Gleason (2002 film)

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I believe the best comedy should have a certain degree of spontaneity and surprise. And uh, it was just totally a decision made by my technique. I - I liked to be surprised as well.

Gleason is a 2002 biographical television film about the life and career of comedian Jackie Gleason (played by Brad Garrett).

Directed by Howard Deutch. Written by Rick Podell, Michael Preminger and Dave Boone (uncredited).
From His Brooklyn Tenement Childhood To His Lavish Lifestyle Among The Rich And Famous. How Sweet It Was! (taglines)

Jackie Gleason[edit]

Think funny, okay? Humor comes out of conflict not an occupation, but it comes out of relationships and situations.
I sometimes wonder if I should've done another season of The Honeymooners. And then there's a part of me that felt I played it right by going out on top when I did.
Well, I'll tell you what. Let's go down stairs, we'll shoot a little pool and you tell me. Bring your wallet.
  • No actually, Orson Welles was the first to call me 'The Great One'. I'm not exactly sure why. And then Lucy continued the tradition and started calling me that as well, and uh, I never had a problem with it. I learnt to deal with it.
  • [why was The Honeymooners so successful] I could probably give you thirty reasons why. But the one that comes to mind is uh, it was funny. That's all.
  • [is it true that you didn't like to rehearse] I was never fond of rehearsing simply because I believe the best comedy should have a certain degree of spontaneity and surprise. And uh, it was just totally a decision made by my technique. I - I liked to be surprised as well, and the more I rehearsed the more I felt it was watered down and so I - I rarely rehearsed.
  • I drank for one reason only and that is to get bagged. It never got in the way of my work. I never drank on show day. I was always on time.
  • [speaking to his driver] So we leave the Yankee game, right? We get in the car. Things start spinnin'. And I threw up. I was so loaded I threw up all over Sinatra right in his limo. Do you believe that? And you know what I told his driver? [what's that Mr. Gleason] "Throw the bum out, he's stinkin' up the car." [laughs]
  • [meeting a group of fans outside CBS Studios] How did everybody get in my dressing room!
  • [on stage to an audience member] What the hell are you looking at, pal? You look like you lost your best friend. By any chance did he run off with your hair? Could you put your head on dim. Good thing about it, pal. At least if you find a hair in your soup, you know it ain't yours! But I gotta tell you life is good, ladies and gentlemen. My land lord called me the other day. Told me I have three days to pay rent. I said "okay. I pick Easter, Thanks giving and New Year's Eve 1962." [the audience laughs. Says to another audience member] And you, get your legs together. What, you waiting for a parade? You should see what I see. I'm Jackie Gleason. Have a good night.
  • On with the show and awaaaay we go!
  • [on stage] I gotta tell you somethin', two days ago... No wait, that wasn't me. [laughs along with the audience] You're a dandy crowd! Look at this guy, didn't you see there's a sign out there. There's an age limit in this nightclub, pal. You gotta be under a hundred. [the audience laughs] By the way, the Civil war called. They found your diary. [laughter ensues] I'm kidding, the cemetery called. You're room's ready. [laughter ensues] How are you doing, pal, make you feel at home. Waaaaaaaa! Waaaaaaaa! [laughter ensues] More on embalming fluid on this table, put it on my tab. No, you're a good crowd!
  • [presenting Cavalcade of Stars at Dumont Studios] Thank you everybody! Welcome to Cavalcade of Stars, I'm Jackie Gleason! There's a cow son of the farmer, thanks for the warm hand! [laughter ensues] I think it's time to put that joke out to pasture! You know I'm gonna tell you, backstage I met a gal with a million dollar smile. She'd only smile at guys who had a million dollars. [laughter ensues] Girls that's your queue!
  • You're in for a real treat tonight! Thanks for staying tuned to Cavalcade! Sammy little travellin' music! [music starts playing. Gleason begins dancing]
  • [to Bullets] Do you think I pay you to kiss my ass? Do I pay you to kiss my ass?!
  • [to Sammy Birch] You would have to be a contender to be jealous. You are envious. And pathetic.
  • [to the writers] Alright, now listen. Does everybody have a pen? I would appreciate it if you write this down. Think funny, okay? Humor comes out of conflict not an occupation, but it comes out of relationships and situations, right?
  • [on any regrets] I sometimes wonder if I should've done another season of The Honeymooners. And then there's a part of me that felt I played it right by going out on top when I did. I wish I was there more for my family in those days, but uh... I was so driven, and uh, I payed for it. And unfortunately, I'm sure they did too.

