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Beyond 'The Honeymooners': Jackie Gleason Remembered By His Stepson (Exclusive)

Back in 1955, Jackie Gleason turned his popular "The Honeymooners" sketch, which originated on his variety show, into a regular 30-minute sitcom called, you guessed it, The Honeymooners. The idea was that he and co-stars Art Carney, Audrey Meadows and Joyce Randolph would shoot 78 episodes in the first two seasons, with an option for a third season of 39 more. But following that first year, Jackie took the unexpected — and pretty much unprecedented at the time — move to cancel his own show. Believing that those episodes, collectively known now as "The Classic 39," was as good as the show could be, he decided to return to his variety show format, folding Ralph Kramden, Ed Norton and their wives back into it. "Jackie really marched to his own beat," offers his stepson, Craig Horwich, who serves as the head of Jackie Gleason Enterprises in an exclusive interview. "Not in any sense of ignorance or
See full article at Closer Weekly »

The Journey of 'The Honeymooners' — How It Went From TV Sketch to Beloved Sitcom

Back in 1950s and '60s television, you really never saw a family struggling to get by. But then came The Honeymooners. Think about it: I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffith Show, Leave It to Beaver, My Three Sons — usually there was domestic bliss for the most part. But that wasn't the case with the Classic TV series that starred Jackie Gleason as bus driver Ralph Kramden, Audrey Meadows as his long-suffering wife, Alice; Art Carney as dim-witted but lovable best friend and sidekick, Ed Norton; and the last living member of The Honeymooners Joyce Randolph as his wife, Trixie. The two couples lived in a Bensonhurst apartment in Brooklyn, New York, struggling to get by. And it was exactly that struggle, and wanting to break free of it, that propelled much of the comedy. Ralph was the get-rich-quick scheming, short-tempered, soft-hearted guy who was always striving for greatness, but
See full article at Closer Weekly »

Review: "The Honeymooners" Musical Production, Papermill Playhouse

  • CinemaRetro
By Lee Pfeiffer

Since my all-time favorite TV series is  "The Honeymooners", the legendary sitcom that was originally broadcast in 1950s, one might think I would have been overjoyed at the prospect of seeing the show's new incarnation as a big-budget musical production that just premiered at the prestigious Papermill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey, a venue so revered that it was honored with a special Tony award. In reality, I had considerable trepidation about seeing the show. The characters in the TV series- bus driver Ralph Kramden, his devoted but long-suffering wife Alice and their best friends, sewer worker Ed Norton and his wife Trixie- have been ingrained in the minds of every American baby boomer. In fact, the re-runs have rarely left the New York airwaves even sixty years after their original airings and the four main cast members- Jackie Gleason, Audrey Meadows, Art Carney and Joyce Randolph
See full article at CinemaRetro »

The Honeymooners: CBS Developing Classic Sitcom Reboot

CBS Mulls Reboot of The Honeymooners TV ShowOne of these days... one of these days.... Variety reports CBS is considering a reboot of The Honeymooners TV show. Bob Kushell will write the pilot script for CBS Television Studios. He will also executive produce with Carl Beverly, Sarah Timberman, Eric and Kim Tannenbaum, and Jeff Greenstein.The original Honeymooners began as a sketch on the DuMont network's Cavalcade of Stars, from 1951. The show moved to CBS in 1952 as The Jackie Gleason Show. The Honeymooners premiered on CBS as a half-hour TV series in October of '55 and ran until it was cancelled after 39 episodes, in September of '56. Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, Audrey Meadows, and Joyce Randolph starred.Read More…
See full article at TVSeriesFinale »

CBS Developing ‘The Honeymooners’ Reboot

CBS Developing ‘The Honeymooners’ Reboot
CBS has its eye on an updated version of “The Honeymooners,” Variety has confirmed.

The project is a multicamera comedy from executive producer Bob Kushell, who will write the pilot script for CBS Television Studios. Kushell was also behind ABC’s “Muppets” reboot. Carl Beverly, Sarah Timberman, Eric and Kim Tannenbaum, and Jeff Greenstein will also serve as executive producers.

The new “Honeymooners” will be a modern spin on the 1950s classic, which starred Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden, Audrey Meadows as his wife Alice, and Art Carney and Joyce Randolph as neighbors Ed and Trixie Norton. The move is not unlike that behind CBS’ revamping of “The Odd Couple,” now in its third season on the network.

