Friday, March 16, 2007

The Great One meets The Kinkajou!

Jackie Gleason doing an impression of Joe Penner?? MY BRAIN!!!! Bert Wheeler guest stars on the August 26th, 1950 episode of Cavalcade of Stars, Jackie Gleason's first variety series on DuMont, the original Fouth Network. Cavalcade of Stars was DuMont's flagship show, costing $15,000 an episode.. no small sum for the tiniest, cheapest network on the air. Jackie had just this season taken over from original Cavalcade host Jerry Lester, and was in the process of creating such famous characters as The Poor Soul, Reggie Van Gleason III, and Ralph Kramden. Bert and Jackie show great rapport in these routines, and Bert, ever the trouper, even does a rough pratfall. As for the picture quality, if the ancient Sumerians had had television, it would probably have looked something like this.

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Anonymous Rob Bates said...

This is charming, but am I the only one who can't make out what's on their stomachs?

10:21 AM  
Blogger Aaron Neathery said...

Check out the version of the same routine above for the payoff..

6:29 PM  
Blogger East Side said...

Other than Bert & Gleason looking like ghosts, this is utterly priceless; really gives a good idea of what Bert must've been like in vaudeville 30 years earlier. I hope a better-looking version turns up soon, 'cause I loved it.

8:01 AM  

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