Dialogue[edit]

Herb Gleason: Oh, Jackie. Hey, I ever tell you what a good boy you are? You're such a good boy. I'm gonna give you somethin'. How would you like that, huh? I'm gonna give you somethin', but you gotta promise me you will not tell your momma.
Young Jackie: Promise.
Herb Gleason: [reaches into his pocket] Let's see. [holds out a nickel]
Young Jackie: [smiles] A nickel?
Herb Gleason: A guy like you can't walk around broke, Mr. Jackie Gleason. [puts the nickel in his hand] Here. You put that in your pocket, pal. [smiles and laughs. They hug]

[helping his mother take the clothes off the line]
Jackie Gleason: What's with the breathin', ma?
Mae Gleason: I'm fine. So, when do I get to meet her?
Jackie Gleason: I don't know. Things go okay tonight, maybe soon. There's somethin' different about her.
Mae Gleason: Yeah, that's what you said about the last one. Did they ever find you're wallet?
Jackie Gleason: [chuckles] Can you stop with that, please?
Mae Gleason: Hey, I just care about you, that's all.
Jackie Gleason: I know, ma. Your the greatest.
Mae Gleason: Yeah. Hey, how about you stay home tonight, keep me company, huh?
Jackie Gleason: [jokingly] Ma, how many times I have to tell you. Your not my type.

[on a date with Genevieve]
Jackie Gleason: I'll tell you, that Chaplin, he's a genius. He says it all with his eyes.
Genevieve Halford: The way he was with that little kid? It's like he makes me laugh and cry at the same time.
Jackie Gleason: C'mon. You know the best thing about it? He runs the whole show. He's the writer, the director. He's the star. Doesn't have to depend on anybody.
Genevieve Halford: Is that what you want? Not to have to depend on anybody?
Jackie Gleason: Isn't that what everybody wants?
Genevieve Halford: Not everyone. I think it might get kinda lonely.

George 'Bullets' Durgom: Tell ya, I'm gonna turn you into a millionaire yet, kid.
Jackie Gleason: You got it backwards, Bullets. I'm turnin' you into a millionaire.
George 'Bullets' Durgom: Well, I know, I was just--
Jackie Gleason: You were just what?! You were just what? Takin' the credit like everybody else? Who's the one bustin' his rump out there every night?
[pause]
[Gleason walks away]

Sammy Birch: [after Gleason tells a joke] That's one of Berle's.
Jackie Gleason: Oh yeah?
Sammy Birch: He steals from the best, so do you.
Jackie Gleason: What do you mean?
Sammy Birch: Everybody knows you like to uh...
Jackie Gleason: Say it.
Sammy Birch: ...Borrow? [laughs]
George 'Bullets' Durgom: Alright, c'mon. We're all just having a good time here--
Jackie Gleason: [passively] Oh, you sure the hell are. You have big steaks and booze up my expense, why not have a good time at my expense?
Sammy Birch: Jackie. If I said something wrong? I apologize. You know what I mean? Nothing by it.
Jackie Gleason: Nah, nah, it's not a matter of something wrong. You just said what's on your mind.
Sammy Birch: You saying I'm jealous?
Jackie Gleason: No, see you would have to be a contender to be jealous. You are envious.
Sammy Birch: So now I'm envious?
Jackie Gleason: And pathetic.
[pause]

Jackie Gleason: You hear that?
George 'Bullets' Durgom: No, what?
Jackie Gleason: Listen. You can get a cab on a Saturday night. You know why? Cause everyone's at home in front of their television's waiting to see me.
George 'Bullets' Durgom: If you do the show, right? C'mon. You're right. No. I'm proud of you, huh? C'mon.
Jackie Gleason: Are you, Bullets?
George 'Bullets' Durgom: Of course I am. The whole world's proud of you.
Jackie Gleason: Than why don't I feel it?
George 'Bullets' Durgom: Feel it? You don't wanna know what I think.
Jackie Gleason: The whole time I was growing up. My father lived less than an hour away. And he never came to see me once. He said it was because he felt the shame. [pause. Tearfully] This whole time I thought it was me.
George 'Bullets' Durgom: He's the one who missed out. It's his loss.
[pause]
Jackie Gleason: Try tellin' that to an eight year old kid. [pause] Alright, c'mon. Let's go fool 'em.

Interviewer: So, Jackie, are you 'The Great One?'
Jackie Gleason: [pause] Well, I'll tell you what. Let's go down stairs, we'll shoot a little pool and you tell me. Bring your wallet. Hmmmm. [smiles and chuckles] [last scene of the film]

Taglines[edit]

  • From His Brooklyn Tenement Childhood To His Lavish Lifestyle Among The Rich And Famous. How Sweet It Was!
  • He made more than television. He made history.

Cast[edit]

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:

Gleason on IMDB.