TV: THE HONEYMOONERS

by PETER TATCHELL (reprinted from LAUGH MAGAZINE #8, 1994)

honeymooners

Groucho Marx called it “the only real classic that’s been on television”. From a ten-minute segment on the Jackie Gleason variety show of the early-1950s, The Honeymooners has become a television legend and millions of viewers around the world have eagerly followed the antics of the Kramdens and the Nortons for over fifty years.

For a time, only thirty-nine editions were accessible for screening but such was their popularity they were scheduled on a daily basis year after year until fans could recite the dialogue off by heart. As we enter The Honeymooners’ seventh decade a more generous offering of programs is now available, thanks in the main to Gleason himself, who arranged for recordings to be made of his work in an era when the Networks thernselves saw no need for such preservation.

Before itemising the shows which are part of current syndication package and those released on video and DVD, let’s give a brief history of the program …

In mid-1950 the minor (and now defunct) Dumont Network signed Jackie Gleason to host four editions of their Saturday night Cavalcade Of Stars variety show. A year before, he’d starred in the TV version of The Life Of Riley sitcom (when the original radio lead William Bendix was unavailable) but the series was cancelled after only 26 episodes. Gleason was eager for the Dumont venture to be a success and insisted on taking a certain amount of control of the production during his stay.

His first show, on July 8 1950, was a riot and the network sensed it was on a winner. A little-known actor, Art Carney, joined the cast for Gleason’s second week and by the third program Cavalcade Of Stars featured a sketch about a bickering married couple, Ralph and Alice Kramden (with Pert Kelton as Alice). Response to Gleason’s appearances was so great Dumont signed him as full-time host for Cavalcade and over the next two years he was able to populate the show with a gallery of regular characters . .. Joe The Bartender, The Poor Soul, Reggie Van Gleason the Third and, of course, Ralph Kramden. In addition to the Kramdens, The Honeymooners featured Carney and Joyce Randolph as upstairs neighbours Ed and Trixie Norton (although in her original appearance Trixie had been played by Elaine Stritch).

In mid-1952 (following a successful nationwide personal appearance tour by the Cavalcade troup) Gleason was lured to CBS. Ill health forced Pert Kelton to relinquish her role in the Honeymooners segment at the time of the switch and she was replaced by Audrey Meadows.

Gleason was annoyed to learn Dumont had allowed recordings of his show to be destroyed (and it was only after his death that material from this era finally surfaced). As a result he personally arranged for kinescopes to be made of his new CBS programs (a fact which was also largely unknown until over thirty years later).

The Jackie Gleason Show became a top-rater in the CBS lineup from the start and its most popular feature was undoubtedly The Honeynwoners. Over the next three seasons it progressed from a short seven minute sketch to the dominant ingredient of the program (on occasion taking most of its running time).

In 1955 it was decided to split the hour in two, with a variety show occupying the first half followed by a sitcom-length episode of The Honeymooners (pre-filmed on a system called Electronicam). Thirty-nine editions were produced for the 1955/6 season before Gleason decided they were exhausting acceptable storylines, and production reverted to the original variety format. It is these “Classic 39” programmes that have been repeated over and over in the years since. They were also the only shows from the Honeymooners heyday to he screened in Britain, Australia and the rest of the world.

The Kramdens and Nortons continued to appear as before within the variety hour and in early 1957 took part in a series of musical escapades when Ralph wins a trip for four to Europe.

After five seasons for CBS, Gleason’s Saturday night ratings began to dip and the network cancelled the show. It made an unsuccessful comeback in a half-hour Friday night timeslot in late 1958 without Art Carney (who was pursuing a straight acting career). As a result, The Honeymooners was discontinued (for a time, anyway).

The next few years saw Gleason on Broadway and in the movies and it was not until September 1962 that he was back in his old Saturday night CBS timeslot with a new 60-minute offering “Jackie Gleason And The American Scene Magazine”. And he was back with a winner.

Once again the format included sketches featuring his favourite old-time characters (Joe the Bartender now appeared as straightman to Frank Fontaine’s ‘Crazy Guggenham’) but The Honeymooners enjoyed a brief revival when Art Carney guest-starred on five occasions during the first couple of months. In the absence of Audrey Meadows and Joyce Randolph, the female roles were played by Sue Ane Langdon and Patricia Wilson.

Then, in January 1966, Audrey Meadows agreed to appear as Alice in a remake of a poignant ‘Adoption’ episode of the 1950s (the final time a Honeymooners episode would be produced in black and white).

Later that year the Kramdens and Nortons were back on a semi-regular basis and in colour when Gleason recreated the ‘Trip To Europe’ musical versions of 1957 in his CBS Saturday night show. Audrey Meadows was not willing to relocate to Miami (where the series was made) and her part was taken by Sheila MacRae (along with Jane Kean as Trixie). In all, the Honeymooners were featured on forty-two editions of the Gleason show between 1966 and 1970 (when it was cancelled) in plots recreating storylines of the fifties.

