10 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘The Honeymooners’
8. Audrey Meadows’ Contract
Back in the ’50s when TV series and sitcoms were still in their infancy and finding their way, the contracts for the stars were a lot different than they are now which means many actors and actresses missed out on some money. Thanks to two of her brothers being attorneys and a strict manager, Meadows is the only The Honeymooners star to receive residual payments for the show for the rest of her life. As it turns out, Meadows’ manager foresaw that the series was prime to be aired in “reruns” even before they were commonplace and made sure that her contract included a condition that if the series were to air in the future, Meadows would be paid royalties. Without much precedence for the situation, the network agreed with no issue, never imagining that the series would become a syndication dream and would still be sending Meadows money 40 years later.
7. The Flintstones
After the release of Hanna-Barbera’s The Flintstones, it was obvious that the cartoon had been influenced by The Honeymooners and the similarities between Ralph, Alice, Trixie, and Ed with Fred, Wilma, Betty and Barney were uncanny. Upon seeing the show, Jackie Gleason looked into suing Hanna-Barbera for the similarities and was very close to making his move when his publicist reportedly said to him, “Do you want to go down in history as the man who killed Fred Flinstone?” and Gleason decided not to sue. In 1956 Gleason was confronted with a much more obvious copycat when Warner Bros created an animated short film called The Honey-Mousers with lead characters named Ralph Krumden and Ned Morton. Before Warner Bros. could release it however Gleason was told about the animated short and looked at it. Instead of being upset, however, he really liked it and said they could make as many as they wanted.