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Old 08-10-2018, 06:52 AM   #1
Frank Gannucci
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Default Honeymooners Clip Fest Reviews: "History of the Lost Episodes: First Season & more:

Honeymooners Clip Fest Reviews: "History of the Lost Episodes: First Season" & "Jackie Gleason Honeybloopers" (aka "Funniest Moments") (Volume 1):

History of the Lost Episodes: First Season
VHS: Not attached to anything.
DVD: Attached to "Move Uptown" & "Lucky Number."

It was hinted that the VHS copy of this episode is different and when I say that, I mean longer. It was hinted that there were two bloopers on the VHS copy that didn't make the DVD. The two bloopers were Art Carney peeling an orange due to Jack not coming back to the set on time and Art coming through the window because the door was jammed. I think that is not true. This clip fest mistakenly says that it is from the first season. It is actually from the second season because MPI at the time not having the sketches from the 1951-1952 season with Pert Kelton as Alice even through they were in the public domain just like today. There were no other releases like these that highlighted other seasons.

The opening to this clip fest has the Honeymooners opening theme song with clips from the season being played. Some of the clips have the title of the episode from the clip came from on the screen. First clip is when Ed & Ralph sharing a cot from "Norton Moves In" in which Ed accidentally burns Ralph with a lit cigarette. As other clips are shown, the narrator says that it's been 40 (now 67) years in which America began its love affair with the Honeymooners. (This clip fest was originally released in 1992.) The narrator incorrectly states that the Honeymooners started in 1952 when CBS gave Jackie "big bucks" (for the time) to host a weekly variety show in which there would be Honeymooners skits and other things like Jackie playing a host of crazy characters. Next clip is from the 1952 version of "Quiz Show" where Ralph bombs when the host asks him what Marconi invented. Ralph says "Marcaroni." (It was actually the radio.) Next clip is Ralph & Aunt Ether setting up a cot in where Ralph hurts his finger from "Alice's Aunt Ethel." Next clip is from "Lunchbox" where Ralph complains about his lunch to Alice. Another clip is from the 1953 version of "Vacation At Fred's Landing" where Ed almost accidentally electrocutes Ralph when Ralph is trying to fix loose wires in the car (Ed started the car when Ralph had the wires in his hand.) Another clip is when Ralph gets the news at 3am that the Nortons are sleeping over in "Norton Moves In." Next clip is from "Glow Worm Cleaning" where Ralph poses for an ad in which he thinks he is going to be portrayed as someone who is slim, trim and thirty. But the guy from the ad agency says that he is going to be portrayed as someone who is fat, flabby and forty. That sets off Ralph. As the clip where Ralph shows off the fish he caught from the 1953 version of "Vacation At Fred's Landing" plays, the narrator says that Gleason came up with the idea of the Honeymooners a year before he joined CBS when he was with the now-defunct DuMont network. A network that was only available on the eastern United States. So many people didn't know about Ralph Kramden. (So, technically he is saying that the clips from the season are not from the first season.) As other clips are being played, the narrator says that Jackie's characters were Jackie's creation and explained the simple concept of the Honeymooners. Next, a clip from "Income Tax" is played where Alice yells out Ralph's measly salary ($42.50 a week). Next clip is from "Lost Job" in which Ralph thinks that he lost his job and the things he had to put up with while on the job such as working hurt and having his tonsils removed during his lunch hour. Next clip is from "Alice Plays Cupid" where Ralph complains to Alice about her setting up Henrietta with George. Next clip is from "Guest Speaker" where Ralph thinks he is going to be the Head Raccoon. George gives him a speech for him to say at the banquet and leaves. Ralph reads the speech and finds out that he isn't going to be the Head Raccoon (all George Williams wanted him to do was introduce George.) Alice comforts him in response by saying that Ralph will always be the Head Raccoon in this house.

