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[visiting in Ireland]
You know, I never knew that Jackie Gleason was Irish.
Oh yeah, I knew it. I read it in a TV magazine once. His whole family came over from Ireland during the potato famine.
In fact, I think they caused it!
That Gleason is a little chubby, isn't he?
Oh, he certainly is.
That Art Carney put on a few pounds too, you know.
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It's the color honeymooners as the good life channel calls them and thank you good life, for bringing them back.
If it looks like the great one is resting on his laurels, so be it. He deserves it. Where the '50s version of the honeymooners was hysterical and gritty, the late '60s version emphasizes Miami (ad nausea - it still tickles me tho since i grew up in ft. Lauderdale in the '60s-'70s.), color, a large budget and awesome musical numbers. The comedy is still funny in fact even sidesplitting from time to time, but in this version, it seems to be all about CHARM as opposed to innovative comedy. Sure, Gleason and Carney are a TEAM and a delightful team, like going over to a favorite uncle at thanksgiving. It's a team that has paid their dues and now are reaping the rewards and just relaxing and having fun. THere's nothing wrong with that. IT's just not as funny and innovative as these episode are remakes of the '50s episodes which was where the innovation was.
THe composers of the songs can stand proud of their accomplishment at writing a damn fine musical a week (or every other maybe?) and their creations can stand along side anything on Broadway at the time or even now. Perhaps there can be a musical review on stage featuring these great songs. I especially love the song from the Italy episode which Sheila mccrae sings with a Italian boy. what a beautiful song.
Mccrae and Jane Kean are always criticized for not being the beloved Audrey Meadows (or Pert Kelton for that matter. I saw one extremely rare Dumont show where she played Alice. she was truly frightening.) and Joyce Randolph. But Sheila and Jane are top notch singers and I love the hear them belt out Alice's and Trixie's songs. It's funny because I can't picture Sheila and Jane in the old '50s show just like i can't picture Audrey and Joyce in the '60s show. Gleason and Carney aren't singers at all, but they can sure put over a great song nonetheless. There are no comparisons.
THe only thing i find regrettable is that good life TV is only showing honeymooner episodes and there are only 40 of these hour long color musicals. I wish they would show the other non-honeymooners episodes. And now that I live in a city where I cant get good life TV, I wish someone would come out with an authorized DVD of four complete seasons of the Jackie Gleason show from Miami.
But thank you good life TV for bringing back great Saturday night TV and a heck of a lot of charm and class.
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