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Encyclopedia > Alice Kramden
Cover of a book about the Honeymooners. The image used is a colourized version of the photo that became iconized by the media, as the definitive image of the show.
Cover of a book about the Honeymooners. The image used is a colourized version of the photo that became iconized by the media, as the definitive image of the show.

The Honeymooners, a 1950s half-hour television situation comedy spun from a series of working-class skits that featured on Jackie Gleason's hit CBS variety series, became one of America's most beloved, enduring, and imitated television comedies—after its single season of life as a separately-produced series. Possibly the most easily-forgotten fact about the show is that it wasn't a big ratings hit in its only in-production season (19551956), and that only when it began to appear in syndicated reruns almost a decade later—concurrent to Gleason reviving the skits on the 1960s version of his variety show—did The Honeymooners begin to earn their due and immortality. The Honeymooners Companion book cover, most famous image of the show This image is a book cover. ... The Honeymooners Companion book cover, most famous image of the show This image is a book cover. ... // Events and trends This map shows two essential global spheres during the Cold War in 1959. ... A sitcom or situation comedy is a genre of comedy performance originally devised for radio but today typically found on television. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... For other uses, see CBS (disambiguation). ... 1955 (MCMLV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A variety show is a show with a variety of acts, often including music and comedy skits, especially on television. ...



In the early 1950s, Jackie Gleason hosted a variety show, originally titled Cavalcade of Stars on the DuMont Television Network, before moving to CBS in 1952 as The Jackie Gleason Show. The versatile, rotund comedian was already renowned for his clever recurring characters, but the most popular proved to be himself as a blustery Brooklyn bus driver named Ralph Kramden, who was always devising one or another scheme to get rich quick, aided and abetted by his dim-witted, sewer worker pal Ed Norton, played by Art Carney. The Jackie Gleason Show was a popular television variety show that starred Jackie Gleason and ran in a variety of incarnations, from 1952 to 1970. ... DuMont Televisions Logo The DuMont Television Network was an American television network, beginning operation in 1946. ... 1952 (MCMLII) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... The Jackie Gleason Show was a popular television variety show that starred Jackie Gleason and ran in a variety of incarnations, from 1952 to 1970. ... Main article: New York City A map of New York City, highlighting Brooklyn. ... Art Carney starring as Ed Norton from The Honeymooners Art Carney as Saun Dann in The Star Wars Holiday Special. ...

The original skits featured Pert Kelton, a veteran stage and radio actress, as Ralph's acerbic wife, Alice Kramden, but critics have since concluded those sketches darker than the sketches the world has come to know, with Gleason and Kelton resembling a young man married to a middle-aged woman whose looks and disposition faded amid harrowing, realistic arguments. Pert Kelton (1907-1968) was an American vaudeville, movie, and television actress. ...

The image was softened after the show moved to CBS, but the softening was begun by necessity: Kelton had been named in Red Channels, the notorious booklet listing over 100 actual or alleged Communists in radio and television, and she was forced off the show. (Kelton later earned a measure of redemption in the original Broadway cast of Meredith Willson's musical hit, The Music Man.) Replacing Kelton would be Audrey Meadows, who had to frumpify herself to convince Gleason she was right for the part: the comely Meadows first impressed the comedian as being too attractive to make a credible Alice. The second change was replacing Elaine Stritch, who played Trixie as a burlesque queen, with the more wholesome looking Joyce Randolph, as Ed Norton's almost as sharp, and slightly more temperamental wife, Trixie Norton. Red Channels Red Channels: The Report of Communist Influence in Radio and Television was an anti-communist pamphlet published in the United States. ... Communism - Wikipedia /**/ @import /w/skins-1. ... Broadway theatre is often considered the highest professional form of theatre in the United States. ... Robert Meredith Willson (18 May 1902 - 15 June 1984) was an American composer and playwright, best known as the writer of The Music Man. ... The Music Man is a musical play with book, music, and lyrics by Meredith Willson (story by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey), which opened on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre on December 19, 1957. ... Audrey Meadows (February 8, 1926 - February 3, 1996), born Audrey Cotter, was an American actress best known for playing the deadpan housewife, Alice Kramden in the 1950s American television comedy, The Honeymooners. ... Elaine Stritch, (born on February 2, 1925 in Detroit, Michigan) is a tall, lanky Irish-American actress and singer with a brassy, rough voice known for her brash, vocal characters. ... Joyce Randolph was born Joyce Sirola in Detroit, Michigan on October 21, 1925. ...

