Jackie Gleason used to kick off the action on his variety show with the titular quote. “The Jackie Gleason Show” devolved from the DuMont Television Network’s “Cavalcade of Stars” which impressed CBS enough that they asked Gleason to create a show for them in 1952, and they ended up with a highly rated show. Gleason had started his rise to prominence in 1949 as the first Chester Riley in the television version of “The Life of Riley”. Born in December of 1949, I grew up with television.
I watched Gleason say, “and away we go” then turn the stage over to the June Taylor Dancers for an elaborate number before he presented sketch comedy bits built around characters like Joe the Bartender. That’s how I remember it, anyway. I can’t swear to what came first or second or say which year my childhood included Gleason or Red Skelton or Jack Benny or “The Life of Riley”, “Sgt. Bilko”, “Make Room for Daddy”, or “I Love Lucy”.
The early shows and performers rub elbows with the likes of Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson who just wrapped up the final episode of “Person of Interest” on the heels of Julianna Margulies and Chris Noth, who did the same for “The Good Wife”.
I have been watching television for as long as I can remember. I have been watching movies for almost as long. I have been a fan of live theater since a production of Agatha Christie’s “Ten Little Indians” by the 9th graders delighted me in 6th grade. Dance got added in college. News and sports came mostly via television.
When the internet came along, I fell easily in love with the hyperlink. Mostly written stories at first, one linking to another to expand on some aspect of the first, they soon included audio and video enhancements to the story being told. Wonderful.
Watchable, listenable, readable content is proliferating so much so that I can’t even be aware of all of it much less watch all of it. Some of what I can catch, though, may be worth noting and commenting on. And away we go…