31. THE HONEYMOONERS 

Season One writers: Herbert Finn, Marvin Marx, A.J. Russell, Leonard Stern, Walter Stone, Sydney Zelinka  

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Aired: CBS, 1955-1956

The standard by which all working-class sitcoms are still measured had a fitful beginning. Harry Crane and Joe Bigelow are credited with creating Ralph Kramden, a Brooklyn bus driver, as a sketch character for Jackie Gleason in 1951, when Gleason was hosting the Dumont network’s Calvalcade of Stars variety show (two other writers on that show, Coleman Jacoby and Artie Rosen, brought in Art Carney for a different sketch). The Honeymooners took further shape on The Jackie Gleason Show in 1952 and Toast of the Town, a variety series hosted by Ed Sullivan. It was in 1955 that the 39 episodes of the now-classic sitcom were filmed, with a writing team of six: Leonard Stern, Marvin Marx, Walter Stone, Herbert Finn, Sydney Zelinka and A.J. Russell. The Honeymooners earned Emmys for Gleason and co-stars Carney and Audrey Meadows, but not for the writers who gave words to the battle.

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