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Buses in "Honeymooners" movie/1950's TV show
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W.B. Fishbowl



Age: 54
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd venture whoever wrote for "The Honeymooners" came up with the Gotham Bus Company. Given which route Ralph generally drove (Madison Avenue) - plus a reference to an unspecified crosstown route to which he would be assigned after a layoff in the "Brother Ralph" episode - it would have been a thinly disguised New York City Omnibus Corporation, the crosstown line either being 79th, 86th, 96th or 116th Street (those, and the Madison Avenue routes, were assigned out of 100th Street depot, today's Tuskegee Airmen depot). Mr. Marshall (the Gotham president) may well have been loosely based on John E. McCarthy who was the "prexy" of both NYCO and FACCo. How a Brooklyn resident drove a bus route in Manhattan is one of those "unanswerables."

Oh, and in the last three months of The Honeymooners originally airing on CBS on Saturdays in its stand-alone, "Classic 39" mode, is when NYCO became Fifth Avenue Coach Lines, Inc. So Ralph could well have driven buses marked FACL post-June 1956.
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

W.B.:

As usual, I greatly appreciate your input; always something new (old?) to learn! Wink

Quite a number years back, CORGI issued an Old Look (the catalogue described it as "The Bus Ralph Kramden Drove" (or something close to that)....of course, I HAD to buy one!

Bus is lettered "MADISON AVENUE COACH COMPANY" (number #1707)

"GO THE MOTOR COACH WAY" is on the dash, beneath the number.

Red/black destination sign reads:

"4TH & MADISON AV./PARK ROW & BROADWAY VIA 42nd ST."

I still wonder why this bus was not lettered for the expected "GOTHAM BUS COMPANY" (copyright issues, perhaps?)

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

.........had CORGI ever issued a die-cast Old Look lettered for the "GOTHAM BUS COMPANY", rest assured "Honeymooners" fans (and, indeed, we are a legion!) would have been snapping these babies up like the proverbial hot cakes! Wink

Too, you also have to wonder, when the "Original 39" were still first-run shows, how many "Noo Yawk" bus driver were tuned in each week, to watch "one of their own", cavorting across the small screen...... Very Happy

"NYO"
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W.B. Fishbowl



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:
W.B.:

As usual, I greatly appreciate your input; always something new (old?) to learn! Wink

Quite a number years back, CORGI issued an Old Look (the catalogue described it as "The Bus Ralph Kramden Drove" (or something close to that)....of course, I HAD to buy one!

Bus is lettered "MADISON AVENUE COACH COMPANY" (number #1707)

"GO THE MOTOR COACH WAY" is on the dash, beneath the number.

Red/black destination sign reads:

"4TH & MADISON AV./PARK ROW & BROADWAY VIA 42nd ST."

I still wonder why this bus was not lettered for the expected "GOTHAM BUS COMPANY" (copyright issues, perhaps?)

"NYO"

The Madison Avenue Coach Company was the moniker used for administration of the bustitution of the 1 and 2 Madison Avenue lines between 1935 and 1951; it (and the Eighth Avenue Coach Corporation which administered the 10 - Eighth Avenue/Central Park West and 11 - Ninth & Amsterdam Avenue lines in that same time frame) were under those umbrellas because of litigation and stockholder issues over such conversions, and were subsidiaries of the New York City Omnibus Corporation (which, on their 1939 and 1947 route maps, mentioned these routes among the others they operated within the borough of Manhattan). 1707 would have been among the TD-4506's ordered for the NYCO/MACCo/EACCo setups in 1946.

November 1951 was when, by which time all the various issues were resolved, these two "subsidiaries" were all folded into NYCO. The New York newspapers called it a "merger."
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

W.B.:

As always, great input....thanks for sharing! Wink

So, I do not think it too far-fetched that the fictitious "GOTHAM BUS COMPANY" may have been a company that had, at some previous date, absorbed several former independent companies?

Too, you cannot help but wonder just what position Mr. Marshall filled before his days as president of the GBC.......just where did he get his start in the bus industry.....did he ever 'brive a dus' in his earlier years? Wink

"NYO"
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W.B. Fishbowl



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:
W.B.:

As always, great input....thanks for sharing! Wink

So, I do not think it too far-fetched that the fictitious "GOTHAM BUS COMPANY" may have been a company that had, at some previous date, absorbed several former independent companies?

Too, you cannot help but wonder just what position Mr. Marshall filled before his days as president of the GBC.......just where did he get his start in the bus industry.....did he ever 'brive a dus' in his earlier years? Wink

"NYO"

Given what he told Ralph and Norton in "Opportunity Knocks But," Marshall's early life seemed more like McCarthy's, if you're read the longtime FACCo chief's life (McCarthy died June 15, 1960, if it helps your search).

But Gotham may have been the holding company for the bus conversion of old streetcar routes of equally fictitious stature (the Municipal City Railroad or something which was neither municipal nor city-owned).
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

W.B.:

Thanks......make sense to me! Very Happy

A lifelong "Joisey Boy" like Your's Truly cannot help but imagine the "Honeymooners" had the Kramdens (and the Nortons!) resided in, say, Newark, or Jersey City, and Ralph drove for a fictitious company at least loosely based on PSNJ...... Wink

When one stops and thinks about it, the "Tee-Yay" was still pretty much the "new kid on the block", when "The Honeymooners" first aired......

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some interesting bus-related "Honeymooners" trivia......

Ralph wore a Union pin in seven episodes:

"OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS BUT"

"UNCONVENTIONAL BEHAVIOR"

"THE SAFETY AWARD"

"MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS"

"DIAL 'J' FOR JANITOR"

"THE BENSONHURST BOMBER"

"A MANS PRIDE"

Also of interest: (from: "THE HONEYMOONERS COMPANION").......

"....when Ralph runs into Bill Davis outside Madison Square Garden, it looks remarkably like the entrance to the 'GOTHAM BUS COMPANY'; such was the versatility of 'Honeymooners' sets........"

"NYO"
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W.B. Fishbowl



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a clue that those seven episodes were the last filmed. ("Alice and the Blonde," which in transmission order originally aired between "Mind Your Own Business" and "The Bensonhurst Bomber," would appear to have been filmed before those.)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

W.B. Fishbowl wrote:
That is a clue that those seven episodes were the last filmed. ("Alice and the Blonde," which in transmission order originally aired between "Mind Your Own Business" and "The Bensonhurst Bomber," would appear to have been filmed before those.)


W.B.:

I agree.

Some other interesting "trivia":

According to the "THE HONEYMOONERS COMPANION", Gleason surprised everybody by pulling out; his Buick contract called for seventy-eight "Honeymooners" episodes, with an option for thirty-nine more.

One can only imagine what misadventures Kramden and the Nortons might have encountered, had the show ran for at least another year or so.

Like another classic of that era, "I Love Lucy", IMHO, "The Honemooners" could have kept on going, at least for awhile longer.

Might we have FINALLY gotten to see Ralph behind the wheel of his bus?

Would Ralph have ever realized his dream of finally becoming the "Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler" of the Raccoon Lodge?

Would the Kramdens FINALLY have gotten a TV or a telephone (that was permanent?)

Jackie was afraid the show would "get stale"; I disagree, as would many loyal "Honeymooners" fans.

Think of how many thousands of times "The Original 39" have been rerun over the decades......we can easily rattle off classic lines from the episodes as if we, ourselves, had been a member of the cast.

In the 1960's, my dad (also a big fan of "The Honeymooners", as was my older brother), and I also never missed any of the color shows from Miami; Gleason, indeed, WAS, without a doubt, the "Great One".......'nuff said Wink

"NYO"
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W.B. Fishbowl



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of Gleason's bios reported he was nudged to end the show after one season (and 39 episodes) after Buick pulled out of the contract.
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

W.B. Fishbowl wrote:
One of Gleason's bios reported he was nudged to end the show after one season (and 39 episodes) after Buick pulled out of the contract.


W.B.:

I can just hear Alice's mother (Mrs. Gibson) now:

"The ONLY thing that could nudge YOU is a BULLDOZER!" Rolling Eyes Laughing

Regardless, it would not be until later in his life, that I think Mr. Gleason truly realized just how endearing and popular "The Honeymooners" really were....and how iconic it had become.

Too, Mr. Gleason's many other memorable characters, "Joe the Bartender", "The Poor Soul", "Reginald Van Gleason", etc al, have likewise more than withstood the passage of time (my dad really got a kick out of "Joe The Bartender", as my uncle owned his own bar, across town, at the time!)........ Wink

"NYO"


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:09 am; edited 1 time in total
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a Wikipedia Gleason bio.......

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackie_Gleason
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

See also:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Honeymooners
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The winner of several Emmy Awards, Art Carney (aka "Ed Norton"), the perfect foil for "Ralph's" bombastic blustering, and one of the best comic geniuses of all time...... Wink

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_Carney
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