A Labor Day Weekend Tribute to Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton


Quote of the Day: "Most of the scripts dealt with one of Ralph's 'million-dollar ideas' and how they seemed to inevitably end in disaster for Ralph and Norton." -- Answer.com entry about The Honeymooners

As Americans enjoy a holiday weekend meant to officially celebrate workers and their families (and unofficially mark the end of the summer season that unofficially began with Memorial Day Weekend), I hereby dedicate today's blog entry to two of the greatest working-class heroes on television: Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton.

If you are one of the rare few who have never seen the classic TV show The Honeymooners, do yourself a favor and hunt down an episode or two. After all these years, the pioneering sitcom is still one of the funniest programs ever broadcast, with both hilarious and heart-felt moments.

Ralph, played by the "Great One" Jackie Gleason, was a bus driver, living with his wife Alice in a bare-bones apartment in Brooklyn, New York. He was a proud, stubborn man, who thought that the "man of the house" needed to be the sole breadwinner of the family. He kept coming up with get-rich-quick schemes and recruiting his best friend, Norton, played with comic brilliance by Art Carney, to participate in his quest to become wealthy. Norton himself was a sewer worker. Together, Ralph and Norton were one of the greatest comedy duos every to be created. Skits like "Chef of the Future" and others are still hilarious and hold up well compared to some of today's alleged comedy.

On this Labor Day Weekend, Mr. Kramden and Mr. Norton, wherever you are, I salute you and your never-ending belief in the American Dream!

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