Publicity photo of Jon Provost and Lassie from the television program Lassie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)The Beatles performing "Help!" in August 1965. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)The Ed Sullivan Show (Photo credit: Wikipedia) When it comes to my days of childhood, I remember Sundays more than any particular day of the week--especially Sunday nights. Perhaps it was a sense of routine that lasted for years. Sundays had a wonderfully predictable sameness to them. There were certain characteristics of that evening that made Sunday stand out more so that any other days.
Much of it had to do with television. I'd be plopped in front of the TV set for the lineup on CBS every Sunday night. From the time I was a child until my teenage years, Sunday evening would start off with Lassie. I liked the show more when I was smaller, but it became an obligatory staple as I grew older.
An assortment of half hour comedy programs followed Lassie over the years. These shows were among my favorites in television comedy. There were great shows like Mr. Ed, My Favorite Martian, and It's About Time. Many were tried, but none lasted more than a few years which was probably for the best.
Next came the centerpiece of the evening--The Ed Sullivan Show. This was the the program that drew my entire family to gather around our one small black and white TV and later our 25 inch color television that we finally acquired in 1967. My father was always hopeful for a variety act, especially a juggling act. All the greats of the entertainment world were on the Sullivan show. I was particularly excited to see the appearances of the latest rock artists such the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and the Jefferson Airplane. Every performer dreamed of one day appearing on Ed Sullivan's show. My father also had that dream.
Later in the evening, after the Sullivan show, a series of other variety shows came and went. There was the legendary Judy Garland in her own show. The late 60s featured the sometimes radical, but always entertaining Smothers Brothers Show and the Glen Campbell Good Time Hour. The channels were limited back then but CBS had a decent Sunday night lineup that managed to hold my interest for many years.
The other big feature of our Sunday nights was the hot fudge sundaes. Often my mother would serve this special treat for us to enjoy as we watched the Sullivan variety show. She made the sugary hot fudge from Hershey's cocoa powder. Mixing the cocoa powder and sugar with milk, vanilla, and a dash of salt and heating them into a bubbling hot mixture would render a divine chocolate sauce that was perfect over vanilla ice cream. With a delicious sundae and a night of good television, the thought of school the next day didn't seem all that bad.
I haven't had one of those hot fudge sundaes in years. And now Sunday night doesn't seem to have the same great television that it used to have. I miss those Sundays and I miss those hot fudge sundaes enjoyed with the family of my childhood. Sunday will never be the same.
Do you remember the Sunday night shows of the 50s, 60s, and 70s? What were some of your favorite TV shows when you were growing up? Did you have a special night when the family would gather for what became a sort of tradition in your household? Have you had that granular sugary chocolate hot fudge sauce made from Hershey's Cocoa?