Now out of his long-term contract with CBS, the rival ABC Network scheduled four Honeymooners one hour specials in the mid to late 1970s, all featuring Gleason, Carney, Meadows and Kean. They were destined to be the last time Ralph and co. would be seen in new productions.

As the 1980s arrived, Honeymooners fans bemoaned the fact that apart from the specials, they still had only thirty-nine stories to watch. In 1985 though, Gleason sensed that the time was right to release the treasure trove of 1950s recordings he still had stored in an airconditioned vault in Miami. Amid a wave of publicity it was announced that over seventy-five Honeymooners segments would be released to television and commercial video.

The picture quality of the old kinescopes was more than acceptable for transmission and several specials were compiled to launch the “lost” material to the viewing public. MPI Video began releasing collections of the sketches (in 1-hour packages) and cable network Showtime aired the segments on TV screens across the country.

With Viacom now able to substantially increase its syndication offering with all this “new” material the problem was how to package these additional stories which ranged in length from seven to forty-eight minutes. It was decided to combine two of the shorter segments per 25-minute program, and split the longer ones over two editions (often padded out with a short recap at the beginning of the continuation episode). Unfortunately the segments which ran between 25 and 35 minutes didn’t fit into either category and had to be edited down to the required program length.

Thus, when Jackie Gleason died in 1989, there were 107 half-hours of The Honeymooners airing across America, and 22 volumes of commercially issued videos. Then in 1993, it was decided to release the “classic 39” editions to home video as well (two shows per tape).

And that same year New York’s Museum Of Television And Radio presented a three-month season of even earlier “lost” Honeymooners sketches (from the Dumont days), preservod for over forty years by Gleason scriptwriter Snag Werris. Included in the seven episode package screened was the very first sketch to feature Ralph and Alice Kramden (from July 1950). The clock had come full circle.

Dumont sketches screened at The Museum Of Television And Radio:
* Ralph and Alice argue over who should buy some bread (the first Honeymooners, with Art Carney as a cop)
* Ralph can’t find his razor and remembers his wedding day
* The Kramdens consider buying a television (with Elaine Stritch as Trixie)
* Ralph doesn’t think Alice likes him driving a bus
* Ralph misunderstands Alice’s dealings with a jeweller (Joyce Randolph takes over as Trixie)
* The Kramdens fight over going on a radio quiz programme
* special extended length Christmas segment which also features Gleason’s other characters

The “lost” Honeymooners sketches from CAVALCADE OF STARS (Dumont Network, 1951-1952):

October 5 1951 Bread (6 min)

October 12 1951 Razor Blades (5 min)

October 19 1951 Supermarket Shopping (? min) LOST

November 2 1951 The New Television Set (8 min)

November 16 1951 Ralph Threatens to Leave (6 min)

November 30 1951 Dressed for a Date Last Night (8 min)

December 7 1951 The Ring Salesman (9 min)

December 14 1951 The Quiz Show (12 min)

December 21 1951 Christmas Party (41 min)

January 4 1952 Alice’s Sister Argues with her Husband (? min) LOST

February 1 1952 Alice Finds a Dog (? min) LOST

February 8 1952 Cold (? min) LOST

Spring 1952 The Ring Salesman (8 min)

April 4 1952 The Surprise Party (? min) LOST

April 11 1952 Easter Hats (? min) LOST

May 16 1952 Manager of the Baseball Team (? min) LOST
remade for THE JACKIE GLEASON SHOW

May 30 1952 Vacation at Fred’s Landing (? min) LOST
remade for THE JACKIE GLEASON SHOW

The following sketches are also known to have been performed on CAVALCADE OF STARS:

Bus Drivers’ Frolics (? min) LOST

The Driving Lesson (? min) LOST

The Expectant Father (? min) LOST

The Home Run Ball (? min) LOST

Meat Substitute (? min) LOST

The Mystery Novel (? min) LOST

Spring Cleaning (? min) LOST

 

The “lost” Honeymooners sketches from the CBS years (1952-1957):

Sep 20 1952 The New Bowling Ball (9 min)
Audrey Meadows takes over the role of Alice Kramden

Sep 27 1952 The Turkey (10 min)

Sep 27 1952 The Turkey (10 min)

Oct 4 1952 Sprained Thumb (? min) LOST

Oct 11 1952 The Lost Baby (10 min)

Oct 18 1952 The Quiz Show (11 min)

Oct 25 1952 Halloween Party (9 min)

Nov 1 1952 Cold (8 min)

Nov 8 1952 Pickles (7 min)
Ralph thinksAlice must be pregnant because she’s eating pickles

Nov 22 1952 Jellybeans (8 min)
Ralph wants to win $100 by guess how many jellybeans are in a jar

