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Old 08-25-2017, 08:08 AM   #1
Frank Gannucci
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Default Honeymooners Episode Reviews: "Teamwork Beats The Clock" & "Brother-In-Law":

Honeymooners Episode Reviews: "Teamwork Beats The Clock" & "Brother-In-Law":

Episode #88 (Syndicated episode #43)
TV: A half-hour.
VCR: Attached to "Vacation At Fred's Landing" (1954 version).
DVD: Attached to "Quiz Show", "Manager of The Baseball Team" (it is advertised as the 1957 version, but it is the '53 version) & "The Wit and Wisdom of Ed Norton." On the remastered Lost Episodes DVD Box Set, it is attached to “The Brother-In-Law”, “Songwriters”, “Santa & The Bookies” (’54), “Kramden Vs. Norton” & “A Promotion.”
Air Date: 11/20/54

According to John K's' Book “To The Moon”: This episode is titled: “Teamwork Beat The Clock.” That is what MPI has on their remastered DVD Box Set

This episode opens up with a couple on the "Beat The Clock" game show with Bud Cullyer as the host at that time. Interesting to note that Bud Cullyer appears as himself and that both the Jackie Gleason Show and Beat The Clock were done live at the time at the Ed Sullivan Theater which is associated with CBS and on the day that this episode was done live (11/20/54), the cast of Beat The Clock were told to stick around for this episode since they were going to guest star. Their consolation? Jackie appeared on Beat The Clock for a stunt in which two contestants had to tie a rope around his waist. (Later versions of the game show were taped and the most recent version was taped at Universal Studies in Orlando, FL.) Anyway, the couple wins the game and the big prize? A 21-inch TV set which probably was a big deal back then. After that, the Kramdens appear. They said they haven't lived in Brooklyn all their lives yet. Bud asks Ralph to wave so his mom can see. Ralph reluctantly does and then says that his mother wouldn't have been able to see him because she doesn't own a TV. Anyway, their first stunt involves Alice propelling a cup with a can of whipped cream into a net that Ralph has to hold with his teeth. Bud orders his assistants to put a raincoat on Ralph and to put a cap on. Bud: "We don't want your long hair to get in front of your face." Ralph has long hair? Anyway, after they complete the stunt, Ralph has a face-full of whipped cream and it looks like that Ralph has something in his mouth but he doesn't. Bud: "Do you think Alice did good?" Ralph: "She was just grand." Anyway, the raincoat is taken off Ralph and it looks like some whipped cream did get on Ralph's clothes. They are in the middle of their second, where they have to catch lemons in a cup and stack the cups while keeping a balloon from hitting the ground, when time runs out and they're asked to return the next week. I don't think the recent version of this game does (or did) something like this where they asked you to return for the next show. Also back then a 21-inch TV is what this show offers as a grand prize, the last version of this show offered a lot of money as their grand prize. Bud closes the show by saying: "This is Bud Cullyer speaking for Sylvania (the company that sponsored the game show) saying: 'Next time, may be your time to Beat The Clock.'"

At home, Alice tells Trixie that she is exhausted from a week's worth of rehearsal. She tells Trixie that Ralph wants to go on the show just to win a FREE TV set. Alice (repeating what Ralph supposedly said to her: "It costs nothing Alice." Doesn't Ralph know that when you win something on a game show that you have to pay taxes on it? Ralph comes home and says that since they are rehearsing tonight, she can be the lemon machine. Trixie declines and leaves. Alice is mad because Ralph has got her rehearsing to win a TV that a lot of people buy. Ralph: "Yeah, but they don't get the joy of winning." Ed comes in. He saw the show and is mad that Ralph didn't wave to him. He is upset about that. He said that he waved to Ralph when he was at a ballgame and because of not paying attention; he got hit in the head with a ball I think. Ralph apologizes. They rehearse with Ed being the lemon machine. Of course, with these three doing the rehearsal, it's a recipe for comedy. Ralph fouls up a few times and when Alice says anybody (meaning Ralph and Alice) who's free, they can hit the balloon. While rehearsal, Ed hits the balloon. Ed: "You said if anybody who's free can hit the balloon. I'm free!" Ralph: "You're nothing but a lemon machine." They go through rehearsal again but Ed doesn't drop the lemons. Ed: "You didn't say: 'Ready! Set! Go!' I know from nothing. I am just a machine." Ralph gets very mad at Ed when Alice's brother-in-law, Jerry arrives with a problem. Ed (to Jerry): "You are looking at the Bensonhurst branch of Beat The Clock." He has to go to Cleveland for business and that his wife, Helen is pregnant and that she can go into labor any day now. Oh no! Ralph says that she might have the baby 7:30 Saturday night (the time that the game show went on in this show and in real-life). Ed: "You got to wonder how the baby can beat the clock."

As luck would have it, Helen goes into labor on Saturday night. Ed says that since there is a lot of traffic, he will get them to the Ed Sullivan Theater (that he calls CBS) in no time by going through the sewer that is right in front of the theater Ralph is all upset. When Ralph asks another man what time it is, he is still upset. He said that once the baby comes, he and Alice are going on Beat The Clock. Man: "Are you sure that she is going to be ready?" Ralph: "She just better be." That man thinks that Ralph is going to be a father and tells Dr. Kildare. The doctor says that Ralph may be on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Only when Alice comes out with the news that the baby is a boy, Dr. Kildare is told the real story. Ralph's happiness ends when the nurse tells them that Helen only had the first one. She is going to have twins. Ralph: "Your sister hates me."

At the game show, Bud greets the audience and informs them of what happened last week. Ralph comes out with the news about Alice's sister being pregnant and all. She can't make it. When MPI released this version on DVD, they said that Ralph couldn't make it. (They probably said the same thing on the VHS version too.) Ralph brought along Ed who says that he finds this show educational. Ed: "It's a wonder what you can do with whipped cream." Ed also reveals that he works in the sewer and that his family has worked in the sewer for generations and when Ed has a son; he is going to be a garbage collector. Ha! Bud asks if Ed wants to substitute for Alice. Ed: "Sure, I was the lemon machine."

They go to the second stunt during which you can see part of the old "Beat The Clock" logo. They go through the stunt but stop when Ed breaks the balloon. That wasn't in the script. Jackie covers for it by saying as Ralph: “You and your hangnails.” That line causes Bud to hide his laughter. Ralph says that they have lost but Bud informs them that they can continue. They go through the stunt during which I think Jackie made a blooper because he has the balloon in his hand when Bud tells him (in character) to throw it in the air because that was the rule of the stunt and when they finish, Bud says: "Since the balloon is not on the ground, we will leave it at that." For the third stunt, in which Ed puts together a puzzle that says: "Act in haste. Repent in at leisure." I don't think that that saying is a true saying. They win the TV set and a pair of baby buggies for the twins. Yes, this is a Kramden idea that worked. But, we would have never seen the TV set again in future episodes.

I should point out that on the original release of this episode MPI made a misprint in the description. They said that RALPH couldn’t make the show when it was Alice. When the episode was released onto DVD the first time, MPI basically had a “don’t-care” attitude and cut and pasted their original description error and all.

Episode #89
TV: Half-hour.
VCR: Attached to "What's Her Name?"
DVD: Attached to "Santa and the Bookies” (’53 version) & "Peacemaker." On the remastered Lost Episodes DVD Box Set, it is attached to “Songwriters”, “Teamwork Beats The Clock”, “Santa & The Bookies” (’54), “Kramden Vs. Norton” & “A Promotion.”
Air Date: 11/27/54

According to John K's Book, the episode is officially titled: "The Brother-In-Law."

This episode opens up with Trixie coming over and talking to Alice. She said that Ray Bloch (the orchestra leader in real-life on the old Jackie Gleason Show and The Honeymooners) knows Ed when he worked in the sewer with him. Oh boy! Trixie: Once you work in the sewer, it's impossible to keep a secret." Alice says that her brother Frank is coming to dinner. He hates Ralph and vice-versa because of what Frank did to Ralph during their WPA days. Both of them wanted that whistle and flag job or something like that. Frank needed a couple of bucks to get that job and borrowed it from Ralph. When Ralph heard about that, he was upset. Ed comes down and then Trixie leaves. Ed gets told of Frank coming over and raids the fridge. When Ralph comes home, wearing a loud tie (one with daisies on it) and catches Ed in the act, he says that Ed can keep on eating whatever he has been eating because that's all Ralph had to eat since Thanksgiving. (This episode was done live on 11/27/54). When Ralph tastes the sauce that Alice made, he knows that Frank is coming. Ralph: "He's not coming Alice. Your brother Frank is not coming." According to Ralph, Frank is "a moocher, a swindler, and a bum!" Alice gets surprised that Ralph is still upset at Frank. During all of this, Ed keeps on asking Ralph for some food. Ralph gets mad at Ed for doing this eventually. They would replay this scene in "The Worry Wart" when Ralph is worried because the IRS wrote to him asking him to come over to the office the next day. Ed later gets kicked out for laughing when he hears Alice saying that they have to go to the Fat Man's Shop to get suits for Ralph. Ralph tries to throw the sauce out the window. Ralph says that he is the boss and that Alice is nothing. Ralph: "Bid deal! You are the boss over nothing."

Frank comes in and antagonizes Ralph over dinner. When Frank goes into the bathroom to wash, Ralph complains about some of the things that Frank has done in the past. During this, Alice mentions Frank is a war veteran and because of that he hurt his back and because of that he can't hold a steady job. Ralph: "You're right Alice. The war did give him a lot of back trouble on account he was hiding behind the draft board in those darn cellars, that's why." Ralph has always asked them for money and has never paid them back. Frank hears it and offers to pay them back when he gets a fortune from that old hotel that no one has used for years in New Jersey called "The Crestwood Hotel." He plans on buying it because a new highway is supposed to be built. When he asks them for money for this, Ralph and Alice say no. Frank leaves, but not before he almost accidentally tries to go out the bedroom window. That was a blooper one of which Jackie's (as Ralph) had to ad-lib and say: "This is the door." He leaves. Ralph says that Frank's idea isn't crazy at all and wants to buy the hotel for himself. He goes to the window (which is still open from the earlier scene) and calls Ed down. Since this episode was supposedly done with a November "theme" and set in New York, either the Kramdens and Frank either braced the cold weather or had real hot body temperatures for them to endure the cold weather in November.

At the hotel, it looks really in bad condition. There are a ton of spider webs and dust. Ralph, of course, only carries the keys, while his future bellboy, Ed Norton, carries everything else. Ed: "Maybe we can rent this place for a Bela Lugosi picture." Ralph says that they can knock out those cobwebs. Alice: "They are looking like they holdup the wall." Alice also says: "I think it would be easier if we built the highway and the other people who were going to build the highway to cleanup the hotel." The girls don't want to clean up. When Alice says that she will only clean it up with him, Ralph acts like a 4-year-old and starts stamping his feet which causes pieces of the building to fall. The girls start to clean up while the boys dust. Ed accidentally gets dust on Ralph's face. Ralph's response? Hitting Ed softly with something that's on the desk. The girls scream when they see a mouse. Ed offers to get it and when Ralph sees it on the couch; he dives on the couch only to get full of dust. Ed: "With all this dust around, the mouse is bound to start coughing." Ralph is mad at Ed and looks like he wants to fight Ed. Why is he upset at Ed for?

They get the hotel cleaned up. Ralph is the manager. He rings the bell once for Trixie. Trixie is the maid. He rings the bell twice for Alice, the cook (who's wearing an apron that says: "Genius at Work!" He rings the bell three times for Ed, but Ed doesn't come down and says from upstairs, that he will come down when Ralph says that he wants the bellboy who's also his partner. When he slams a door upstairs, he accidentally makes a plant fall down near the desk. That was a blooper which causes Jackie (as Ralph) to ad-lib and say: "That will cost him a pretty penny." Ralph complies. Ed comes down. Ed's uniform doesn't even fit him. Ed: "How can I get out of this chicken-outfit?" Alice calls Ralph Conrad Hilton. The girls go to their posts. Ralph and Ed go over a system in which if a guest comes and asks for assistance to their room, Ralph will ring the bell four times. He will ring the bell five times if the guest wants ice water. He will ring the bell six times if the guest wants a pack of cigarettes. He will ring the bell seven times if the guest wants paper. You can tell that this idea is terrible. Ed wants to be the owner. So Ralph gives him the "bell test." (i.e. which amount of rings equals what.) He gets every one right. Ralph changes the rules as he goes along by saying that Ed failed when he got the eight rings incorrect. If Ralph rings the bell that many times, he wants the chef, the maid and a pack of cigars. Ed leaves. The first guest of the Crestwood Hotel, George Petrie (probably the only time he played himself) comes in. He wants a pack of cigars along with assistance. Ralph is stumped as to how many times he thinks that he should ring the bell. He rings it more then seven times causing Ed to come out and say: "Could you give me a hint?" George is a surveyor with the highway-construction crew -- who tells Ralph and Norton that the highway is going to pass right buy and right near the hotel. Ralph is happy about the prospect about making a load of money. But the hotel isn't going to pass right in front of the hotel as they thought, but over it. It's an elevated highway. I guess the hotel would be useless now. Ed rings the bell multiple times saying it's time to abandon ship. Just like that, the episode is over. No instance where Ralph apologizes whatsoever.

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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