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Old 03-30-2018, 07:31 AM   #1
Frank Gannucci
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Default Honeymooners Box Set Extra Reviews: 35th Anniversary Special & more:

Honeymooners Box Set Extra Reviews: 35th Anniversary Special & 60 Minutes' Jackie Gleason Profile (10/28/84) Outtakes

60 Minutes' Jackie Gleason Profile (10/28/84) Outtakes

DVD: On the Blu-ray release, it is attached to #16-#24 of the Classic 39 (including two versions of "$99,000 Answer", "A Dog's Life", "Here Comes The Bride" & "Please Leave The Premises" in which one of the episodes has the original ads) & 60 Minutes' Profile.

In the first clip, Jackie says that the first nightclub date he ever had was at the Club Miami in Newark. He recounts how he got the job. The owners wanted to know if he could fight well. Jackie: "If we ever had a glass crash out at the bar, the band would go into "Happy Days Are Here Again", we would go to some location in the joint where we had the leg of a chair, and go out to the bar to see that the disturbance was quieted right away. Jackie mentions Tony Galento, a future boxer. Jackie: "We were doing the 3:00am show and I had a couple of quarts, and I was telling some jokes, and he was yelling all types of things." Jackie didn't know who Tony was so he says to the crowd: "I will be back in a moment. You (Tony) come on." They got outside, Jackie took his coat off. Jackie: "Next thing I know, I was downstairs by the furnace and the owner and the guys were giving me this thing." Jackie gets told who Tony was and when he asked the owner as to why the owner didn't tell him who he was, the owner said. "You're a wise guy. You can lick everybody." Jackie: "That was a bad time. I was careful after that."

Jackie mentions his work at the 18 Club. Jackie: "The 18 Club was THE club in New York. You weren't allowed to do an act. It was all adlib and every star in Hollywood was there every night. I was also working the Queens Club that night. I went to do the second show. Later on Fred Warner wanted to sign Gleason for pictures and he signed him. Jackie played those pictures and he said he couldn't do any jokes. He went back to New York and went to work at Slapsy Maxie's

Next thing we hear about is that shot on Calvacade. Jackie says that also the first time he appeared as the paid master of ceremonies in the Halsey Theater some seltzer had gotten on the stage. He decided to walk and fall down and that's why they hired him steadily. Same thing happened on Dumont. He was doing a sketch where he was walking into a check room and the door got stuck. The sketch was terrible, but once the door got stuck he had to climb out and call for a hammer and all of that stuff. It turned out to be a big thing. He said it was all luck.

Jackie mentioned the characters. Jackie: "Once you get the crowd to like the characters in something you're doing, you are two-thirds of the way home and people could identify with The Honeymooners. Gleason mentions that he never had to worry about the cast. Morley than asks if he ever had scripts for the shows and Jack says yes. Jack mentions the time that him, Art and Pert did a script that was COMPLETLY IMPROVISED. It must have been a show that was either not taped or is still lost (like the episode entitled: "Meat Substitute.") He mentions that him and the other two had 90 minutes to write a sketch so they went over to Jackie's apartment. Pert got on the typewriter and they couldn't think of anything so they had a few drinks and they couldn't think of anything. Then a few more drinks and still nothing. So Jackie decided to improvise the whole thing. How did they do all this in 90 mins.? According to Gleason, he heard that that was the best Honeymooners sketch that they had made up until that point. Morley mentions that the show was famous for being chaotic. Jackie says that he doesn't know if it was because the results weren't chaotic. Morley: "I heard that up until airtime, everything was a mad house." Jackie mentioned that he hated rehearsing. Jack: "If you rehearsed, you got stale. I had to run through it once for the cast and when they knew that there weren't going to be any tough rehearsals, they knew their lines. There was no fooling around. The result was the proper one." Morley mentions that Jackie was the greatest in every way, but she was reduced to tears preparing for that show every time and Jack admits this. Jackie: "But then, she could have fought Primo Carnera and done the show." As far as the work goes, Jack says that he wasn't scared. Jack: "It was work up until the lights went on and the show began. Then it was fun. And after the show, if we were fortunate to come out even, it was even happier."