Dec 6 1952 The Missing Pair of Pants (? min) LOST

Dec 13 1952 Six Months to Live (? min)
expanded to A Matter of Life and Death (October 29 1955)

Dec 20 1952 Christmas Party (42 min)

Jan 3 1953 Glow Worm Cleaning (10 min)
Ralph is jealous becauseAlice has been chosen to be in a magazine advertisement

Jan 17 1953 Alice Plays Cupid (12 min)
Alice tries to matchup one of Ralph’s workmates with a woman from her ladies auxiliary

Jan 24 1953 Suspense (11 min)
Ralph overhearsAlice rehearsing a play and thinks she is going to murder him

Jan 31 1953 Lost Job (9 min)
Ralph thinks he’s been fired when he finds a pink slip of paper in his pay envelope

Feb 21 1953 Anniversary Gift (10 min)
Trixie givesAlice the same anniversary present Ralph has bought her

Mar 7 1953 Income Tax (11 min)
Ralph calculates he owes $15 in Income Tax

Mar 14 1953 Alice’s Aunt Ethel (9 min)
Ralph is forced to sleep in a cot in the kitchen whenAlice’s aunt pays a visit

Mar 21 1953 What’s Her Name (7 min)
Ralph is driving himself crazy tring to remember the name of a movie actress

Mar 28 1953 Lunchbox (9 min)
Ralph complains about whatAlice gave him for his lunch

Apr 4 1953 Easter Hats (? min) LOST

Apr 11 1953 Hot Tips (11 min)
When Ralph agrees to place a lot of racetrack bets for his neighbours, the cops think he’s a bookie

Apr 18 1953 Norton Moves In (12 min)
The Nortons are overnight guests while their apartment is being painted

Apr 25 1953 Ralph’s Diet (12 min)
Ralph is finding it difficult to resist breaking his diet

May 2 1953 Dinner Guest (10 min)
Ralph invites a bus company executive to dinner to angle for a promotion

May 9 1953 Manager OfThe Baseball Team (10 min)
Ralph has been appointed manager . . . but not of the bus company

May 16 1953 Alice’s Birthday (? min) LOST

May 23 1953 The Dorsey Brothers Show (34 min)

Jun 6 1953 The Prowler (11 min)
The Kramdens and Nortons are worried about a prowler in the neighbourhood

Jun 13 1953 Guest Speaker (14 min)
Ralph is having trouble with his Racoon Lodge speech

Jun 20 1953 Vacation At Fred’s Landing (31 min)
Ralph and Ed talk Alice and Trixie into going away on a fishing trip

Sep 26 1953 Lucky Number (17 min)
Ralph plays hookey from work to go to the ballgame arid wins $1000

Oct 10 1953 Hot Dog Stand (35 min)
Ralph and Ed get a bank loan to buy a hot dog stand

Oct 24 1953 Two Tickets To The Fight (11 min)
Ralph wants to go to a fight instead of having dinner withAlice’s uncle George

Oct 31 1953 Halloween Party (9 min)
Ralph thinks the bus company party is a costume affair

Nov 7 1953 Champagne And Caviar (11 min)
Ralph tries to impress the bus company president with an expensive dinner

Nov 14 1953 Letter To The Boss (33 min)
Ralph mistakenly thinks he’s been fired and writes an abusive letter to his employer

Nov 28 1953 Finger Man (12 min)
Ralph helps the police capture a wanted killer on his bus hut he escapes and threatens to settle the score

Dec 12 1953 Santa And The Bookies (34 min)
Thinking Alice is pregnant, Ralph gets a part-time job as a Santa Claus but it turns out to be a front for illegal bookmakers

Dec 19 1953 Christmas Party (37 min)
While Ralph is out getting the potato salad,Alice is visited by a succession of Gleason characters (with guest Frances Langford)

Dec 26 1953 New Year’s Eve Party (37 min)
Alice finds some sheet music lost by the Dorsey brothers who reward her with tickets to their New Year’s Eve party at the Statler Hotel

Jan 16 1954 This Is Your Life (40 min)
Alice is helping the This Is Your Life people surprise Ralph but he thinks she’s seeing another man

Jan 23 1954 Cottage For Sale (39 min)
Ralph and Ed are conned into buying a shonky summer cottage in the country

Mar 27 1954 Lawsuit (15 min)
Ralph breaks his leg in an accident and is talked into suing bus company for $10,000

Apr 3 1954 The Fortune Teller (35 min)

Apr 10 1954 The Next Champ (37 min)
Ralph decides to manage a rookie boxer who turns out to have a glass jaw

Apr 17 1954 Stand In For Murder (41 min)
Ralph looks exactly like a mobster who is about to be bumped off so one of his henchmen arranges for them to swap places

Apr 24 1954 Move Uptown (37 min)
Ralph wants to take the lease on a bigger, plusher apartment but has to sublet his old one first

