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Old 08-11-2017, 11:44 AM   #1
Frank Gannucci
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Join Date: Mar 05, 2007
Posts: 6,306
Default Honeymooners Episode Reviews: "Love Letter" ('54) & "The People's Choice":

Honeymooners Episode Reviews: "Love Letter" ('54) & "The People's Choice":

Episode #84
TV: This episode has not been seen in syndication but TV Land aired it two or three times in 2004 just after it was discovered by Georgia University.
DVD: Attached to “Game Called On Account of Marriage”, “Ralph's Sweet Tooth", “People’s Choice” & “Battle of The Sexes.”
Air Date: 10/16/54

A lot of people didn't know that this episode had actually existed before Georgia University discovered the Jackie Gleason Show episode that this episode was a part of. A few people, like John K. did know because his book "To The Moon" was written in 2003. This was the only lost episode that was truly lost for 50 years until it was discovered by the University of Georgia in 2004. This lost episode skit was then shown in it's entirety on TV Land in October of 2004 along with the Jackie Gleason Show episode that it was "attached" to. The first time TV Land aired it was on 10/16/04. Fifty years to the day the episode was first shown on TV. The channel made sure that the skit was shown in it's entirety but a lot of things had to be edited out not only for time but also for other things. A message by someone on this message board that was written in 2004 said this:

"Perhaps someone can answer this question-what is it with TV Land? this is the 2nd time in recent memory (or not so recent) that the opening credits to a TV show have been butchered or altered. Yeah, back in the 50's, a cigarette company sponsored the show. Big frigging deal. and then to have some "clown" who supposedly represents TV Land come out before the show and give some lame a$$ reasons why they did not show it the way it was 50 years ago was ludicrous. So it was a cigarette company....oh yeah, wait, that is not politically correct in the 21st century. Why would you want to rip up a piece of history. I guess I ask the same question about the lost episode of the honeymooners. Didn't Oldsmobile sponsor the show way back when? Somehow i suspect that those opening credits still exist. Would it have killed TV Land to show it with everything intact and uncut. Once again, that would have been a real piece of history."

Um, I think the reason why they got rid of the sponsor plugs was because that they didn't want to get in trouble by the FCC (highly unlikely that they would have because this episode was done in the 50s) as well as might have been a chance that the common fan would get confused if they saw no commercial that mentioned the sponsor (highly unlikely that would happen since the episode is in Black & White.) Now since then, networks like BUZZR (not a typo) Tv have aired old game shows with the original sponsor plugs without any trouble from the FCC and likewise Antenna Tv have aired episodes from the Carson era of the Tonight Show under the umbrella title Johnny Carson due to NBC not allowing them to use the Tomight Show name with original sponsor plugs intact with no problems from the FCC.

The discovery of this episode is what led MPI to release a "remastered" lost episodes DVD box set that they released in 2011. Only the episode is shown and nothing else like Jack Lescoulie talking to the people etc.

I have the TV Land copy as well as the MPI version. The latter only has the episode while the former has extras that I will be reviewing too. The show opens up with a fireworks display, but then immediately cuts to Jackie Gleason talking. He introduces Ray Bloch. Jackie: "I am glad to have your noodle with us this week. It's Marcaroni Week. That is the new crew haircut he has. Only trouble is that the crew bailed out." Jackie then mentions how they shouldn't make fun of Ray. According to Jackie, Ray did a lot of things for his wife who was pregnant with their first kid. Jackie: "Finally, when they got to the hospital, he said: 'You sure you want to go through with this?'" Jackie mentions how one of the band members just got married to a beautiful wife that was 400 pounds. (She wasn't fat. Just very tall.) Jackie: "How about some traveling music Ray?" Ray plays traveling music as Jackie dances to the other side of the stage just in time for TV Land to go to commercial with a commercial bumper made just for this special episode.

Jack Lescoulie comes on and says that now is the time for the audience to see Ralph & Alice Kramden. Jack: "When the Kramdens got married, they swore that they would count to ten before they got angry. The Kramdens have now been married for 14 years and so far they have counted up to 8,460,320." With that, the episode begins.

