The Honeymooners - Netflix
Ralph Kramden is a New York bus driver who dreams of a better life. With his eccentric good friend, Ed Norton the sewer worker, he constantly tries crackpot schemes to strike it rich. All the while, his exasperated wife, Alice, is always there to bring him down to earth or to pick him up if he beats her to it. For as much as they fight, even dunderhead Ralph knows that she is the greatest and vice versa.
Runtime: 30 minutes
The Honeymooners - Jackie Gleason - Netflix
John Herbert Gleason (February 26, 1916 – June 24, 1987) was an American comedian, actor, writer, composer and conductor. Developing a style and characters from growing up in Brooklyn, New York, he was known for his brash visual and verbal comedy, exemplified by his bus driver Ralph Kramden character in the television series The Honeymooners. By filming the episodes with Electronicams, Gleason was later able to release the series in syndication, which increased its popularity over the years with new audiences. He also developed The Jackie Gleason Show, which maintained high ratings from the mid-1950s through 1970. After originating in New York City, filming moved to Miami, Florida, in 1964 after Gleason took up permanent residence there. Among his notable film roles were Minnesota Fats in the 1961 Academy Award-winning drama The Hustler (co-starring with Paul Newman), and Buford T. Justice in the Smokey and the Bandit series from 1977 into the early 1980s (co-starring Burt Reynolds). Throughout the 1950s and 1960s Gleason enjoyed a prominent secondary music career, producing a series of best-selling “mood music” albums. His first album, Music for Lovers Only, still holds the record for the longest stay on the Billboard Top Ten Charts (153 weeks), and his first 10 albums sold over a million copies each. To date his output spans some 20-plus singles, nearly 60 long-playing record albums, and over 40 CDs.
The Honeymooners - Early life - Netflix
John Herbert Gleason was born in 1916 at 364 Chauncey Street in the Stuyvesant Heights, now Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. Named Herbert Walton Gleason, Jr., at birth, he was baptized John Herbert Gleason, and grew up at 328 Chauncey (an address he later used for Ralph and Alice Kramden on The Honeymooners). His parents were Herbert Walton “Herb” Gleason, an Irish-American insurance auditor, and Mae “Maisie” (née Kelly), originally of Farranree, Cork, Ireland. Gleason was one of two children; his brother Clement J. died of meningitis at age 14. Gleason remembered Clement and his father having a “beautiful handwriting”. He used to watch his father work at the family's kitchen table, writing insurance policies in the evenings. On the night of December 14, 1925, Gleason's father disposed of any family photos in which he appeared; just after noon on December 15, he collected his hat, coat, and paycheck, and permanently left his family and job at the insurance company. Once it became evident that he was not coming back, Mae went to work as a subway attendant for the Brooklyn–Manhattan Transit Corporation (BMT). After his father abandoned the family, young Gleason began hanging around with a local gang, hustling pool. He attended P.S. 73 Elementary School in Brooklyn; John Adams High School in Queens; and Bushwick High School in Brooklyn. Gleason became interested in performing after being part of a class play; he quit school before graduating and got a job that paid $4 per night as master of ceremonies at a theater. Other jobs he held at that time included working in a pool hall, as a stunt driver, and as a carnival barker. Gleason and his friends made the rounds of the local theaters; he put an act together with one of his friends, and the pair performed on amateur night at the Halsey Theater, where Gleason replaced his friend Sammy Birch as master of ceremonies. He performed the same duties twice a week at the Folly Theater. Gleason was 19 when his mother died in 1935 of sepsis from a large neck carbuncle that young Jackie had tried to lance. He had nowhere to go, and thirty six cents to his name. The family of his first girlfriend, Julie Dennehy, offered to take him in; Gleason, however, was headstrong and insisted that he was going into the heart of the city. His friend Birch made room for him in the hotel room he shared with another comedian. Birch also told him of a week-long gig in Reading, Pennsylvania, which would pay $19, more money than Gleason could imagine. The booking agent advanced his bus fare for the trip against his salary, granting Gleason his first job as a professional comedian. Following this he would always have regular work in small clubs.
The Honeymooners - References - Netflix