May 1 1954 The Man In The Blue Suit (33 min)
Alice donates an old suit of Ralph’s to a local charity unaware he has hidden some poker winnings in one of its pockets

May 8 1954 Hair-Raising Tale (37 min)
Ralph is conned into buying some phony hair restorer

May 15 1954 What’s The Name? (8 min)

May 22 1954 Box Top Kid (40 min)
Ralph wins a trip toEurope provided he can lose some weight

May 29 1954 Two Men On A Horse (38 min)
Ralph loses $200 belonging to the Racoon Lodge and he and Norton try to win it back at the racetrack

Jun 5 1954 Good Buy Aunt Ethel (41 min)
Ralph is annoyed thatAlice’s aunt is a house guest and tries marry her off to a local butcher

Jun 19 1954 Vacation At Fred’s Landing (31 min )
The Kramdens and Nortons camp in the woods on a fishing holiday (* remake of the June 20 1953 episode)

Sep 25 1954 Ralph’s Sweet Tooth (36 min)
Ralph has been hired to appear in a candy commercial on but a bad tooth ruins things

Oct 2 1954 Game Called On Account Of Marriage (34 min)
Ralph wants to go to the World Series on the dayAlice’s sister is getting married

Oct 16 1954 Love Letter (39 min)
redone on November 24 1956

Oct 23 1954 The People’s Choice (40 min)
After helping capture a wanted criminal on his bus Ralph asked to run for assemblyman by members of a corrupt political party

Oct 30 1954 Halloween Party (? min) LOST

Nov 13 1954 Battle Of The Sexes (35 min)
When Ralph and Ed adopt a “lord and master” attitude to the wives the girls walk out forcing them to fend for themselves

Nov 20 1954 Teamwork Beat The Clock (32 min)
The Kramdens are in line to win a TV set on Beat The Clock but at the last momentAlice opts out to be with her sister who’s just had twins

Nov 27 1954 Brother-In-Law (35 min)
Alice’s brother wants to borrow money to buy a run down hotel but Ralph decides to steal the idea for himself

Dec 11 1954 Songwriters (36 min)
Ralph writes the lyrics to Ed’s music but a publisher agrees promote it only if they’ll change the words

Dec 18 1954 Santa and the Bookies (31 min)

Jan 15 1955 Kramden Vs Norton (34 min)
When Ed wins a TV set with a lottery ticket Ralph gave him for his birthday, a feud erupts over the ownership

Jan 22 1955 A Promotion (39 min)
Ralph is promoted to assistant cashier but accidentally locks the safe before the money has been put in

Jan 29 1955 The Hypnotist (38 min)
Alice won’t give Ralph money to go to a Racoon convention inChicago so he decides to have her hypnotised to reveal where she has it hidden

Feb 5 1955 Cupid (39 min)
Ralph is trying to arrange a date for an old school friend but neighbourhood gossip causesAlice to think he’s cheating on her

Feb 12 1955 A Little Man Who Wasn’t There (38 min)
A bus company psychiatrist believes Ralph’s rudeness is being caused by aggravation from Norton

Feb 19 1955 Hero (40 min)
Ralph is idolised by a fatherless kid who has just moved into the building and foolishly agrees to take part in a boy scout competition

Feb 26 1955 The Great Jewel Robbery (38 min)
Ralph has collected money from other bus company employees for a wedding present for the boss’s daughter but when the expensive watch is delivered Alice thinks it’s her birthday present

Mar 5 1955 Peacemaker (33 min)
Ralph tries to settle an argument that has erupted between Ed and Trixie

Mar 26 1955 The Adoption (37 min)
The Kramdens decide to adopt a baby but Ralph is adament he wants a boy

Apr 2 1955 Stars Over Flatbush (37 min)
Norton convinces Ralph he should believe in astrology and ask for a raise as the stars suggest

Apr 9 1955 One Big Happy Family (38 min)
The Kramdens and the Nortons decide to save money by sharing an apartment inQueens but if two’s company four’s a crowd

Apr 16 1955 A Weighty Problem (48 min)
Ralph has been told to lose some weight but going on a diet isn’t an easy thing for him or those near him

Apr 23 1955 Boys And Girls Together (37 min)
Alice and Trixie believe their marriages would improve if they spent more time with their husbands

Apr 30 1955 Principle Of The Thing (34 min)
Ralph is sick of conditions in the apartment building and is advised to withold the rent until things are fixed (with guest Jack Benny)

May 14 1955 Songs And Witty Sayings (39 min)
Ralph and Ed are competing against Alice and Trixie in an amateur night contest at the local theatre

May 21 1954 Letter to the Boss (32 min)

Jun 4 1954 Stand In for Murder (42 min)

THE 1955/6 SEASON FEATURED “THE CLASSIC 39” EPISODES ON FILM (see below)

Oct 13 1956 Double Anniversary Party (13 min)
Alice and Ralph have arranged surprise functions for their anniversary

