The legend and lore of master comedian, actor, and pool shark Jackie Gleason usually center on tales of alcohol propelled, nocturnal carousing in New York's trendiest, showbiz hangouts, Broadway bars and Swing Street supper clubs. The adult adventures of a man on the town, that only ended when the glow of neon in the night had long since faded into the bright light of dawn.
Gleason's Manhattan penthouse, which he once characterized in a magazine interview as "a sable-lined dump," was a long, difficult subway ride from the dingy, cold water , Bensonhurst flat in which he grew up.
But, in spite of his dysfunctional upbringing, Gleason, was man of deep sentiment and loved to give young entertainers their big break on his hit,Saturday night CBS-TV variety show.
In the clip below, The Great One shares the spotlight with South Philadelphia's Frankie Avalon, years before he became a teen idol, Annette Funicello's B-movie, beach buddy and a major Las Vegas attraction. This may be one of Avalon's first television appearances. Enjoy!!!!!