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 Censorship & Scandals
Jackie MasonJackie Mason's Finger Gesture - On the October 18, 1964 installment of THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW, as comedian Jackie Mason concluded his comedy routine, he noticed some off-stage finger gestures from Ed Sullivan's indicating that his time was winding down.

According to Mason, he jokingly took the moment to comment on the signs by saying "and here's a finger for you, and one for you..." Ed Sullivan thought that the glib finger joke reference was actually a case of Jackie Mason giving him the "finger" on-the-air. Outraged, Ed Sullivan barred Jackie Mason from any further appearances on his program.

The controversy over the "finger" damaged Mason's career. He retaliated with a libel suit in the New York Supreme Court and won. They had viewed his performance and found "nothing offensive." However, the influence that Sullivan possessed relegated Jackie Mason to "show-business-limbo" forcing him to work in outlying Catskill mountain resorts and related second-hand entertainment establishment.

Years later, Jackie Mason resurfaced in a successful Broadway Tony Award winning one-man show and in the short-lived sitcom CHICKEN SOUP/ABC/1989.


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