Monday, April 17, 2017

'Mooners Monday #9: Sick Burn Theatre #1

Today on 'Mooners Monday, we begin a new recurring feature focusing on some of the best SICK BURNS delivered on the show. I am fully aware that the phrase did not exist in the mid 1950s, but insults are timeless, especially when delivered by the talented cast and supporting players on The Honeymooners.

Plus I just think it sounds funny in this context.

Let's go back to episode 14, "The Man from Space." Ralph's brilliant plan to win the lodge's Halloween costume contest by buying a nice outfit from the store is thwarted by his lack of money to buy said costume. He decides when you can't afford lemonade, you take your lemons and make...well, not lemonade, but something kind of like it. This of course leads to his assemblage of the man from space costume:

Later, when it's time to judge the contest, Ralph checks out Pete's costume ("a playboy of the Roaring Twenties") and makes a snide remark: "Nice rented costume you have there, Pete."

Ooh! You tell him, Ralph. His "heh heh" demeanor is funny enough, as he's feeling cocky and thinks his creativity trumps the "easy way out" his fellow Raccoon took. Never mind the fact that HE wanted to get a store-bought costume:

If that isn't enough, he mutters, "It's all rented," as the judges get a closer look.

We all remember the fat jokes, the "mental case" comments, and the zingier zingers, but I have a soft spots for Ralph's totally transparent attempts to be passive-aggressive. Jackie Gleason always did a great job with these kinds of moments, and this one looks small on paper (and maybe in this post), but when you see it, it's a gem in a standout episode loaded with memorable moments.

I hope to spotlight more of these moments in this series. Stay tuned for more as we celebrate The Honeymooners each Monday!

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