1950s television comedy The Honeymooners with Jackie Gleason, Audrey Meadows, Art Carney, and Joyce Randolph have been hugely successful over the decades.
It’s hard not to be drawn to the basic story of a working-class couple trying to meet clan chiefs with their friends in mid-20th century Brooklyn, New York.
Fans of the show included Hollywood’s “main man” who had hoped to appear on the show, but never got the chance.
‘The Honeymooners’ began in 1951
The Honeymooners began as a seed of an idea of the so – called 1951 mix exhibition Cavalcade of Stars. Jackie Gleason was a guest at the time and took that opportunity to introduce a sketch comedy about a married couple who, while always arguing, were deceitful about each other.
That sketch came of course The Honeymooners.
Joyce Randolph in a 1999 conversation with the American Television Archive she discussed her role as Trixie Norton.
“Trixie was married to a sewer worker and I believe she saw herself as a little better than Ed Norton’s character,” she said. “But she was just a housewife – she and Alice had no jobs. They lived at home all the time, which was amazing, but the men didn’t want them to work. ”
The show was a success but Gleason finished it early
While the show outperformed the rankings, Gleason made the decision to end it after just one season and 39 programs. He explained his reasoning to Johnny Carson in 1996.
“We were running out of ideas,” Gleason said told the late guest. “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. ”
Cary Grant loved the show and wanted to be on it
Cary Grant was one of the biggest fans of the show and made it clear to Audrey Meadows that she would love the chance to be a guest star.
At that time The Honeymooners it was on air, Grant was nearing the end of his film career. In 1955, he was filming Alfred Hitchcock’s To catch a thief with co-star Grace Kelly.
Meadows in her 1994 memoir Love, Alice he detailed Grant’s request, which surprised her.
“I could be Ed Norton’s helper in the sewer,” Meadows recalled Grant’s suggestion. She replied that “those sewer workers are open to those rats and all that!
Grant was unsuccessful, with a response delivered by the beauty of his trademark. “I’ve worked in Hollywood for years. I saw worse hair and worked with bigger rats. ”
While it looks like Cary Grant The Honeymooners unfortunately it did not come to fruition, starring actor Alice Kramden in the 1962 film That touch of mink.