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Old 09-20-2019, 07:10 AM   #1
Frank Gannucci
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Default Honeymooners Episode Reviews: "Game Called On Account of Marriage"/"Love Letter" '54

Honeymooners Episode Reviews: "Game Called On Account of Marriage" & "Love Letter" ('54):

Episode #84 (Syndicated episode #41)
TV: Half-hour.
VCR: Attached to "Santa and The Bookies." ('53)
DVD: Attached to "Stars Over Flatbush" & "The Adoption." On the Lost Episodes DVD Box Set, it is attached to “Love Letter” ('54), “Ralph's Sweet Tooth", “People’s Choice” & “Battle of The Sexes.”
Air Date: 10/2/54

"Game Called On Account of Marriage":

For a while, I thought that this episode was a two-parter, but I was wrong.

Ralph and Alice argue all throughout the night and into the morning. Ralph wants to go see a World Series game involving the New York Giants (now the SF Giants) and the Brooklyn Dodgers (now the LA Dodgers.) Alice wants Ralph to go to her sister Sally's wedding. Ralph complains that this is the first time he's going to see a World Series game in person. Ralph: "This is the World Series!!!" Ralph mentions some baseball players names. Alice wonders who they are. Ralph: "You are a Brooklyn Dodgers fan." In 2000 on honeymooners.net, this was a topic of discussion. Why was Ralph a Giants fan and not a Dodger fan since the Dodgers played in Brooklyn and Ralph grew up in Brooklyn and in real life Jackie grew up in Brooklyn. A neighbor comes by and asks for something. Ralph asks him what he would do if he had the option of going to his wife's sister's wedding or go to the ballgame. He says the former so Ralph kicks him out before he gets what he asked for. Gee, that was nice...NOT! Ralph and Alice resume their argument. Alice says that if Ralph goes to the ballgame, she might leave him. Ralph: "I will just have to take that chance." The neighbor comes by again and says that he changed his mind and he will go to the ballgame. Ralph and Alice argue in a fashion usually reserved for a WB cartoon: Ralph: "I am going to the ballgame." Alice: "You are going to the wedding." Ralph: "I am going to the ballgame." Alice: "You are going to the wedding." Alice: "You are going to the ballgame." Ralph: "I am going to the wedding." A few seconds later, Ralph says that he is going to the ballgame. Alice and Ralph continue arguing and when Ralph leaves for work, Alice shouts: "YOU ARE GOING TO SALLY'S WEDDING." Ralph runs back upstairs and yells: "I AM GOING TO THE GAME!"

At lunch with Ed, Ed talks about the above argument Ralph and Alice and and it was so loud that one of the floors and him are betting that he goes to the wedding. Ralph says that the floor and Ed are going to lose. Ralph talks to Ed about the wedding and the ballgame. (Ralph is going to the ballgame with Ed by the way) Since Ed thinks that Ralph will go to the wedding, he wonders who will he take to the game with him. During this, a sewer worker asks Ed for three bucks that he needs right away down in the sewer. Ed explains it to Ralph saying something like today is pay day and the sewer worker are betting money down there and he says that they are playing a crap game that floats. Ralph is not amused. Ralph then thinks up the perfect scheme. Him and Ed will get Stanley (the groom at the wedding) to elope with Sally. Stanley owns one of those old movie houses and him and Ed will go down there after work. Ralph leaves. But, something is wrong in Ed's sewer. Fearful of an explosion, everyone is getting out and as they are doing this, you can really tell that the city background is fake.

At the movie house, Stanley (played by George Petrie) is reading a newspaper. Ralph and Ed come in. Ralph tries to do all the talking as Ed wants to see the movie as it is being played. Ralph mentions that Sally has a former boyfriend named Larry Spencer and he came from South Africa just recently though at first he says "South America." Ralph confirms this with Ed and Ed says that Larry is still down there. Ralph secretly tires to tell him that he is in New York. Finally, Ed gets what Ralph is trying to tell him to tell both Stanley and Ralph that Larry is home in New York. He finally convinces Stanley to elope with Sally. Ed, looking at the film reel that is going to be played next on the camera. The previous film reel on the camera ran out, so Stanley has to take the film reel that Ed has. The film reel manages to become ruined. So, after seconds without seeing anything in the movie theater, the people start to make noise. Ed tires to get their attention by giving away the ending.

At night, Stanley arrives near Sally's apartment. Ralph and Ed arrive late. Ed felt it was necessary to decorate the ladder for the occasion. The ladder is set up, but Stanley is afraid of heights so Ralph climbs up the ladder. Sally gives Ralph her luggage to give to Stanley. The luggage is so much that Ralph says: "The Allies invaded Normandy with less than this." When the luggage is all outside, Ralph asks Sally to come on down, but then says to do outside by going out the front door. I think this was not in the script. I think Sally was supposed to come down the ladder, but Jackie noticed that the ladder was broken a little and didn't want her to get hurt. In front of 80 million viewers, he tries to ix the ladder. Sally comes out. Stanley says that she has packed too much. They get into to an argument and call of the wedding as they walk down the street. Ralph and Ed try to get the luggage back inside. Ralph gets up the ladder. Ed hands the luggage to Ralph who tosses it in Sally's window. Ha! He misses one piece of luggage. Sally and Stanley come back and they say the wedding is back on. Ralph, knowing that some of he luggage is back in Sally's apartment, says that he has done enough for them and they should pack up and go. Sally: "Where's my bird's birdcage?" Ralph (sarcastically and in a mean fashion): "I'll give you a birdcage." Stanley and Sally leave Ralph and Ed's sight.

As Ralph is taking down the ladder, a cop shows up and demands an explanation. Ralph tells him the whole story, and then the cop gives him the bad news: The NY Giants won the series earlier today by beating the Dodgers in four straight games. An afternoon World Series Game? Gee, I didn't think that MLB ever did that. The cop sends Ralph and Ed to jail. Ralph is till happy about the Giants though. I wonder what would happen if Alice was ever told about this.

This is a rather unique episode. I read that after this episode, Jackie came out and said that the show had to be rewritten because the Giants really did win the World Series earlier that day. (This episode was shown on October 2, 1954. That's early for the World Series in today's day and age.) Also, I read that George Petrie's wife played Sally in this episode and after Jackie Gleason told her in character to not go down the ladder and instead deviate from the script by going out the front door, she became so shaken up due to her having to deviate from the script on live TV, she considerated quitting show business.

Episode #85
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.”
Color Episode Title: “Boy Next Door.”
Lost Episode Title: “Love Letter.”
Air Date: 10/16/54

"Love Letter" ('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.

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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