Monday, November 5, 2018

'Mooners Monday: Amazon Prime news plus what is the "deal" with George and Harvey?

Great news for 'Mooners fans who don't already own the DVDs from MPI: Amazon Prime Video now has available two 1970s Honeymooners specials for streaming with membership: 1976's Second Honeymoon and 1978's The Valentine Special.  It's reasonable to hope the 1978 Christmas special appears by the end of the year (knowing how streaming often works, it'll probably be on December 29). The 1977 Christmas special has never been released on video and, as far as I know, remains lost.

For now, these two hourlong TV presentations join the Lost Episodes on Prime, and it makes me wonder, where are the Classic 39? As I pointed out before, CBS/Paramount already milked all it could from DVD sales and Blu-Ray sales. The complete series is available at a great price in each format. It may not be a big deal since so many surely have the discs, but I'd like to see the 39 available in nice, crisp HD somewhere in the streaming world, even if on CBS All Access.

Now back to The Bensonhurst Bomber. Let me ask this without being indelicate: What is "the deal" with George and Harvey? Does anyone else think there's a suggestion that the big guy and the little guy are more than just billiard buddies?


No? OK, well, in that case, let's talk about the actors.

Leslie Barrett (George) was a stage actor from New York known for Shakespeare work but became best known for this episode. He's in many other era TV episodes, including I Shot an Arrow into the Air, the season 1 Twilight Zone in which Edward Binns and a few other astronauts crash-land a rocket. He told The Official Honeymooners Treasury, "Of course, I didn't get a job after that for two years, because everybody thought I talked like that."

George Mathews (Harvey) was also in all kinds of era TV shows, including The Phil Silvers Show and The Rifleman. The Treasury reports that Mathews never saw this 'Mooners episode until a live screening at a RALPH (Royal Association for the Longevity and Preservation of the Honeymooners) convention, decades after its premiere.

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