LLeff wrote:The intent of the Silvoney character was to be a "professional drunk". Some people thought he was supposed to be mentally ill/feeble... But for those familiar with the Jackie Gleason show, Fontaine's Crazy Guggenheim character (substantially the same as Silvoney, plus singing) would always show up at Joe the Bartender's place. So he was definitely supposed to be a drunk.
Radioman wrote:I believe Silvoney made his first appearance when Jack gave a bum--what was it, a dollar?....
(even, apparently, Mr. Kitzel. Laura, tell me if I'm wrong, but I've read that was his real voice)...
To make matters even worse with Silvoney, he could never just do the joke and get out. His bits went on and on and on. "You know what I did? You know what I did? You know what I did?" Then he'd make that noise I can't even spell. Oh, it was so awful. And the audience laughed and laughed.
WaltP wrote:I remember Crazy from the Gleason show also, and really like the character. But I never saw a drunk. Feeble is not quite right, either. Not the brightest bulb in the lamp, but not feeble. Odd, definitely. Crazy, for sure.
The first time I heard him on JB brought me back to the Gugenheim character. Almost the exact same guy. Only minor changes from the character I remember.
Gerry O. wrote:A big part of the "Crazy Guggenheim" humor on the Gleason show was Gleason (as Joe the Bartender) reacting as straight man.....Gleason would lean against the bar, stare at the camera and/or roll his eyes as Crazy would go on and on with some stupid, pointless story. Seeing a straight man getting frustrated and reacting with "I can't BELIEVE this idiot!" looks makes Crazy's material even funnier....
and Jack would have done a hilarious job of reacting in a silent, deadpan manner.
Gerry O. wrote:I don't think that Fontaine ever did the "John L.C." character on Jack's television show, but if he had, I imagine that it would have been a LOT funnier than on the radio....especially if Jack stood there and reacted to the character.
LLeff wrote:Gerry O. wrote:I don't think that Fontaine ever did the "John L.C." character on Jack's television show, but if he had, I imagine that it would have been a LOT funnier than on the radio....especially if Jack stood there and reacted to the character.
Actually...he did Jack's SECOND television show in the Silvoney character. Now if we can just get a copy of that circulating, we can all see if the theories expressed here translate to the visual.
David47Jens wrote:I have to wonder, after having read a lot of stuff in the intervening years about Gleason's ego, whether this was to help the sketch's comedic value, or whether it was an attempt to... well... not to "upstage" Frank Fontaine exactly, but remind all concerned (cast members, audience, CBS execs... ) that Jackie Gleason was in the sketch as well. Probably both, I suspect, for regardless of his ego -- which in its own way was quite deserved, of course -- the man knew what worked.
Gleason was said to remind people that he was indeed "The Great One," but I must also add that I have personally heard or read interviews with Gleason where he would openly acknowledge the talents of his co-stars, notably Art Carney and Audrey Meadows. His praises of Carney's comedic and serious acting talents were lavish indeed.
David47Jens wrote: -- And oh, how I wish videos of those were as accessible as the ubiquitous Honeymooners epsiodes! ---
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