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Old 07-28-2017, 10:04 AM   #1
Frank Gannucci
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Default Honeymooners Episode Reviews: "Goodbye Aunt Ethel"/"Vacation At Fred's Landing" ('53)

Honeymooners Episode Reviews: "Goodbye Aunt Ethel" & "Vacation At Fred's Landing" ('54):

Episode #80
TV: In two-parts.
VCR: Attached to "Lost Job."
DVD: Attached to "What's Her Name", "Vacation At Fred's Landing (1953 version) & "The Best of The Lost Episodes." On the Remastered Lost Episodes DVD Box Set, it is attached to “Hair-Raising Tale”, “Box Top Kid”, “Two Men On A Horse”, “Box Top Kid” & “Vacation At Fred’s Landing” (’54 version).
Air Date: 6/5/54

MPI has the title of this episode as "Good Buy Aunt Ethel." I thought that this was MPI's mistake, but it says in the show the same title. Does that title have good grammar in it? No. Why this is, I have no idea.

This is an expanded version of "Alice's Aunt Ethel." Alice gets told that Alice's Aunt Ethel is coming over for a short visit and she is on her way. Ralph hates Aunt Ethel just like he hates every other relative of Alice's. Sure enough, Ralph comes home in a fantastic mood. Nothing but good luck happened to him all day. So when he gets informed of Aunt Ethel coming, he loses his good humor and orders Alice not to let her come. Alice: "Out of all my relatives, you told me that you liked Aunt Ethel the best." Ralph: "Yes and that will give you a small idea of what I think of your other relatives." Ralph is upset that he will have to sleep in a cot in the kitchen. Alice: "If one of your relatives was sleeping over, I would do the same thing." Ralph: "Sure, you and that person will be in the bedroom and I will sleep out here." Alice's Aunt Ethel luggage arrives, which according to Ralph is very big amount of luggage, arrives beforehand so Ralph tries to throw it out the window. That doesn't work when Alice intervenes. Alice's Aunt Ethel comes over regardless of what Ralph says.

Now they do a repeat performance of "Alice's Aunt Ethel." When I saw this episode followed by the small one (or was it vice-versa?), I didn't know what to think. This was before I found out that they did remakes of Honeymooners episodes. Here's what went down in this scene:

The scene opens with Alice coming into the kitchen. Ralph is sleeping in the kitchen on a cot. Ralph is very angry that Alice's Aunt Ethel is staying over. Alice tries to get the milk that is on the fire escape. Ralph wonders what the noise is so Alice told him that she is trying to open the window to give milk to Aunt Ethel. Ralph: "Where is she, on the fire escape?" Ralph then is told that the milk is outside. He offers to get the milk. He is even madder that Aunt Ethel is over at his house.

Ralph tries to get the milk, but the window is stuck. He says if he lifts up the window any higher, he will lift the building off the ground. Ha! He tries to get the milk, but accidentally knocks the milk off the escape. Ralph says that Aunt Ethel should go down there and catch the milk before it falls to the ground.

Aunt Ethel comes out and Alice tells her that breakfast is ready. Alice tells Ralph to go down to Krauss to get some milk. Ralph says no. Ralph asks Alice to get rid of Aunt Ethel. Alice says that Aunt Ethel has stayed longer than expected and she says that she appreciates the fact that Ralph has been cooperative. Alice says she will nicely try to get rid of Aunt Ethel. Aunt Ethel comes in and helps Ralph fold up the cot. Ralph gets his finger stuck. Ralph (to Aunt Ethel): "Drop your side." She does, but Ralph hurts his foot. This bit would be done again in "Battle of The Sexes" with Ed Norton and Ralph Kramden folding up the cot.

Ed Norton comes down. Ralph explains his troubles to him. Ed says something like: "Why don't you write a letter, saying: 'Your husband misses you. Please come home. Sincerely, Your Husband.'" Ralph: "She isn’t married." Ed: "Then why did she leave home?" Ha!

Ed comes up with a plan to throw her out. Ed: "Why don't you yell out the window: 'Fire!'" Ralph: "Suppose other people hear it. They will think that it's a real fire." Ed: "Then you yell: 'Fire, Aunt Ethel.'" Ralph: "You are a mental case." Ralph hatches a plan to get rid of her by faking a back injury. Aunt Ethel comes in and hears the fact that Ralph has back pain. Ralph says that he needs to be alone with Alice and lay on a soft bed. Aunt Ethel says that now she is staying due to Ralph's pain. Aunt Ethel says that sleeping on a soft bed to get rid of back pain is a lot of modern fiddle faddle. She says that Ralph should sleep on a hard floor to get rid of back pain. Ralph is now even more upset being that he just blown a big opportunity in his eyes. Question: How can lying on a hard floor get rid of back pain? Wouldn't a soft bed be better?

