Picks and Pans Review: Taping Tips
PAUL REISER SERVES AS USHER TO The Honeymooners' First Christmas (Wed., Dec. 7, 10 p.m. ET) on the Disney Channel. A performance that aired live on The Cavalcade of Stars program on Dec. 21, 1951, this is the first extended sketch featuring TV's Kramdens. Most of the familiar actors are in place—Jackie Gleason, Art Carney and Joyce Randolph—but Alice is played by Pert Kelton. (Audrey Meadows would assume the role the following year.) It's a busy Christmas Eve in the Kramdens' railroad flat in Brooklyn, with visits from a juggler, a Dixieland band and others. Early on, Ralph gets sent out for potato salad, paving the way for Gleason to quick-change his way in and out of the apartment into many of the popular characters he developed during his tenure on this variety hour of the DuMont network, including Fenwick Babbitt, Joe the Bartender, the Poor Soul and Reginald Van Gleason III. This is a holiday feast from the late Great One.