Morley mentions that all the characters that Gleason played were victims. Jack corrects him by saying: "Except Reggie. He made a victim of everyone." Jack mentions how mean his character was (omitting the times he was on the lost episodes entitled "XMas Party" when he was nice to the Nortons and Alice.) Jack says that Reggie liked to drink as well as some of the other things that Reggie did. One of the things that he mentioned that Reggie supposedly did was making U-Turns in the Holland Tunnel. Jackie: "Strangely the audience can recognize and go along with a guy like that. One thing that he felt bad about was hangovers." Morley: "Did you ever know a Reggie Van Gleason?" Ralph: "I almost did and I had a fight with him. We were at the Copa and he insulted someone that I was with and I said: "Come on." The guy said: "Let's go up to the park." They did. They had the fight and he said: "Not so fast. That was Reggie."

Morley than says other than Reggie, all the characters you made were kind of victims. Jackie: "The Poor Soul was a victim." He mentioned that at the end of every sketches, something bad would happen to him (omitting the times the character was in the episode "XMas Party" where he leaves with a gift from Alice.) Jackie mentions that Fenwick Babbit was like the Poor Soul. Jack: "He took it for a while and then, he was the worm that turned. He would get even with everyone." Morley: "He (the Poor Soul) was very much a Chaplinesque kind of character-" Jackie disagreed saying that Chaplin was mean. Morley asks how Chaplin would have done on TV. Jackie mentions that he was talking with a couple other comics and they didn't think that he could come up with the material every week. Jackie mentioned that Chaplin would only make a picture every two years and if there was a scene he didn't like, he would work. Jackie says with TV, it's different. No matter what, you have to go on, according to Jackie. Jackie: "I don't think that Chaplin would have enjoyed working under those conditions."

Morley says that the Ralph Kramden character was the forerunner for Archie Bunker in that they are the same guy. Jack mentions the time that Charlie O'Conner sent him a letter saying: "I know I'm doing a lot of the things that you did." Jack sent him a letter back saying: "I wish I'd done all the things you're doing." Morley mentions that the Honeymooners was one of the first attempts to make working class people funny on TV. Jackie says that people could identify with those characters. He also mentions that the apartment was basically the same kind of apartment that Jackie lived in when he was a kid.

Jackie mentions that the network (CBS) didn't try to influence the show. Jackie: "I didn't want any smut on the show." Wow! Jackie: "It had to be straight. They let me do what I wanted because of what I told them at DuMont and if I flop, I flop." Jackie mentions that when the people heard this or read it in the paper, they said: "Oh, he must be great." Jackie: "You have to do a show that enhances the star. The other performers want you to be enhanced. They are willing to go along." Morley: "So, its something even beyond ego?" Jackie: "Ego has nothing to do with it. It's just down-to-earth, good business."

Morley: "No smut, no suggestiveness. Every show on TV lives on that formula now." Morley and Jackie could not see the days of TV 30 years later. Jackie mentions that smut and suggestiveness is easy to write. The Honeymooners was tough to write. The sketches were tough to write because I wouldn't do anything that wasn't-- That couldn't happen for real even in the Reggie sketches, a guy like him would do." Um, I think if the Kramdens ever existed in real-life, they would be divorced. Morley asks if Jackie is prudish. Jackie: "As far as my appeal to an audience, I think so but not in private life. A great deal of sexual innuendo is connected to my private life."

Morley mentions the time he made a movie with Richard Pryor. Morley: "You met with guys like Eddie Murphy. Did they make you laugh?" Jackie: "Only Richard. Flip Wilson is a great sketch comedian." Morley: "But the young guys rely on sexual situations or jokes or whatever do they make you laugh?" Jack: "No."