The next day, Ralph meets up with Ed to talk about how he can get rid of Aunt Ethel, on the way to get Aunt Ethel some ice cream. Ralph says that his back is fine, but now Aunt Ethel can't leave and visit any other family members that she knows very well because they are all going somewhere else. Ed talks about how a woman who came to his house before he met Ralph. She gets married to his uncle. Ralph hatches a scheme, he will get her married. But who? All the Raccoon Lodge members are married and the reason why they joined the lodge was to get away from their wives. Gee, they are faithful husbands...NOT! All the men that go to the bowling alley are married. He has the guy. Freddie Zimmerman is the guy. Wasn't there a TV producer or someone famous named Fred Zimmerman? Ralph says that Fred is chosen as the pigeon and invited over for dinner. The plan is set. Ralph goes out to get the ice cream for Aunt Ethel after Aunt Ethel catches him not doing it.

Everyone at home gets informed of the date. Aunt Ethel gets ready. Ralph and Ed come in and Ralph is going all out to make sure the evening is a success. He sprays the room with perfume. Ed (jokingly): "Kiss me Ralph." They also brought in a love seat. Ralph claims that he shelved out a lot of money for this evening to be a success. He also borrows a record player from George. George comes in with it. (George is played by George Petrie.) Ralph says that he used it during George's last New Year's Eve Party. Didn't the Nortons and Kramdens see the Dorsey Brother's that New Year's Eve? Ed says that Ralph got so drunk he tired to play a pizza pie on it. Ha! Now today, you think that Ralph would have borrowed a stereo or a CD player (or possibly an MP3 player if they make them into stereos). My how times have changed. Fred Zimmerman comes by with Chicken Livers. He says that single life is murder. He says he has to go to wonderful places alone. Ralph wonders why he stayed single. Ed, after hearing all the places that Fred goes to over the week wonders why he and Ralph got married. Aunt Ethel meets Fred. They all sit down. Only problem. Ed sits in the love seat with Ethel. Ralph tries to kick him out of the seat. The Nortons leave. Ralph says that they should play some games with Ralph and Alice being partners and the other two being partners. The Fred/Ethel team goes first. Gee, wasn't there a Fred/Ethel couple in I Love Lucy? Yes, I just thought of that. The game? Ethel hides an apple behind her back and if Fred doesn't get the apple in 10 seconds, she gives him a kiss. The same thing presumably goes the same for Ralph and Alice and if the person gets the apple, they keep it. Gee, doesn't it sound like Ralph is making the rules up as he goes? And doesn't it seem that he really wants Ethel and Fred to be a couple? Yes. When Fred tries to get the apple, he tells Ethel to look behind her. She does by turning her whole body. He gets the apple and Ralph sees it as cheating. Yeah, he is making up the rules as he goes. Ralph plays the game with Ethel but doesn't get the apple. So he gets kissed by Ethel. The games are over.

Ralph and Alice go into the bedroom to do something and Ralph claims that he needs all the kitchen chairs, so Fred sits in the love seat with Ethel. Ralph has also put on some soft music on the record player. Ed hears this and comes in with his records that he thinks are better. His music? Loud big band music. He also dances too. Ralph hears all of this and takes the record off and orders Ed out. The above part of this scene is VERY funny. It has to be seen and heard to be appreciated. Fred and Ethel go out to get some ice cream. They try to inform the Kramdens and when they open the door, Ralph falls. Basically, he almost indicated that he heard the whole thing. When they leave, Ralph does a funny happy dance.

Three weeks later, Aunt Ethel and Fred are still going out and Ethel is still staying with Alice and Ralph. Some short visit, huh? Alice is getting worried. Ralph says that she shouldn't be worried because they are over 21 years old. Aunt Ethel comes home and says that she and Fred are married. Ralph is ecstatic. Ralph: "I will kiss the bride, the groom and the truck." Ralph gets her things out. Not so fast. Fred lives at the local YMCA (apparently they don't allow couples to live there and/or his place there is too small), so she asks Alice if they can stay until they find a place. Alice doesn't say a word, so Ethel assumes her response is a yes. Ralph leaves to go to stay at the YMCA.

Episode #81
TV: Half-hour (edited.)
VCR: Attached to "Teamwork Beats The Clock."
DVD: Attached to "Cupid" & Jackie Gleason's Honeybloopers Volume 2. On the Remastered Lost Episodes DVD Box Set, it is attached to “Hair-Raising Tale”, “Box Top Kid”, “Two Men On A Horse”, “Box Top Kid” & “”Goodbye Aunt Ethel.”
Air Date: 6/19/54

Alice comes home and Trixie follows her home. Alice says she had a rough day. She couldn't get the key to her apartment so she put down the groceries that she had in her hand and went down to the landlord and landlady. She complained about how her husband doesn't pick up the garbage that she usually puts by her front door. The landlord who just came in says: "What are you talking about? I picked up your garbage (Alice's groceries) right now." Alice had to run down to the garbage truck to get her groceries. What humiliation!