By 1955, the "Honeymooners" skits were so popular that CBS offered Gleason a chance to produce a separate half-hour show around the characters, also to be called The Honeymooners. The first episode of the series aired October 1, 1955, and 39 were created and broadcast before the show was cancelled in 1956. The show began with a high rating but fell victim to competiton from Perry Como's popular NBC variety show, with one source saying The Honeymooners dropped from number two to number nineteen. October 1 is the 274th day of the year (275th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1955 (MCMLV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Pierino Ronaldo Perry Como (May 18, 1912 – May 12, 2001) was an Italian American crooner during the latter half of the 20th century. ... NBC, formerly called the National Broadcasting Company, is an American television broadcasting company based in New York Citys Rockefeller Center. ...

Gleason, however, retained the rights to the show, including eventual re-runs, though he sold the series to CBS for a reported $1 million. When Gleason revived his regular variety show, the "Honeymooners" skits were revived as well, until Art Carney left the show in 1957. Then, when Gleason revamped his show in 1962 as The Jackie Gleason American Scene Magazine (the title reverted to The Jackie Gleason Show soon enough), the "Honeymooners" skits returned as well, with first Sue Ane Langdon and then Sheila MacRae as Alice and Jane Kean as Trixie. Sheila MacRae (born Sheila Margaret Stephens on September 24, 1924, in London, England) is an actress and author. ...

By 1967 – 1968, the "Honeymooners" skits had become the show: Gleason and company performed hourlong musical versions of the shows, often borrowing from older "Honeymooners" skit or show scripts, with Gleason likening the new versions to "doing half a Broadway musical every week."

But in 1970, Gleason and company were gone: CBS historiographer Robert Metz wrote that Gleason and CBS disagreed over what he should be doing. The network wanted another season or two of "Honeymooners" musicals; Gleason wanted to revive his former variety format including shorter "Honeymooners" skits. Except for scattered "Honeymooners" specials in the 1970s and early 1980s — reuniting Gleason, Meadows, and Carney but with Jane Kean instead of Joyce Randolph — the skits' cast never worked together again in that setting.

Gleason surprised and pleased Honeymooners devotees when, a few years before his death in 1987, he released a number of so-called "lost episodes" (never lost, in reality—just sitting in Gleason's vault for decades), which were kinescopes of Gleason's live shows for CBS during the 1950s. 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The term Lost Episode is something of a misnomer used to describe an episode of a television series that for any number of reasons was not aired in its original chronological place and later publicly released. ... The term kinescope originally referred to a type of early television picture tube. ...

These episodes were released on home video and sometimes show up in syndication alongside what are known as "The Classic 39". In September 2004 another "lost" episode (this time one that had indeed been misplaced years ago) was reported discovered, with plans for video release pending. The home video business rents and sells videocassettes and DVDs to the public. ... In the television industry (as in radio), syndication is the sale of the right to broadcast programs to multiple stations, without going through a broadcast network. ... It has been designated the: International Year of Rice (by the United Nations) International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition (by UNESCO) 2004 World Health Day topic was Road Safety (by World Health Organization) Year of the Monkey (by the Chinese calendar) See the world in...

This episode, "Love Letter", aired on cable television in October 2004. And, in 2005, The Honeymooners was remade as a poorly-received full-length feature film. 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Promotional poster for The Honeymooners The Honeymooners is a 2005 comedy film, directed by John Schultz. ...

Impact and legacy

As it debuted on Cavalcade of Stars, The Honeymooners could be considered television's first spin-off. But that may be the least significant portion of its legacy. The Honeymooners has proved to be an enduring cultural touchstone, engendering an entire subculture of television comedy that still persists today. A spin-off (or spinoff) is a new organization or entity formed by a split from a larger one such as a new company formed from a university research group. ...

