DVD review of The Very Best of The Honeymooners – technically, less about the actual Honeymooner episodes as it is bloopers, clips, and information on the performers themselves – although it does include several bits, including the classic ‘Letter to the Boss’ and a bonus program ‘The Wit and Wisdom of Ed Norton’
Editorial Review of The Very Best of The Honeymooners courtesy of Amazon.com
A busload of material featuring Ralph Kramden, the hefty bus driver from Brooklyn immortalized by Jackie Gleason in The Honeymooners, appears on this DVD, though the title is somewhat misleading. This production is more of a tribute to Gleason himself and his fellow performers, especially perennial sidekick Art Carney. A constant theme throughout is Gleason’s remarkable ability to ad-lib when things went wrong on live television. Short clips of bloopers and improvisations involving characters such as the drunken playboy ”Reginald Van Gleason” or the eternal sad sack “Poor Soul” appear frequently, along with monologue bits from Gleason’s hour-long variety shows.
In fact, the material featuring characters from The Honeymooners that appears is taken from sketches performed as part of the variety show, and include such classic bits as Ralph and Alice Kramden preparing to be contestants on Beat the Clock, Ralph trying to help his wife’s sister to elope, and a full-length sketch in which Ralph thinks he’s been fired and writes an ill-conceived letter to his boss. Art Carney takes a starring role in a bonus program entitled The Wit and Wisdom of Ed Norton. —Robert J. McNamara