Tuesday, April 19, 2016

“He’s in the library”

From The Honeymooners episode “Opportunity Knocks But,” first broadcast May 5, 1956. The head of the Gotham Bus Company, J. J. Marshall, has received a pool table as a birthday present. He asks Messrs. Kramden and Norton (Ralph and Ed) to come to his house and teach him the game. “We’re playin’ pool on Park Avenue tonight!” says Norton. I love this exchange, which might be as old as vaudeville:

Butler: “Just make yourselves at home, gentlemen. Mr. Marshall will be here presently. He’s in the library.”

Ralph: “What?”

Butler: “He’s in the library.”

Ed: “He oughta be here soon. The library closes at nine.”
Did you notice the butler’s tony diction? Presently , not momentarily . I’m pretty sure that this exchange was one of the many bits that used to be cut in reruns to make more time for commercials.

Related reading
All OCA Honeymooners posts (Pinboard)

[Mr. Marshall’s address: 1149 Park Avenue. It’s a single-family residence, valued today at $9,472,029.]

comments: 2

Unknown said...

I have no data to back-up my feeling but it just seems to me that, in watching network prime time TV, there are more commercials and less programming.
Bart Sorrentino

Michael Leddy said...

Yes. The DVD set of the “classic 39” episodes of The Honeymooners lets me see just how much was missing from the television reruns of my youth. A revelation!