Jackie Gleason Shows Us The Proper Way To Bomb On TV: With Self-Deprecation And Booze

In 1961, Jackie Gleason hosted a game show on CBS titled You're In The Picture. It was a precursor to The Jay Leno Show and The Marriage Ref in that it was universally reviled.

Unlike those two shows, Gleason decided to respond to the criticism the very next week. Drinking from a mug of booze, smoking what was likely a Chesterfield, and having a dialogue with the audience, Gleason simultaneously told his critics to take a chill pill and created one of the most indelible and hilarious moments in television history.

All this brassy Jackie Gleason makes me want to re-read the beginning of Underworld.

If You Thought The Jay Leno Show Was A Bomb [By Ken Levine]