Widower Sheriff Andy Taylor, and his son Opie, live with Andy's Aunt Bee in Mayberry, North Carolina. With virtually no crimes to solve, most of Andy's time is spent philosophizing and calming down his cousin Deputy Barney Fife.
Ralph Kramden is a New York bus driver who dreams of a better life. With his eccentric good friend, Ed Norton the sewer worker, he constantly tries crackpot schemes to strike it rich. All the while, his exasperated wife, Alice, is always there to bring him down to earth or to pick him up if he beats her to it. For as much as they fight, even dunderhead Ralph knows that she is the greatest and vice versa, despite his constant threats of domestic violence.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
Pert Kelton, the original Alice, left while the sketch was still part of The Jackie Gleason Show (1952) due to purported health problems (it was later revealed she had been blacklisted). Audrey Meadows was approached for suggestions about who could replace Kelton. After rattling off a list of actresses, none of whom were suitable for one reason or another, Meadows finally suggested herself. Jackie Gleason initially rejected her on the grounds that she was too young and pretty. Meadows, determined to get the part, had a photographer come to her house at 7:00 the next morning, and had pictures taken of herself without make-up, her hair pinned up with combs she'd slept on, and wearing a torn blouse, a skirt, and an apron. When Gleason saw the pictures he exclaimed happily, "That's Alice!" and asked who it was. When told it was the same young actress he'd rejected the day before, he said, "Any dame with a sense of humor like that deserves the job. Hire her!" See more »
The background behind the stove and the window were actually curtains. There are a few episodes in which the corner (where the two meet) would separate and you could see a little of what was behind it. See more »
The original network version used a different announcer and the opening title/credits sequence ended with a plug for the show's sponsor, Buick. For its now familiar syndicated version, the plug for Buick was replaced with a second shot of fireworks. See more »
"The Honeymooners, Ralph Always Wants the Moon, and Usually Sends Alice To It"
Money! Money! Money! The accumulation of financial and social resources was the driving force behind this short lived but great comedy series.
The Honeymooners was the greatest program of television's golden age, better than "I Love Lucy", "Texaco Star Theater", and "Your Show of Shows" . I've seen "I Love Lucy" reruns many times and clips of the other two great programs, and "Jackie Gleason's "Honeymooners" a spin off from his classic variety series is still my favorite.
Gleason's ever popular character Ralph Kramden is one of life's lovable and colorful losers. He's always looking for that get- rich- quick scheme that will pull him as his loving wife Alice (Audrey Meadows) out of the doldrums of East Chauncey Street in Brooklyn, to the Penthouses on Park Avenue. He always means well for himself and his wife Alice, but does foolish things to make a bad situation for him and Alice worse.
During all of his foolish endeavors he recruits his 'ol Pal Norton, as kind of like an insurance policy to subliminally tell Alice, "Hey I wasn't the only fool who thought he could invent No-Cal pizza." Norton (Art Carney) is one goofy dude. He has like a sixth sense when it comes to A) Keeping friendships, B)Doing inappropriate things only to remind Ralph of some of these foolish get rich quick schemes,C)Creating problems for Ralph without knowing what he's doing and D) not saying inappropriate things when the friendship itself is at stake.
Among my favorite episodes when Ralph's get-rich-quick schemes nearly send him and Alice to the moon are "Funny Money", "Better Living Through TV", "Opportunity Knocks, But", "Dial J For Janitor", and the all time classic, "The $99,000 Answer" when Ralph things he's going to win a fortune on a game show. He practices learning music like a madman then falls flat on his face on National TV because he forgot to ask Norton a simple but important question relating to a music writer.
There are also other classic episodes like "TV or Not TV" where Ralph is too frugal to buy Alice a television set, then goes halves with Norton, and eventually becomes obsessed with television. Norton is hilarious during his "Captain Video" monologue.
In "Oh, My Aching Back", Ralph throws his back out bowling, and has to hide the sad fact from Alice that he might fail his employment physical because of it. Hiding Ralph's painful condition from Alice, Norton plays doctor and takes Ralph's temperature. "What's my temperature NORTON!!" exclaims Ralph. "A Hundred and Eleven!!" cries out Norton, not aware that if you put a cigarette lighter to the thermometer it raises the temperature.
In "Please Leave the Premisis", Ralph decides to play hardball with a greedy landlord, and winds up out in the cold. Ralph says he's being brave and defiant like General George Washington, and that there "will be no deserters is his army",meaning he, Alice and Norton have to remain in the cold without utilities. Unfortunately General Cornwallis wins this round over George Washington, and Martha convinces George to pay the rent increase.
Jackie Gleason, Audrey Meadows, Art Carney, and Joyce Randolph (as Norton's wife) had great chemistry together, as Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden really took us to the moon.
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