Good-bye to Art Carney


I hope folks outside the US have had access to reruns of The Honeymooners, the 1950s series that was (until The Simpsons) perhaps the funniest TV show in American history.

Art Carney, one of the stars of the show, has died at 85. Tom Shales in The Washington Post has a nice tribute to him.

Although it’s been ages since I’ve seen it, one episode sticks in my mind for a transcendently funny scene.

Ed Norton (Carney) and Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason) are rehearsing a play for the Raccoon Ladies Auxiliary. Norton, playing a poor but honorable suitor, says, “I don’t possess a mansion, a villa in France, a yacht or a string of puhlopuhnies.”

Kramden says, “A what?”

Norton says, “A string of puhlopuhnies.”

Kramden explodes, “That’s polo ponies, Norton!”

Maybe, as they say, you had to be there. But take my word for it, Art Carney was a transcendently funny guy.