‘The Honeymooners’ Art Carney Almost Got His Own ‘Ed Norton’ Spin-Off Show – But Lost It

Art Carney, Jackie Gleason, and Audrey Meadows run for 'The Honeymooners', 1956
Art Carney, Jackie Gleason, and Audrey Meadows running for ‘The Honeymooners’, 1956 | Getty Images

One of the secrets to the success of classic early television comedy The Honeymooners the second was Artana Carney.

The hilarious talent was the perfect foil to featuring the failure of star Jackie Gleason and (some might say anachronistic) Ralph Kramden.

Mar The Honeymooners finalized, Gleason wanted another version of the show to feature Carney. It looked like a sure blow, but eventually it was gone just as soon as it arrived.

Here is what happened.

‘The Honeymooners’ lasted one season

The team of 'The Honeymooners'
The crew of ‘The Honeymooners’ | Paramount Television / Images Getty

The Honeymooners the audience loved it and it seemed like the show was just beginning when Gleason decided to stop, after his first and only season.

“We were running out of ideas,” Gleason said told Johnny Carson in 1996. “I enjoyed it The Honeymooners and I enjoyed making them, and I didn’t want to turn them down by pushing scenes that meant nothing.

“So I wanted to stop it, but they didn’t believe me. They thought I had another job somewhere, but I didn’t. I’m glad I stopped them, because that was what we had done there were good and if we had gone further, we might have been spoiled. ”

Carney and Gleason were perfect comedy couples

View from 'The Honeymooners'
View from ‘The Honeymooners’ | Paramount Television / Courtesy of Getty Images

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The Gleason and Carney comedy team brought each player’s unique talent to the show. Guided by Gleason’s show, knowing what would work for each program along with its side delivery and timeline lines, the show made a hilarious comedy show for fans in the 1950s and still today.

“There are a lot of actors and actresses who have put it all together,” Department of Finance official Honeymooners said co-author Peter Crescenti. “But Art Carney and Jackie Gleason were magical on TV.

“In music, the Beatles were magical. You look at any of those magical moments in the history of entertainment and I think Art and Jackie had this magical relationship on stage that is unparalleled. They were like two sides of one man; so tight and continuous. ”

Carney was offered a spin-off and lost it for this reason

Joyce Randolph and Art Carney
Joyce Randolph and Art Carney CBS through Getty Images

by the time The Honeymooners folding up, Gleason had set his mind to feature Art Carney in his own next show from the successful comedy. Actor Ralph Kramden knew that Carney’s picture of sewage worker Ed Norton was popular with audiences and the project looked like a try. Thrown along with Carney was actor Al Lewis, best known for his portrayal of Grandpa Munster.

But, according to Art Carney: Biography author Michael Seth Starr, Carney’s alcohol and depression work on a show focusing specifically on the almost impossible.

“Arthur was drunk at the time of filming,” he wrote. “He was letting go of his script and blowing his lines and this was one of the few times he let his guard down. Al Lewis said Art was so professional that he had to be in deep pain to allow himself to work hard. Al also suggested that Arthur ruined his opportunity, as he did not want to be a show star. ”

Carney eventually turned his career around enough to star and win an Oscar for Best Actor for his career there Harry and Tonto in 1974.

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