Posts Tagged ‘Jackie Gleason’

“The manly sport of golf—where you can dress like a pimp and no one will care.”
Comedian Robin Williams

Though The Honeymooners (created by Jackie Gleason) is one of those classic and timeless programs from the early days of televison, the original 30-minute program only had a one  year run. A total of 39 episodes aired from October 1955 to September 1956. Of course, the resuns will run forever.

Sketches of The Honeymooners first aired on Cavalcade of Stars before exanding to the 30-minute versions, and sketches of The Honeymooners also became a part of The Jackie Gleason Show, a variety show that began airing in 1956.

But it’s amazing to think that Gleason and the “Classic 39” writers—Herbert FinnMarvin MarxA.J. RussellLeonard SternWalter Stone and Sydney Zelinka cranked out 39 episodes in one year.  Of those writers and the four main actors, only Joyce Randolph (who played Trixe—the wife of Art Carney’s character) is still alive. If anybody has any links to The Honeymoon writers talking about the process of writing that show please send it my way.

P.S. Tonight at 10 PM (ET) on The Golf Channel, In Play with Jimmy Roberts will be doing a feature on Caddyshack creator Harold Ramis.

Scott W. Smith


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“For the sake of the story, you never want to mislead the audience, unless it’s intentional, a method Jackie Gleason used to call the Wild Turkey theory. If a guy walks into a bar and says, ‘I’d like a scotch and water, please,’ that’s a straight line and if you follow it with a joke or some crucial plot information, the audience will be able to hear it. However, if a guy walks into a bar and says, ‘I’d like a Wild Turkey please,’ the audience won’t be able to hear the next line because they’ll be thinking, ‘A Wild Turkey? What a strange drink. I wonder why he ordered that?’ I feel a director should lead rather than manipulate the audience in the right direction. If a Wild Turkey is key to the character or plot, then leave it in. But if the line is only a setup, then change it to something more pedestrian so it won’t stir the audience’s interest unnecessarily.”
Garry Marshall
Wake Me When It’s Funny (written with Lori Marshall)
Page 235

Note: I’d take that even a step further and say that some of the audience may not even know that Wild Turkey is a type of bourbon so they could really be wondering, “Why did this guy go into a bar and order a wild turkey?” or “What’s he going to do with a wild turkey?” And as far as intentionally misleading the audience, David Milch (Deadwood, John from Cincinnati) does that quite well and likes having audiences playing catch up.

Scott W. Smith

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