For some, the show has never really been topped for portraying a strikingly realistic side of urban working class life, even though contemporary critics assail the blustery chauvinism of its lead character. Jackie Gleason himself often said he sketched the characters based on people he had actually remembered from his hardscrabble Brooklyn tenement boyhood, and it is a credit to his memory and his ability that he had created such an enduring and humane sketch.

It is also currently the longest running program to continue airing in New York City, having been aired on WPIX-TV, off and on, decades after it ceased production. WPIX (WB 11) is a television station in New York City. ...

  • In 1960, the animated sitcom The Flintstones debuted; many critics and viewers noted the close resemblance of that show's premise and characters to that of The Honeymooners. Gleason later said that he had thought about suing, but decided not to bother. The Flintstones would in turn influence The Simpsons.
  • The show was also parodied in a series of Warner Bros. animated cartoons, in which the principal characters are depicted as mice and Ralph's "big dream" is to get enough cheese to impress Alice with. These cartoons are The Honey-Mousers (1956), Cheese It, the Cat! (1957), and Mice Follies (1960). Human caricatures of Ralph and Ed are pitted against Bugs Bunny in the 1956 Warner cartoon Half-Fare Hare. And, nodding to one of the many catchphrases The Honeymooners sent into the American vernacular, a Sylvester and Tweety cartoon — in which Granny gets rousted out of her house by the big bad wolf, only to get the wolf in the end — included Granny (June Foray)hollering, "One of these days...one of these days...Pow! Right in the kisser!"
  • Comedian Eddie Murphy impersonated Ralph in an infamous stand-up routine depicting Kramden and Norton as gay lovers. The bit can be seen in Murphy's 1983 concert film Delirious. And an episode of the 1980s detective spoof, Moonlighting, set lead characters David Addison, Maddie Hayes, Agnes Dipesto, and Herbert Viola into a Honeymooners re-creation.
  • In 1994, the Dutch broadcasting network KRO produced a version of The Honeymooners entitled Toen was geluk heel gewoon, using translated scripts of the original series but changing its setting to 1950s Rotterdam. After the original scripts were all used up the series' lead actors, Gerard Cox and Sjoerd Pleijsier, took over writing, adding many new characters and references to Dutch history and popular culture. The series was a hit in the Netherlands and continues to run.
  • The short-lived HBO comedy series The High Life was a sort of twisted version of The Honeymooners. (For example, in one episode, the Kramden-esque protagonist and his friend join a fraternal organization only to discover that it's the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.)
  • The Honeymooners influenced the American sitcom Roc in its character dynamics and story structures. Roc acknowledged its roots by presenting its entire second season live, and by using the signature closing line "Baby, you're the greastest!" on at least one occasion.
  • The Honeymooners was spoofed in a 2000 episode of the sitcom The King of Queens. It figures into a series of dreams that Doug Heffernan (Kevin James) has while he is sick. After Doug sees The Honeymooners on TV at a bar, he daydreams himself in Ralph Kramden's role, and his wife Carrie (Leah Remini) steps in for Alice. Additionally, Ed Norton's role is filled by Deacon Palmer (Victor Williams). True to the original Honeymooners, the sequence was filmed in black-and-white and the audio quality (including the audience) matches a 50's style. Kevin James is a big fan of Jackie Gleason.