Alice borrows a cookbook from Trixie and in it finds a love letter that Ed once wrote to Trixie. Alice leaves it on the icebox and Ralph later comes in. Trixie is hiding Ralph's birthday present behind his back. She leaves. Ralph asks Alice if she knew anything about it. Alice says that it is nothing. Ralph: "Alice you don't hold nothing behind your back. You hold it out front so everyone can see it." Alice tells Ralph it's his birthday present and later tricks her into saying the present, which is a belt. Wait a minute. This episode 10/16/54. The remake was shown on Nov. 24, 1956 and "Pardon My Glove" was shown on Mar. 17, 1956. In both episodes, Alice prepares for Ralph's birthday. Also, in "Battle of The Sexes", Ralph is a Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) & in "Stars Over Flatbush", Ralph is a Taurus (April 21-May 21). In two of the Color episodes, Ralph's birthday is in October. Wow! Ralph: "Pretty small gift." Alice: "Not with what you have to wrap it around." Ralph finds the letter. Ralph (reading it): "'I love you! I love you! Signed: Your lover. P.S.: I love you!'" Naturally Ralph thinks that Alice is seeing another man. Ed comes in and Ralph reads the letter to him. Ed: "That is sweet Ralph. Who are you going to send it too?" Ralph: "I am not sending it to anybody." Ed: "Oh, somebody sent it to you." Ralph tells Ed the whole situation and Ed tries to find out who wrote it (he doesn't know that he himself wrote it) Ed tries to think about it but says he will think better when he eats. He eats what is on Ralph's table. Ralph then thinks that since Alice is seeing another man and giving him what he wants for dinner, she must be poising him. Ed: "The joke is on her because you're not eating the food. I am." Ed then worries that he would die of the poison so Ralph tells him to relax. Alice leaves and Ralph questions where she is going. She says to the store and leaves. Ed volunteers to follow her. Ed: "I will be a regular human blood hound. I will follow her to the ends of the earth." Ed leaves and comes back a few seconds late saying he lost her on the stairs. Oh gee.

Jack Lescoulie welcomes KWTV-TV in Oklahoma City for joining CBS. He recaps what we saw so far. He introduces the next scene. Strange music plays.

Ralph & Ed go to a Mrs. Paterson (a letter analyst at a newspaper). Mrs. Paterson enters to applause. Ralph tries to explain the whole situation but twists his facts. He says that his friend's wife and not his wife is going out with some other guy and when his friend catches the two, he is going to fracture the traitor's skull. The analyst sees the letter and says that the writer is rude, going through life in a sloppy manner and not to bright. The things she notices are that he dotted a T, didn't close his O's and he crossed a L. Ralph: "We know that he is stupid, rude and sloppy. Ed says he knows a guy but when he gives him more thought, he finds out that he can't write. the analyst says she is busy and will analyze the letter later and mail it to Ralph. Ed volunteers to write down the address. D'oh! Big surprise coming for Ralph. Ed starts to write down the address but he does his usual warming up which causes Ralph to slap him on the back and yell: "COME ON!" Yeah, Ralph just embarrassed Ed in front of Mrs. Paterson. Ed writes down the address. Ralph & Ed leave. Mrs. Paterson sees the handwriting of the address and the letter and knows it was Norton who wrote the letter. She brings in Ralph and tells him the whole story. Ralph doesn't believe it and says he will open Ed's head. Mrs. Paterson says that Alice may not care for Ed and give her the benefit of a doubt. Ralph: "If they do like each other, they are going to have a lot of fun on the moon." Ralph leaves.

A camera zooms in on a Glea Girl. She says: "Now welcome back to the second half of the Jackie Gleason Show and away we go." Jack Lescoulie comes on and recaps what we saw in the last scene. He introduces us to the next scene.

