how the audience felt, but Eric does look nervous at the end as they shake hands with Ed himself.

We will cover the rest of their appearances as this feature grows month by month.

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© 2010

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