As other clips are played, the narrator says that people wanted to know why the Honeymooners are still popular after 40 years (now 65 years). He says that the writing was great; the plots were plausible, the fact that Gleason never over-rehearsed the cast was important too and the actors that played the characters as well. A clip from "Lost Baby" is played where Ed pours milk into a glove, Ralph then holds the glove right-side up and when Ed cuts a hole, Ralph gets doused with milk. Next clip is from "Norton Moves In" where Ed is upset with Ralph for yelling at him. Ralph voices his frustrations and insults Ed. The Nortons leave. A clip from "Ralph's Diet" plays in which Alice says: "Look at the stomach on you." Ralph: "That happens to be a very low chest." Next clip is from the '53 version of "Vacation At Fred's Landing" where Ralph explains to Ed the fun time they are going to have at Fred's like wading out into the water. Ed responds by saying: "I go wading every day." Next clip is when Ralph & Ed get scared when a cop is coming. (The cop thinks that Ralph might be a bookie. Ralph is actually taking bets for friends.) So, Ralph tries to look for ways to hide the slips. When the cop knocks on the door, Ed says: "Just a minute. We are not ready." Next clip is from "Guest Speaker" in which Ralph explains to Ed that he is a Raccoon. (Ed didn't become one yet.) He asks Ed if he wants to become a Raccoon. Ed says no because he has bony knees. (Ralph's pants from the cleaners had yet to arrive.)

As clips revolving around Ed play, the narrator says that while Art Carney was second-banana, he was Jackie's equal when it came to making people laugh. He joined Jackie during the DuMont years as a character during a Reggie Van Gleason sketch and then got the job playing Ed Norton. Next clip is from the 1953 version of "Vacation At Fred's Landing" where as Ralph is looking at the engine, Ed accidentally sets off the horn in Ralph's ear. Ralph gets upset. Next clip is from "Suspense" where Ralph thinks that Alice wants to kill him. Ed thinks so too but he makes it worse by saying: "You think she would have done it years ago." Next clip is from "Income Tax" where Ralph asks Ed for some money. Ed says that he needs the money to buy Trix a present which is a new broom. Next clip is from "Lost Job" where Ed gets the news that Ralph thinks that he lost his job. Ed says that he wishes Ralph can join him in the sewers but they are not taking any unskilled laborers. Ha! Next clip is from "Hot Tips" where Ed explains why he wants to wear the jacket that he is wearing down to the track. It's his lucky jacket. While wearing the jacket, he found $5, won every horse race that he betted on and met Trixie. After a pause, he says: "Two out of three ain't bad." Next clip is from the 1953 version of "Vacation At Fred's Landing" where Ed explains that he will get Trixie to come to Fred's by saying that Atlantic City is CLOSED for the summer. Can you imagine how much that would cost the city if they did that? Next clip is from "Anniversary Gift" where Ed states one of the many different stories on how he met Trixie for the first time. He explains that when Trixie was in burlesque, he went up to her and gave her a rose. (He had to. That was her costume.) Next clip is from "Jellybeans" where Ed says that the contest that Ralph is trying to win is crooked. He was in a contest once where you had to name all the states. He got jyped out of the first prize. He named 66 states and the guy who won only named 48. (The US didn't have 50 states until '59.) Next clip is from "Alice Plays Cupid" where again Ed states one of the many different stories on how he met Trixie for the first time. They were at a dinner party. Trix said to him: "If you are not going to eat your cauliflower, I will."

The narrator says that when more complex plots came about in which Alice needed a best friend and Ed needed a wife, Jackie asked for Joyce Randolph (even though Elaine Stritch played Trixie first during the DuMont sketches). Next clip is from the 1953 version of "Manager of The Baseball Team" in which Trixie says how stupid Ed is. Trix: "He didn't even finish public school." Ed: "It wasn't that I was stupid. It was the teacher's word against mine." Next clip is from the 1953 version of "Vacation At Fred's Landing" where after Trixie suggesting that the radiator may need some water. So Ralph yells at her and tells her to shut up. Ed says that he can't do that because she is his wife so he yells at her to shut up too. Next clip is from the 1952 version of "Manager of The Baseball Team" where Alice says that they can now afford a second Honeymoon. Ralph asks the Nortons to come. Trix says no. Ed says: "Close your mouth." Next clip is from earlier in the episode where Ed says that Ralph might want to run away because he is married.

