The Ed Sullivan Show

Season 20 Episode 2

September 17, 1967: The Doors, Yul Brynner, Flip Wilson

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Sep 17, 1967 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

Write A Review
out of 10
3 votes
  • When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Unless you're Jim Morrison.

    The Doors were an upstart music group in the 1960s when they recorded "Light My Fire", an excellent song to be sure (great intro!). Like most popular musicians of the era, they appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show". That was the surest way to exposure. Elvis and The Beatles sealed their stardom on his show. The Rolling Stones, the 60s Bad Boys of Rock and Roll, made several appearances, and did what they were told. Their hit song "Let's Spend The Night Together" had a title that Sullivan found unfit for television, so he told them to substitute a different line for the title, and they dutifully obeyed, singing "Let's Spend Some Time Together". When Doors lead singer Jim Morrison appeared on the show to sing "Light My Fire", he was told the line that goes "Girl, we couldn't get much higher", was too suggestive, and to substitute something else, perhaps change the word "higher" to "better". It isn't known what Morrison's immediate reaction was, but when it came time, he disregarded Sullivan's demand, and sang the song as is. Some might regard Sullivan's demands as "censorship", but that's wrong. It was his show, and he had a right to determine whether the content was in keeping with FCC rules. Even the Stones accepted that. But Morrison apparently wanted to show what a big man he was by standing up to the great Ed Sullivan. Nobody tells Big Jim Morrison what to do.

    It should be remembered that there were other guests on that night, such as Steve Lawrence and Edie Gorme, Yul Brynner, Flip Wilson, Rodney Dangerfield, Maurice Chevalier, and others, but it was the Doors first and last appearance on the show that makes this episode memorable.