‘The Honeymooners’: Jackie Gleason Said This Cast Member Was the Real Star of the Show

View from television comedy 'The Honeymooners'
View from John Springer Collection / CORBIS / Corbis TV comedy ‘The Honeymooners’ via Getty Images

The Honeymooners it was made up of one of the best ensemble groups in television history: Jackie Gleason as bus driver and blowhard Ralph Kramden; Audrey Meadows as his long-suffering wife, Alice; and Art Carney and Joyce Randolph as neighbors and best friends, the Nortons.

While each of the show’s stars deserves credit for their part in the show’s success, Gleason felt that the lion’s share of the recommendation was due to one particular member.

Gleason did not create ‘The Honeymooners’ but was above all sides of it

Although Jackie Gleason did not create The Honeymooners, it was clear that the comedian and actor was the heart and soul of the show. He made all the decisions that were relevant to the series and no matter what he called that, that was the bottom line.

His most important decision on the series was, without a doubt, to finish after one season. Even fans today are pondering the comedy ‘s staying power with just 39 programs. As long as the star’s reasoning was to end early, he didn’t want the show to overwhelm the reception.

'The Honeymooners' was tossed during the editing
‘The Honeymooners’ was tossed during | Leonard Mccombe / LIFE Image Collection via Getty Images / Getty Images

“We were running out of ideas,” Gleason said told Johnny Carson in 1996. “I enjoyed it The Honeymooners and I wanted to make them, and I didn’t want to turn them down by forcing 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. ”

‘The Honeymooners’ would not have been a blow without this one, Gleason said

Art Carney, left, and Jackie Gleason
Art Carney, left, and Jackie Gleason John Springer / CORBIS / Corbis Collection via Getty Images

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Carney’s humorous gift was textured. As for Gleason, Art Carney was his real star The Honeymooners. He and Gleason were always named as Laurel and Hardy of their generation.

Although Carney was not a training actor, as was much of his time, he gained experience in early television programming including The Dagmar story, Morey Amsterdam Exhibition, Victor Borge exhibition, and Studio One In Hollywood, in the years leading up to the 1955 premiere of The Honeymooners.

In the end, all that hard work paid off as can be seen from Oscar, Carney’s best actor for his role as Harry Inside film 1974 Harry and Tonto.

Gleason told People in 1985 that he gave Carney “90 percent of the credit” The Honeymooners’ success.

“He has a special time – and the best body language in the world,” said Gleason.

Joyce Randolph on her husband on television

Joyce Randolph, left, with Art Carney as Trixie and Ed Norton
Joyce Randolph, left, with Art Carney as Trixie and Ed Norton | John Springer / CORBIS / Corbis Collection via Getty Images

Joyce Randolph, who showed Trixie’s wife Carney on screen, agreed with Gleason’s assessment, as she told the American Television Archive in 1999.

“He’s so wonderful, he can do anything,” Randolph said of the co-star who died in 2003. “He’s naturally a funny man. It was a perfect deception for Jackie.

“I don’t think Mr Gleason would have got as far as he did without Art Carney. ”

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