The property itself, which had its roots as a sketch on the defunct DuMont Network’s “Cavalcade of Stars” variety series, has been resurrected several times: There was the initial run on CBS, followed
See full article at Variety - TV News »

The Honeymooners Reboot Eyed at CBS

The Honeymooners Reboot Eyed at CBS
Like it or not, CBS is taking a stab at recreating one of its most beloved sitcoms of all time.

The network is currently in the midst of developing a new take on The Honeymooners, THR.com reports.

RelatedFoxy Brown Getting a TV Reboot From Hulu, With Meagan Good to Star

The reboot, being helmed by The Muppets‘ Bob Kushell, would once again center on two couples who double as best friends and neighbors — only this time, one of the couples remarries after divorcing each other four years prior. (Perhaps Ralph and Alice separated after he threatened to send
See full article at TVLine.com »

The Always Outrageous Elaine Stritch Is Dead

  • Moviefone
Mark Kennedy, Associated Press

Jake Coyle, Associated Press

New York (AP) - Elaine Stritch, the brash theater performer whose gravelly, gin-laced voice and impeccable comic timing made her a Broadway legend, has died. She was 89.

Joseph Rosenthal, Stritch's longtime attorney, said the actress died Thursday of natural causes at her home in Birmingham, Michigan.

Although Stritch appeared in movies and on television, garnering three Emmys and finding new fans as Alec Baldwin's unforgiving mother on "30 Rock," she was best known for her stage work, particularly in her candid one-woman memoir, "Elaine Stritch: At Liberty," and in the Stephen Sondheim musical "Company."

A tart-tongued monument to New York show business endurance, Stritch worked well into her late 80s, most recently as Madame Armfeldt in a revival of Sondheim's musical "A Little Night Music." She replaced Angela Lansbury in 2010 to critical acclaim.

In 2013, Stritch - whose signature "no pants" style
See full article at Moviefone »

The Honeymooers: Classic 39 Episodes and I Love Lucy: Ultimate Season 1 Blu-ray Reviews

With the release of The Honeymooners: Classic 39 Episodes, and I Love Lucy: Ultimate Season 1, two of the most important and influential sitcoms have now hit Blu-ray. The former stars Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, Audrey Meadows and Joyce Randolph, the latter stars Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, William Frawley and Vivian Vance, and for those who grew up with these shows on television, these new 1080 masters are night and day in terms of picture quality. My review of both on Blu-ray follow after the jump. Both shows have very simple premises that often repeat the same narrative in different iterations. In The Honeymooners Gleason’s Ralph Kramden is a dreamer who works as a bus driver, with his best friend the mostly stupid but occasionally clever Ed Norton (Carney). In most of the episodes Kramden gets himself in trouble by thinking he’s smarter than he is. His failings make
See full article at Collider.com »

Jane Kean, Star of ‘Honeymooners’ Revival, Dead at 90

Jane Kean, a thesp who got her start in musical theater but was best known for playing Trixie alongside Jackie Gleason in the 1960s revival of “The Honeymooners,” has died. She was 90.

Kean died Tuesday at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank where she was taken after a fall that led to a hemorrhagic stroke, her niece, Deirdre Wolpert, said Thursday.

Kean first started working with Gleason in the 1940s, when they were both on the vaudeville circuit.

Her big break, however, came in 1966 when Gleason moved to Miami and resurrected “Honeymooners,” expanding it to an hour and adding musical numbers.

Kean, a talented singer with a belting voice, starred on the show for five years as Ed Norton’s beleaguered wife Trixie. Joyce Randolph played the role in the classic 1955-56 “Honeymooners” segs opposite Art Carney, Audrey Meadows and Gleason.

Kean often spoke about her “Honeymooners” stint and
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Joe Schmoe and his Hot Wife Betty: A Sitcom Trope Investigated

One of the most commonly accepted clichés of American television is the family sitcom with the schlubby husband and gorgeous wife. It’s so pervasive that a quick Google search brings up this entry on the topic from TvTropes.org, which features 3,700+ words devoted to live action TV examples alone. Most TV fans look down on this conceit and series that use it, and yes, this sitcom stereotype has a basis in truth, but when did the trend start, and just how common is it? More interestingly, is there a connection between this aspect of a show and its quality or cultural significance? Here are 12 of the best and most influential American network sitcoms, along with a look at how each series plays into, subverts, or ignores the regular Joe/hot wife cliché.

