These interviews with Jackie Gleason from 1984 are really wonderful. That man was a creative genius in the true sense of the word, he could do almost anything very well. And you can see from this interview he not only tells good stories, his comic timing is effortless.
His music albums are really great. His show, the Honeymooners is still funny and played on TVs all over the world half a century later. And it only ran 39 episodes.
It’s interesting to listen to him talk about that show and his description of it, because it reveals why it hits home. It’s about real people, in a situation that should be depressing, but it’s funny and the characters have great affection for each other despite their battles. People can relate to the show because it has truth in it that so many shows could fail to come close to. While the Honeymooners is about a loser bus driver always trying to get rich and failing, a lot of TV shows today are about some elite team of incredible detectives or spies or some such rot. Perfect people are boring. Today’s TV is full of actors based on their youth and looks. Gleason was a fat man making $15 million a year in TV when that was like half a billion. There’s a lesson to be learned from that, I think. Gleason made a couple’s miserable life funny and in turn help a lot of other people deal with their own lives by making it a little brighter with humor.[via Cinematical]