The Honeymooners

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Cover a book about the Honeymooners. The image used is a colourized version of the photo that became iconized by the media, as the definitive image of the show.

In the early 1950s, Jackie Gleason hosted a variety show, The Cavalcade of Stars, on the DuMont Television Network. There he created skits of The Honeymooners with another DuMont performer, Art Carney. The skits became so popular that CBS offered Gleason an opportunity to produce and star in a series of The Honeymooners. The first episode was released on October 1, 1955. In all 39 episodes were created by the time the series ended in 1956. Gleason retained the rights to the reruns, which became extremely popular with an almost cult-like following. He later sold the series to CBS for a reported sum of $1 million.

In the 1980s, Gleason released a number of so-called "lost episodes" (never lost, in reality - just sitting in Gleason's vault for decades), which were kinescopes of Gleason's live shows for CBS during the 1950s. These episodes were released on video and sometimes show up in syndication alongside what are known as "The Classic 39". In September 2004 another "lost" episode (this time one that had indeed been misplaced years ago) was reported discovered, with plans for video release pending. This episode, "Love Letter", aired on cable television in October 2004.

Notable episodes: "TV or Not TV" (where Ralph and Ed share a TV set, not having the money to get each their own) and "Better Living Through Television" (where Ralph and Ed try to sell a household appliance on live TV and make a mess of the proceedings).

The show spawned popular catch phrases such as "to the moon!" and "Hey, Ralphie Boy!"

The Honeymooners starred Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden, Art Carney as Ed Norton, Audrey Meadows as Alice Kramden, and Joyce Randolph as Trixie Norton. Their characters were popular and enduring enough to be successfully transplanted to the stone age as The Flintstones in 1960.

As it debuted on The Cavalcade of Stars, The Honeymooners can be considered television's first spin-off.

In 2005, The Honeymooners will be remade as a full-length feature film. The catch here is that the prominent cast members are African-American.


The show was spoofed in an episode of The King of Queens. It figures into a series of dreams that Doug Heffernan (Kevin James) has while he is sick. Doug is inserted into Ralph Kramden's role, and his wife Carrie (Leah Remini) steps in for Alice. Additionally, Ed Norton's role is filled by Deacon Palmer (Victor Williams). True to the original Honeymooners, the sequence was filmed in black-and-white. Kevin James is a big fan of Jackie Gleason.

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