11 Mai 2007

JTS Commentary, Part IV (The Honeymooners)

Raw, gritty, real people, none of the plastic, contrived qualities so rife during the Fifties. Ralph wasn't a "civil servant"; he was a simple bus driver, struggling to get by in New York (albeit "Bensonhoist") on $62.00 per week--approximately $500 in today's money. Pure, unadulterated New York humor that is lost on many of the doltish fools populating Middle America. Some of the best lines: "Alice, your mother doesn't mean to be mean, she was just born that way." Norton, after Ralph pulls the "heads I win, tails you lose" trick: "Hey, Ralphie boy, I saw that. Gimme back my cern." Norton to Ralph, when the Great One gets stuck between the basement steam pipes while moonlighting as maintenance man: "I think this is a case where the spirit is willing but the flesh is just too much." After the counterfeit money debacle: "Are you finished? Are you finished with all the lectures, Carrie Nation? . . .I was a millionaire for a couple of days! That's more than anybody else in this dump can say! For two days I had it and I went with it too! It came easy and it went just-as-fast! And that's the way I'd be if I had it--easy come, easy go. If anyone found out that I had it, they could have it. It's my nature to spend. . .except I never have anything to spend." Unbeatable. And for all you feminist ranters, don't forget: a) Alice goes to work when Ralph is out of work and tells him to "ahh, shaddup." b) Ralph doesn't dare send Alice to the moon, he merely has impotent fantasies about it. May that moon always rise over beautiful Brooklyn, the "garden spot of the woild."