Saturday, October 2, 2010

Van Dyke Parks in The Honeymooners

Here and there I’ve read that Van Dyke Parks played the role of Tommy Manicotti in the television series The Honeymooners. He doesn’t appear in the “classic thirty-nine,” the episodes shown through years of reruns on New York’s WPIX-TV. And there’s no Honeymooners credit for him at the IMDb. But VDP does appear, as I just discovered, in at least one of the “lost episodes,” “The Hero” (February 19, 1955). He was all of twelve. The episode is at YouTube in five parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. So yes, Van Dyke Parks is Tommy Manicotti.

comments: 2

dauber said...

Michael -- thanks for pointing this out! As both a Honeymoonie and a Brian Wilson fan, for years I thought stories of VDP being on The Honeymooners as Tommy Manicotti were apocryphal; after all, Honeymooners fans know that it was Ralph Roberts. A recent fan discussion, though, made me wonder if there was a chance that in one or more of the "lost 75" he would have been cast as Tommy before (or after) Ralph Roberts had played the role. Surprisingly, this episode has eluded me until I found your blog post via Google recently. Thanks!

Michael Leddy said...

Sean, hello. (I remember you from rec.music.beach-boys, or whatever the name was.) I noticed the discussion on the Smiley Smile board and was a little amused to see people taking my word about it. But it’s true. I cringed today when I saw that the clips had been removed — I never thought to download any. Suffice to say that it’s recognizably Van Dyke. He does a great job of talking like a Brooklyn kid and has some long scenes, just him and Gleason.