|Hollywoodland||Jul 13 2011|
Tabloids wouldn’t be tabloids if they hadn't mastered the art of self-promotion. For editors, any mention of their imprint, no matter how inconsequential, humorous, or brief, is cause for celebration. Witness this Confidential from July 1961, which blares that Jackie Gleason “complained on TV to 20,000,000 viewers that Confidential had never written about him.” Gleason had made the remarks on his own Jackie Gleason Show as a reference to his hard-partying lifestyle. Confidential was happy to oblige two months later, spinning his cover appearance as a sort of victory for the magazine. Interestingly, by the time the issue hit the streets The Jackie Gleason Show was off-air—it had lasted only three episodes, at least in that particular incarnation. That alone probably puts the lie to Confidential’s claim that 20,000,000 people were watching. Gleason came back with a new version of the show in 1962 and that one lasted until 1970. In any case, he made it into Confidential. It was the first time, but not the last.