Alice is home Trixie comes by. She wants to know what bowling ball to give Ralph. Trixie worries that she is going overboard with a bowling ball and a party at the Hong Kong Gardens. Alice disagrees. Ed comes by and said that Trixie’s mom is on the phone. Trixie leaves. Alice asks Ed to help her pick out a bowling ball for his birthday present. Ed says that Ralph likes the three-finger one. Ed says that Ralph will be bowling every night but Alice says that he won’t. Ralph comes home and they try to keep everything a secret. Ralph said that he had the worst day of his life. Alice goes to the bedroom. Ed leaves. Ralph is pacing. Ralph: "Mrs. Paterson is nuts. She is nuts. How could I even accuse my best friend. Norton, my buddy. One of the finest creatures that was ever put on this earth and besides how could Alice go for a bum like him." Alice comes out and Ralph slips into his rather loud PJs. Ralph wants to have a night alone just the two of them. Alice has other plans. She wants to go out shopping. She leaves. Ralph: "She ain't getting away with it. Ralph puts on his cap and leaves but realizes he still has his PJs on so he goes back in to change and while still in his PJs, rips his uniform's pants.

Jack Lescoulie mentions the Park Sheraton Hotel. Jack: "Jackie told me to tell you of an important date. Nov. 15. The Department of Defense says that Christmas packages must be mailed to Service people overseas by Nov. 15. Don't forget. Mail them early." Jack recaps some of what we saw so far and introduces us to the next scene.

We can hear the audience laugh already. They were probably laughing at how ridiculous the curtains in the Norton apartment looks. (Obviously, we couldn't see the real colors of the curtains). This was also on of the first times the "living/dining room" area of the Norton apartment was shown. Ralph talks to Trixie upstairs and says that he is upset. So Trixie turns the radio on for him. A song: “I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now” plays which gets Ralph more upset. He explains the letter. She naturally doesn't believe it. Ralph reads it to her. Ed & Alice come in just as Ralph says the "I love you, I love you, I love you" part of the letter to Trixie. Ed assumes that Ralph is seeing his wife and vice-versa. Ed challenges Ralph to a fight and Ralph "punches" Ed. It is so obvious that Ralph didn't punch Ed. Alice explains to Ralph that Ed helped her pick out Ralph's birthday gift. Trixie & Alice explain the whole truth about the love letter. Ralph apologizes to everyone. Ralph & Alice kiss as the traditional music that accompanies the kiss plays. It continues playing as the curtain closes and Jackie comes out. This is one of those rare times we get to hear the full version of that song. Jackie: "That is the first kiss that I got from Mrs. Meadows this season. She hasn't lost her stroke. Ummm BOY!" Jackie introduces the whole cast. I think he accidentally calls Zamah Cunningham (the person who played Mrs. Paterson). The Jackie Gleason Show theme song plays as they go off stage. The credits roll. If you listen to the theme song music as the cast goes off stage and when the credits roll, there is a jump in the audio. Obviously, something was edited out. As the credit rolls along, the Gleason girls walk to the camera separately. The announcer then reads EVERYTHING on the credit roll but also adds the lines I think (since his voice was hard to hear): "Trixie was played by Joyce Randolph. Gowns by Harvey Barry. Flowers by the Lexington Flower Shop. Furs by Writhers. Gloves by Wairright. Jewelry by Charles Rose. (unintelligible) by Judy Bye."

I was told that when the radio version of this episode was done, they just basically copied the audio from this episode and Jack Lescoulie talking except for the handwriting expert scene and Jack introducing the then-new CBS station as well as Jack referencing the Park Sheraton Hotel. The audio is found on the Lost Episodes DVD Box Set that was released in 2011.

Episode #85 (Syndicated episode #56/57)
TV: In two parts.
VCR: Attached to "What's The Name?"
DVD: Attached to "Hero" & "Two Tickets To The Fight." On The Lost Episodes DVD Box Set, it is attached to "Ralph's Sweet Tooth", "Game Called On Account of Marriage," "Love Letter" ('54 version) & "Battle of The Sexes."
Air Date: 10/23/54

When this episode was remade as a Color Honeymooners episode, they didn't bother to rename it. Usually when an episode is remade as a Color Honeymooners episode, it's retitled.

This is an expanded version of "Finger Man."

