Jackie Gleason knew that to produce his top-rated weekly CBS variety show he needed more than just witty monologues, innovative June Taylor choreography and big name guests. He personally had to garner the respect of his national audience, which he did superlatively with a cavalcade of compelling and lovable characters. As television’s pioneer weekend evening entertainer he created iconic personas and deservingly earned the title “Mr. Saturday Night.”
Jackie Gleason: Genius at Work is a thorough retrospect of Jackie’s most popular characters. Most of the sketches have never before been available or even viewed since their original live broadcasts in the 1950s. This DVD presents some of Gleason’s funniest sketches in their near entirety, thereby preserving the magical cadence of his legendary performances.
The show features Jackie Gleason’s widow Marilyn Taylor Gleason providing candid insight into her husband’s profound understanding of his characters. Mrs. Gleason performed often with her future husband and witnessed firsthand the genius at work. As well, she was June Taylor’s younger sister and a featured June Taylor Dancer.
This special look back at Gleason’s work includes commentary by host Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm on HBO®).