The Honeymooners

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CBS (ended 1978)

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The Honeymooners
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Show Summary

328 Chauncey Street, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York is where the apartment residences of the Kramdens and the Nortons stand. These four people, fifteen years after the depression are still struggling to make ends meet. Ralph Kramden and Alice Gibson married following his acquiring employment as a bus driver with the Gotham Bus Company. Edward Lillywhite Norton, a sewer worker, and his wife, Thelma 'Trixie', live above the Kramdens. The stories depict the sincere attempts of two men attempting to better their lives, and the ensuing frustrations when their schemes to strike it rich inevitably backfire.

Although "The Honeymooners" is one of the best remembered comedy highlights of TV's golden age, it was seen for most of its history as a segment within other programs.

From 1951-1952, "The Honeymooners" was first seen as a sketch within DuMont's "Cavalcade of Stars", with Pert Kelton originating the role of Alice and with Art Carney's first appearance as a cop. (See season 1). Carney wouldn't appear as Ed Norton until 11/2/1951 along with Elaine Stritch portraying Trixie in her 1 & only appearance. Joyce Randolph would join the cast on 12/7/1951.

On 3/30/1952, with Gleason and company departing to CBS in the fall, Gleason, Kelton, & Carney perform a 10 minute "Honeymooners" sketch on Ed Sullivan's "Toast of the Town" (Season 5, Episode 30) titled "The Ring Salesman". This sketch can be found on the "The Honeymooners Lost Episodes" DVD Box Set."

On 5/4/1952 Gleason, Kelton, & Carney perform a 10 minute "Honeymooners" sketch on "Toast of the Town" (Season 5, Episode 35) titled "Alice And Ralph Get Dressed For A Date Last Night". This sketch can be found on rare "Best of Ed Sullivan" VHS's, it is not on the DVD box set.

In the fall of 1952, Jackie moved his show to CBS and "The Jackie Gleason Show" was born. (See seasons 2, 3, & 4), Audrey Meadows assumes the role of Alice.

In 1955 Gleason wanted a respite from the full-hour live weekly variety show. It was decided to film a full season of half-hour Honeymooners shows. All hail "The Classic 39" (see season 5).

In 1956, after the less-than-anticipated response to the filmed "Honeymooners", Gleason returned to a regular variety format for 1 additional season (see season 6).

In 1957 as part of the final season of "The Jackie Gleason Show", Jackie brought aboard Jerry Bresler & Lyn Duddy to create what is now known as the 1957 - Trip To Europe musical episodes.

In 1960, Jackie Gleason brings back Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton in the "Jackie Gleason Special: The Big Sell." Not available on DVD. The Honeymooners sketch that is performed is a take on the classic 39 "Ralph Kramden, Inc."

In 1962, after a 5 year hiatus from weekly Television, Jackie returned with "Jackie Gleason and His American Scene Magazine" (see season 6). From 1962 to 1964 this show was from New York. Only 2 "Honeymooners" sketches were performed with Sue Ann Langdon taking on the role of Alice and Patricia Wilson as Trixie.

In 1964 Jackie moved his "American Scene Magazine" from NY to Miami, retitled it "The Jackie Gleason Show." To move the entire crew and staff Jackie chartered a train of 14 cars for over 100 passengers and dubbed it "The Great Gleason Express". This would be where the remaining "Honeymooners" would be filmed, though still set in Bensonhurst.

In 1966, Audrey Meadows returned for 1 special episode, "The Adoption", a classic Jerry Bresler & Lyn Duddy musical episode featuring Ralph & Alice's attempt to adopt a baby. This would be the last episode filmed in black & white and is a precursor to what is now known as the "Color Honeymooners" over the next 4 seasons.

From 1966 to 1970, the majority of these episodes were Jerry Bresler & Lyn Duddy mini-musicals, now known as the "Color Honeymooners". Sheila MacRea would portray Alice and Jane Kean as Trixie. These episodes can be seen on the "American Life TV Network" with all 4 seasons on DVD.

On 9/30/1968 Jackie appears uncredited as Ralph Kramden in one of the funniest episodes of "Here's Lucy" titled "Lucy Visits Jack Benny". Jack Benny appears as himself. Tis episode appears on "Here's Lucy" DVD Season 1.

On 10/11/1973, Jackie Gleason brought "The Honeymooners" back in a 1 time special that aired on CBS titled "Women's Lib" (see season 12).

On 5/22/1974, Jackie Gleason and Julie Andrews portray Ralph Kramden & Ed Norton on the special "Julie & Jackie: How Sweet It Is". This would mark the only time Jackie would portray Ralph alongside anyone else portraying Ed Norton. Jackie always said he could never do Ralph without any other guy other than Art Carney.

From 1976 to 1978, the last 4 "Honeymooners" were filmed in Miami and Atlantic City (see season 12). These holiday themed specials that aired on ABC would see the return of Audrey Meadows as Alice and Jane Kean as Trixie.

On February 6, 1985 Jackie Gleason holds a press conference at New York's "21 Club" with Audrey Meadows and Joyce Randolph by his side. It is here that Jackie announces that the "The Honeymooners: The Lost Episodes" will make their television debut on Showtime in September 1985. On May 13, 1985 NBC airs "The Honeymooners Reunion" a new special showing numerous clips and scenes of upcoming "Lost Episodes". From May through August 1985 the "Museum of Broadcasting" presents "Discovery: Lost Episodes" airing 17 "Lost Episodes" ready for public viewing. On September 2, 1985 Showtime airs a 3 & 1/2 hour "Lost Episodes Marathon" airing 8 complete "Lost" classics. In September 1986 the "Lost Episodes" made their non-cable debut bumping the total # of "Honeymooners" episodes in syndication from 39 to 118. Thank you Jackie Gleason!!

NOTE: This episode guide contains all episodes of "The Honeymooners" that were either sketches as seen on "The Jackie Gleason Show" and "American Scene Magazine" as well as the "Classic 39" and TV specials.

All "Honeymooners" specials as well as specials that celebrated Jackie Gleason in which "Honeymooners" clips and sketches aired are in the "Specials" link.

A new website maintained by the Gleason estate is now up & fully running at http://www.jackiegleason.com/

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  • Art Carney

    Art Carney

    Ed Norton

    Audrey Meadows

    Audrey Meadows

    Alice Kramden (1952-1957, 1966, 1976-1978)

    Jackie Gleason

    Jackie Gleason

    Ralph Kramden

    Sue Ane Langdon

    Sue Ane Langdon

    (Alice Kramden (1962))

    Patricia Wilson

    Patricia Wilson

    Trixie Norton (1962)

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    • © 2007 Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)

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    Comedy