View Full Version : Episode Reviews: "Battle Of The Sexes" & "Teamwork Beats The Clock":

Frank Gannucci
07-27-2007, 02:04 PM
Episode #69
TV: Half-hour (edited).
VCR: Attached to "Lawsuit."
DVD: Attached to "Catch a Star" & "Songwriters."

This episode opens up with Ralph and Ed in the poolroom doing a scene that would later be used for "The Bensonhurst Bomber" except without Harvey and George, the people Ralph would have gotten into a fight in that episode. Trixie calls Ed and asks him ot come home because her mom is coming. 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." Gee, can you just see how ridiculous it would look if at a wedding, the play Ralph's words. That's divorce court or breakup city right there.

That night, Trixie comes into the Kramden apartment crying. Ed has been playing "king" and has been bullying her. Ralph gets waken up and told of the news of the Nortons fight. Ralph: "What do you want me to do, take on the winner?" ralph says his "king" speech to Alice and she becomes suspicious. When Norton comes down and begins bullying Trixie again, it confirms to Alice that Norton has become Ralph's understudy. They girls leave, leaving the boys to fend for themselves. Ralph and Ed are convinced that they are in the right and when the girls find that out, they will tkae them back when they have learned their lesson. Sure.

The Kramden apartment looks absolutely terrible. Ed has been complaining about Ralph's cooking. He has hads to wear an inner tube to keep from drowning in the sewer. As Ed is cleaning up, he and Ralph sing a song that goes: "R-a-g-g m-o-p-p. Rag mop. Oh ragg mopp. R-a-g-g m-o-p-p. Oh, I love you Nelly dear. You're mine oh mine." As Ed is cleaning out a brook on the fire escape, Ralph and Ed cough because of the smoke. This scene was used as the ending scene on "The Wit and Wisdow of Ed Norton."

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 that, in the Nortons apartment, Alice talks about three more schemes that Ralph will try. The first one being the sympathy routine. She correctly guesses all three noises that Ralph will make to get her to apologize to him. the threat to cut off Alice's household money. The third is the "I'm leaving forever" warning. According to Alice, Ralph has walked out of her life 18 times. Oh boy! Ralph must really love Alice and doesn't the part where Alice said that Ralph walked out of her life 18 times funny? Ralph and Ed come in and Ralph tires all three of the schemes and when he tries the latter one, he walks out and comes back, warning Alice again. None of the schemes work. 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. Gee, that's so not starting things off on the right foot.

Episode #70
TV: A half-hour.
VCR: Attached to "Vacation At Fred's Landing" (1954 version).
DVD: Attached to "Quiz Show", "Manager of The Baseball Team" (it is
advertised as the 1957 version, but it is the '53 version) & "The Wit and Wisodom of Ed Norton."

This episode opens up with a couple on the "Beat The Clock" game show with Bud Cullyer as the host at that time. Interesting to note that Bud Cullyer appears as himself and that both the Jackie Gleason Show and Beat The Clock were done live at the time at the Ed Sullivan Theatre which is associated with CBS and on the day that this episode was done live (11/20/54), the cast of Beat The Clock were told to stick around for this episode since they were going to guest star. Their consolation? Jackie appeared on Beat The Clock for a stunt in which two contestants had to tie a rope around his waist. (Later versions of the game show were taped and the most recent version is or was taped at Universal Studies in Orlando, FA.) Anyway, the couple wins the game and the big prize? A 21-inch TV set which probably was a big deal back then. After that, the Kramdens appear. They said they haven't lived in Brooklyn all their lives yet. Bud asks Ralph to wave so his mom can see. Ralph reluctantly does and then says that his mother wouldn't have been able to see him because she doesn't own a TV. Anyway, their first stunt involves Alice propeling a cup with a can of whipped cream into a net that Ralph has to hold with his teeth. Bud orders his assistants to put a raincoat on Ralph and to put a cap on. Bud: "We don't want your long hair to get in front of your face." Ralph has long hair? Anyway, after they complete the stunt, Ralph has a face-full of whipped cream and it looks like that Ralph has something in his mouth but he doesn't. Bud: "Do you think Alice did good?" Ralph: "She was just grand." Anyway, the raincoat is taken off Ralph and it looks like some whipped cream did get on Ralph's clothes. They 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. I don't think the recent version of this game does (or did) something like this where they asked you to return for the next show. Also back then a 21-inch TV is what this show offers as a grand prize, now this show offers(ed) a lot of money as their grand prize. Bud closes the show by saying: "This is Bud Cullyer speaking for Sylvania (the company that sponsored the game show) saying: 'Next time, may be your time to Beat The Clock.'"

