Thursday, September 27, 2012

Alice Appreciation.

I was a very serious adolescent in the mid-fifties, hostile to authority and not known for laughing, but The Honeymooners could reduce me to tears, mostly because Jackie Gleason as "Ralph Kramden" was a gifted actor and a consummate buffoon, carrying his stupid schemes to absurd heights. Art Carney as "Ed Norton" struck me as way too silly for my tastes--no character in real life could be that stupid and goofy, I thought. I didn't learn to appreciate "Norton" until many years later, when I started expecting a laugh as soon as he walked in a room.
Then, there was Audrey Meadows, better known as "Alice." She was my hero--my heroine--ranking higher than "Matt Dillon" on Gunsmoke or John Wayne at the movies.
Look at her--she was an island of intelligence in a sea of idiots:

And, she was not afraid. "Ralph" could stomp and shout and threaten her, but when the moment came, she would stick a pin in this blowhard and , reduce him to a deflated sack of jelly, to my infinite delight.
I took the characters seriously at the time, even though I laughed at the stupidity. When "Ralph" finally hugged "Alice" at the end of many episodes and blubbered, "Baby, you're the greatest," I thought, "Naw, he's too stupid to appreciate her."
It was me. I'm the one who appreciated her.
She was beautiful, Audrey Meadows.

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