My Dad, Jackie Gleason and A Broken Wrist

by Karen Roane, New Destiny Marketing, LLC

My Dad was the head of Special Effects at CBS Television for nearly 50 years. He has some great stories about the shows he worked on, and he told me one today. Dad got the scripts in advance and was planning a stunt for The Jackie Gleason Show. Jackie was to play his “Poor Soul” character and ride a bike down a 4′ ramp to run into a styrofoam wall made to look real. Dad told Jackie that the styrofoam bricks should be painted so they would slide apart easily upon impact. Jackie insisted that they not be painted. The day of the live TV show Jackie performed the stunt, the styrofoam wall did not budge as Dad had predicted, and Jackie ended up breaking his wrist. Jackie was rushed to St. Claire’s Hospital in New York to recover. The show was telecast live from the hospital the following week and ratings jumped since CBS’s PR Department played up the story to the press.

A great reminder that even if the worst case scenario happens, we should try to see if something good can come out of it.

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