The REAL Brooklyn of
Jackie Gleason and The Honeymooners
Jackie Gleason wanted to produce a TV comedy set in the Brooklyn tenement of his childhood that starred a bickering but loving couple he called The Honeymooners. CBS Television executives thought it would never work. Who would watch that?
Frank Mastropolo, author of the best-selling series of books on New York’s historic music venues, forgotten “ghost” signs, and archaeological treasures, follows Gleason’s journey from that cold-water Brooklyn flat to Manhattan’s Adelphi Theater, where the “Classic 39” episodes of TV’s The Honeymooners were filmed.
Jackie Gleason's childhood home, 328 Chauncey Street, Brooklyn
On the way you’ll learn that when Gleason was nine, his father abandoned the family, leaving him and his mother destitute. You’ll visit Gleason’s schools and childhood hangouts and the vaudeville theaters, saloons, and dives where Gleason got his start. Gleason’s starring roles on Broadway led to a short stay in Hollywood until his return to the Big Apple and the role he was born to play.
Gleason, his childhood friends, showbiz pals, and The Honeymooners’ cast—Art Carney (Ed Norton), Audrey Meadows (Alice Kramden), and Joyce Randolph (Trixie Norton)—recount the stories that earned Gleason the title The Great One.
If you like aspirational stories of people who overcame grinding poverty to rise to the top of the entertainment world, you’ll love this comprehensive illustrated history of one of television’s greatest stars.
And awaaay we go!
Jackie Gleason, 1952. Charlotte Brooks, LOOK magazine collection, Library of Congress