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Old 07-12-2019, 07:55 AM   #1
Frank Gannucci
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Default Honeymooners Episode Reviews: "Letter To The Boss" ('53) & "Finger Man": Episode #64

Honeymooners Episode Reviews: "Letter To The Boss" ('53) & "Finger Man":

Episode #64 (Syndicated episode #54)
TV: Half-hour (edited)
VCR: Attached to "Suspense" & "Dinner Guest." On the Reader’s Digest tapes, it is attached to “Norton Movies In”, “Pickles” & “New Year’s Eve Party.”
DVD: Attached to "Suspense", "Dinner Guest" & "Ralph Kramden's Greatest Schemes." (On “The Very Best of The Honeymooners" DVD, this episode, for whatever reason, is attached to Jackie Gleason's Honeybloopers Volumes 1 & 2 & “The Wit & Wisdom of Ed Norton”). On the Lost Episodes DVD Box Set, it is attached to “Prowler”, “Guest Speaker”, “Sprained Thumb”, “Lucky Number”, “Vacation At Fred’s Landing” (’53 version), “Hot Dog Stand”, “Two Tickets To The Fight”, “Halloween Party” (’53 version), & “Champagne & Caviar.”
Air Date: 11/14/53

"Letter To The Boss" ('53):

Alice is home and Trixie stops by to borrow a cup. Alice is taking out the right sleeves in Ralph's underwear. His right arm gets hot in the bus. His left one doesn't, because that's the arm he puts out the window. After Alice and Trixie make plans, Trixie leaves. I should point out that many years ago on the Honeymooners.net message board; somebody wrote that when they were in a kid in the 70s, they remember reading a script or a part of a script from this episode. Ralph come home and says that he's not hungry because he's just been fired from the bus company after nine years. Wait, in the last season, didn't Ralph say he worked for the bus company for 12 years? Ralph complains about all the inconveniences he had to put up with as a driver like drunks trying to get on the bus without paying, old women yelling at him etc. Alice: "Don't worry Ralph.' You'll get another job." Ralph: "Sure, I will but not a good one like this one." Ha! I should point out that during this scene you can hear a man's voice laughing in the studio audience sometimes Ralph says something funny. Ralph: "We'll have to change our style of living, that's all. Move out of here into a cheap apartment." You can hear that man's voice in the studio audience laughing again. Ralph: "Get rid of this furniture and get some second-hand stuff." There goes that man's laughing again. Ralph says to Alice that they will have to live of whatever money they have. Alice: "Swell. That will take care for tonight, but what about tomorrow?" Ha!

Ralph mentions that they should live with Alice's parents for the time being but Alice nixes that idea. He also brings up some job ads listed in the paper, but they are all for women. Ralph mentions that he only finished his schooling after the sixth grade. It would have been worse if he continued his schooling because it would be embarrassing if he, as a college graduate, being fired from a bus company. Ed Norton comes down, expecting to go bowling. Ralph says that he lost his job. Ed tries to cheer Ralph up, but only makes Ralph feel worse. Ralph hits on the idea that he will write a nasty letter to Mr. J.J. Marshall. Alice objects but her opinion falls on deaf ears. Ralph tells Norton to write what Ralph says. Here is the letter:

"Dear Mr. Marshall:

You dirty bum! You are a miserable low-life. You ought to turn in your membership card to the human race. After nine years of loyal service, I can truthfully say that you are the world's meanest man. You dirty bum!"

MPI Video says that this is a classic Kramden letter. Honeymooners.net said that the line of: "You dirty bum!" is delivered with such conviction that it looks like Ralph invented the insult for the occasion. This should to be shown to every getting a job-related class under the heading: "What not to write to your boss after you get fired." Both claims are probably correct.

Ralph: "Sign it! ’Respectfully yours: Etc. Etc.'" Ed goes out to mail the letter and says that he could get Ralph a job in the sewer. All he has to do is pass the floating test. Ha! Ed leaves. Ralph says to Alice that he used to get little kids on the bus and that he would let them pretend that they are driving the bus. Ralph: "Wait a minute! It's probably one of those brats that is taking my job." Freddie Muller comes by and says that Ralph hasn't been fired, but promoted. Ralph leaves to go get Ed before he mails the letter.

