You're in the Picture

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One of the very few TV shows to have the dubious honor of being cancelled after just one episode.

You're in the Picture is a 1961 American game show that aired on CBS and was hosted by Jackie Gleason (best known for TV shows like The Honeymooners). It is known to having aired on the same day as President John F. Kennedy's inauguration on January 20th.

The show's first episode was so universally panned by critics and the audience alike that a second episode (supposed to air on January 27) never even aired, but was instead replaced with an apology by Jackie Gleason; coincidentally, it led to a short-lived revival of The Jackie Gleason Show.



A four-member celebrity panel would stick their heads into a life-sized illustration of a famous scene or song lyric and then take turns asking yes/no questions to Gleason to try to figure out what scene they were a part of. If they were able to figure out the scene, 100 CARE Packages were donated in their name; if they were stumped, the packages were donated in Gleason's name. Live music was provided by a Dixieland band (supposedly arranged by Gleason himself, who had some experience in easy listening arrangements outside his television work) under the direction of Norman Leyden.

The four celebrity contestants in the premiere were Pat Harrington Jr., Pat Carroll, Jan Sterling and Arthur Treacher.

Why It Sucks

  1. It wasted the talents of the celebrities involved in the premiere.
  2. The concept behind the show was unworkable because the contestants often didn't know what picture they were in, resulting in an incredibly awkward show.
  3. Unfunny jokes.
  4. Even though Jackie Gleason is widely considered to be the best part of the show, he wasn't able to do much with the lackluster material he was given.
  5. The prize for winning the show is lame and unappealing; it was just 100 CARE Packages donated in the winner's name and Jackie Gleason's name for the losers.

The Only Redeeming Quality

  1. The aforementioned apology for the show by Jackie Gleason is not only considered to be the best part of the show, but also one of Gleason's funniest moments in his long career.


The show is ranked at #9 on TV Guide's "50 Worst TV Shows of All Time" list in 2002.