I Love Lucy

1951-1957

CBS

I Love Lucy centers on main couple Lucy and Ricky (Lucille Ball
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Join Joyce Randolph And Cinema Retro For A "Honeymooners" Celebration In New York City October 20

  • CinemaRetro
Joyce Randolph, who played Trixie Norton on the classic TV series The Honeymooners, will be appearing at a charitable fund raiser at the Episcopal Actors Guild in New York City on the evening of October 20. Ms. Randolph will be interviewed on stage by Cinema Retro Editor-in-Chief Lee Pfeiffer who will discuss her experiences working with such legendary co-stars as Jackie Gleason, Audrey Meadows and Art Carney. The event coincides with Mpi's new release of a fabulous boxed set of "lost" episodes from the series that contains an incredible number of previously unseen bonus extras. Mpi Home Video will be donating boxed sets as raffle prizes and Ms. Randolph will autograph these for the winners.

Only a small number of tickets to this event remain. Click here for more information.

Click here to order the Lost Episodes set from Amazon and save!
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Film reviews: 'Everything's Jake'

Film reviews: 'Everything's Jake'
Everything's half-baked in this movie about a noble homeless man. Starring Ernie Hudson as the stoic lead with many friends and fellow vagabonds to keep track of, "Everything's Jake" bowed at the Santa Barbara (Calif.) International Film Festival and played like gangbusters with many in the audience.

Prospects are bleak for a big theatrical happening around the debut film of director Matthew Miele, who co-wrote and co-produced the low-budget indie with Christopher Fetchko. It's up-front and always apparent mission to bring cheer to general audiences will earn the approval of some critics and audiences, but it's likely to find its biggest success on cable.

Jake (Hudson) lives on the streets of New York by choice. In the opening, he calls the entire city his home, and with the help of the first of several montages to popular music, the viewer is meant to be swept along in the grubby romanticism of the concept. "Everyone stares, but nobody cares" is the discouraging reality Jake has to deal with, but with a support network and comfortably residing at the "bottom of it all," he's arguably the Happiest Miserable.

He's even more psyched when a down-and-out former professor, Cameron (Graeme Malcolm), reluctantly becomes his friend and teaches Jake a better way to play the bongos. In between trips to the library, where he fends off the grouchy, fey assistant (Stephen Furst) and chats up the pushover-for-a-bookworm librarian (Debbie Allen), Jake plays for money on the subway and sidewalks.

With a stash of cash kept safe by one of his many intimates who have jobs and homes -- including security guards, priests, taxi drivers -- Jake makes the rounds, reads the classics, plays chess, dines on garbage and scams a little money from dog walkers by picking up fresh poop and then demanding a fee to dispose of it.

To summarize the further adventures of Jake, once he's shown "Tarzan" Cameron -- who sleeps in a tree in the park -- the ropes and they've dreamed about having a "homeless parade," even getting a ridiculously restrictive permit, things get complicated. A major plot twist sends the film off on an unconvincing tangent that seriously disrupts the lead's idyllic life and overtaxes the filmmakers' abilities to make us see why this is so horrible.

By treading boldly into a milieu that resists glamorizing -- peopling it with Hollywood actors working out simplistic conflicts, hoping that excessively literal and chatty voice-overs will numb the viewer into accepting the watered-down version of life on the streets, and using famous tunes by Bob Dylan and others -- Miele and Fetchko run roughshod over the material and leave credibility behind in the first few moments.

Singer Lou Rawls has a couple of scenes as a concerned Hot Dog vender. Lou Myers (NBC's "A Different world") plays one of Jake's best but expendable friends. Willis Burks II as the lead's chess partner fares better. Robin Givens shows up near the end as a conscienceless publisher. Doug E. Doug, Joyce Randolph and Phyllis Diller all make brief and forgettable appearances.

EVERYTHING'S JAKE

Blackjack Entertainment

A Christopher Fetchko production in association

with Boz Prods., Mirador Pictures, mad.house inc.

Director:Matthew Miele

Screenwriters-producers:Matthew Miele, Christopher Fetchko

Executive producer:Bo Zenga

Director of photography:Anthony Jannelli

Production designer:John Henry

Editor:Noelle Webb

Costume designer:Martha Gretsch

Casting:Judy Keller

Color/stereo

Cast:

Jake:Ernie Hudson

Cameron:Graeme Malcolm

Librarian:Debbie Allen

Abe:Lou Myers

Publisher:Robin Givens

Colonel:Willis Burks II

Assistant librarian:Stephen Furst

Running time -- 91 minutes

No MPAA rating

See also

Credited With |  External Sites


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