Tuesday, October 04, 2011
As a stand-alone CBS comedy series, "The Honeymooners" — starring Jackie Gleason as blustery bus driver Ralph Kramden; Audrey Meadows as his no-nonsense wife, Alice; Art Carney as his clueless friend, Norton; and Joyce Randolph as Norton's wife, Trixie — lasted only one season, 1955-56. Gleason, though, had introduced "The Honeymooners" as a recurring sketch in 1951 on the DuMont's network's "Cavalcade of Stars" and when he went to CBS to do "The Jackie Gleason Show" in 1952, he took the characters with him. Sketches from 1952-55 and 1956-57 are featured on MPI's new 15-disc "The Honeymooners Lost Episodes: The Complete Restored Series." The set features 10 hours of "Honeymooners" sketches that have not been seen since the 1950s, including eight "Honeymooners" musical hours telecast in 1957. The collection was restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive.