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Old 10-20-2017, 08:25 AM   #1
Frank Gannucci
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Default Honeymooners Episode Reviews: "One Big Happy Family" & "A Weighty Problem":

Honeymooners Episode Reviews: "One Big Happy Family" & "A Weighty Problem":

Episode #104 (Syndicated Episode #70)
TV: Half-hour.
VCR: Attached to "Anniversary Gift."
DVD: Attached to "Anniversary Gift", "Pickles" & "This Is Your Life." On the Restored Lost Episodes DVD Box Set, it is attached to “Principal of The Thing”, “Songs & Witty Sayings”, “Letter To The Boss” (‘’55 version), “Stand-In For Murder” (’55 version), “Double Anniversary Party”, “The Check-Up” & “Forgot To Register.”
Air Date: 4/23/55

When I recorded this episode in 1997, I really thought it was a two-parter, but I was proved wrong. Also, you want to talk about edits, nearly half this episode is cut when it is shown on TV.

Alice is planning to go out to dinner with Ralph. Ralph has other plans. He and Ed are bowling for The Hurricanes. If they win this "very important" game, the team will tie another team for eighth place. Alice is upset. Another family (the Fallons) move in. Ralph welcomes Mr. Fallon by inviting him to join him and Norton for pool, bowling, and lodge meetings, but Fallon is busy all the nights Ralph and Norton go out together--he spends all those nights with his wife. Later, Trixie tells Alice that she read in a magazine that the reason men spend so much time apart from their wives is because the wives let themselves go and allow their marriages to become dull and predictable. The girls make a pact to bring romance back to Chauncey Street.

This is the first scene that you will see on TV. The next day, Alice is all dressed up and turns of the lights, lights a candle and welcomes Ralph. Ralph: "So you forgot to pay the electric bill, huh?" That is funny. Alice says that with the lights off and a candle lit, it is romantic. Ralph: "Who do you think we are, Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds?" Alice tries to do more romantic things for Ralph like hugs and kisses, a bushel of compliments, a roast-beef dinner, and romantic music, but Ralph doesn't change. Alice dances and offers Ralph to dance with her. He doesn't and says to Alice a line that would be repeated in "Mama Loves Mambo": "You want to wiggle? Wiggle over to the stove and get my supper." Soon each is pouring out fourteen years of frustration. Alice is complaining about him playing Skee-Ball tournaments. Gee, a Skee-Ball tournament. I didn't know that they EVER existed. Ralph: "It's the money that I won in the Skee-Ball tournaments that practically furnished this whole apartment. It's the prizes that I won in the pie-eating contest that got you that dress. What do I have to show for it?" (yells): "DON'T YOU DARE SAY IT!"

Then Alice lays down the law: Ralph will be allowed out alone one night a week; any other night he goes out he has to take her with him. Alice: "From now on, you are going to act like Mr. Fallon." Ralph: "So that's the bum that's behind all this." Since this is the first scene that you will see on TV, the viewer will say: "Who's Mr. Fallon?" Ralph objects but it falls on death ears.

Ralph talks to Ed the next day. After four nights out with Alice, Ralph is invoking the Constitution and his right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Ed: "But the marriage license is an amendment to the Constitution." Ed has an idea: They will walk faster than the girls and eventually the girls will lose them." Ralph thinks that that idea is stupid. Alice and Trixie have said they want to spend time with their husbands but not spoil their fun, so Ralph figures the way for him and Norton to win back their freedom is to keep the girls out so late that they ask to go home, thus "spoiling" their husbands' night out and disqualifying themselves from participating in the boys' activities. When I watched this episode with a friend of mine, he said that Ed's idea was better.

Hours later--after pool, rowing boats, visiting Roseland and Coney Island, and bowling--the girls are invigorated and the boys are walking zombies. They stop in a restaurant and Ralph and Norton can't even stay awake. Ralph: "We are going to stay out and enjoy ourselves." Half asleep, Ralph and Ed wind up dancing together (which gets an ovation from the crowd), and then fall asleep standing up. The girls give up trying to keep them awake. Alice: "All right Bellows and Yolanda." They ask to go home. Ralph and Norton drag themselves home, victorious, but not before Ralph has trouble going through the revolving door because of lack of sleep.

Episode #105 (Syndicated Episode #106 & #107)
TV: In two parts.
VCR: Not attached to any other episode.
DVD: Attached to "Man In The Blue Suit", "Lunch Box" & "Lost Baby." On the Best of Lost Episodes, it is attached to “Stand-In For Murder” (’55 version), “Principle of The Thing”, “A Little Man Who Wasn’t There” & “Songwriters.” On the Restored Lost Episodes DVD Box Set, it is attached to “Peacemaker”, “The Adoption”, “Stars Over Flatbush” & “One Big Happy Family.”
Air Date: 4/16/55

The reason why this episode is not attached to any episode on VHS is because MPI believed the false information from The Honeymooners Lost Episodes book that stated that this episode is 48 minutes long. That is not the case. Episodes that haven't been released like the 1957 Trip to Europe episodes are said to have run longer. Thankfully, if you get this episode on DVD, you will get more episodes.

Trixie is helping Alice do some dress work. Ed Norton comes in and helps out himself. He also fixes Alice's leaky kitchen faucet and says to Alice to turn that thing down or otherwise they will get a face full. The girls leave. Ralph comes home all ticked off. The company inspector came on the bus. Ralph: "What do you think that chowder head had the gall to say to me? He said: 'Kramden, this is a warning. You are getting too fat to drive a bus. If you get any fatter, you wouldn't be able to get behind the wheel of a bus.' I was so mad; I wanted to throw him off." Ed: "I don't blame you Ralph. Why didn't you?" Ralph: "I couldn't squeeze out from behind the wheel." Gee, shouldn't that tell Ralph that he is too fat? Ralph has a book that says how much you should weigh at a certain height. Ed uses Alice's measuring tape to measure Ralph. The only trouble is that the tape is off by an inch but Ed and Ralph doesn’t know it. Ed measures Ralph. Ralph is 5'11 and since Ralph only weighs 246, he isn't overweight. Ed leaves.

Ralph goes over to the kitchen faucet which is still upside-down and gets a face full of water. Alice comes in and warns him to turn the faucet right side up before using it. Ralph: "Thanks a load." Ralph tells what happened with the company inspector and Alice assumes that the company inspector told Ralph he was too fat to drive a bus. Ralph: "How did you know I was overweight?" Ralph mentions that for his weight, he is four pounds underweight and that it says so in the chart. Alice: "You must have been looking at a chart for a hippo." Ha! Ralph is off to a Raccoon dinner without his jacket saying that he doesn't need it. Alice doesn't buy it and says that Ralph won't put it on because he's too fat. Ralph puts it on in the bedroom and leaves and as he leaves, you can see the back is ripped in half. Another inclination that says that Ralph is too fat.

At the Raccoon meeting, everyone is so sick of eating food while Ralph comes in eating another turkey (according to the cooks, he had already eaten everything in sight.) He goes over to them and asks for more. Cook: "We don't have anything more to throw away." Ralph says that all of us should get more food. See, everyone else is full but Ralph is the only one who's hungry. Ralph goes into the kitchen to get some cigars. He goes out the "In" door. Ed goes to the kitchen and tries to go out the "Out" door and accidently hits Ralph. Ralph and Ed then have a funny conversation about what door Ed should have used to go out into the kitchen which in the middle of it, Ralph says that a five-year-old is smarter than Ed. Gee, that was nice...NOT! The meeting starts and Ralph gives a treasury report. He states that the Raccoons have a deficit of $489. Immediately after Ed gives is foolish idea to cut the dues in half to cut the deficit in half, Ralph makes a motion that the meeting should be adjourned. Meeting adjourned! Some meeting. It's like: "What are you going to do about the deficit Ralph?" 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. If Ralph doesn't lose eight pounds before the physical he's supposed to take, he could lose his job. This is the end of the first half.

When this episode is shown on TV in two-parts, after the first half, they show us what is going to happen in the second half. That is something you don't see with other two part episodes. Also, when I originally recorded part 2 of this episode from WPIX in 1996, I thought it was a half-hour show since my VCR only picked up the last few minutes of the recap in part two. I later learned that there was more to this episode.

Ralph immediately goes on a diet. Two days before Ralph's physical at home, Alice is eating food so fast that Trixie is getting concerned. Alice: "The sight of food drives Ralph crazy." Mrs. Manicotti comes by and asks if she could hide a birthday cake for her husband for a surprise and asks if Ralph and Alice can come. Alice says yes but Ralph can't come because with all the food and his diet, it will be too tempting. Mrs. Manicotti says that she will be cooking veal cottichitore (sp?) tonight and that the smell will go outside. She leaves. Ralph comes home and when he hears Trixie saying that she has to go home because she has things to do, he accuses her of mentioning food. She leaves. Ralph is going crazy by not getting any substantial amount of food. He opens the window and when he smells Mrs. Manicotti's food, he says that the whole building is against him. He calms down and Alice gives him a fork and a knife with his supper which consists of two celery sticks. Ralph (yells): "YOU MEAN TO TELL ME THAT THAT WAS MY SUPPER? WHAT ARE THESE THINGS (the fork and knife) FOR, TO COMMIT SUICIDE WITH?" Ralph comes down and says that tomorrow, he isn’t going home. He's going straight from his job to the gym and he's going to stay there until 10 or 11 and work out and not come home until he's under the weight limit. Almost like me in a way except that I am not fat.

Ed comes down as Alice leaves and says that some people with a reducing machine will come by tonight. He and Ralph play a crossword puzzle which only makes it worse when it mentions things that relate to food. The people with the reducing machine come and after Ralph is rapped in, the machine is turned on. Ralph is having a lot of trouble so he yells for Norton as things from the set start to fall because of the reducing machine.

The night before the physical, the girls are in the Kramden home. Alice puts the cake away. Ed Norton comes up to fix the pipe. He has a late shift tonight in the sewer. The girls leave. Ralph comes home early. He didn't have the strength to exercise so he got on the scale and it said: "238 and 3 quarter pounds." He's a quarter of a pound underweight. Gee, Ralph not having the strength to work out is such a surprise...NOT! Another question: Shouldn't it strike Ralph that the scale he used might be off balance since it said: "238 and 3 quarter pounds" and the scale at the physical could say something different? Ralph goes to the fridge and sees the food for the party. He wants it but Ed won't let him have it. He appreciated Ed's help as Ed leaves. But when Ralph discovers the cake, some weird music plays and Ralph snaps. He takes the food just as the girls arrive. Ralph (yells): "I'M DESPERATE ALICE! STAND BACK!" He goes into the bedroom. Alice retrieves the smashed cake and food. Trixie and Mrs. Manicotti leave. Alice says that since the food was being in here was her idea and that she didn't know Ralph was going to be home early, it was her fault. Alice goes to bed, but Ralph wants to have one small feast, he likes the icing and cake that were on his fingers as the weird music plays again and the episode ends without any footage of Ralph getting his physical.

Credit I believe goes to eBay.com, tv.com, Honeymooners Lost Episodes Book, tvguide.com, honeymooners.net, Honeymooners Box Set booklet Honeymooners Lost Episodes DVD booklet, Wikipedia.org, Yahoo Groups You're A Riot! & Amazon.com.
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