Alice and Trixie talk about the fun time they are going to have in Atlantic City and what things that they are going to do. Ralph comes home with stuff for the trip. Trixie leaves just as Ralph reveals his new fishing attire. Why? Because Ralph reveals that they are going to Fred's Landing. A place that is right near Lake Pookamoonshine (sp?). Alice wants to go to Atlantic City. Ralph: "Atlantic City? What type of place is that for a vacation?" Let's see. Atlantic City is a very popular and great place in southern New Jersey where there are a lot of hotels, casinos and beaches. A place where people can have a whole lot of fun. Fred's Landing is a place where people camp and fish and that's it. If I was a fisherman or not, I would go to Atlantic City not Fred's Landing. Ralph reveals the "great romantic story" that Fred's Landing is attached to. A boy and a woman loved each other but they were on enemy teams. They both got killed and got buried with their arms around each other.

Alice wants to go to Atlantic City. She says she has had enough hard work to do around the house (cooking, cleaning etc.) She needs a vacation. Ralph says he has worked hard in his life too. He drives a bus all day and sees things like Central Park every day. He needs a vacation.

Ed Norton comes down in his sewer attire and says he is ready for the trip. Ralph says that he is ready for wading in the water. Ed says that he does that every day in the sewer so it won't be new to him. He reveals a very funny story about one time when he went fishing but he couldn't catch anything because since it was dark out, he didn't know he was fishing in a place that didn't even have water and fish. Ha! Ed plans on telling Trixie that they are going to Fred's Landing because he will say that Atlantic City is closed for the summer. Oh boy! Can you imagine how much money Atlantic City would lose if they closed for the summer? What a dumb move that would be. Ed leaves. Alice says that she doesn't want to go to Fred's Landing. Ralph: "All right. Stay home." Alice: "I wouldn't give you the satisfaction!"

On Vacation Day 1, Ralph and Ed have to push the car because the car is having engine trouble. The background in this scene is so not real. You can tell it's a fake background. Ralph and Ed try to fix the car by Ed getting behind the driver seat while Ralph fumbles with the engine. This is a funny scene as Ed accidentally "electrocutes" Ralph. After a number of mishaps, Ralph starts yelling at Ed. Ralph: "You were just trying to help me? You almost electrocuted me. Why don't you help me out some more? Why don't you run me over with the car?" Ed: "The car won't start." Ha! Everyone thinks that they are lost. Ed says no. Ed: "You see this black dot here? That's New York City. That is where we started from. Then we go through the Lincoln Tunnel. This black dot here is Jersey City. This black dot is Bayonne" Ralph: "Bayonne is moving and that's an ant." Ed: "Well, let's follow the ant. He looks like he knows where he is going." They eventually met a man who helps out by fixing the car. He fixes the engine. Then he leaves. Ralph and Ed go back in the car to start up the engine. The engine isn't fixed at all. Ralph and E wind up having to push the car again as Ed starts to sing: "Give me the road to..." Ralph (yells to Ed): "SHUT UP!"

At Fred's Landing, Trixie and Alice are very tired of having to cook and do all the other things that Ralph and Ed tell them to do while they go out fishing. I would love to see a fishing scene with Ralph and Ed. Ralph and Ed come back with this "big" catch that Ralph had a tug-of-war with. The "big" fish is very small. Ralph: "He lost weight during the fight." Sure Ralph. Ralph and Ed want to get some sleep before dinner. Ralph (to the girls): "You don't know how hard it is to fish. That's work. You two are lucky to have nothing to do around here." Ralph and Ed go into their respective tents which are very small. Alice (to Ralph): "One of these days, pow right in the kisser." Ralph: "What did you say Alice?" Alice: "Nothing." Question: How could Ralph not hear Alice when Alice is a few feet from him? Alice and Trixie cook up a plan to get Ralph and Ed to leave here. Another question: How could Ralph an Ed not hear of Alice and Trixie's plan when they are a few feet from them? Ralph and Ed must go to sleep very fast. Alice blows smoke in Ralph's tent. Ralph wakes up. Alice says to Ralph that she is cooking. Ralph: "Watch out! I'm not on the menu." Alice "falls" over Ralph's feet and in the process pours water over Ralph's legs. That doesn't work. Alice: "Look out Trixie! There's a snake!" Ralph wakes up. Alice: "You must have scared the snake away. They would make another reference to Fred's Landing and a snake being in a tent in "The Worry Wart." Ralph: "First you try to drown me, and then cook me, now you want me to go back in there with a snake?" Boy, Ralph is overreacting. Alice: "We are living like the Indians did." Ralph: "Well, if this is how the Indians lived, now wonder they are the vanishing race." Ha!

Alice and Trixie leave as Ralph and Ed say they are miserable here too. Ed: "Let's leave before the girls get back." Ralph concocts a plan to get them to leave here. There is a bear skin rug in the lodge that Ralph will use to scare the girls into leaving.

A "bear" comes near Ed and Ed thinks that it is Ralph. It is so obvious that the "bear" is not a real one. Ralph is behind Ed and sees the bear. Ralph tells Ed that he is not the bear that is in front of him. Ed is afraid. The girls see the "bear" and get scared. Ralph says that they are leaving and apologizes to Alice for dragging her here. Alice says: "We still have a lot of time to see Atlantic City!" They hug and kiss.

Credit I believe goes to 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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