At home, Alice tells Trixie that she is exhausted from a week's worth of rehearsal. She tells Trixie that Ralph wants to go on the show just to win a FREE TV set. Alice (repeating what Ralph supposedly said to her: "It costs nothing Alice." Doesn't Ralph know that when you win something on a game show that you have to pay taxes on it? Ralph comes home and says that since they are rehearsing tonight, she can be the lemon machine. Trixie declines and leaves. Alice is mad because Ralph has got her rehearsing to win a TV that a lot of people buy. Ralph: "Yeah, but they don't get the joy of winning." Ed comes in. He saw the show and is mad that Ralph didn't wave to him. He is upset about that. He said that he waved to Ralph when he was at a ballgame and because of not paying attention, he got hit in the head with a ball I think. Ralph apologizes. They rehearse with Ed being the lemon machine. Of course, with these three doing the rehearsal, it's a recipe for comedy. Ralph fouls up a few times and when Alice says anybody (meaning Ralph and Alice) who's free, they can hit the balloon. While rehearsal, Ed hits the balloon. Ed: "You said if anybody who's free can hit the balloon. I'm free!" Ralph: "You're nothing but a lemon machine." They go through rehearsal again but Ed doesn't drop the lemons. Ed: "You didn't say: 'Ready! Set! Go!' I'm know from nothing. I am just a machine." Ralph gets very mad at Ed when Alice's brother-in-law, Jerry arrives with a problem. Ed (to Jerry): "You are looking at the Bensonhurst branch of Beat The Clock." He has to go to Clevland for business and that his wife, Helen is pregnant and that she can go into labor any day now. Oh no! Ralph says that she might have the baby 7:30 Saturday night (the time that the game show went on in this show and in real-life). Ed: "You got to wonder how can the baby Beat The Clock!"

As luck would have it, Helen goes into labor on Saturday night. Ed says that since there is a lot fo traffic, he will get them to the Ed Sullivan Theatre (that he calls CBS) in no time by going through the sewer that is right in front of the theatre. Ralph is all upset. When Ralph asks another man what time it is, he is still upset. He said that once the baby comes, he and Alice are going on Beat The Clock. Man: "Are you sure that she is going to be ready?" Ralph: "She just better be." That man thinks that Ralph is going to be a father and tells Dr. Kildare. The doctor says that Ralph may be on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Only when Alice comes out with the news that the baby is a boy, Dr. Kildare is told the real story. Ralph's happiness ends when the nurse tells them that Helen only had the first one. She is going to have twins. Ralph: "Your sister hates me."

At the game show, Bud greets the audience and informs them of what happened last week. Ralph comes out with the news about Alice's sister being pregnant and all. She can't make it. When MPI released this version on DVD, they said that Ralph couldn't make it. (They probably said the same thing on some of the VHS versions too.) Ralph brought along Ed who says that he finds this show educational. Ed: "It's a wonder what you can do with whipped cream." Ed also reveals that he works in the sewer and that his family has worked in the sewer for generations and when Ed has a son, he is going to be a garbage collector. Ha! Bud asks if Ed wants to substitute for Alice. Ed: "Sure, I was the lemon machine."

They go to the second stund during which you can see part of the old "Beat The Clock" logo. They go through the stunt but stop when Ed breaks the balloon because of his hangnails. Ralph thinks that they have lost but Bud infoms them that they can continue. They go through the stunt during which I think Jackie made a blooper because he has the balloon in his hand when Bud tells him (in character) to throw it in the air because that was the rule of the stunt and when they finish, Bud says: "Since the balloon is not on the ground, we will leave it at that." For the third stunt, in which Ed puts together a puzzle that says: "Act in haste. Repent in at leisure." They win the TV set and a pair of baby buggies for the twins. Yes, this is a Kramden idea that worked. But, we would have never seen the TV set again in future episodes.