As clips in which Alice is shown are played, the narrator says that when Jackie moved to CBS, he needed a new Alice Kramden. The narrator says that Pert got ill during the summer of '52. (Actually, she got blacklisted for allegedly voting communist. Jackie used the illness [which he stated was a heart condition] as a cover-up). The narrator goes over the story on how Audrey got the part by getting a photographer to take a shot of her getting out of bed without any makeup on, wearing an old dress and apron on and holding a frying pan and having that photo sent to Gleason. She got the job. Next clip is from "Alice Plays Cupid" where Alice discusses the dinner that she has planned when Ralph's boss comes over. Ralph hates the dinner and says that he can get that dinner in a diner. Alice says: "Why don't you take him there?" Ralph: "I will just put up a sign that says: 'Hang up your hat and coat' and he wouldn't know the difference." Next clip is from "Suspense"; Ralph tries to get Ed to read the first aid book about what to do if a person gets poisoned all the while Ralph nervously watches a "poisoned" Alice. Alice laughs and explains what she that she didn't want to kill Ralph. She was rehearsing for a play. Ralph threatens to beat up Alice. Alice says that he loves her. Ralph kisses her. Next clip is from "Ralph's Diet" in which Alice says that Ralph has been piling up his food on the outside of his ribs. Next clip is from "Dinner Guest" in which Alice says: "Why don't you jump out the window?" Ralph: "You said that yesterday." Alice: "Yeah. You didn't do it." Next clip is from the 1952 version of "Vacation At Fred's Landing" in which Ralph lays down in his tent and Alice yells: "One of these days Ralph, POW! Right in the kisser." Net clip is from "Lunchbox" where Ralph says that the human body is like a machine that needs the right fuel and he doesn't have the right fuel in his lunchbox. Alice responds by saying: "Tomorrow, I will put a lump of coal in your lunchbox."

As clips in which different cast members are played, the narrator says that during the lost episodes, there were cast members that became fan favorites during the classic 39. They were known as Gleason actors for their ability to perform with little rehearsal (the narrator omitted the part in which they had to have nerves of steel.) They included:

- George Petrie who was best known as Freddie Muller.
- Frank Marth who is best known for playing cops, robbers and photographers (he omitted the fact that he was best known for playing those characters).
- Zumah Cunningham who was best known for playing Mrs. Manicotti.
- Dick Bernie who was best known for playing Joe Fenstablu and Bill Davis.
- Ethel Owen who was best known for being Alice's Aunt and Mom.
- Sammy Birch who had many small parts.

