FOLLOWING HIS HIGHLY successful return to network television's weekly grind, it was time for a course correction. The new program had been given the handle of JACKIE GLEASON'S American SCENE MAGAZINE and attempted to sort of update the focus of the comedy being produced. They also wanted to "modernize" the production with short, attention span friendly "blackout" type of skits.
BY THE END of the fourth season, that which had been considered "fresh" and "innovative" was now thought to be commonplace. So, what to do in order to fix things? Perhaps the thought crossed someone's mind that it was time to return to the well once again; but this time it would be to the old and familiar waters of THE HONEYMOONERS.
YES IT WAS true, the Gleason show was returning to Delancy Street and to the tenements of the Kramdens and the Nortons. It was a case of the old becoming fresh and "new" because of an extended absence. (Remember Schultz, "Absence makes the heart fonder!") SO WITH THIS news, the new segments were about to undergo some cast changes. Sheila Mac Rae would be Alice and Jane Kean would take over as Trixie. But without a doubt, no one could envision anyone else in the part of Ed Norton but Art Carney. We were right as it was indeed a reunion of what many believe to be the "Laurel & Hardy of TV" were now being reunited.
OTHER THAN THE live television aspect of the original incarnation of THE HINEYMOONERS, there were several items that could only be viewed as being updates. In addition to the aforementioned application of videotape, the series was now to be a musical. Original songs and production numbers would be the order of the day.
A PREVIOSLY USED IDEA that had both the Norton and Kramden families sharing a winning ticket in a contest and traveling away from their blue collar (Proletariat) existence and seeing Planet Earth from the decks of an Ocean Liner. They would also be taping the shows in beautiful color.
SOME GREAT MAN once said that "You can't go home!" But it would appear that THE HONEYMOONERS succeeded in doing it.
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