At the bowling alley, Ed fools around the custodian. He says that since he forgot to mail the letter and asks the custodian to mail it. What does the custodian get in return? Ed trying very hard not to litter the floor. Ha! When this episode is shown on TV, this scene as well as the next one have been taking out along with a couple of other things. That's like half the episode. Ralph comes in and finds out that his letter has been mailed and is worried that he will be really fired. Ed: "If he fires, you, send him another nasty letter." Ha! Ed is wearing his traditional Ed Norton outfit but he's wearing a longer, buttoned shirt. Ralph hatches a plan to get the letter. Ed: "What do I get in return?" Ralph: "That's a very selfish thing to say after what I did for you. Remember that race last year? You needed money to bet on that horse." Ed: "You didn't give me the money?" Ralph: "Yeah, the horse lost didn't he?" But when a policeman hears it, Ralph and Ed lie to him saying that they are rehearsing for a play. Ed (to the policeman): "Remember that 3rd grade class play and you were a tree?" Ralph says that he will give the policeman tickets. He leaves. Ed says that they have to get his address so they can send him the tickets. Ralph: "Only I have got a bosom friend like this."

They go outside to get the letter out of the mailbox. Ralph tells Ed to keep a look out in case someone comes by. Ed: "If you are worried about people seeing you getting a letter out of there, how do you think they will react when they see you climbing into it?" Ralph: "Boy, would I love to put one right through." In other words, he wanted to punch Ed. Ed has a solution; he can't get the letter out. Ralph tries to get the letter out, but Ed says that someone is coming. Ed was just practicing to say that, so Ralph gets angry with him.

A mailman comes by and sees Ralph and Ed having the box almost upside-down so Ralph tries to cover it up. The mailman gets the mail out of the box and the custodian comes by and says that he just gave the letter that Ed gave him to the mailman.

The next day, Ralph tries to get the letter before his boss reads it. I guess the mail travels that fast in The Honeymooners. He fails and the boss reads Ralph's letter. He doesn't mind the insults because he always gets them but becomes mad when the author didn't sign his name. Ralph happily faints.

At home, Ralph plans to go to the Royal Chinese Gardens and explains Alice the good news. Ed comes down to explain the fact that he went down and said Ralph didn't mean all of those insults that he wrote in the letter. He felt he had to do it out of niceness. Ed: "Whenever you are in trouble, Ed Norton lives upstairs." Ralph faints in a break-dance like style.

Episode #65 (Syndicated episode #84)
TV: Attached to "Double Anniversary."
VCR: Attached to "Hair-Raising Tale" (On some tapes, it is attached to "Champagne and Caviar".)
DVD: Attached to "Champagne and Caviar", "New Year's Eve Party" & "Two-Family Car." On the Lost Episodes DVD box set, it is attached to “Santa & The Bookies” (’53), “Xmas Party” (’53), “New Year’s Eve Party”, “This Is Your Life” & “Cottage For Sale.”
Air Date: 11/28/53

"Finger Man":

I found out that this episode is attached to two different tapes when I went to my friend's house and he has a tape that has "Finger Man" and "Champaign and Caviar" on it. It was a tape that of course you could have bought in a video store, not one that was recorded by one person if you know what I mean.

Ed comes in and says he is thinking about getting a Christmas present for Ralph. It is a book on reducing. 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. 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 is so happy because everyone thinks that he helped capture "Bullets" and not Ed. Alice says that she could have sworn that she heard Ed's voice say: "Bullets, it's you." Ralph lies to Alice, saying the reason why he didn't say it because of "Bullets" was nervous and that if he did say it, he would be killed. Ralph: "If I was killed, how would you fare without me?" Ralph and Alice kiss and hug.

Credit I believe goes to the old Bill 'Mooners Archive, eBay.com, tv.com, Honeymooners Lost Episodes Book, tvguide.com, honeymooners.net, Honeymooners Box Set booklet Honeymooners Lost Episodes DVD booklet, Yahoo! Groups You’re A Riot! & amazon.com.
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