The Honeymooners

The Honeymooners

The Honeymooners was originally created as a sketch idea to be included on the Cavalcade of Stars, a popular variety show on the small, now defunct DuMont television station.
In 1950, nightclub and Broadway comedian Jackie Gleason became the regular host of the Cavalcade of Stars. After a few shows, Gleason created a new sketch idea and a new character for himself. His idea, which was augmented by the Cavalcade writers and better developed over time, revolved around a working class couple in Brooklyn. The first Honeymooners sketch lasted less than five minutes, and many of the subsequent ones were not much longer, but the down-to-earth situations and everyman characters touched a chord in the American people, and The Honeymooners became popular.
People understood and empathized with the big-mouthed bus driver Ralph Kramden, his level-headed wife Alice, and their friends and neighbors, the Nortons.
Gleason left the Cavalcade of Stars in 1952 and moved with the Honeymooners to his own show, The Jackie Gleason Show, on CBS. Art Carney and Joyce Randolph, who played Ed and Trixie Norton, moved with Gleason to the new show. Pert Kelton, the original Alice, did not and was replaced by New York actress Audrey Meadows. The Honeymooners continued to grow in popularity, and the sketches became longer and it became so popular that after four years as a sketch within a show, CBS decided to make it a show in its own right.
Thirty-nine classic episodes were made of The Honeymooners during the 1955-56 season. The Honeymooners used the same principal cast, but the filming was not shown live as it was on The Jackie Gleason Show (though it was still filmed in front of an audience). The characters, too, were always the same except for slight variations over the years. Even with this, though, The Honeymooners suffered in the ratings, which was due in a large part to its scheduling, and Gleason broke his contract for another season of the Honeymooners. Instead he opted to return to his highly popular variety format of The Jackie Gleason Show. The Honeymooners show was off the air, but regular Honeymooners sketches continued on The Jackie Gleason Show off and on until 1970, with the cast occasionally changing. Throughout the seventies infrequent Honeymooners specials were broadcast. Soon after the finish of the classic thirty-nine episodes in 1956, Gleason, who owned the rights to the thirty-nine episodes, sold them to CBS, who before long had them syndicated. Honeymooners' re-runs have remained popular since then. Classic 40/44 (including Songwriters & 99 Year Lease shows) remain in regular syndication across North America to this day. It's also regularly shown in many countries around the world.

Episode Info

Final: 10x13 -- Operation Protest (Feb/28/1970)

Returning from his cross-country trip promoting the film "Love on a Bus", Ralph is offered a promotion within the Gotham Bus Company, but trouble erupts when Alice's nephew starts picketing their headquarters.
Art CarneyArt Carney
As Ed Norton
Audrey MeadowsAudrey Meadows
As Alice Kramden (1952-1957)
Jackie GleasonJackie Gleason
As Ralph Kramden
Jean KeanJean Kean
As Trixie Norton (1966-1970)
Joyce RandolphJoyce Randolph
As Trixie Norton (1952-1957)
Sheila MacRaeSheila MacRae
As Alice Kramden (1966-1970)



Reviews: 58
One of the best ...Rating: 1 likes, 0 dislikes

I honestly don't think a person can claim to be a classic comedy fan unless they have The Honeymooners down as one of their favourites. Read more

Review posted on Friday, October 13th 2006 at 2:23 am

1 review available
5x8: Finders Keepers recap: Mr. Bartfeld is selling his candy store to the Chock Full O'Orange people.
When Ralph hears this he figures the CFOO people must know something about a boom in the neighborhood, and he wants to buy the store. He and Norton form a partnership and agree to invest $300 each to buy it.
When neither of them can get the money, they try to think of a scheme to get it.
Norton turns on the radio and they hear a commercial for a find-the-missing-money contest. The prize is a $1,000 bill.
They study the clues and decide that the money is hidden in an automat across from Grand Central Station. They go there and search everywhere but don't find the money.
They end up getting arrested for creating a disturbance in the automat.
When Ralph gets home, he finds out that the CFOO people want to buy the store not because they think it would make alot of money, but to use it as a warehouse.
Ralph is relieved that he didn't buy the store, but he is upset because not only did he lose a day's pay, but he also had to pay Joe Cassidy $15 to drive his bus while he was out looking for the money... read more.

5x7: The Love Letter recap: 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. Ralph apologizes to everyone.
.. read more.

Executive Producer: Jack Philbin
Producer: Jack Hurdle
Director of Photography: Jack Etra
Assistant Producer: Stanley Poss
Film Editor: Leonard Anderson
Costumer: Peggy Morrison
Musical Director: Sammy Spear

View full crew list
Recurring Guests

George Petrie as Captain Video (voice) (19 eps)
Frank Marth as Captain Video - Announcer (voice) (10 eps)
Eddie Hanley as Telephone Installer (8 eps)
Robert Dryden (8 eps)
John Gibson (1) (4 eps)
Ethel Owen as Mrs. Gibson (4 eps)
Victor Rendina as Ziggy (4 eps)
Anne Seymour as Mrs. Stevens (3 eps)
Jack Davis (1) as Police Officer (3 eps)
John Griggs (1) as Mr. Harper (3 eps)

View All Recurring Guests
Classification: Scripted
Genre: Comedy | Family
Status: Canceled/Ended
Network: CBS ( USA)
Airs: Saturdays at 08:30 pm
Runtime: 30 Minutes
Premiere: October 01, 1955
Ended: September 22, 1956
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