Morley mentions the time in where Jack played the sheriff in Smokey and the Bandit is really a total departure from Jackie Gleason and Jack agrees. Jackie: "That is what I meant it to be. First, I got a pencil mustache for a sheriff. A southern sheriff with a pencil mustache? And I made it just as hot as I could possibly make it." Morley mentions that they tried to find a clip of Smokey and The Bandit that they could use where there is no profanity and Jack agrees. Uh, couldn't they just censor the profane words? Jackie mentions that the director said that Jackie could say anything that he wanted as long as it made sense in the movie. Jackie: "At first, there wasn't any script for me. He mentioned that the lunchroom scenes and the ending scene were the two only scenes that he had with Burt Reynolds. Morley: "For a movie without a script, it was a big success." Jack: "First time, I saw a crowd stand up and applaud when the movie was over, I didn't understand it. It was a carefree movie.

Morley mentions that Jack chose to do a lot of work that the great TV comedians don't do like a serious actor etc. Morley: "How come?" Jackie: "I realized that when I put the show together that no guy is rich enough to come out and do the show every week and entertain the crowd. I needed characters to do that. I needed variety. Same thing with my career. I liked dramatic work. I liked writing plays and TV shows. I was fortunate enough to be successful at it."

Morley asks: "How much acting was involved in The Hustler for you?" Jack: "A lot because I was between two heavyweights. I was between Newman and Scott. They are awful good and if you don't wanna look like a wimp, you better wind up and throw a couple. So you had to act in self-defense." Morley: "Did that acting come easier than most?" Jack: "Only the pool shooting. The rest was an acting job. I made all my shots in the film."

Morley: "Do you find Bob Hope funny?" Jack: "Yes. I don't think he's too good a scene comic. He's the All-American comedian." Wasn't Bob Hope an Englishman? Jackie: "He is what people think--as a clean-cut, nice guy, getting up there, telling them jokes and making them laugh. He is the epitome of that.

Next, Jackie and Morley are talking about the You're In The Picture fiasco in which the following week, Jackie apologized to the fans for the BOMB of that show. Jackie: "That was the first show I did with the cup. I knew I had to do something funny. I had the girl come out and pour some J&B into the cup. I took a sip and went "Oooh."I told them how terrible the show was. Once again, I wonder if the five fans of that show were upset at that moment since they weren't getting that show on that day. Back iin those days, they were no onscreen TV Guides that mentioned last minute changes. Jackie mentioned that they retooled the show as an interview show."

Next, Jackie mentions that you couldn't exist at Toots Shor's unless you had a few bombs during the day. Jackie: "I never drank on show day." Morley: "What was Toots Shor's then, really? Jack: "Toots was the candy store that you hung out as a kid but this one was for adults. Most everyone was a friend of the other. They would defend you to death. It was a great place. II couldn't wait there for lunch. There would be DiMaggio, Mantle, Considine, uh, Caniff, and Cannon. They are witty guys. I would get there at 11 before the place opened and leave at 4, 4:30p. I would go home, take a shower and get dressed and come back for dinner. The same guys were there. It was one of the fun times in my life." Morley: "But the fun, a lot of the fun was to get the others, wasn't it?" Jackie: "Oh, you needed everyone. My life was devoted to going to Toots every day and getting him into some kind of trouble that everyone could laugh at. After doing something that got him in trouble that everyone could laugh at, he was asked to leave." Makes me wonder why Toots didn't ban him. He never held a grudge. That was it.

I was somewhat disappointed that there weren't any real funny outtakes here but this feature did have clips of the interview that didn't make the real 60 minutes interview.

35th Anniversary Special (UNCUT):

DVD: DVD: Attached to episodes #33 - 39 of the classic 39, with the original opening and closings of the show. On the HD Blu-Ray set, it is attached to episodes #34-39 of the classic 39, the full, 1-hour musical special The Honeymooners: The Adoption from 1966, the 50th network TV anniversary special and two versions of "The Bensonhurst Bomber" (one has the original sponsor ads) and two versions of "A Man's Pride" (one has the original sponsor ads.)
Air Date: 11/12/90

Special thanks to Benno123 from sitcomsonline.com for supplying me with this special.

When this was released onto DVD, Paramount edited all the lost episode clips. End result: A special that is less than 20 minutes long.

