A mob boss, who is a dead ringer for Ralph, is holed up in his apartment because a rival gang leader, Barney Hackett, wants to bump him off. Nick, one of his henchmen, takes a ride on Ralph's bus and gets the idea of somehow setting up Ralph to get knocked off in place of his boss. He offers Ralph a "job" as a top executive with an insurance company, as the pretext of getting Ralph to the boss's apartment so he can be set up. When Ralph tells Alice he's been offered a job as boss of the "eastern district" of an insurance company (whose name he doesn't even know), with a salary of six hundred dollars a week, a Park Avenue apartment, and a chauffeured limousine, she is--what else--skeptical. The next day Ralph reports to work on Park Avenue, while the mob boss moves to another hideout. Nick makes a deal with Hackett to bump off Ralph (Hackett, of course, isn't wise to the switch), but the assassination attempt fails, thanks to Norton's interference. Next, Nick sends Ralph to Hackett's headquarters, to "sell him insurance." When Ralph walks in, Hackett thinks it's his archenemy looking for a showdown. Ralph doesn't suspect a thing, and just as he's invited to step into the back room, a cop walks in and insists that Ralph move his car. When Ralph shows up at the apartment again, Nick decides they'll have to bump off Ralph themselves, and then dump his body in front of Hackett's joint. He mistakes his boss for Ralph, knocks him cold, and deposits him in the bedroom. Alice comes by to visit Ralph on his new job, and right behind her is the boss's girlfriend, who thinks Ralph is her boyfriend. As she's cuddling up to Ralph, Alice re-enters the room and sparks fly. Ralph goes into the bedroom and sees the mob boss out cold on the bed. He puts two and two together and realizes what's been going on. Alice calls the cops and Ralph's career as an insurance executive comes to a sudden end.
Running time: 41:58.
NOTE: This is a remake of "Stand In For Murder" (4/17/1954) & was remade as "Two Faces of Ralph Kramden" (11/18/1967).
This was the 1st episode shown at the first Royal Association for the Longevity and Preservation of the Honeymooners (R.A.L.P.H.) convention in 1984. It was this convention that gave Gleason the motivation to release the "Lost Episodes" in 1985.moreless
Ralph comes home in a rage; after driving a bus for the Gotham Bus Company for nine years, he's been told to turn in his uniform. He is incensed, frustrated, and humiliated, and the loss of income has him bordering on panic--he actually suggests to Alice that they move in with her parents until he gets another job. Norton comes down to pick up Ralph to go bowling and, as only he can, he makes Ralph feel worse while trying to cheer him up. Ralph feels cheated and betrayed -- both by life and by J. J. Marshall, president of the bus company--so he decides to write Marshall a letter to tell him how he feels after being fired after nine years of loyal service. Norton writes what Ralph dictates. His opening line: "You dirty bum," delivered with such conviction by Ralph that it sounds as if he invented the insult for the occasion. After calling Marshall a miserable low-life and a few other things, he tells Norton to sign the letter "Respectfully yours, etc., etc." Ralph is too depressed to go bowling so he asks Norton to mail it on his way to the alley. Moments later Ralph finds out he hasn't been fired: he was told to turn in his uniform because he was getting a promotion. Ralph races out of the house to catch Norton before he mails the letter. Norton, meanwhile, asks a custodian at the bowling alley to mail the letter. Ralph arrives at the alley, but by the time he finds out what happened to the letter, it's too late--the custodian's disappeared and presumably dropped the letter in a mailbox outside the alley. Federal offense or not, Ralph is determined to retrieve the letter from the mailbox -- until a postman catches him and Norton trying to turn it over and shake out its contents. Ralph's only chance now is to intercept the letter before Mr. Marshall has a chance to read it. Marshall walks into his office just as Ralph is sorting through the mail and Ralph greets him with a friendly homina-homina. The first letter Marshall opens is Ralph's, and he begins reading it out loud to acquaint Ralph with the crank mail executives occasionally receive. Marshall is getting a kick out of the letter until he gets to the end. He doesn't mind the nasty remarks but he becomes infuriated when he thinks the author didn't have the courage to sign his name. Norton had written down exactly what Ralph said: "Respectfully yours, etc., etc." Ralph is so shocked by the turn of events that he has a spastic fainting attack (it looks like a precursor of break dancing) and collapses on Marshall's floor. Ralph recovers and races home to tell Alice the good news--because of Norton's stupidity he didn't lose his promotion. The Kramdens are preparing to celebrate with a Chinese dinner when Norton comes in with his good news: he went down to the bus company and told Mr. Marshall that Ralph was sorry for calling him a dirty bum. When Ralph hears this he has fainting spell number two, a "cartwheel faint" that plops him squarely on his backside.
Running time: 31:38.
