Originally Posted By OKnativeson:
when I have a really bad day. I come home and watch that movie, just for Sheriff Justice. I always wondered if they told him to act exactly like that or if he came up with the persona and dialog by himself.
I read once that they told him to just run with it in the direction he thought best.
ETA: From Wikipedia for Smokey & The Bandit:
Jackie Gleason was given free rein to ad-lib dialogue and make suggestions. In particular, the scene where Sheriff Justice unknowingly encounters the Bandit in the "choke and puke" (a roadside diner) was not in the original story, but rather Gleason's idea.
"PUT THA EVIDENCE... IN THA CAR!!!!"