Various Classic 39 clips are played in the opening with Gleason, Carney & Randolph offering comments. The old CBS Stereo Sound logo appears saying that this special is available in stereo where available. My, how times have changed. The announcer says that this special includes two sketches not seen since the 50s. He also introduces the famous cast with Audrey Meadows serving as the host.

Audrey Meadows walks onto what I am assuming is the real Honeymooners set. At first, the picture is in B&W but changes to color. Audrey: “The Honeymooners debuted in 1955. Today, it is more popular than it ever was.” Once again, how times have changed. Audrey: “Tonight, you will see two Honeymooners sketches not seen since the early 50s. You will see how the characters evolve.” They show a clip of the 1952 version of “The Quiz Show.” Audrey says that when we return from commercials, we will see “The Quiz Show.”

Time for a commercial break.

Audrey says that this apartment brings back a lot of memories. She cherishes them. Audrey: “We filmed each one of the 39 episodes in this kitchen and hundreds of Honeymooners sketches before that on the Jackie Gleason Show. ‘The Quiz Show’ is one of those sketches.” The Quiz Show is played. After that, it is time for a commercial break.

Audrey: “One of the reasons for the success of the Honeymooners is the strength of its characters. The Kramdens & Nortons were real people with real problems. Our crowds can indentify with them. There is a little bit of these characters in all of us. There is no one quite like Ralph Kramden. He can be volcanic.” The clip where Ralph calls Alice’s Mom a blabbermouth is shown. Audrey: “Sometimes he can be a pussycat.” The clip where Ralph apologizes to Alice via a record is shown. As the clip where Ralph outlines his plans to win the $99,000 on the $99,000 Answer play, Aud says that life with Ralph was never dull.

A clip from an interview with Art Carney plays. Art: “Kramden was a schemer. Everything fell through for the guy.” A clip of a Jackie Gleason Interview from 60 Minutes plays. Jackie: “The poor soul doesn’t have a heck of a lot of ability. He gets schemes that are designed to make him & Alice happy.” A clip from “A Dog’s Life” plays where Ralph unveils his plans for marketing Kramnar’s Delicious Mystery Appetizer as well as other ideas. An old interview with Herbert Finn (one of the writers) plays. Herbert: “The idea of writing Kramden’s script is what he can do so he can get in trouble.” An old interview Leonard Stern plays. Leonard: “In a strange way, he represented every man in that character.” From the Jackie interview: “He’s just an ordinary moax that’s trying to make it and just can’t do it.” The clip where Mr. Marshall catching Ralph at his desk from “A Man’s Pride” is shown. An interview with Frank Marth is played. Frank: “He wasn’t Mr. Perfect. He made mistakes that were HUGE blunders.” A clip where Ralph getting stuck between the pipes from “Dial J For Janitor” is shown all the while Audrey says: “Norton was always there to lend a helping hand.” She says this just as Ed pulls out the wheel from the Boiler Room. A wheel that is used to increase and decrease heat from the pipes. From the Art interview: “Norton was always getting Ralph into trouble. Ralph would get Ed into trouble but they would not get mad at each other by the time the episode ended.” What about episodes like “Cottage For Sale”, “One Big Happy Family” etc.? From the Art interview: “Ed would be a person that hung around the corners a lot in the New York area. Like I did when I was a kid.” A clip where Ed misreads “poloponies” from “On Stage” is shown. From the Art interview: “Norton was a mental case. Let’s face it. Basically, a good-hearted, kind, patient guy. He had to be to put up with Kramden.” As the Ed addressing the ball moment from “The Golfer” is shown, Art says playing that character was a joy. From the Art interview: “If Ed Norton entered the room, you knew something was going to happen.

They play the clip from “$99,000 Answer” where Alice voices her displeasure about Ed playing the piano & Ralph guessing the songs. Ralph: “$600. Peanuts, peanuts. What am I going to do with peanuts?” Alice: “Eat ‘em. Like any other elephant.” Audrey: “Unlike Ed, Alice wasn’t going to let Ralph push her around.” They play various Classic 39 clips where Ralph threatens to send Alice to the moon. As the clip where Ralph tells Alice that she can’t go on the fishing trip from the beginning of “Something Fishy” plays. Audrey: “I always thought of Alice as the first Women’s liberal. As deeply as she loved Ralph, she was not going to be a doormat. Another clip from “The Babysitter” is shown where Ralph says: “That phone is for you-you-you.” The phone rings. Alice answers it. Alice: “It’s for you-you-you.” The clip from “A Woman’s Work Is Never Done is shown where Ralph begs for Alice to quit her job and resume her housework. Aud: “Alice was really in love with Ralph. She knew that every one of her schemes were designed for her to get a better life.” From the Jackie interview: “He fails. When he fails, she feels a great deal of affection for him. She knows why she did it.” A clip of Ralph apologizing to Alice from the Classic 39 is shown. From the Jackie interview: “The people like them. When that happens, you are 2/3 of the way home. There were many Kramdens in Brooklyn. There were a lot in the area that I grew up in.” They play vintage clips of the Bushwick section of Brooklyn. Aud: “Jackie was born in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn in 1916. He spent much of his time on the streets which would be the basis of his later comedy.” As a picture of Gleason as a child is shown, Gleason says that his dad left him and his mom had to work. A George Petrie interview is played: “Gleason had a very unhappy childhood.” Aud: “It wasn’t long before Jackie discovered show business. He began doing comedy routines in very small clubs and eventually in some of New York’s biggest venues. Next came his stint on the Cavalcade of Stars.” The opening to that show is played. From a Joyce Randolph interview: “He was theatrically brilliant. He didn’t have a lot of schooling. He had a very unhappy bringing up in Brooklyn.” They show a clip where Jackie has Sammy play a little traveling music during Cavalcade. They next show the start of a Honeymooners clip from that show. I think the episode is entitled: “Ring Salesman.” From the Art interview: “Jackie was 35. I was 32. We were both a couple of kids really and we acted like a couple of kids too. A Charlie Bratton sketch from Cavalcade is shown. From the Art interview: “That Irish chemistry worked right from the start. I became a regular with him.”

Audrey recalls her first meeting with Jackie regarding the part of Alice just as she is standing beside an old CBS Network camera. I think you know the gist. Jackie said that Audrey looked too young and too pretty. Audrey responded by having a photographer come to her apartment the next morning and take a photo of her without any makeup on, her all frumpy, a torn blouse, an old apron and holding a pan in her hand. Jackie looks at the pictures and says that this was his Alice. Jackie was wondering where we can get her and then was told that that was the woman that he turned down from the day before. According to Aud, Jackie said: “Any dame with a sense of humor like that deserves the job. Hire her.” From the Art interview: “Audrey would help Gleason out if he forgot a line or if I forgot a line. That is why we worked with each other. Jackie’s adlibs were always done in character.” Clips where Jackie adlibbed lines were shown. Aud: “Jackie hated to rehearse. He liked to improvise and he expected the same from us which really kept us on our toes.” A 1986 Gleason interview plays where he says: “Too much rehearsal would take the edge off of it. At first, it was tough on the other actors because they like to rehearse but we had the kind of performers that could do it my way.” From the Frank Marth interview: “I can never remember rehearsing with Jackie because he loved the spontaneity.” From the Leonard Stern interview: “The show was filmed like a football game.” As the clip where Ralph burns his finger from “Pal O’ Mine” is shown, Leonard says: “Jackie was the ball and you stayed with him.” As a clip where Ralph hurt his finger from “Mind Your Own Business” is shown, Audrey says: “You never knew where Jackie might go and sometimes neither did he.” She says this just as Jackie leaned against the wall which caused it to accidentally fall down. That was not supposed to happen. Aud says that if people saw something go as wrong as that, the people knew the show was done live. From the 1986 Gleason interview: “If you are doing comedy, it is necessary to do it in front of a live audience.” They play the clip where Ed swivels his hips just as he is about to practice hitting the golf ball as well as when he swings. From the Art interview: “Those Classic 39 had a terrific quality of spontaneity. From the Joyce interview: “It was exciting and scary but it made for wonderful shows.” They play the clip where Ralph is having trouble skating all the while holding drinks from “Young At Heart.” From the Joyce interview: “We had no idea if Gleason could skate at all. It was really wild that episode. Art, Audrey and I were sent to a skating rink to practice a little bit but Gleason didn’t join us. So, we had to wing it.” They played the clip from “Young At Heart” where all the characters are having trouble getting Ralph back to his feet while all four of them are on skates.” Aud: “Jackie’s love of spontaneity gave us room to improvise on the set.” From the Art interview: “One afternoon on the set, I was thinking of what my dad would do when he signed my report card. He would warm up and take his time and it got to the point where I said to myself: ‘Dad, would you please sign it?’ When I had to sign something on one of the Honeymooners episodes, he came to my mind, I threw it in and it was established form there on in.” They play a clip where Ed warms up before writing Ralph’s weak points from “Young Man With A Horn.” From the Art interview, he recalls a neighbor coming up to him after watching the show and saying: “You mean you got paid for what you did last night?” They play the clip of him and Ralph dancing from “Young At Heart.”

Audrey: “We had a lot of fun in here. These walls echoed with love and laughter. But there were tender moments too that made the Honeymooners so special. As you will see in this next episode.” They play a clip of “Lost Baby.” Time for a commercial break. One of the commercials is a picture of outside Toledo, Ohio from WTOL-TV. On the top of the screen it says: “Skywatch 11.” The temperature that night at 10:39p was 34 degrees.

Audrey introduces us to this sketch and says that is was only the 3rd time that she, Jackie & Art worked together. Aud: “The episode played perfectly with the exception of a stubborn bedroom door.” The bedroom door in this sketch was supposed to open with ease but it didn’t which caused Aud to adlib in character to Ralph: “I wish you will fix this door.” The sketch is played.

Before the commercial break, Audrey says that when they come back, they are going to play her and Art’s favorite moments. Time for another commercial break.

Audrey: “Jackie tried to make a balance with humor and humanity.” They show the clip where Alice tries to make Ralph feel better at the end of “The Loudspeaker.” From The George Petrie interview: “He was a terrific comic actor too.” They show the clip where Ralph was holding an adorable puppy from “A Dog’s Life” and showing his love for it. From the Frank interview: “If you laughed at it, it was funny.” They played the clip where Ralph & Ed did the beginning of Chef of The Future bit at the end of “Mind Your Own Business.” Aud: “Jackie showed us there can be humor in pain and pain in humor and the Honeymooners had it all. Various Classic 39 clips are played while the theme song plays. The last clip is off the Kramdens and Nortons embracing from “Young At Heart.” From the Art interview: “When you can make people laugh, as Kramden & Norton did in satisfaction, it is hard to explain.” From the Gleason 60 minutes interview, Gleason says: “When you get people to laugh, it is great.” Time for another commercial break.

Audrey: “For 35 (now 63) years, the Honeymooners has entertained millions of people all over the world. Working with Jack, was one of the greatest times in my life. The word ‘genius’ is overworked. But if the world of comedy is worthy of a genius, it had one in Jackie. The Kramdens relationship is as strong as ever and the Honeymoon is still going on. Happy 35th Anniversary. Good night everyone.” As Aud leaves the set, the picture turns to B&W. What happened to Aud & Art revealing their favorite clips? As the closing credits play, Lesley Stahl plugs America Tonight. Another guy says: “Stay tuned for your local news and Wise Guy is where the late night excitement is late night on CBS.”

On a side note, when I viewed this special after seeing the hack job Paramount did, I think I noticed that Paramount deemed it necessary to not only edit out the lost episode clips but I think they also edited out some of the non-Lost Episode clips that were between the Lost Episode clips. I guess because of the fact that they did edit out the Lost Episode clips; they also couldn’t show those clips because if they did, they felt that the special would look worse than what they put on the DVD.

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 Groups You're A Riot! & Amazon.com
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