Here are 10 fun facts about everybody’s favorite bus driver, Ralph Kramden from The Honeymooners
#1 – Ralph Kramden’s apartment was intentionally made to look depressing and very modestly furnished. Because Jackie Gleason grew up in the slums of Brooklyn, he knew how to put the sets together. Although Ed Norton made the same salary as his buddy Ralph, Norton’s apartment had much nicer things. This is because Ed bought everything on credit, which Ralph refused to do
#2 – Jackie Gleason considered suing the producers of The Flintstones due to the striking similarities between Ralph Kramden and Fred Flintstone. He did not pursue legal action because he was advised that it wouldn’t be good for him to be known as the man who killed Fred Flintstone
#3 – Mr Gleason decided to pull the plug on Ralph Kramden after one season because he felt that the writers had done all they could with the character. He also wanted Ralph and friends to go out on a high note. Remember, back then nobody had any clue about a thing called syndication or residuals
“The biggest thing you ever got into was your pants” – Alice Kramden
#4 – Ralph worked for the WPD shoveling snow. That’s where he met his future wife Alice Gibson. Alice was the girl who handed out the shovels
“Ralph: [to Ed] Hey, what does ‘icky’ mean?
Ed Norton: I don’t know, why?
Ralph: Alice just said I was icky.
Ed Norton: Must mean ‘fat.’”
#5 – The Gotham Bus Company of New York City employed Ralph as a bus driver, although Ralph was never shown actually driving a bus on the show
#6 – Ralph Kramden loved bowling and playing pool. He would go to any length to make excuses so that he could enjoy his hobbies, including some very far out fibs
#7 – Ralph Kramden, along with his buddy Ed Norton, was a member of The Loyal Order of Raccoons. If you pay close attention in a few episodes, you can see on the blackboard behind him that his dues are in arrears
Ralph Kramden : Norton, let’s face it, I’m a man with big ideas, and sooner or later, one of those ideas is going to catch on, and when they do, I’m gonna be a big shot. And do you know what happens to people who become big shots?
Ed Norton : Yeah, they forget their relatives
Ralph Kramden’s Dad
#8 – Ralph’s father was mentioned in only one episode in which a cornet he had given his son was noted. Alice suggested that Ralph throw it away because it was junk
#9 – An 8-feet-tall statue of a Ralph Kramden in his bus driver’s uniform was erected in 1999 in front of Manhattan’s midtown Port Authority Bus Terminal
#10 – The Ralph Kramden character was given honorary membership in the New York City bus drivers’ union (Local 100 of the Transport Workers Union)
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