Gleason made it clear that “I’m not going to pay for this trip.”
The Times Hollywood columnist Hedda Hopper wrote:
“Jackie Gleason sure knows how to make an exit. Balloons, midgets, a band, beautiful girls – his choreographer, lovely June Taylor, leading lady Sue Ann Langdon, and his daughter Geraldine – director George Marshall and 210 freeloaders were present when he took off on his special train bound for New York. Forty-five went with him. It was show business in the manner of P.T. Barnum, which someday Jackie must put on screen. They had everything except an elephant.”
A ratings success, “Jackie Gleason’s American Scene Magazine” – renamed “The Jackie Gleason Show” in 1966 – was on CBS until 1970. And yes, CBS paid for the train.