Ed comes in and says he is thinking about getting a present for a fellow sewer worker who's retiring. He suggested getting his boots bronzed. Oh boy! Alice says that is not a good gift for Ralph. Ralph comes home and tells the good news. He trapped a killer named "Bullets" Durgom. In reality, Bullets Durgom was a friend of Gleason’s and worked with him. Alice: "You trapped a killer? Weren't you scared?" Ed: "Any person who drives a bus in New York traffic ain't afraid of nothing."

The policemen come by along with reporters. Ed asks the police chief: "Are those Dick Tracy stories taken from real police files?" Ralph: "Why are you bothering him asking questions like that for? Of course they are." Typical Ralph. Ralph and the police chief's picture gets taken when all of a sudden, there's news that "Bullets" has escaped. And he is out to get whoever put the finger on him. D'oh! Not something Ralph wants to hear.

The policeman and reporters leave. Everyone gets worried about Ralph's safety. Ed: "He isn't going to come up here and kill you. He's going to wait in the night and see you at night and then he will kill you." Ralph: "Will you leave me alone?" Alice says that Ralph should go outside and ask a policeman for some help. He does but comes back a few seconds later saying: "Are you nuts? Sending me outside knowing that I could get killed." Ed says that Ralph should hide out in his Uncle's place in New Jersey. He will never find him there because Ed's been down there a few times and he couldn't find his Uncle's place himself. Ed also suggests that he will get his sailor's costume. He will never recognize him in that. He leaves. A knock is heard. Ralph wants to hide. It's the policemen. They hatch a plan. Ralph will wait in the kitchen and the policemen and Alice will hide in the bedroom and they will catch "Bullets" when Ralph says: "Bullets, it's you.” They say if they try to catch "Bullets" outside, an innocent bystander might get hurt. Ralph waits in the kitchen and the policemen and Alice wait in the bedroom. When "Bullets" arrives, Ralph gets tongue-tied. Ed comes in and yells: "BULLETS, IT'S YOU." The policemen nab "Bullets." and leave Ed also leaves. Ralph all during this time is saying: "Ba ba."

The next week, Ralph is working on his scrapbook. He's been patting himself on the back. Alice comes in with every newspaper that she could find that has Ralph's picture on the front page. Ralph is elated until he finds out that Alice got a newspaper with a horse on the front page. Alice says that the picture of the horse fooled her. Ha! Alice says that Ralph should come back down to earth. Ralph has been staying at home all week, patting himself on the back. The neighbors now say that he's swellheaded. Ralph says that the neighbors a re jealous because they didn't capture a killer or get some other good things like being in the audience on the Ed Sullivan Show. Ralph: "I'm a hero. A hero. A heeero. Do you know what that is?" Alice: "Yeah, it's a fat sandwich that is full of baloney." Ha! Alice leaves.

Mr. Morgan and Mr. Weaver come in. They heard that since Ralph captured "Bullets", he has shown to be a fearless citizen. Oh boy! He is just the person that they need for their party. They want Ralph to run for assembly. Ralph doesn't know what to think. Mr. Morgan: "After Assembly, who knows? You may become Senator Governor, maybe even President." Mr. Morgan says that just because Ralph is a bus driver, that shouldn't ruin his chances of becoming an Assemblyman. If Ralph is elected, they will help him out. Ralph says that he will run. They leave.

Ed comes in and Ralph tells him what Mr. Morgan and Mr. Weaver said to him about being an Assemblyman. Ed: "Maybe if a crook falls down the sewer, maybe I can become President." Alice comes in. Ed (to Alice): "There lies the next President of the U.S." Ha! Ralph is upset that Ed told Alice the good news. Ed leaves. Ralph tries to explain to Alice so she won't think that he's nuts. Alice says that she doesn't think that Ralph is nuts about thinking about running for president. She mentions some other ideas that Ralph had like becoming the manager of the next world's heavyweight champion in boxing and him and Ed going to Long Island to dig up Captain Kidd's treasure Boy, I would have loved to see a full thirty or two part episode of Ralph and Ed doing the latter. Ralph says that this president stuff is way in the future and now he's running for assemblyman. Ralph mentions to Alice what Mr. Morgan and Mr. Weaver came in and what they told Ralph. Alice says: "If you become elected, what do you know about running for Assembly?" Ralph says that the tow will help him. Alice is even more against him running. Alice talks about a story about another guy becoming elected and after that, the city suffered a big treasury loss. Ed Norton comes back in with a great idea on how to save on campaign money. His idea? Get all the Dewey buttons they can find and erase the mustache. Ralph kicks Ed out. Ralph says that he's an assemblyman and that Ed Norton will kill him before the campaign. I wonder how the campaign buttons would have looked, if they erased Dewey's mustache.

