More people on TV should apologize like this. And I think more people should smoke on TV again too.
[via Ken Levine]
Lost amid all this wrangling and back and forth is one fact that is undeniable. When NBC came up with the idea of all-Leno, all the time at 10 p.m. prime time, the network was giving him a precious gift. Jay Leno had been given Aladdin's lamp. NBC handed him an hour -- five hours -- of prime time television with an open invitation to create a new show. Imagine if that offer were made to another performer.
I'm sure there are a lot of TV fans out there who really don't know Gleason or his work, or if they do know it, it's from his work on The Honeymooners. They don't remember the other TV shows he had (which aren't usually shown anymore) or his work in films like The Hustler, Gigot, and Requiem For A Heavyweight (OK, maybe they're familiar with Smokey and the Bandit). Nor are they aware of his innovative sitcom filming techniques, using multiple cameras to film the show for videotape.
Today is Jackie Gleason's birthday (he was born in 1916), and there's a new official web site up at JackieGleason.com, and it's quite good. Not only do you get pictures and an in-depth career timeline and forums, there are also various video clips to watch, including Gleason as characters such as Joe The Bartender, The Poor Soul, Rum Dum, and, of course, Ralph Kramden.
YouTube also has some classic Gleason clips. After the jump, Ed Norton trying to teach Ralph how to play golf.
Here are the new TV DVDs in stores tomorrow.
- Aqua Teen Hunger Force - Vol. 5
- Chancer - Series 2
- Curb Your Enthusiasm - Season 6
- Damages - Season 1
- Emergency - Season 4
- Hannah Montana - One in a Million
- Jackie Gleason: Genius At Work
- JAG - Season 5
- Masterpiece - Mansfield Park
- Pioneers of Television - Complete Series
- SpongeBob SquarePants - To Love A Patty
- This American Life - Season 1 (Border's Books and Music only)
- Twitches Too (TV Movie)
While many think television was built on a combination of electronics and imagination, I personally feel that a good portion of it has been constructed on a fine bed of catchphrases. From the earliest mention of "How sweet it is!" by Jackie Gleason to "That's what she said" from The Office, there probably hasn't been a year that a catchphrase hasn't graced the lips of the international viewing populace.
I'm sure many of you know those catchphrases well. But, do you know when they were first used, or by whom? If you do, then AOL Television's latest trivia quiz will be right up your alley.
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