Thursday, July 31, 2014

Looney TV: The Honeymousers (1956)

Over at The Land of Whatever, we took a look at Jackie Gleason's seminal sitcom, The Honeymooners. Now, it's time to scope out Warner Bros.' send-up of the series.

Director Robert McKimson produced 3 shorts starring The Honeymousers between 1956-60. These might be the rarest of WB cartoons if in fact Mel Blanc had little or nothing to do with them. The familiar characters have been rebooted as mice, with the Kramdens becoming the Crumdens, and the Nortons, the Mortons. Daws Butler spoke for both Ralph Crumden and Ned Morton, while June Foray voiced Alice. In the final short, "Mice Follies", Foray was unavailable, likely due to a scheduling conflict (Rocky & His Friends was in production at the time), so Ginny Tyler was cast as Alice and Trixie, but not credited.

Unfortunately, none of the three are available in complete form on YouTube, and so all we can do is give you the climatic moments from "The Honeymousers":

I realize that there's only so much you can do with mice imitating such iconic characters, and McKimson realized that, too, which is why he stopped at three.

Rating: A.


magicdog said...

True here was only so much one could do with the premise but I still enjoyed these shorts!

The Trojan dog was hilarious to me, and seeing Alice bitch slap the cat was just hysterical!

hobbyfan said...

Awesome stuff, wasn't it? Too bad WB couldn't be bothered to bring them back even for a quickie cameo in recent times.

SaturdayMorningFan said...

They probably don't want to deal with the legal issues that may be involved in resurrecting the characters. Unlike most of the other WB characters, these are based on real actors. I assume WB would have to negotiate with their estates.

hobbyfan said...

Good point. Plus, CBS owns the Honeymooners now, so that is another roadblock to be considered.