One of the most successful programs in the history of American television, The Honeymooners debuted in 1955 and has rarely been off the air. The half-hour series focused on two working class couples in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn: Ralph Cramden and his wife Alice, and their upstairs neighbors, Ed Norton and his wife Trixie. Ralph was a bus driver, Ed was a sewer worker and, typical for the era, the women stayed at home.
The story of the two couples has inspired countless spin-offs and adaptations, including The Flintstones, The King of Queens, and a theatrical film starring Cedric the Entertainer. The characters of Ralph, Alice, Ed and Trixie have evolved into pop culture icons.
So, why talk about this old series? Today I stopped in a McDonald’s restaurant on Columbus Avenue for a cup of coffee to go. While I was waiting for my order, I noticed that the teen aged clerks were flocking to another customer. I didn’t glance over, though, until I heard one of them asking for an autograph.
I turned and saw a woman signing a slip of paper from the cash register with the name Joyce Randolph. The actress, who has lived on the Upper West Side for decades, graciously posed for photos with the adoring fans who were calling her Trixie — the role she played when she starred on the show 50 years ago.
Now in her 80s, Randolph is the last surviving member of the cast. She may have retired years ago, but for those who have enjoyed watching her crack wise with co-stars Audrey Meadows, Jackie Gleason and Art Carney (who played her television husband Ed), the honeymoon will never end.