The Honeymooners

Season 5 Episode 1

TV Or Not TV

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Oct 01, 1955 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
37 votes

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Episode Summary

TV Or Not TV

Ralph and Norton buy a T.V. set together and constantly fight over what to watch.


Running time: 26:00.

NOTE: This is the 1st of the "Classic 39" episodes.



Who was the Episode MVP ?

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  • Getting its sea legs

    Contains one moment of pure unbridled hilarity...when Ralph comes out of the bedroom to throw Norton out after he sneaks in for the Late Late Late Show. Also of course there is Norton suiting up for Captain Video, complete with space helmet and long-winded oath of allegiance (and Ed shows an uncommon cunning side of himself by tricking Ralph into leaving the apartment so he can continue his space patrol). Other than that though, this one looks like the show was just getting its sea legs here, with a fairly pedestrian buildup to the central premise, and not terribly much going on otherwise. Could've probably been pared down to about 10 minutes without too much being lost. Still, even ordinary, run of the mill Honeymooners is better than most anything else on the marketplace (before or since)... :)moreless
  • One of my all time favorite episodes.

    Leave it to Ralph and Ed to "go in on" a TV set.... when they don't even live in the same apartment. Of course, that could only lead to conflict. From Ed always wanting to watch his Space Rangers, to Ralph kicking Ed out because he was woken up during the "Late, Late, Late Show." One of my favorite scenes was when Ed got Ralph to adjust the antennas. After convincing him it was tricky to get a good signal, he eventually got Ralph to walk out into the hallway, then proceeded to shut and lock the door on him, of course to watch the Space Rangers again.moreless
Audrey Meadows

Audrey Meadows

Alice Kramden (1952-1957)

Art Carney

Art Carney

Ed Norton

Joyce Randolph

Joyce Randolph

Trixie Norton (1952-1957)

Jackie Gleason

Jackie Gleason

Ralph Kramden

Recurring Role

Frank Marth

Frank Marth

Captain Video - Announcer (voice)

Recurring Role

George Petrie

George Petrie

Captain Video (voice)

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The entire fourth season is known as the "Classic 39", in which all 39 episodes ran for 30 minutes with one story line, instead of short skits. Jackie Gleason went back to skits the following season.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Ralph: (places his hand on one hip) I got it here.

      Alice: (places her hands on hips and stomach) You got it here, and you got it here, and you got it here.

    • Alice: Gotta admit it, Ralph. Once in your life you were right. We never should have gotten a television set.

    • (Flipping to decide who gets the TV set)
      Ralph: You gotta coin?
      Ed: Sure
      Ralph: OK....heads I win, tails you lose.
      Ralph: Heads, I win, so the TV stays here.
      Ed: OK.....Hey wait a minute...
      Ralph: What?
      Ed: Give me back my coin.

    • [Alice is arguing over why Ralph won't get her a TV set..]
      Alice: Why do you always have to be so cheap?
      Ralph: Cheap? CHEAP?! Is that why you think I won't get you a set, 'cause I'm cheap? Well, that shows how much YOU know!!
      Alice: All right, what IS the reason?
      Ralph: Do you wanna know the reason?
      Alice: Yeah!
      Ralph: You wanna know the reason?
      Alice: Yeah!
      Ralph: The REASON! (pause) All right, I'll TELL you the reason! I'm waiting for..3-D television, THAT'S the reason!
      Alice: (sarcastic) Are ya' waitin' for 3-D REFRIGERATORS, too?

    • (Ralph, finally at the end of his rope as he's awakened by Ed's "late late late" movie, goes ballistic...)
      Ralph: (yelling his head off) Get out!! Get out!!! GET OUT!!!!!!
      Norton: If I go, that set goes with me!!!!
      Ralph: That set goes over my dead body!!!!
      Norton: I couldn't get it over with your dead body!! Whatta think I am, a mountain climber???

    • (Ralph is laying down the law to Norton about what HE'S going to watch...)
      Ralph: Now look, you, let's have an understanding! We've had this set for three nights. And for THREE NIGHTS, I've been listening to nothing but space shows, westerns, cartoon frolics and puppet shows!! TONIGHT, I am watching a movie...and if you DARE to make a sound, while the movie is on......(grabs the "oxygen line" on Ed's space helmet)...I'LL CUT OFF YOUR AIR SUPPLY!!!!!!!

    • Norton to Ralph: "Now I won't be able to watch tv for next few months. Boy, this could not have come at a worse time! Do you realize that tomorrow Captain Video takes us for Pluto!!!"

    • Norton: "Official Space Helmet on Captain Video, whever you are ....!"

    • Norton: "I Edward Norton, Private Third Class, in the Captain Video Space Ranger Academy, Do solemly swear to obey my mommy and daddy, not to tease my little brother sisters, to be kind to dumb animals and old ladies, in and out of space, to brush my teeth twice a day and to drink milk after every meal.!"

    • Ralph:"who's sweetums?"
      Alice:"you are."
      Ralph:"your nuts"

    • (Alice is winding down her argument over why Ralph should buy her a TV set.)
      Alice: ...and I'm left here, to look at that icebox, that stove, that sink, and these four walls! Well, I don't WANNA look at that icebox, that stove, that sink and these four walls....I WANNA LOOK AT LIBERACE!!!!

  • NOTES (2)

    • When Norton sneaks in to watch TV and the guns shoot on the movie and Ralph runs in the dining room with a scared look on his face...Norton busts out laughing....

    • In the making of this episode, Ralph opens a bag of popcorn. The popcorn goes everywhere, and Ralph simply smiles. This was not scripted, it was just one of the things that happened on live television.


    • This episode title is a reference to William Shakespeare's play of Hamlet, Act III, Scene I, where the phrase reads as follows: "To be, or not to be: that is the question."

    • Norton asks to watch Captain Video on Ralph's TV. The show was an actual series (full title, Captain Video and His Video Rangers) appearing on The DuMont Television Network.