According to the narrator, this season offers a fascinating look at the Kramdens and Nortons. Ralph wore a different uniform. Alice dressed like Ralph did only earn $42.50 a week. Ed couldn't decide what shirt to wear under his vest. Trixie looked too young and innocent to be a burlesque dancer. Next clip is from "Lost Baby" in which Ralph yells out the window to get Ed to come down so he can see the baby. Unbeknownst to Ralph, Ed already came down. Ed says that he is already in the Kramdens and when he sees Ed, he gets scared. According to the narrator, this season gives us a first look at many Honeymooners signatures like Ralph yelling in pain bit from the '52 version of "The Cold." (If you look, you can see Joyce covering her laughter and later showing it.) Another signature was Ralph's apologies. According to the narrator, the writers called this: "The Walking Speech." An apology from "Norton Moves In" plays. Another signature was fat jokes. A fat joke from "Ralph's Diet" plays in which Alice says to Ralph that when he loses a pound, it's like Bayonne losing a mosquito. That is a fat joke? Another signature was Ralph's threats. Ralph threatening to send Alice to the moon from the '53 version of "Vacation At Fred's Landing" plays. Another signature, according to the narrator, was the biggest punch line of all time in which Ralph hugs and kisses Alice all the while saying: "Baby, you're the greatest." That's a punch line? As more clips are played, the narrator says that this season was historic and he asks who would have thought that 40 (now 65) years later, that this show would be a part of our lives today. Ralph trying to make ends meet, having get-rich-quick ideas, trying to get ahead in the bus company, bickering with Alice, making up with Alice and sticking with Alice through think and thin. The narrator says that Jackie's formula for laughs was a simple one that turned out to be one of the funniest ideas in TV history. The clip in which Ralph "threatens" Alice before hugging and kissing her from "Glow Worm Cleaning" plays. The credit rolls as the clip from the 1952 version of "Vacation At Fred's Landing" plays in which Ralph announces for the first time to Alice that they are going to Fred's Landing. The credits say that this special was made in 1992. When the people who bought the 2002 DVD that has this clip fest, I wonder if they knew if this clip fest was released 10 years prior. That is the end. I should note that at the end of the credits, it says "Copyright 1992. Myjack Productions Incorporated." That is MPI Home Video's former full name. They have long stopped calling themselves that and now just brand themselves as MPI.

Funniest Moments Volume 1:
VHS: Attached to what would eventually be Honeybloopers Vol. 2 (they were combined in one volume on the tape and done in such a way to resemble one clip fest with no breaks so to speak.)
DVD: Attached to "Little Man Who Wasn't There", "Goodnight Sweet Prince" & "Ralph's Diet." On the Very Best Honeymooners DVD, it is attached to Honeybloopers Part 2, "Wisdom & Wit of Ed Norton" & "Letter To The Boss" ('53 version):

The Very Best DVD calls this "Funniest Moments Vol. 1" while the other DVD says "Honeybloopers Vol. 1."

The clip fest opens with Jackie doing a monologue in which you can hear noises in the background. Jackie: "That is a fine group we have back there. That is called the Tipy-Toe Squad." The announcer says that Jackie was the master of ad-libing his way out of an embarrassing situation. The announcer: "During the almost 20 year run of his CBS variety series, he was called to do some fast-talking when something went wrong." 20 years? That is a blunder in of itself. Jackie's CBS variety series combined lasted like 15 years. They show the clip from "Songs & Witty Sayings" where Audrey forgot her cue to come on stage which forced Art & Jackie to ad-lib lines like Trixie was the original girl in the floogal street sketch. (Although the subtitles said froogle, not floogal.) Next, they show the scene from "Move Uptown" where I think Zumah Cunningham accidentally squishes Jackie with her weight which causes him to quip as Ralph: "You got a license for that tank yet?" They also show a blooper from Charlie the Loudmouth where a lady (Matilda) talks to Mildred on the phone but the actress screws up the names and calls Mildred Matilda and vice versa which causes Jackie as Charlie to correct her by saying: "YOU'RE Matilda. SHE'S Mildred." Another notable blunder has Jackie announcing the June Taylor Dancers starring Marilyn Taylor (his future wife) and Peter Gladky doing a number by Leroy Anderson but Jackie stalls and finally with a smile on his face, says: "The reason why I am stretching this intro is because the stage hands aren't ready." Another clip has Jackie and a Glea Girl doing a magic trick by putting a black-haired dog into a barrel and putting the top down to do a trick where the dog's hair changes to white. Only problem. A white-haired dog appears in the barrel just before they shut the lid. The crowd sees this and laughs their heads off. Jackie and the Glea Girl pretend not to notice as they magically "change" the black-haired dog to a white-haired one by turning the barrel.