NOTE: This is a remake of "Letter To The Boss" (11/14/1953) and was remade as "To Whom It May Concern"(12/16/1967).moreless
Ralph and Norton have entered the annual amateur night at the Halsey Theater, where the grand prize is two hundred dollars. Their act consists of a mind-reading bit, jokes and a Laurel and Hardy impersonation, and a song-and-dance routine. When Ralph comes home from work, he discovers he and Norton are going to have some stiff competition: Alice and Trixie are doing a hula song and dance. Ralph is against Alice's performing, but Norton is more understanding; Trixie had been in burlesque, he tells Ralph, and has the tradition of the theater to uphold. Alice knows Ralph is afraid she and Trixie may win, and she appeals to his pride. Ralph not only accepts her challenge but bets her ten dollars he and Norton will win and promises to eat her grass skirt if she and Trixie win. Ralph and Norton are up past midnight rehearsing, and Alice and Garrity, are anything but a captive audience. The "restaurant sketch" they rehearse, in which Norton does a Stan Laurel impersonation as a customer who wants a piece of custard pie, and Ralph plays the waiter a la Oliver Hardy, is a priceless tribute by Carney and Gleason to the two great funny men. At the Halsey, the first contestant is Freitag Delicatessen's delivery boy, who plays a bicycle pump. Alice and Trixie wow 'em. Norton can't even guess the first object in the mind-reading routine, Ralph bombs as a standup comic, and the song and dance is a dismal flop. Final score: Alice and Trixie, $210; Ralph, a grass skirt for dinner.
Running time: 39:42
NOTE: This was remade as "Life Upon the Wicked Stage" (2/11/1967).moreless
The Kramdens' apartment is going to pot--the pipes leak, the walls are cracking, the sink won't work, doorknobs are falling off. Ralph is fed up, so he seeks out Shaughnessy, the neighborhood lawyer, who advises him to withhold his rent until the landlord makes repairs. Ralph decides to take the rent money and repair and redecorate the apartment himself. He buys a new bathtub, and wallpaper that is too gaudy even for Norton (Alice describes it as "early Halloween"). Ralph papers the apartment, but soon thereafter a painter comes in and undoes the damage. Finally comes the confrontation with the landlord. Ralph rails at him for being a cheapskate and a tightwad, and tells him that a clause in his lease allows him to withhold rent money and use it for repairs. The landlord tells Ralph that another clause in the lease allows the landlord to cancel the lease entirely, and that Ralph is now an ex-tenant. The landlord says he'll renew the lease if Ralph agrees to pay an additional fifteen dollars per month--a figure that reflects the increased value of the apartment now that Ralph has fixed it up.
Running time: 34:28.moreless
The Kramdens have new neighbor and Ralph welcomes him by inviting him to join Norton and himself out for pool, bowling and lodge meetings. After a while the girls realize that the they aren't sexy enough and vow to change to attract their husbands. Before long they are all spending time together - just a bit too much time.
Running time: 36.49
NOTE: Thiswas remade as "Follow the Boys" (10/26/1968).moreless
A bus-company inspector gets on Ralph's bus and tells him he's getting too fat to drive a bus. Ralph goes home and checks a bus company height and weight chart, and discovers that for his height--six feet tall--he's four pounds under the maximum weight for a man his height. Later that night, with a clear mind, he goes to the monthly Raccoon Lodge banquet and eats up a storm. After the feast, one of the Raccoons bets Ralph that he's not six feet tall, and it turns out he's right--Ralph's only 5 feet 11 inches! A five-foot-eleven bus driver is supposed to weight 238 pounds, and Ralph weighed 246--before the banquet. Ralph immediately goes on a diet, and being deprived of food turns him into a monster. Two days before his bus-company physical he's about to go over the edge: even a crossword puzzle in which one of the answers is Supreme Court Justice Frankfurter drives him nuts. The next day, Mrs. Manicotti is having a surprise party for her husband, and she wants to hide the food for the party--a ham, a turkey, and the birthday cake--in the Kramdens' apartment. Alice thinks Ralph is going to spend the night working out at the gym, so she takes the food. Ralph comes home instead, and when he sees the food he thinks he's hallucinating. When he realizes it's real, a battle begins between his willpower and his appetite. Ralph wages a good fight, until he sees the cake. He snaps, and grabs a hunk of cake with his hand. Alice returns, and prevents Ralph from eating himself out of a job.
Running time: 37:56.
NOTE: This is an extended remake of "Ralph's Diet" (4/28/1953).moreless
Ralph and Norton are going nuts trying to do their taxes. They compare income and expenses, and when Ralph realizes that he and Norton between them are paying $90 a month in rent, he proposes that they pool their money and share an apartment. The Kramdens and the Nortons move to 23 Mockingbird Lane in Flushing, Queens, and the benefits of the move are immediately obvious: at Chauncey Street the view from Ralph's window was the back of a Chinese restaurant; from the new apartment he can see the front of a Chinese restaurant. The euphoria of new surroundings wears off quickly though, when Norton spends all morning in the bathtub while Ralph's waiting to bathe before going to work. When Ralph finally gets into the bathroom he takes a tumble on the soap Norton dropped on the floor and then can't get any hot water. Ralph tries to salvage his morning with a few waffles but Norton gets to them first, causing more friction. Things are no better that night; everything Norton does--eating, tapping on the table, cleaning his eyeglasses--drives Ralph crazy. Ralph tries to relax by reading the paper and listening to the radio, but Norton sends him into a frenzy by blasting the television. Soon Ralph and Norton, Trixie and Ralph, and Alice and Trixie are squabbling. The superintendent of the building comes down and kicks the blabbermouths from Bensonhurst out of the apartment house. Alice scolds Ralph for ruining the one good idea he ever had, and the episode ends with Ralph and Norton quarreling over who was to blame for the whole mess.
Running time: 37:53.
NOTE: This was remade as "Flushing Ho" (4/15/1967).moreless
Norton has discovered astrology, and Ralph thinks he's nuts, especially when Norton tells him the stars say he shouldn't ask his boss, Mr. Malone, for the raise he planned to request that day. Norton also sees in the stars that Ralph will have an accident that day and will be rendered speechless. When a window falls on Ralph's hand and the pain is so great that he can't utter a sound, Ralph becomes hooked on the stars too. He doesn't ask for the raise, and Alice is furious when she learns the reason why. Ralph tells her the stars say he should ask for the raise Friday night at 11:30 P.M. Alice tries to explain to Ralph that he can't possibly be anywhere near his boss Friday night at that hour. As if appointed by destiny, in walks Freddie Muller with an invitation for the Kramdens to an engagement party he's giving for Mr. Malone, Friday night--from 9 P.M. to midnight. Next, Norton sees in Ralph's horoscope that he's going to have an encounter with a glamorous Aquarius. They figure that the party is the only place Ralph is likely to meet such a woman, so they decide to show up at Freddie's just before 11:30. At the party Ralph is edgy, and he nearly faints when an attractive blonde asks him for a match. He nearly has a heart attack a few minutes later when Mr. Malone's fiance, a cute blonde Aquarius, asks him to dance with her. At exactly 11:30 Ralph asks Mr. Malone for the raise. Malone turns him down, and then dresses him down for trying to take advantage of a social situation. The next day Ralph installs extra locks on the apartment door--to keep Norton out. Up pops Mr. Malone, to apologize to Ralph for yelling at him, and to give him the raise. It seems that the stars were right after all--until Norton comes down with the news that he's been reading last year's book.
Running time: 37:15moreless
The Kramdens want to adopt a baby. "We wanted this more than anything in the world," says Ralph. The adoption agency tells Alice her application is being considered, but that a staff worker must come to the apartment to look it over before final approval is granted. A pall falls over the Kramdens because they think once the worker sees their crummy apartment they'll be denied a child. They borrow furniture--a TV set, drapes, refrigerator, stove, new table and chairs, couch, etc.--to make the apartment look presentable. Ralph and Alice are as nervous as two kids on their first date as they wait for Miss Lawrence from the agency to arrive. As she is interviewing the Kramdens, Ralph almost blows everything when he notes with amazement that a light goes on in the refrigerator when the door is opened. But no amount of homina-hominas can keep the charade going when Frank, the iceman, comes in with the Kramdens' daily delivery for the icebox. Ralph and Alice finally admit they redecorated the apartment with borrowed goods to make an impression. We're not cheating to get a child, Ralph says desperately, we're fighting to get one. Miss Lawrence says the agency is not as concerned with furnishings as it is with finding couples who really want children, and that she's never met a couple who want a child more than the Kramdens. Approved! The Nortons accompany the Kramdens to the hospital to pick up the baby. When the child is wheeled out Ralph's joy turns to anger when the doctor says the baby is a girl. Ralph insists that he get a boy, and the doctor goes off to try to arrange it. Alice, near tears, leaves the room, leaving Ralph alone with the baby. In a scene he would play again--with a puppy--in the Classic Thirty-nine episode "A Dog's Life," Ralph apologizes to the baby for not wanting to bring her home. As the infant weaves her magic on Ralph, his arguments for not wanting a girl become less convincing. By the time the doctor returns with the news that the Kramdens can get a boy, Ralph turns on him like a lion defending his cub--Ralph wants the girl. "Ralphina" is a Kramden. A week later, the doctor visits with somber news: the child's natural mother wants the baby back. Ralph, enraged at the doctor for bringing the news and at the mother for trying to reclaim the child, pounces on the doctor and manhandles him. The doctor hastily explains that the Kramdens are Ralphina's legal parents now and that he and the adoption agency will support them in a custody fight; he came only because the mother was so insistent. He leaves, and Ralph, emotionally unprepared for this turn of events, reacts the only way he knows how: he hollers, in pain. Alice, as bad as she feels, empathizes with the mother. Ralph tries to suppress similar feelings, but eventually his conscience overrules his heart: they must give up the child. He goes upstairs to the Nortons' to call the doctor, leaving Alice alone, sobbing.
Running time: 37:20.
NOTE: This was remade as "The Adoption" (1/8/1966).moreless
Ralph is trying to sleep because he has to get up early for work. Norton, trying to do a good deed, accidentally sets off Ralph's alarm clock. Ralph stumbles out of the bedroom half dressed and half asleep and heads out the door for work--six hours early. When he gets out to the street he realizes what has happened, and Norton becomes persona non grata in the Kramden household. Ralph gets back to sleep and Norton goes home--only to get into a no-holds-barred brawl with Trixie. Ralph wakes up again, and no sooner does Alice get him back in bed when in walks Trixie, sobbing because Norton has packed his things and left her. Ralph gets up again and goes out to find Norton. He catches up with him at the ice- cream parlor, where Norton is drowning his sorrows in malteds. Ralph pleads with Norton to go home, but Norton refuses. He claims he doesn't love Trixie any more--until Ralph reminds him about some of the ''gourmet'' meals Trixie cooks for him. Norton goes home, and Round Two begins. Norton winds up on a cot in the Kramdens' apartment, but Ralph still can't get to sleep. He drags Norton upstairs to apologize, but Trixie won't accept the apology. Round Three. Ralph sends Norton out of the apartment so he can give Trixie a speech about how much Norton really loves her. Then it comes out that Norton and Trixie were fighting over Ralph--Norton was criticizing him and Trixie was defending him. Ralph wants to kill Norton, but he's too tired. Just as he's getting ready to go to bed again--the alarm clock goes off. It's 5 A.M.--time to go to work.
Running time: 37:19.moreless
Ralph is collecting money from all the bus drivers for a wedding present for the boss's daughter. He hopes the gift will mean a raise for the drivers--and maybe a promotion for himself. It's Alice's birthday, and her mother pays a visit. As soon as Ralph comes home, a battle royal between him and Mrs. Gibson begins. A delivery boy from Steinhardt's jewelry store arrives with a package that contains a watch Ralph bought for the boss's daughter. Alice thinks it's her birthday gift and is ecstatic. She praises Ralph up and down to her mother, and Ralph, who forgot it was Alice's birthday, is too ashamed to tell the truth. Now Ralph has to figure out how to get the watch back without letting Alice know it isn't hers. He and Norton come up with a scheme: Norton will get one of his pals to pose as a burglar, hold up the Kramdens, and take the watch. While Ralph and Norton are devising their plan, a real crook overhears them and decides to show up at the Kramdens' before Norton's friend gets there. When he shows up, Ralph thinks he's Norton's friend and practically hands him the watch. While the crook's examining the goods, Alice plunks him with a frying pan and knocks him cold. She rushes out to call the cops, but Ralph revives him and sends him on his way, with some extra loot to boot. A moment later Norton's buddy arrives and Ralph realizes what he's done. The cops catch the crook and recover the watch, forcing Ralph to tell Alice that the watch isn't hers. Alice is heartbroken, but she returns the watch. Now Ralph must decide between giving the watch to the boss's daughter as planned, or giving the watch back to Alice and being in debt to the guys at the depot. It's no contest--Alice gets the watch.
Running time: 37:50.
This was remade as "Rififi, Brooklyn Style" (3/4/1967).moreless
Tommy, a new kid in the building, idolizes Ralph. Ralph thinks he's a pest--until Tommy tells him he saw him playing stickball, and that he wants to grow up to be a great athlete like Ralph is. The way to Ralph's heart is not only through his stomach but through his ego, and Ralph warms up to the kid in a flash. Soon Ralph is telling Tommy he fought for the Golden Cloves championship (The Wild Bull of Bensonhurst, they called him), that he almost pitched for the Brooklyn Dodgers, that he could lift four hundred pounds when he was seventeen, that he had a glorious football career (Snakehips Kramden was his name), and that he was an Eagle Scout. Tommy writes a school composition about Ralph, and Tommy's teacher asks Ralph to come to school to talk about it. She reads the composition to Ralph and asks him to tell Tommy to stop inventing such wild stories. In the composition Tommy says he's going to invite Ralph to a father-and-son Boy Scout competition, so Ralph rushes home to learn some of the events -- tying knots, blowing a bugle, leaf identification, and tracking and stalking. Ralph fails dismally at each thing he tries, so the next night he fakes having a sprained arm so he won't have to compete and be embarrassed. Tommy arrives in his Boy Scout uniform, and Ralph tells him he can't participate because of his arm. Then Ralph's conscience takes over and he confesses that he's a fake. Tommy says he doesn't care, because they're pals and because Ralph was going to the Scout meeting because he wanted to, and not out of obligation like many of the boys' fathers were. By telling the truth, Ralph's an even bigger man in the end.
Running time: 40:02.moreless
Some passengers on Ralph's bus who have been offended by him have complained to the bus company, so Ralph's boss orders him to see the company psychiatrist. Ralph thinks that the boss thinks he's crazy, and that this is the end of his career as a bus driver. Ralph takes Norton with him to the psychiatrist's office and within minutes they're fighting. The doctor enters the room and finds Norton standing on a desk and Ralph threatening to beat him up. The doctor sends Norton out of the room and gives Ralph his diagnosis: Norton aggravates him, so he should avoid seeing him or risk a nervous breakdown. Ralph can't tell Norton face to face that their friendship's over, so he writes him a letter. Norton accidentally sees the letter and thinks it's a suicide note. He decides to stick to Ralph like glue, to prevent him from killing himself. After two days of Norton's tailing him, Ralph thinks he's going nuts. One second he looks, and Norton's there; a second later he's gone. Ralph thinks he's imagining seeing Norton, so Alice sends for the doctor. As the doctor is prescribing a strong nerve tonic for Ralph, Norton enters and explains that he's been following Ralph to make sure he won' t kill himself. The doctor reverses himself and tells Ralph it's okay to see Norton again.
Running time: 39:25.
This was remade as "Out of Sight, Out of Mind"(11/4/1967).moreless
Ralph and Norton run into Herman Gruber, a boyhood friend of Ralph's from P.S. 73. Herman isn't married yet, so Ralph decides to find him a girl. He calls Evelyn Fensterblau and asks her what she's doing the following night, and she hangs up on him. He has better luck with Charlotte Stadtelman from the bus company, who agrees to date Herman. The next day at the beauty parlor Trixie hears the latest gossip -- Ralph called Evelyn and asked her for a date! Trixie tells Alice, and when Alice confronts Ralph with the story he explains to Alice that he was calling Evelyn for Herman Gruber. Alice doesn't believe him, so Ralph decides to go to Charlotte's apartment to bring her and Herman home with him to explain things to Alice. While Ralph is there, Charlotte's jealous ex-boyfriend shows up and Ralph has to bluff his way out of a broken head. Back at Chauncey Street, Alice is donating some clothes to charity and transporting them in a suitcase. When Norton sees her carrying the suitcase he thinks she's walking out on Ralph. When Ralph returns from Charlotte's, Norton tells him Alice has left. Charlotte shows up to explain everything to Alice, whom Norton spots coming up the block. Ralph and Norton think Alice will never understand Charlotte's being in the apartment, so they try to sneak her onto the fire escape. Alice catches them and thinks it's proof that Ralph is seeing another woman. But in walks Gruber to confirm Ralph's story and save the Kramdens' marriage.
Running time: 39:37.moreless
The International Order of Loyal Raccoons are planning a trip to Chicago for their annual convention, and to help get themselves in the mood for the festive occasion they've invited the Great Fatchamara -- "the world's greatest hypnotist," and a Raccoon from Bayonne to the lodge to entertain them. He hypnotizes Ralph and Norton and tells Ralph he is Norton, and Norton, Ralph. He tells them they're at a bowling alley, and each acts as if he's the other: "Ralph" is angry because "Norton" wants to bowl first; "Norton" rolls a strike and finishes off his turn with a Nortonesque flourish of the arms. Before Fatchamara brings them out of their trances, he gives them a posthypnotic suggestion: whenever they're seated and hear the name Chicago, they'll think they're sitting on a bed of red-hot coals. The convention ought to be a riot -- Ralph's bringing a toy gun, a trick glass, chattering teeth, an electric prod, and paper bags to drop out the hotel window--but he may not get there because he hasn't saved any money. He tries the flattery routine to coax some money out of Alice, but she's having none of it--she's saving the money for furniture. Then Ralph has one of his all-time-great brainstorms: we'll get the Great Fatchamara to hypnotize Alice so she'll tell Ralph where she's hidden the money. The next day Alice is in the candy store, making a telephone call, and in walk Ralph and Norton to call Fatchamara. They don't know it's Alice in the telephone booth, and while they're waiting for her to hang up they discuss Ralph's scheme. Alice overhears the whole thing. When Fatchamara shows up at the Kramdens, Alice is ready for him and fakes being hypnotized. She shows Ralph where she's hidden the money, but he decides to play it smart and take it just before he's ready to leave for Chicago so Alice won't know it's missing until too late. On the train to the convention, the Raccoons are filling the car with belly laughs as Ralph relates the whole story. When the waiter brings the check for the Raccoons' drinks, big-shot Ralph offers to pay. He opens the money box, but instead of finding the cash he finds a note -- from Alice. Then, to add insult to injury, when the waiter tells Ralph he must pay up before the train reaches "Chicago," Ralph gets "burned" again.
Running time: 38:43.
This was remade as "Sleepy Time Girl" (9/28/1968).moreless
The heat's off at Chauncey Street and the apartment's an icebox, but Ralph doesn't even notice -- he's just been promoted to first assistant cashier to the assistant cashier. What a life, he muses -- he can dress up every day like it's Sunday, and take his lunch to work in a briefcase. Day one on the new job Ralph is working late trying to find a three-dollar discrepancy in the day's accounting. Norton comes to visit and Ralph accidentally closes and locks the safe before he puts away the day's receipts. He takes the money home in a paper bag, with the intention of returning it to the safe early the next morning when the safe's time lock shuts off. At home, with Norton's help, the bag gets mixed up with some grocery bags and Alice discovers the money. Instead of thinking Ralph's a dope, as he thought she would, she is sympathetic. That night, at the bus company, the safe is blown open by crooks. The next morning, when Ralph arrives at work with the money, he finds a room full of bus-company executives and cops, who are convinced Ralph's the thief. As Ralph and his "accomplice," Norton, are being taken to jail, a call comes in -- the real crooks have been apprehended. Ralph's relieved, but Norton's upset at Mr. Marshall for thinking Ralph would rob the company. He tells Marshall how dedicated Ralph is and enumerates Ralph's ideas for saving the company money. Marshall decides Ralph's too valuable to the company to be sitting at a desk, so he tells Ralph he's going back to driving a bus -- and into training as assistant bus dispatcher.
Running time: 39:10.moreless
It's Norton's birthday, the Kramdens are treating for a night out, and Ralph's looking to get off cheaply. He doesn't want the Nortons to think he's cheap, though, so he tells Alice to suggest that they go to the movies (instead of to the Kit Kat Club, where Norton took Ralph on his birthday). It's been a banner day for Norton, he's gotten a new vest from Trixie, a hand-carved mahogany surf board from the boys in the sewer, and a monogrammed scarf from the Kramdens, and going to the movies is the icing on Norton's cake when he has the winning ticket in a drawing for a television set. Ralph claims the set is his because he paid for the tickets, and a feud erupts. Ralph dismantles the set so no one can watch it, and he and Norton stop speaking to each other; they write notes instead. Things get so bad that the boys are reduced to playing pool with their wives. A bitter confrontation at the pool hall spills over into night court, where during Trixie and Alice's testimony, we learn that Trixie's real name is Thelma and that the Kramdens and the Nortons met when Ed invited the Kramdens out to dinner the day they moved in at 328 Chauncey Street. As Alice relates to the judge the history of Ralph and Norton's friendship, the boys break down in tears and each forsakes his claim to the TV in exchange for the other's friendship.
Running time: 34:46.
This was remade as "Movies Are Better Than Ever" (1/14/67).moreless
Alice is knitting baby clothes to make some extra money for Christmas. When Norton comes down and asks Ralph if he can hide Trixie's Christmas present in the Kramdens' apartment, Ralph says yes and sticks the present in the bureau drawer -- where Alice has hidden the baby clothes. A moment later, when Norton tells Ralph that Trixie has made a doctor's appointment for Alice, Ralph is sure that Alice is pregnant. He decides he has to make some more money in a hurry so that his future son can go to college, so he answers a newspaper ad for a Santa Claus job. What Ralph doesn't know is that the guys who placed the ad are bookmakers and that they plan to use the Santa to collect bets. Ralph is hired and so is Norton -- as an elf. Ralph and Norton set up shop on the sidewalk, and bettors walk by and drop in their money and slips of paper with the names of the horses they want to bet. When a cop drops some money into the pot and Norton asks him where his slip is, Santa and his helper wind up in the slammer. Ralph is frantic. He explains to the cops that he was playing Santa Claus because he wanted to earn some extra money because his wife is pregnant, and that he thought he was collecting money for charity. Alice shows up at the jail, and when Ralph asks her to corroborate his story, he finds out he's not going to be a father after all. The cops think Ralph's a liar and want to throw the book at him. The boys finally convince the cops to bring them back to where they were collecting the money, and to set up a stakeout to catch the real bookies when they show up to pick up the loot and betting slips from Ralph. The cops nab the real bad guys and for a few seconds it looks as if Ralph may have a Merry Christmas after all. But only for a few seconds. While Alice, Norton, and Ralph--still dressed in his Santa costume--are waiting for a bus to take them home, a woman hands Ralph some change and another cop pinches him for soliciting money without a license.
Running time: 31:08.
NOTE: This is a remake of "Santa And The Bookies" (12/12/1953) & was remade as "Run, Santa, Run" (12/17/1966).moreless
Ralph's gonna get rich by writing hit songs. He gets the idea when he learns that the Raccoon Lodge has contracted to pay a professional songwriter one hundred dollars to write a lodge theme song -- and that the hundred dollars is peanuts compared with what the songwriter makes writing pop songs. Ralph's first step to stardom is to recruit Norton to play the piano and write the music to Ralph's lyrics. Ralph keeps Norton up all night trying to write songs, while waging running battles with Alice and McGarrity (a.k.a. Garrity). After failing at writing love songs, lullabies, and holiday songs, they hit on a novelty song and take it to a publisher. Ralph is crushed when the publisher says he loves the melody but hates the words, and that he wants to bring in a professional songwriter to write lyrics to Norton's music. In a rare gesture of unselfishness Ralph steps aside for Norton's sake. But Norton values his friendship with Ralph more than a musical career, and unbeknownst to Ralph, takes their song to another publisher, who loves it so much he has it recorded . Ralph has the thrill of a lifetime when he hears his and Norton's song on the radio.
Running time: 36:48.moreless
Alice's brother Frank is coming for dinner. Ralph has hated Frank ever since he cheated him out of a promotion when they both worked for the WPA. According to Ralph, Frank's "a moocher, a swindler, and a bum!" Frank antagonizes Ralph during dinner, and then tries to put the finger on him and Alice for five hundred dollars to buy a hotel in New Jersey that's located right where a new highway is supposed to be built. The Kramdens don't give him the money, Alice agrees with Ralph this time, but Ralph decides to steal Frank's idea and buy the hotel with the Nortons. Ralph becomes manager by winning a coin toss. Norton is the bellhop, Alice the cook, and Trixie the chambermaid. Norton says the hotel looks like "the set for a Bela Lugosi picture," but miraculously they get it cleaned up. Their first guest is a surveyor with the highway-construction crew -- who tells Ralph and Norton that the highway isn't going to pass right in front of the hotel as they thought, but over it. It's an elevated highway.
Running time: 34:58.
This was remade as "Without Reservations" (2/4/1967).moreless
Ralph and Alice are contestants on Beat the Clock. They succeed on their first stunt, where Alice has to propel a cup with a can of whipped cream into a net Ralph is holding in his teeth, and are in the middle of their second, where they have to catch lemons in a cup and stack the cups while keeping a balloon from hitting the ground, when time runs out and they're asked to return the next week. Of course they will -- a 21-inch color TV is at stake. Ralph and Alice practice their stunt at home, with Norton's help. Jerry, Alice's brother-in-law, arrives with the news that Alice's sister Helen is expecting their child any day. He has to leave town on business and he wants to know if the Kramdens will look after Helen while he's gone. As the Fickle Finger of Fate would have it, Helen goes into labor Saturday night, just before the Kramdens are supposed to be at the TV studio. Helen has twins, and Alice decides to stay with her. Norton accompanies Ralph to the studio, and the show's host, Bud Collyer, invites him to take Alice's place in the stunt when Ralph explains why Alice isn't there. They win the TV set, and a bonus -- a pair of baby carriages.
Running time: 32:27.moreless
Ralph and Ed are at the pool hall, in a scene that was later adapted for "The Bensonhurst Bomber". Trixie phones Norton and tells him to get home, her mother has come for a visit. This is Ralph's cue to give Norton a "King of the Castle" speech, and to tutor him on what to tell Trixie when he returns home, after he and Ralph have finished playing pool. Norton is so inspired that he says Ralph's words should be recorded and played at every wedding instead of "Here Comes the Bride." Later, Trixie comes down to the Kramdens' apartment in tears, Norton's been playing king and she doesn't want to spend the night with him. Alice wakes up Ralph, and when he gives her his "king" speech, she gets suspicious. When Norton comes down and begins bullying Trixie again, it confirms to Alice that Norton has become Ralph's understudy. Alice and Trixie walk out together, leaving Ralph and Norton as roommates in the Kramdens' apartment . A week later the apartment looks like Yucca Flats after the blast and Norton is complaining about Ralph's cooking. (He tells Ralph that he's become so weak from the bad food that he had to wear an inner tube in the sewer to keep from drowning.) Ralph's too proud to apologize to Alice, so he and Norton scheme to get the wives to make the first move. They fake having a party in the apartment, but while Ralph is yelling jovial remarks out the window so Alice and Trixie can hear him upstairs, Alice walks in and the party crash-lands. After three more schemes fail, the sympathy routine, the threat to cut off Alice's household money, and the "I'm leaving forever" warning -- the boys break down and apologize. The girls open their arms to welcome them back but Ralph and Norton sweep right past them and dive at the table full of food Trixie has prepared for her own and Alice's dinner.
Running time: 35:45.
NOTE: This was remade as "King of the Castle" (1/7/1967).moreless
It's Halloween and the Kramdens and Nortons are going to a bus-company party. They're all in costume: Trixie's a sailor, Alice is an angel, Norton's dressed as Clara Bow, and Ralph's outfitted as a Zulu chief, a creation of Alice's. Ralph hates his costume, (a top hat, a sweat shirt, and a grass skirt pulled up to his chest), so he decides to rip up his tuxedo and go as an "elegant bum." Freddie Muller and his wife come to pick up the Nortons and the Kramdens and they're dressed to the nines. Freddie explains that though the party's on Halloween, it's not a costume party--it's a formal dinner-dance to celebrate the boss's birthday. Since Ralph's tux is now in rags, he misses a chance to hobnob with the big shots, but Norton doesn't consider the evening a total loss: he figures since everyone's in costume, they might as well go out trick-or-treating.
