Jackie Gleason as The Penguin

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

Moderators: Scott Sebring, Ben Bentley

User avatar
John Mack
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:15 pm

Re: Jackie Gleason as The Penguin

Post by John Mack » Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:12 pm

BATWINGED HORNET wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:53 pm
Frankly, Gleason was not as versatile as Meredith; it takes a special level of talent to create a living, arrogant, even oddly threatening "bird man" from what one would guess was not the most detailed character references.

Like Gorshin as the Riddler, Sanders as Freeze and Newmar as Catwoman, Meredith was perfect casting being an actor who knew how to reach within and build on a concept to make it a signature role that has not lost its impact over 50 years later. There's no way to see Gleason achieving the same--or even knowing where to go with the Penguin.
Totally disagree. You can only speculate, not make blanket statements as fact. You have no idea what may have been. If Gleason had been cast as the Penguin, and his portrayal was considered ultimate, then the same things would be being said now about Meredith. All complete speculation and we'll never know, will we?
Music. BAT! Music.

User avatar
dell
Posts: 0
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:12 am

Re: Jackie Gleason as The Penguin

Post by dell » Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:36 pm

BATWINGED HORNET wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:53 pm
Frankly, Gleason was not as versatile as Meredith; it takes a special level of talent to create a living, arrogant, even oddly threatening "bird man" from what one would guess was not the most detailed character references.

Like Gorshin as the Riddler, Sanders as Freeze and Newmar as Catwoman, Meredith was perfect casting being an actor who knew how to reach within and build on a concept to make it a signature role that has not lost its impact over 50 years later. There's no way to see Gleason achieving the same--or even knowing where to go with the Penguin.
Excellent analysis. I think one of the keys to being a good Bat-villain was to ignore the absurdity of the situation and play it straight, but with just enough tongue in cheek that you had fun with it. Gorshin, Sanders, Newmar and Meredith all did that. For a case of not quite getting it quite right look at Milton Berle's performance. It just falls flat.

Part of what makes Batman work as a show is that you are always rooting for Batman, but you also enjoy watching the villain carry out their plan. Olga and Egghead can be painful to watch as a team, but Egghead alone is fun. They simply bicker to much to make it fun.
dell

User avatar
BATWINGED HORNET
Posts: 0
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:32 am

Re: Jackie Gleason as The Penguin

Post by BATWINGED HORNET » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:56 am

John Mack wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:12 pm
BATWINGED HORNET wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:53 pm
Frankly, Gleason was not as versatile as Meredith; it takes a special level of talent to create a living, arrogant, even oddly threatening "bird man" from what one would guess was not the most detailed character references.

Like Gorshin as the Riddler, Sanders as Freeze and Newmar as Catwoman, Meredith was perfect casting being an actor who knew how to reach within and build on a concept to make it a signature role that has not lost its impact over 50 years later. There's no way to see Gleason achieving the same--or even knowing where to go with the Penguin.
Totally disagree. You can only speculate, not make blanket statements as fact. You have no idea what may have been. If Gleason had been cast as the Penguin, and his portrayal was considered ultimate, then the same things would be being said now about Meredith. All complete speculation and we'll never know, will we?
What are we doing in this thread? Offering opinions and conclusions based on existing evidence, so if anyone believes Gleason would have handled the role, its just as (allegedly) speculative as saying he would not. The point of it all is that there was no template for a live action Penguin character, and Meredith had to develop all of that, which means no other actor would have made the same choices, or approached it in the same way, hence no Penguin identity that instantly comes to mind thanks only to Meredith's creativity.
Beneath Wayne Manor

robinboyblunderer
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:15 pm

Re: Jackie Gleason as The Penguin

Post by robinboyblunderer » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:22 pm

It's difficult to picture anyone but Burgess Meredith in the role. I think the big four were perfectly cast.

cheers

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests