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
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#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
#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
Click the image below to read about Ralph’s Mambo Adventure
#10 – The Ralph Kramden character was given honorary membership in the New York City bus drivers’ union (Local 100 of the Transport Workers Union)
Whether you’re a die-hard fan or just discovering the show for the first time, these fun facts about Ralph are sure to deepen your appreciation for one of the most enduring characters in pop culture history. So why not settle in with a classic episode of The Honeymooners today and see why Mr. Kramden remains a beloved figure to this day?
About Jackie Gleason
Jackie Gleason was an American actor, comedian, writer, composer, and producer. He was born in Brooklyn, New York on February 26, 1916. He was the son of an Irish-American immigrant father and a mother of German-American descent.
Gleason began his career as a comedian in the 1930s, performing in vaudeville and burlesque shows. He eventually moved to television, where he became a household name for his role as Ralph Kramden in the 1950s sitcom The Honeymooners. He also starred in the variety show The Jackie Gleason Show, which ran from 1952 to 1970.
Gleason was also a prolific film actor, appearing in over 50 films throughout his career. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in the 1959 film The Hustler. He also wrote and composed music for several of his films, including the theme song for The Honeymooners.
Gleason was married three times and had two children. He died on June 24, 1987, at the age of 71. He was posthumously inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1989.
Gleason was a beloved figure in the entertainment industry, known for his larger-than-life personality and comedic timing. He was a master of physical comedy and a pioneer of television comedy. His influence can still be seen in the work of many modern comedians.