the lecture and screenings are below…
This is our last look at early TV sitcoms. We’ve already done Burns and Benny and I Love Lucy. Now we’re moving on to Jackie Gleason. Jackie Gleason is interesting, in part, because of the way he did his show – and then stopped doing it.
The Jackie Gleason Show and The Honeymooners
Gleason was one of the hosts on a variety show on the DuMont network – the early “fourth” network that went defunct in the mid-1950s. One of the reasons it didn’t succeed is because the talent it developed almost instantly was always poached by NBC or CBS. Gleason became a hit on DuMont as host of the variety series Cavalcade of Stars (1951-52).
Here are two brief appreciations of Jackie Gleason’s talents and characters.
01: Gleason bio (2m).
Play media comment.
02: Gleason sampler (2m).
Play media comment.
CBS’s The Jackie Gleason Show ran from 1952-55, and resumed, in 1956, after taking a year off so that Gleason and his co-stars could make a season of The Honeymooners as a live sitcom. But just like Saturday Night Live, which throughout its history has expanded certain popular sketches into movie-length spinoffs, The Jackie Gleason Show noticed the obvious popularity and potential of Ralph and Alice Kramden.
Next week, in SEMINAR #10, we’ll watch a classic full-length episode of The Honeymooners. Meanwhile, here’s a full-length “Honeymooners” sketch from one 1955 installment of The Jackie Gleason Show — shortly before Gleason put his variety on hold to adapt The Honeymooners as a full-length sitcom series. It’s a sketch called “Principle of the Thing,” and has Ralph doing battle with a miserly landlord.
03: The Jackie Gleason Show, 1952-55, CBS. Then 1956-57, 1962-67. Sketches included “The Honeymooners.” Start of one example: “Principle of the Thing,” from April 30, 1955. (35m).
Type of assignment: Academic paper writing
Type of assignment: Movie review
Number of sources: 5
Academic level: Bachelor
Paper format: MLA
Line spacing: Double
Language style: UK English