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The Great Ones

David Bianculli of the NY Daily News has a wonderful column today on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of two shows: "The Honeymooners" and "Alfred Hitchcock Presents." It was 50 years ago today that Jackie Gleason's TV sitcom, "The Honeymooners," made its debut for its only season of stand-alone shows, the so-called "classic 39" episodes, now out on DVD. (Imagine that! A TV season that went 39 weeks!!!) Yes, Ralph Kramden's adventures began years before in the "Cavalcade of Stars," and continued thereafter on Gleason's own variety show. But the "classic 39" are, in my view, still the very best.

Tomorrow marks the anniversary of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," which premiered 50 years ago on the same TV network as Gleason's wonderful series: CBS. It too was a classic in its own right, and included many episodes directed by the Master himself.

Bianculli's retrospective is worth a good read: "Golden Oldies Hit 50th: Let's Salute Gleason & Hitchcock."

Comments welcome.


Just out of courisity what is the status of DuMont Honeymooners. Where any of them saved? Alfred Hitchock was a really great series.

Chris, I honestly don't know when the DuMont episodes will see the light of day (I'd seen some tiny excerpts of early kinescopes), but I do remember this story about the Peabody Awards archive uncovering a very early lost CBS episode from 1954 (some years after the series' 1951 debut on DuMont).

Perhaps someday...