How sweet it is that the folks at the TV Land network would erect an 8-foot statue of the great Jackie Gleason as lovable loser Ralph Kramden from "The Honeymooners" in front of New York City's Port Authority bus station, where 7000 buses arrive and depart every day. Kramden drove the Madison Avenue bus for the Gotham Bus Company and he was always coming up with get rich schemes that would ultimately fail, usually in concert with his dimwitted pal Norton (Art Carney) and much to the chagrin of his long-suffering practical wife Alice (Audrey Meadows). The "classic 39" half-hour black and white episodes are from 1955-56, but "The Honeymooners" existed in sketch form on Gleason's variety show before this and they continued on Gleason's other shows and specials on into the 1970s. At the statue, I was a little annoyed with one fellow who appeared to be in no mood to move off his perch in order to let an out of town eccentric roadside attraction fan snap a few unfettered portraits, but I didn't say anything, fearing all that would come out would be a Gleasonesque "homina, homina. homina." I would have liked to have debated which is the better "Honeymooners" episode -- "The Chef of the Future" or "The Man from Space" -- but he just didn't seem that approachable. Oh well. So, here's to you, Ralph...baby, you're the greatest.
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