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The Jackie Gleason Show In Color DVD Review


“The Jackie Gleason Show In Color” will appeal to fans of the titular actor’s series.

For those that aren’t aware, “The Jackie Gleason Show In Color” DVD is comprised of 4 previously unreleased episodes (2 from 1968 and 2 from 1969) from the variety series. Throughout these 4 episodes, viewers can expect to see a certain formula for the studio show (which was filmed in Miami Beach). There is an orchestra, monologues and jokes, “The Honeymooners” sketches on 3 of the 4 episodes, dancers, and special guests/musical performers that include Red Buttons, Frankie Avalon, Phil Silvers, Florence Henderson, Morey Amsterdam, Jan Murray, Nipsey Russell, Milton Berle, George Carlin, Edie Adams and Morton Storm.

Having seen a fair number of variety series, “The Jackie Gleason Show” is a bit of an oddity/curiosity. While there are certainly similar elements from other variety shows, the show does things a little differently. For starters, the host of the show is on stage for almost the entire program and he tends to be smoking on stage as well. Secondly, when there is a special guest, Gleason has a tendency to stay on stage to banter with him or her while they do their act (this isn’t always the case though). Lastly, some episodes contain sketches for “The Honeymooners.” I can’t think of an instance where a past show was able to return in another format/show. Fascinating to say the least (even if it feels like they’re trying too hard to rekindle the show all those years later).

In terms of the content here, it’s a mixed bag. Gleason frequently looks tired and disinterested and is more engaged by his cigarette than anything else. Really, it all depends on the guests here and, from this sampling, Milton Berle was the clear highlight from a comedic perspective. The musical performances by Florence Henderson and Frankie Avalon were also noteworthy. Visually, the show is extremely bland looking. The main stage is unimaginative and “The Honeymooners” set is so cheap looking.


Presentation: Fullscreen. How does it look? Don’t expect a restoration here. The show has some scratches and lines and certainly shows some age. With all of that said, however, it’s a decent enough transfer.

Audio Track: Unspecified Audio Track. How does it sound? It’s not going to wow anyone, but the track does the job.

No extras.


March 12, 2018 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , , , , ,

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