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  • This special about The Great One is hosted by Jeff Garlin of "Curb Your Enthusiasm". He basically just stands there and mentions many things about what makes Jackie Gleason what he was. His widow, Marilyn Taylor Gleason, is also interviewed about her late husband's work habits-such as his refusal to rehearse more than once-and about his characters that he showcased on "The Jackie Gleason Show" during the '50s. Among his characters that we see clips of: The Poor Soul, Fenwick Babbitt, Joe the Bartender, Rudy the Repairman, Charlie Bratton the Loudmouth, Reginald Van Gleason III, and, of course, Ralph Kramden. Of course, many of those clips also have second banana Art Carney in them especially the Kramden ones where he plays the scene-stealing Ed Norton. There's also an Audrey Meadows one in which she doesn't play Alice Kramden: a Reginald Van Gleason where she plays his girlfriend Monica who wants to marry him. Reginald responds by literally sending her to the moon! Many other funny sketches abound though both Rudy and Charlie may be a little too obnoxious for my tastes. While I do love "The Honeymooners", the scenes picked for this special seem to emphasize the arguments of Ralph and Alice too much and not enough on the great chemistry of Ed and Ralph and, by extension, Art and Jackie. I did love the "Can You Do This?" game show sketch that Fenwick enters and many of the Gleason dances especially one where he danced with Marilyn. I also loved The Poor Soul sketch where he fails at bowling and the various Joe the Bartender monologues. And I admit liking one story Charlie told Clem (Carney) about his uncle, a garbage man. This special only showcased Gleason's work on his '50s TV variety show. Maybe someday someone with make a DVD box set of whatever surviving episodes from that era exists.
  • This documentary is a complete copy of "The Great Gleason" from 1986, released by the same company (MPI) that released this documentary. There is not one new thing in this doc. Basically, MPI falsely advertises a new product and then re-releases an old one, hoping nobody will notice that nothing is new. They long ago discontinued "The Great Gleason". Therefore MPI cashes in twice and doesn't have to let out new video. The people who did not see the first release (or don't hunt to buy it) don't know the difference. The ones who buy it having seen the first one are stuck with it. This is disappointing because they have own the rights to The Jackie Gleason Show and they have many many unreleased clips and episodes in their possession. Unless you are desperate to see this doc., don't buy it or buy it again. Get the original, better quality version (which is sad because this is a DVD and the other is a VHS). The narration is much better, the actual video clips are better quality (and lengthened) as well. You can purchase a copy cheaply at amazon or on ebay.

    www.amazon.com/The-Great-Gleason-VHS- Honeymooners/dp/B00000F9SC