Oct 20 1956 Check Up (10 min)
Ralph tries to fail a company medical because he thinks it’s for an insurance policy he doesn’t want

Oct 27 1956 Forgot To Register (14 min)
Ralph and Alice are on different sides of the political fence during a local election

Nov 3 1956 Expectant Father (16 min)
Ralph and Ed both believe their wives are pregnant

Nov 10 1956 Good Night Sweet Prince (15 min)
Ralph is working the night shift and can’t get any sleep during the day

Nov 17 1956 Two-Family Car (17 min)
Ralph and Ed have half shares in a winning lottery ticket and fight over who should own the car

Nov 24 1956 Love Letter (37 min)
Ralph finds one of Ed’s old love letters to Trixie but believes he’s been writing toAlice

Dec 8 1956 Finders Keepers (37 min)
Ralph and Ed create havoc trying to find $1000 in a radio contest

Dec 15 1956 Catch A Star (39 min)
Ralph has promised to get Jackie Gleason to appear at the Racoon dance

Jan 19 1957 My Fair Landlord (36 min)
Fed up with the apartment Ralph buys an old house inQueens and convinces Ed to sign a 99-year lease as tenant

Feb 2 1957 Away We Go (49 min)
The Kramdens and the Nortons are on board ship en route toEurope

Feb 9 1957 Plastered in Paris (49 min)
The tourists are inParis

Feb 16 1957 Behind the Iron Curtain (48 min)
The group visitsBerlin

Feb 23 1957 When in Rome (48 min)
Ralph thinksAlice has a new Italian boyfriend

Mar 2 1957 Curse of the Kramdens (48 min)
Ralph traces relatives inIreland

Mar 9 1957 Mad Dogs and Englishmen (49 min)
The group visitsLondon

Apr 6 1957 Framed in Spain (52 min)
Alice is jealous

Apr 13 1957 I Remember Mau Au (50 min)
The tourists are on safari inAfrica

May 11 1957 Six Months to Live (? min) LOST
The tourists are on safari in Africa (* remake of the December 13 1952 sketch)

Jun 1 1957 Manager Of The Baseball Team (11 min)
Ralph thinks he’s been made manager of the bus company (* remake of the May 9 1953 sketch)

 

The “Classic 39” Honeymooners episodes

(all run 25 min)

Oct 1 1955 TV Or Not TV
Alice wants a television so Ralph and Ed decide to split the cost but then can’t agree on which programmes to watch

Oct 8 1955 Funny Money
Ralph finds a suitcase full of $50,000 in his bus and after it remains unclaimed he starts spending the money, which turns out to be counterfeit

Oct 15 1955 The Golfer
Ralph professes to be a great golfer to impress a bus company executive into giving him a promotion

Oct 22 1955 A Woman’s Work Is Never Done
Alice is sick of Ralph finding fault with her housework and gets a job to pay for the Kramdens to have a maid

Oct 29 1955 A Matter Of Life And Death
Ralph mistakenly thinks he has only six months to live and sells his tragic story to a magazine so Alice will have some money after he’s gone

Nov 5 1955 The Sleepwalker
Ralph tries everything to cure Norton’s sleepwalking including taking him to a psychiatrist

Nov 12 1955 Better Living Through TV
Ralph and Ed try to sell a batch of kitchen gadgets by appearing in a live commercial on late night television

Nov 19 1955 Pal 0’ Mine
Ed has bought an ring inscribed “to a great pal” for a workmate who has just been promoted but when Ralph finds out it’s not for him blazing row develops

Nov 26 1955 Brother Ralph
When Ralph is laid off work Alice gets a job at an office where she must pretend to be unmarried

Dec 3 1955 Hello, Mom
Ralph argues with Alice over the impending arrival of her mother and the fight spreads to the Norton’s upstairs

Dec 10 1955 The Deciding Vote
Ralph has an argument with Ed over a shonky vacuum cleaner but then needs his vote to be elected the Racoon’s convention manager

Dec 17 1955 Something Fishy
Ralph and Ed conspire to prevent their wives accompanying them on the Racoon’s fishing trip

Dec 24 1955 ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas
When a neighbour gives Alice the same Christmas present Ralph had bought her, he has to pawn his new bowling ball to buy something else

Dec 31 1955 The Man From Space
Ralph and Ed compete for the prize in the Racoon Lodge’s costume party

Jan 7 1956 A Matter Of Record
Alice walks out after an argument between Ralph and her mother so he records an apology on Ed’s disc-maker

Jan 14 1956 Oh My Aching Back
Ralph ignores Alice’s warning and injures his back the night before a company physical

Jan 21 1955 The Babysitter
Alice has had a phone installed to help with her new babysitting job but Ralph thinks she’s having an affair

Jan 28 1955 The $99,000 Answer
Ralph is a contestant on a TV quiz show and has chosen popular songs as his category