Next, they show the rehearsal scene from "Beat The Clock." The first blooper is Jackie hitting his head on the slide where Ed rolls down the lemons. The second blunder is Audrey forgetting her lines. She ad-libs by yelling: "YOU GOT ME SO UPSET THAT I FORGOT WHAT I WAS GOING TO SAY." Jackie & Art bail her out with ease. The announcer says that Jackie was as much as ease bailing him out as he was bailing out his fellow performers. They show a few seconds of the Poor Soul sketch where he tries to elope with his girlfriend by carrying her luggage down a ladder from her apartment down to the street. Only problem. The fence on the street folds down when Jackie brushes against it. So, he decides to put the fence back up. The announcer says that the bloopers that happened on his show were also small ones. The announcer also says with conveyor belts, Jackie was good blooper material. They show a clip where during his monologue, Jackie tries to say: "Dry Kinny Clip." Next blunder is Jackie having his fly open during "Hot Tip." At first, Art doesn't know it and was probably wondering why the crowd was laughing so hard.

According to the announcer, Jack had one mandate during Honeymooners sketches. The ad-libing had to be in character. Such was the case during the scene where Ralph talks to a baby in "The Adoption." Announcer: "In this episode, the HONEYMOOERS were going to adopt a child." Honeymooners? That is another blunder. He should have said Kramdens. Anyway, Jackie, during this scene, didn't memorize his lines and read the lines that were in the buggy while an actor from behind the scenes, made the bay noises. The speech he gave was very similar to the one from "A Dog's Life."

Next, Jackie is shown doing a monologue where he says that something went wrong backstage and his boss told him to go out there to kill time by talking to the audience. Jackie says that a flat was going to come down. The flat had a door on it that is usually lashed. Somebody brushed against the lashing of the door which caused it to open and because the door is open, you can't bring the curtain down because it is hitting a batten. Jackie: "I wouldn't give this spot to a leopard." The crowd applauds which causes Jack to say: "Anything that will lengthen this, I will go along with." Jack says that he is nervous and does cigarette tricks (the first one he botches). Next, they show a clip of Jackie padding for time by dancing. The dancing he does proves that despite being heavy, he was a very good dancer and light on his feet. One clip they have is Jackie dressed like an Arabic person talking to a "lady" (a man in drag.) Jackie: "They don't make faces like that anymore. How do you do it Fatima?" Fatima (man in drag): "Plastic surgery." As he says this, the guy's wig falls off which causes Jackie to say: "The bird has flown back to Capistrano." Next they show the scene from "Move Uptown" where Audrey is at the mercy of an uncooperative can opener which causes her to say: "This can opener is murder." Next, they show the clip where Art is having trouble getting out of the apartment in "Stand-In For Murder" which some people say caused that episode to run overtime. The ad-lib was George Petrie saying: "Can you get out of here." Ed: "Yes, I can."

The last clip they show is Carney using his spontaneous skills during the finale scene of "Beat The Clock" where Jackie was ad-libing lines that weren't in the script." You see, when Ed has handling the balloon by throwing it up in the air on the game show, Art accidentally popped the balloon which causes Jackie to ad-lib: "What's the matter with you? You and your hangnails." Bud Collyer (the host) was covering himself to hide his laughter. They do the stunt again but with Ralph handling the balloon by first throwing the balloon but Jackie decides to hold onto it which causes Bud to probably ad-lib: "The rules say that you have to throw the balloon in the air but the balloon is off the ground. We will count it." Ralph & Ed than have to rearrange words to form a phrase which is a phrase that I never heard of and I believe doesn't exist. The phrase: "Act In Haste. Repent At Leisure." They win the prizes for the Kramdens. One of which is a TV and a pair of baby buggies since they have been good sports and since Ralph told him that Alice's sister just gave birth to twins. As the finale ends, so does this clip fest.

Credit I think goes to (the original) Bill's 'Mooners Archives, eBay.com, tv.com, Honeymooners Lost Episodes Book, tvguide.com, honeymooners.net, Honeymooners Box Set booklet Honeymooners Lost Episodes DVD booklet, Wikipedia.org, Yahoo Group You're A Riot! & Amazon.com.
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