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Video Clip Worth Watching: Ralph Kramden’s Christmas Speech

And away we go:

 

 

I loved watching re-runs of The Honeymooners when I was a kid.  I appreciated the fact that they were more broke than my family and, like my parents, they met that circumstance with good humor.  In the classic episode above Ralph sold his prized bowling ball to buy a Christmas present for his beloved wife Alice.

 

The late comedian Jackie Gleason, when asked his religion, would always say “Bad Catholic”.  He was once asked by a Paulist priest to appear on his  television program and talk about religion which he did, stating to the priest that Catholicism was strong enough to withstand an advocate even as bad as he was.

 

He once stunned the audience of a light-hearted talk show in the Seventies by responding to the question what he wanted more than anything else by saying “Eternal Salvation”. The host was taken aback by this and asked him, “Really?” Gleason said he couldn’t understand anyone wanting anything more than that. Gleason and some of the Ten Commandments were not on friendly terms during his life, to say the least, but he received the Last Rites on his deathbed, and I am sure he got what he wanted more than anything else.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

2 Comments

  1. I loved watching re-runs of The Honeymooners when I was a kid. I appreciated the fact that they were more broke than my family and, like my parents, they met that circumstance with good humor.

    Trivia tidbit:
    See this dialogue reported on IMDB.

    Alice Kramden: Listen, Ralph, I did not spend that money on clothes and you know it! Besides, how far do you think 62 dollars a week will go?

    Ralph Kramden: Will you shut your big mouth and stop yelling my salary? I don’t want the neighbors to know how much I’m makin’!

    Alice Kramden: Sixty-two dollars a week!

    [yelling]

    Alice Kramden: Sixty-two dollars a week! SIXTY-TWO DOLLARS A WEEK!

    Ralph Kramden: Will you stop that? I don’t want my salary to leak out!

    Alice Kramden: *Your* salary couldn’t *drip* out!

    Ralph Kramden: Ooh, you’re flirting with death!

    That $62 a week in wages was close to the national mean for the working population in 1953/54. At the time, about 92% of all labor compensation was in the form of cash – wages, salary, commission, bonus. Working for the public transit authorities in New York would (one might guess, as the practice appeared during the War) have accorded him household medical benefits as well. It was a convention from at least the 1930s to depict families with a standard of living well in excess of what would commonly be feasible in a given context (see, for example, the fictional Mike Brady with six children, a wife at home, and a live in maid). Gleason was inspired by his own upbringing and portrayed Ralph and Alice as being more impecunious than their stated income suggests.

  2. That was very thoughtful.
    Both the clip and providing the clip.
    I was moved.
    His expression after the kiss was priceless.
    That big smile of his.

    Thanks for sharing.

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