Feb 4 1956 Ralph Kramden, Inc
Ralph talks Ed into purchasing 20% of profits from all his future enterprises but then learns he may have inherited a fortune

Feb 11 1956 Young At Heart
The Kramdens and Nortons try to recapture their youth by going roller-skating

Feb 18 1956 A Dog’s Life
Ralph and Ed decide to market some tasty goodies they found in Alice’s icebox little realizing it is dog food

Feb 25 1956 Here Comes The Bride
Ralph’s advice to a workmate who’s about to marry Alice’s sister leads to a marital breakdown soon after the wedding

Mar 3 1956 Mama Loves Mambo
A handsome Latin dancer moves in next door to the Kramdens and starts giving Mambo lessons to all the wives in the apartment block

Mar 10 1956 Please Leave The Premises
Ralph refuses to pay a $5 rent increase and the Kramdens and Nortons barricade themselves in

Mar 17 1956 Pardon My Glove
Alice has to postpone Ralph’s surprise birthday party when she’s been offered the services of an interior designer to redo the apartment

Mar 24 1956 Young Man With A Horn
Ralph realizes his lack of success at playing a cornet reflects his achievements in life and tries to improve himself

Mar 31 1956 Head Of The House
Ralph insists he is the head of his family for a newspaper article and accepts a challenge that he can order Alice to prepare any sort of meal he chooses

Apr 7 1956 The Worry Wart
Ralph worries about an irregularity he’s apparently made on his income tax return

Apr 14 1956 Trapped
Ralph has been witness to a shooting and keeps silent until the criminals take over the apartment

Apr 21 1956 The Loudspeaker
Ralph thinks he is to be made Racoon Of The Year and prepares a speech

Apr 28 1956 On Stage
Ralph and Norton are to star in a stage production put on by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Racoon Lodge

May 5 1956 Opportunity Knocks But
Ralph agrees to teach his boss how to play pool in the hope it will result in a promotion

May 12 1956 Unconventional Behavior
Ralph and Ed find themselves locked in handcuffs en route to a Racoon convention in Minneapolis

May 19 1956 The Safety Award
Ralph is to presented with a safe driving award if only he can make it to the ceremony without having an accident

May 26 1956 Mind Your Own Business
When Ed follows Ralph’s advice and is fired he gets a job selling irons docr-to-door

Jun 2 1956 Alice And The Blonde
Ralph tries to ingratiate himself with the new manager of the bus company and his wife, hut Alice and Trixie aren’t impressed

Sep 8 1956 The Bensonhurst Bomber
An argument at the pool hall leads to Ralph being challenged to a fight

Sep 15 1956 Dial J For Janitor
Sick of complaining about the faults in the apartment building Ralph takes on the job of janitor himself

Sep 22 1956 A Man’s Pride
Ralph tries to impress one of Alice’s old boyfriends by telling him he runs things at the bus company

Honeymooners Specials

The Honeymooners Second Honeymoon (ABC Feb 2 1976) 60 min
It’s Ralph and Alice’s 25th wedding anniversary

The Honeymooners Christmas (ABC Nov 28 1977) 60 min
Ralph is the director of the Racoon Lodge’s production of “A Christmas Carol”

The Honeymooners Valentine Special (ABC Feb 13 1978) 60 min
Alice is being secretive and Ralph thinks she is having an affiuir

The Honeymooners Christmas Special (ABC Dec 10 1978) 60 min
Ralph and Ed invest their life savings in an attempt to win a million dollar lottery

The Honeymooners Reunion (NBC May 13 1985) 60 min
first package of highlights from “lost” Honeymooners segments, introduced by Gleason and Meadows

Seasons Greetings From The Honeymooners (syndicated 1985) 2 hours
lengthy excerpts from three “lost” editions:
Honeymooners Christmas Party
Santa And The Bookies
New Year’s Eve Party

Honeymooners Anniversary Celebration (syndicated 1985) 2 hours
collection of “lost” Honeymooners excerpts including:
Double Anniversary
Manager Of The Baseball Team
Brother-In-Law
Norton Moves In
Glow Worm Cleaning (colorized)
Kramden Vs Norton
The Adoption
Songwriters

The Honeymooners Really Lost Episodes  (1993) 60 min
collection of Dumont sketches, introduced by Paul Reiser