1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1960 calendar). ... Animation refers to the process in which each frame of a film or movie is produced individually, whether generated as a computer graphic, or by photographing a drawn image, or by repeatedly making small changes to a model (see claymation and stop motion), and then photographing the result. ... The Flintstones, an American animated television series created by Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, is one of the most successful animated television series of all time, originally running in American prime time for six seasons, from 1960 to 1966, on the ABC network. ... The Simpson family first seen on The Tracey Ullman Show. ... The WB Shield used from 2003 to present day Warner Bros. ... 12 frames per second is the typical rate for an animated cartoon. ... Mice may refer to: Plural of the word mouse An indie band set up in 1995 by All About Eves Julianne Regan. ... 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Bugs Bunny, as seen in the Looney Tunes short Rabbit Transit. ... 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A catch phrase is a phrase or expression that is popularized, usually through repeated use, by a real person or fictional character. ... Sylvester as a single name can refer to: Pope Sylvester I Pope Sylvester II Antipope Sylvester III Sylvester the cat Sylvester James, disco performer Sylvester Stallone, actor James Joseph Sylvester, English mathematician and lawyer. ... Toy made in Tweetys image Tweety aka Tweety Pie or Tweety Bird is a fictional character in the Warner Brothers Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of animated cartoons. ... June Foray (born September 18, 1917) is an extremely versatile voice actor who has worked for most of the studios which produced animated films since the 1940s. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... The word homosexuality has acquired multiple meanings over time. ... 1983 (MCMLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The 1980s decade refers to the years from 1980 to 1989, inclusive. ... The term Moonlighting has two possible meanings: Moonlighting (employment) is doing a second job outside of normal working hours. ... Kro (sometimes referred to as the Warlord Kro) is a is a Marvel Comics supervillain. ... For other places named Rotterdam, see Rotterdam (disambiguation) Rotterdam ( (help· info)), located in the province of South Holland, is the second largest municipality in the Netherlands (after Amsterdam). ... Members of the second Ku Klux Klan at a rally during the 1920s. ... Roc was a Fox network sitcom which ran from 1991 to 1994. ... In contemporary usage, parody is a form of satire that imitates another work of art in order to ridicule it. ... The King of Queens is an American situation comedy series that debuted in 1998 and is still running as of the 2005-06 season on CBS. It is also in syndication, and will start fall 2006 on TBS. The program is filmed at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California. ... Image:Doug Heffernan. ... Kevin James Kevin James (born Kevin George Knipfing, April 26, 1965, in Mineola, New York) is an American comedian and actor. ... Carrie Heffernan is a fictional character on the American sitcom The King of Queens. ... Leah Remini (born June 15, 1970 in Brooklyn, New York, USA) is an American actress. ... Deacon John Palmer is a fictional character on TVs The King of Queens. ... Victor Williams is an American actor best known as Doug Heffernans (Kevin James) best friend Deacon Palmer on The King of Queens. ... Kevin James Kevin James (born Kevin George Knipfing, April 26, 1965, in Mineola, New York) is an American comedian and actor. ...


The "Classic 39" episodes are:

  1. "TV or Not TV"
  2. "Funny Money"
  3. "The Golfer"
  4. "A Woman's Work is Never Done"
  5. "A Matter of Life and Death"
  6. "The Sleepwalker"
  7. "Better Living Through TV"
  8. "Pal O' Mine"
  9. "Brother Ralph"
  10. "Hello, Mom"
  11. "The Deciding Vote"
  12. "Something Fishy"
  13. "'Twas the Night Before Christmas"
  14. "The Man from Space"
  15. "A Matter of Record"
  16. "Oh, My Aching Back"
  17. "The Babysitter"
  18. "The $99,000 Answer"
  19. "Ralph Kramden, Inc."
  20. "Young at Heart"
  21. "A Dog's Life"
  22. "Here Comes The Bride"
  23. "Mama Loves Mambo"
  24. "Please Leave the Premises"
  25. "Pardon My Glove"
  26. "Young Man with a Horn"
  27. "Head of the House"
  28. "The Worry Wart"
  29. "Trapped"
  30. "The Loudspeaker"
  31. "On Stage"
  32. "Opportunity Knocks"
  33. "Unconventional Behavior"
  34. "The Safety Award"
  35. "Mind Your Own Business"
  36. "Alice and the Blonde"
  37. "The Bensonhurst Bomber"
  38. "Dial J for Janitor"
  39. "A Man's Pride"

TV or Not TV is the 1st episode of the TV series The Honeymooners. ... The Golfer is the 3rd episode of the TV series The Honeymooners. ... The Sleepwalker is the 6th episode of the TV series The Honeymooners. ... Better Living Through TV is the 7th episode of the TV series The Honeymooners. ... Something Fishy is a novel by P. G. Wodehouse, first published in the United Kingdom on January 18, 1957 by Herbert Jenkins, London and in the United States on January 28 1957 by Simon & Schuster, Inc. ... The Man From Space is the 14th episode of the TV series The Honeymooners. ... A Matter of Record is the 15th episode of the TV series The Honeymooners. ... Oh, My Aching Back is the 16th episode of the TV series The Honeymooners. ... The $99,000 Answer is the 18th episode of the TV series The Honeymooners. ... Young At Heart is the 20th episode of the TV series The Honeymooners. ... Mama Loves Mambo is the 23rd episode of the TV series The Honeymooners. ... Plot The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... Dial J For Janitor is the 38th episode of the TV series The Honeymooners. ...


The instrumental theme song for The Honeymooners, "You're My Greatest Love", was composed by Gleason and performed by an orchestra led by Ray Bloch (who had previously served as orchestra leader on Gleason's variety show, as well as The Ed Sullivan Show). Sammy Spear, who later became Gleason's musical director, provided the arrangement. The theme music of a radio or television program is a melody closely associated with the show, and usually played during the title sequence and/or end credits. ... Ed Sullivan The Ed Sullivan Show was an American television variety show that ran from June 20, 1948, to June 6, 1971, and was hosted by Ed Sullivan. ...

Because of the popularity of The Honeymooners, and the fact that Ralph Kramden was a New York City bus driver, one of the terminals in Brooklyn was renamed The Jackie Gleason Bus Depot. All buses that originate from the bus depot bear a sticker on the front that has a logo which is derived from the 'face on the moon' opening credits. Main article: New York City A map of New York City, highlighting Brooklyn. ... The Depot Logo, resembling the opening title card of The Honeymooners. ...

Memorable quotes

  • Ralph: Bang, zoom!
  • Ralph: You're going to the moon, Alice!
  • Ralph: Baby, you're the greatest.
  • Ed: Down in the sewer, we have this little saying: "When the tides of life turn against you and the current upsets your boat, don't waste your tears on what might have been; just lay on your back and float."
  • Ralph: One of these days...one of these days...POW, right in the kisser!
  • Ralph: Don't steam me, Alice, don't steam me! 'coz I'm already steamed!
  • Ralph: Hamana-hamana-hamana-hamana.
  • Ed: Sheesh. What a grouch!
  • Ralph: You're a riot, Alice, a regular riot.
  • Ralph: You... are a mental case.
  • Ralph: I wouldn't give you the satisfaction.
  • Ed: A sewer worker is like a brain surgeon—we're both specialists!
  • Ed: The first time I took the test for the sewer, I flunked. I couldn't even float.

See also

I Love Lucy is a television sitcom that aired in the 1950s. ... Mary Kay and Johnny was probably the first situation comedy broadcast on television in the United States. ... Illustrator J.J. Goulds 1930 drawing of Amos and Andy for New Movie Magazine Amos & Andy (also rendered as Amos n Andy) was a situation comedy popular in the United States from the 1920s through the 1950s. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Classic TV Shows - Honeymooners, Jackie Gleason, Audrey Meadows, Art Carney (538 words)
The Honeymooner sketch was immediately popular and Gleason took it on the road i 1952 for live perfromances.
Pert Kelton died in 1968 of a heart attack, and Jackie Gleason in 1987 of colon and liver cancer.
Alice and Trixie belong to the Ladies Auxiliary
Jackie Gleason - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2574 words)
Critics note that the Honeymooners sketches with Kelton were much darker and fiercer than the subsequent softened and more sentimental versions with Audrey Meadows, who is currently the most-remembered Alice due to the saturation telecasting for decades of her version; the Kelton sketches were considered "lost" until the 1980s.
Though well received, there were fans who believed that Sheila McRae as the new Alice Kramden and Jane Kean as the new Trixie Norton, talented as they were, were not the equal of Audrey Meadows and Joyce Randolph.
On June 30, 1988, the Sunset Park Bus Depot in Brooklyn was renamed the Jackie Gleason Bus Depot in honor of the native Brooklynite.
  More results at FactBites »



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