The whole gang comes marching down the street. Alice has the cymbals and Ed is playing the big drum that he is wearing. You know if I was Ralph in this situation, I think I would be SLIGHTLY EMBARRASSED. Ralph says that doing this would get him some votes. Alice laughs because with that drum on Ed, Ed looks almost as fat as Ralph. Alice: "Shall I get a cop to help keep the crowds back?" A couple of potential man and woman voters come by. Ralph reads his speech which goes:

"Friends, pretty soon it will be time to go to the polls and vote. You can vote for a guy like me, Ralph Kramden. A guy who has captured such ruthless gangsters such as Bullets Durgom or you can vote for my opponent, that no good BUM, Harvey Porter."

Gee, calling he just called his opponent a bum. That's so not going to help him get votes. The potential voters leave s Ralph promises honest government and more benches in the parks (though Jackie says: "parks in the benches. I wonder if that was a small blunder.) Ralph (to the man): "She won't be such a riot after you marry her." Gee, that's so not earning him brownie points. It's getting cold, so Ed tires to make hot smoke with some paper. But when more potential voters come by, Ralph coughs because of the smoke and calls Ed a moron and insults Trixie all in public. That's Ralph for you. Another potential voter comes by saying he's for Harvey Porter and says that Harvey has done a lot for the district such as building three new schools. Ralph says that in order for him to do that, he had to raise taxes. The man says: "I would like you to tell me how you are going to build schools without taxes?" Ralph says nothing. Ralph: "You will probably tell Harvey my plans." The guy leaves. Ralph later says to the gang that if he is asked a question that he doesn't know the answer too, he will give them a signal and they will start playing music as Ralph talks. Gee, that's a great idea not! Alice: "When you get elected and go to Albany Ralph, are you going to bring the drums and cymbals with you?" Can you just see Ralph as President, him being asked a question that he doesn't know the answer to and instructing his friends to make noises with their instruments while he talks? Oh boy! Another potential voter comes by asking Ralph a question that Ralph doesn't know. So the gang plays music while Ralph talks. The person can't hear Ralph due to the noise that the gang is making. After they have finished, the guy says: "When did you four nuts escape?" He leaves. Ralph instructs Ed to go down the street and play the drum, to lead the voters to Ralph. He and Trixie leave.

Mr. Morgan and Mr. Weaver come by just as Ralph reluctantly bangs Alice's cymbals. They call Ralph and idiot for doing what he's doing and they order him to read the speech they have made for him to read at the high school rally. They leave as Ralph thinks that maybe Alice is right for saying those two are crooks. Ed comes back with the drum busted over his head. He ran into Mr. Morgan and Mr. Weaver down the street. They must have introduced themselves to Ed and later assaulted him for helping Ralph. That was so not nice of them.

At the high school rally there's a big famous picture of Ralph in the background, Mr. Morgan introduces Ralph. As Ralph is coming through, the crowd is cheering him and there are signs praising him. As you watch Ralph coming through the crowd, I think you can assume it's the audience that is watching the Jackie Gleason Show live. It made sense for the producers to use that crowd instead of making one. Alice is also introduced. As Ralph is reading the speech that is a pack of lies, Alice leaves. Ralph regains his senses and yells at Mr. Morgan and Mr. Weaver to get off the stage. He praises Harvey and says that everyone should vote for him and Election time is a good time in America. Alice: "Now you are a hero." Ralph hugs and kisses Alice.

Credit I believe goes to, Honeymooners Lost Episodes Book,,, Honeymooners Box Set booklet Honeymooners Lost Episodes DVD booklet,, Yahoo! Groups You're A Riot! &

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