The Honeymooners 50th Anniversary (2001) 60 min

“Lost” Honeymooners episodes in Viacom syndication package:
Guest Speaker + Lost Job
Norton Moves In + Dinner Guest
Good Night Sweet Prince + Jelly Beans
Manager Of The Baseball Team (1953 version) + Income Tax
Forgot To Register + Halloween Party
Ralph’s Diet + Alice Plays Cupid
Lucky Number + Pickles
Anniversary Gift + Finger Man
What’s Her Name + Champagne And Caviar
The Prowler + Glow Worm Cleaning
Hot Tips + Check Up
Double Anniversary Party + Lunchbox
Expectant Father + The Cold
Suspense + Two Tickets To The Fight
Two-Family Car + Alice’s Aunt Ethel
Ralph’s Sweet Tooth (edited)
Game Called On Account Of Marriage (edited)
Battle Of The Sexes (edited)
Teamwork Beat The Clock (edited)
Kramden Vs Norton (edited)
The Great Jewel Robbery (edited)
Stars Over Flatbush (edited)
Principle Of The Thing (edited)
Finders Keepers (edited)
Hot Dog Stand (edited)
Love Letter (edited)
Letter To The Boss (edited)
The Adoption (edited)
One Big Happy Family (edited)
The Man In The Blue Suit (edited)
Vacation/Fred’s Landing (edited)
Boys And Girls Together (edited)
Brother-In-Law (edited)
Catch A Star (edited)
Peacemaker (edited)
My Fair Landlord (edited)
The Next Champ (edited)
hair Raising Tale (edited)
Move Uptown (edited)
Songwriters (edited)
The People’s Choice (2 Parts)
Cupid (2 Parts)
Cottage For Sale (2 Parts)
This Is Your Life (2 Parts)
Box Top Kid (2 Parts)
Stand In For Murder (2 Parts)
Songs And Witty Sayings (2 Parts)
Little Man Who Wasn’t There (2 Parts)
A Weighty Problem (2 Parts)
The Hypnotist (2 Parts)
Good Buy Aunt Ethel (2 Parts)
A Promotion (2 Parts)
Two Men On A Horse (2 Parts)
Hero (2 Parts)
(* the Viacom package also includes the “classic 39” editions)

COMMERCIAL VIDEO RELEASES

“Lost” Honeymoners episodes issued by MPI video:
#1 Letter To The Boss/Suspense/Dinner Guest
#2 Songs And Witty Sayings/Norton Moves In
#3 Christmas Party/Forgot To Register
#4 New Year’s Eve Party/Two-Family Car
#5 Next Champ/Expectant Father
#6 Move Uptown/Lucky Number
#7 Little Man Who Wasn’t There/Goodnight Sweet Prince
#8 My Fair Landlord/Income Tax
#9 Ralph’s Sweet Tooth/Cold/Pickles
#10 Cupid/Manager Of A Baseball Team (1957 version)
#11 Vacation At Fred’s Landing (1954)/Teamwork : Beat The Clock ()
#12 Great Jewel Robbery/Guest Speaker
#13 Love Letter/Champagne And Caviar
#14 Hair Raising Tale/Finger Man
#15 Flot Dog Stand/Alice Plays Cupid
#16 Cottage For Sale/Jelly Beans
#17 Principle Of The Thing/Alice’s Aunt Ethel
#18 The Hypnotist/Glow Worm Cleaning
#19 Two Men And A Horse/The Check Up
#20 A Promotion/Hot Tips
#21 Boys And Girls Together/Anniversary Gift
#22 This Is Your Life/Halloween Party

“Classic 39” Honeymooners episodes issued by CBS video:
#1 TV Or Not TV/Honeymooners highlights
#2 A Dog’s Life/Pardon My Glove
#3 Funny Money/Trapped
#4 The $99,000 Answer/On Stage
#5 The Bensonhurst Bomber/Opportunity Knocks, But
#6 The Man From Space/The Loudspeaker
#7 Better Living Through TV/Mind Your Own Business
#8 Mama Loves Mambo/The Baby-Sitter
#9 Unconventional Behavior/The Deciding Vote
#10 Something Fishy/Oh My Aching Back
#11 The Safety AwardlPlease Leave The Premises
#12 Alice And The BlondefHello Mom
#13 A Man’s Pride/A Matter Of Record
#14 Ralph Kramden, Inc/Young Man With A Horn
#15 Head Of The House/Here Comes The Bride
#16 The Golfer/Brother Ralph
#17 A Matter Of Life And Death/The Worry Wart
#18 The Sleepwalker/Pal O’Mine
#19 A Woman’s Work Is Never Done/Dial J For Janitor
#20 Young At Heart/’Twas The Night Before Christmas

 

COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASES

“Lost” Honeymoners episodes issued by MPI video:
#1 Letter To The Boss + Suspense + Dinner Guest (+ bonus: Ralph Kramden’s Greatest Schemes)
#2 Songs And Witty Sayings + Norton Moves In (+ bonus: Income Tax)
#3 Christmas Party + Forgot To Register + Champagne And Caviar (+ bonus: Finger Man)
#4 New Year’s Eve Party + Two Family Car (+ bonus: My Man Norton)
#5 The Next Champ + Expectant Father (+ bonus: The Honeymooners’ Greatest Battles)
#6 Move Uptown + Lucky Number (+ bonus: The History Of The Lost Episodes – The First Season)
#7 A Little Man Who Wasn’t There + Good Night Sweet Prince + Ralph’s Diet (+ bonus: Gleason’s Honeybloopers)
#8 My Fair Landlord + Ralph’s Sweet Tooth + The Cold + Hallowe’en Party (+ bonus: Lost Job)
#9 Cupid + Vacation At Fred’s Landing (+ bonus: Gleason’s Honeybloopers – volume 2)
#10 Manager Of A Baseball Team + Teamwork Beat The Clock + Quiz Show (+ bonus: Wit & Wisdom Of Ed Norton)
#11 Great Jewel Robbery + Guest Speaker + Lawsuit (+ bonus: Valentine Special)
#12 Hair Raising Tale + What’s Her Name + Double Anniversary Party (+ bonus: Love Letter)
#13 Hot dog stand + Alice Plays Cupid + Jelly Beans  (+ bonus: Cottage For Sale)
#14 Principle Of The Thing + Alice’s Aunt Ethel + Glow Worm Cleaning (+ bonus: The Hypnotist)
#15 Two Men On A Horse + The Check-Up + Hot Tips (+ bonus: A Promotion)
#16 Boys And Girls Together + Anniversary Gift + Pickles (+ bonus: This Is Your Life)
#17 A Weighty Problem + Lunch Box + Lost Baby (+ bonus: The Man In The Blue Suit)
#18 Stand-In For Murder + The Prowler (+ bonus: Box Top Kid)
#19 Hero + Two Tickets To The Fight (+ bonus: People’s Choice)
#20 One Big Happy Family + Finders Keepers (+ bonus: Kramden vs Norton)
#21 Stars Over Flatbush + The Adoption (+ bonus: Game Called On Account Of Marriage)
#22 Catch A Star + The Songwriters (+ bonus: Battle Of The Sexes)
#23 Brother In Law + Santa And The Bookies (+ bonus: The Peacemaker)
#24 Good Buy Aunt Ethel + What’s The Name + Vacation At Fred’s Landing (remake) (+ bonus: The Best Of The Lost Episodes)

“Classic 39” Honeymooners episodes
All 39 episodes have been released in a 5-disc box set by CBS Video

The Color Honeymooners – volume 1
Via Vision 3-DVD set
includes the first nine 1-hour editions from the 1966/7 season

The Color Honeymooners – volume 2
Via Vision 3-DVD set

The Color Honeymooners – volume 3
Via Vision 3-DVD set

The Lost Honeymooners
15-disc box set by MPI Video
includes the 9 surviving sketches from CAVALCADE OF STARS,
78  surviving sketches from THE JACKIE GLEASON SHOW (1952-5),
19 surviving episodes from THE JACKIE GLEASON SHOW (1956-7)


RECORDINGS

And Away We Go!
Capitol 10” LP H 511
features eight Jackie Gleason vocals:
And Away We Go!
The Poor Soul
You’re A Dan-Dan-Dandy
Reggie Van Gleason 111
Hy’a Mister Dennehy
One Of These Days—Pow! *
Here’s Charlie
You’re A Nice Man
(* as Ralph Kramden)

The Jackie Gleason Show
Nostalgia Enterprises LP 006
features the complete soundtrack of the December 20 1952 programme

It’s Honeymooners Time
Murray Hill LP P-18860
reissues of Honeymooners related vocals and instrumentals:
One Of These Days—Pow! (Gleason)
Song Of The Sewer (Carney)
Va Va Voom (Carney)
Sheeesh What A Grouch (Carney)
Dear Ralph (Jane and Audrey Meadows)
The Honey-Earthers (Stan Freberg)
You’re My Greatest Love (Jackie Gleason Orchestra)
Melancholy Serenade (Jackie Gleason Orchestra)
It’s Honeymooner Time (Jesse Goldberg)
I Want A Wife Like Alice Kramden (Jack Simmons and the Kramdenettes)

 


BOOKS

The Honeymooners Companion
by Donna McCrohan (Workman Publishing, 1978)

The Official Honeymooners Treasury
by Peter Crescenti and Bob Columbe (Putnam/Perigee, 1985)

The Honeymooners Lost Episodes
by Donna McCrohan and Peter Crescenti (Workman Publishing, 1986)

Hey There, Ralphie Boy! The Life And Times Of Ralph Kramden
by Peter Crescenti (Rutledge Hill Press, 1992)

Love, Alice – My Life as a a Honeymooner
by Audrey Meadows, with Joe Daley (Crown Publishers, 1994)

and the Gleason biographies …

Jackie Gleason – The Pictorial Story of TV’s Greatest Star
by Paul Denis (Marjean Magazine Corp., 1955)

The Golden Ham
by Jim Bishop (Simon and Schuster, New York. 1956)

How Sweet It Is – The Jackie Gleason Story
by James Bacon (St. Martin’s Press, New York. 1985)

The Life and Legend of Jackie Gleason
by William A. Henry III (Doubleday, 1992)

Advertisements

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: