Happy New Year from FNYTSF!

To all my readers who have been following me throughout the year, from the bottom of my heart, I would like to wish each and every one of you and your families and friends a very happy and healthy 2011! I sure hope that everyone made realistic resolutions that they will stick to (I know I sure am going to try this year!).

Please enjoy this New Year’s favorite, “Auld Lang Syne”, performed by Andre Rieu and the Johann Strauss Orchestra. It’s the perfect way to ring in the New Year, next to a Honeymooners marathon of course!

Tomorrow will bring some tough choices on television. After my morning workout (giving a hint on one of my resolutions), I will be switching back and forth between The Honeymooners on WPIX, a personal and family tradition, and one of The Twilight Zone on Scy-Fy. It truly is amazing listening to my dad quote almost every line in every episode of Jackie Gleason’s legendary show, and what is more amazing, is the fact that even 55 years later, they are still funny as ever!

Then when tomorrow night rolls around, the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning will be battling it out at 7pm, followed by the NHL Winter Classic between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals at 8pm. Had they stuck to their regular time, I would have tuned in, but the Rangers will get priority tomorrow night.

Also don’t forget to check out Sky Harbor tomorrow evening at the Stone Pony!

Once again, have a terrific 2011!

Sincerely,

Greg Caggiano

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2 thoughts on “Happy New Year from FNYTSF!

  1. Jumbo

    Greg,

    I have been a huge Honeymooners’ fan for 40 years. Duirng the 70’s and 80’s it used to be shown weeknights on WPIX at 11:30 I’ve seen each of the “original” 39 episodes dozens of times and I think it remains the greatest TV show ever. Most amazing was the fact that it was filmed live with no retakes and the characters flubbed lines maybe about half a dozen times total. They ad-libbed when mishaps occurred, two of which occurred during the Chef of the Future episode–one was where a piece of the can opener came flying off, the other when Jackie Gleason crashed into the freestanding wall. Also, during the episode where Ralph and Ed chipped in to buy a new TV, Jackie Gleason used too much force to open the bag of popcorn and it went all over the table. I think the greatest scene in TV history was when Jackie Gleason called Audrey Meadows’s mother a BLAAABERMOUTH. That scene had a mishap too, note the alarm clock did not stop ringing when jackie Gleason shut if off. In the Mambo episode, the phonograph (I’m sure you were scatching your head when you heard that for the first time!) was not plugged in to an electric socket.

    It was such a groundbreaking series and the premise has been replicated in many subsequent series, most notably The King of Queens–namely the fat, lovable shlub with the attractive wife who fights with him constantly but loves him anyway. And while other series in the 50’s and 60s like Father Knows Best, Leave It To Beaver and Bewitched portrayed the stereotypical housewife and mother, it must have been somewhat scandalous to have a assertive female character like Alice Kramden who stood up to her husband. I feel the origins of the womens’ liberation movement of the 60’s started with her.

    I probably should not admit this but I still get choked up every time I hear Jackie Gleason’s soliloquy at the end of the Christmas episode, which was the only time the actors stepped out of character. I watch it privately on the DVR every year at Christmastime.

    Can you imagine a world where Ralph’s salary that couldn’t drip out was $35 per week, their rent was $30 per month and they nearly got evicted for a $1.50 cent increase, their electric bill for one month was 39 cents, and butter was 89 cents per pound? But back then the subway and bus fare was 15 cents and if you got on a bus with a quarter, drivers like Ralph would make change of two dimes and a nickel or one dime and three nickels so you did not have to overpay. Also, there was no MTA, it was private companies like the Gotham Bus Company who ran most of the bus routes. In fact that remained the case in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens until only about three years ago when the MTA took over everything and the level of service has suffered since then.

    Most of all, The Honeymooners depicts a simpler time when New York was in its heyday. My mother used to talk about going to clubs with her girlfriendsat that time and not feel unsafe at all when taking the subway at any hour of the night. Fifty five years later, New York City and State have incompetent, corrupt governments, out of control taxes, and bleak prospects for the immediate future.

    I’ve lived here all my life and I love New York but I can’t see myself staying here after I retire. But I will always have The Honeymooners to remind me of what New York once was.

    1. I really enjoyed reading this, Jumbo. My dad loves The Honeymooners and he too spent most of his life in New York. Actually, my entire family, myself included, are from Staten Island but none of us live their anymore. I’ve always wanted to go back, but I see the way NY is becoming and I no longer have that longing.

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