Great One, The

Showbiz nickname of comedian Jackie Gleason, however, this nickname does not refer to his physical size rather his intelligence. Read on…


One night at the Stork Club, Orson Welles was discussing Shakespeare with Jackie Gleason (both were drinking buddies). Welles purposely misquoted a line from “Aeschylus” and Jackie Gleason corrected him. To which Welles replied, “You’re the Great One!”

Jackie Gleason’s life have been chronicled in these biographies:

  • “The Great One: The Life and Legend of Jackie Gleason” (1992) by William A. Henry.
  • “Jackie Gleason: An Intimate Portrait of the Great One: (1992) by W. J. Weatherby.
  • “How Sweet It Is: The Jackie Gleason Story” (1985) by James Bacon.

Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Showbiz Nicknames

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