Running time: 10:00 (Approx).
NOTES: This episode is still lost.
This episode is also known as "Masquerade" and "Halloween Party For The Boss".
This is a remake of "Halloween Party" (10/25/1952 & 10/31/1953).moreless
Morgan and Weaver, from a corrupt local political party, visit Ralph and ask him to run for assemblyman on their ticket. Ralph is so impressed with himself that the pair has him believe that he can be President some day. Alice suspects that the two men want Ralph to be their stooge, but Ralph interprets her skepticism as a lack of faith in him. The Kramdens and Nortons take to the streets to campaign. Morgan and Weaver see this and call Ralph an idiot for exposing himself to the public, and it begins to dawn on Ralph that maybe Alice is right. At a rally the next night, instead of giving the speech Morgan and Weaver prepared for him, Ralph tells his supporters that he is not qualified to run for office and that they should vote for his opponent.
Running time: 40:43.
NOTE:This episode is also known as "Finger Man".
This is an extended remake of "Finger Man" (11/28/1953) & was remade as "The People's Choice" (9/23/1967).moreless
Alice borrows a cookbook from Trixie and in it finds a love letter that Ed once wrote to Trixie. Alice leaves it on the icebox and Ralph later finds it. Ralph thinks that Alice is seeing another man. He and Norton try to figure out who wrote it. Norton thinks the handwriting looks familiar but can't figure out who wrote it. The boys take the letter to an analyst and she tells them that the man who wrote it is the romantic type but that he is also not too bright, rude and disorderly. She asks them to leave the letter with her and that she is going to analyze it further and mail Ralph the results. Ralph doesn't want Alice to know so Norton offers to have it sent to his house and writes down the address. The analyst notices that the handwriting is the same and calls in Ralph in private to tell him that Norton wrote the letter. Ralph doesn't let on to Norton. Alice asks Norton to go with her to pick out a bowling ball as a present to Ralph. Ralph sees them leave together and now has more evidence. Ralph goes upstairs and tells Trixie. As he's reading the letter to her, Norton walks in and hears Ralph saying "I love you, I love you, I love you." Norton challenges Ralph to a fight and Ralph socks him one in the gut. Alice gives the bowling ball to Ralph and explains the whole thing.
Running time: 38:50.
NOTES: On September 23, 2004, news broke that this newly discovered Honeymooners Lost Episode was unearthed in the vaults at the University of Georgia's Peabody Awards Archive. Archivist Margaret Compton discovered "Love Letter" during a preservation review of the archives kinescopes and video tapes. This episode was submitted for Jackie Gleason, who did win the Peabody Award in 1955. When the University contacted Gleason Enterprises they were very excited to see that this kinescope existed and in such excellent condition. CBS, Gleason Enterprises or The Paley Center didn't own this copy & never even knew this episode was performed that week. TV Land aired this "Jackie Gleason Show" in it's entirety for the first time since it's original broadcast on it's 50th anniversary, October 16, 2004.
This was remade as "Love Letter" (11/24/1956) & as "The Boy Next Door" (10/12/1968) and was recorded as "Love Letter" (12/8/1954) as a radio program that never aired.moreless
Ralph doesn't want to go to Alice's sister Sally's wedding because he has tickets to the World Series. He and Alice battle it out with no resolution. Ralph meets Norton for lunch and they come up with a surefire scheme. They're going to trick Stanley, the groom, into eloping right away. That night Ralph and Norton show up at Sally's house with a ladder but Stanley is afraid of heights, so Ralph is stuck going up the ladder to get Sally's luggage. Sally and Stanley have a fight and call the whole thing off. Ralph climbs back up the ladder and starts tossing the luggage back through the window. Stanley and Sally return to announce they're going to elope after all, and off they go. As Ralph is taking down the ladder, a cop shows up and demands an explanation. Ralph tells him the whole story, and then the cop gives him the bad news: earlier in the day the New York Giants clinched the series by winning four straight games.
Running time: 33:34.moreless
Ralph is getting paid one hundred dollars to be in a commercial for Choosy Chew Candy. He asks Norton to help him rehearse the lines he must memorize but ends up knowing less about what he has to say that when they first started. Later, Ralph gets a toothache. After unsuccessfully trying different remedies suggested by Alice and Norton, he finally goes to Dr. Durgom, the family dentist. The dentist wants to pull Ralph's tooth but when he steps out to answer a phone call, Ralph grabs a bottle of liquid pain killer and scrams. What Ralph doesn't know is that in order for it to work it must be refrigerated. Just before going on the air for the commercial, Ralph applies the pain killer. During the commercial he bites into the candy and starts rampaging around the set and through the Choosy Chew orchestra in excruciating pain.
Running time: 36:49.moreless