Monday, March 10, 2014


Sheila MacRae recently passed away at the age of 93.  She was known for many achievements in entertainment, even for playing herself in an episode of 'I Love Lucy'.  But most of the obituaries were focused on the fact that she played Alice Kramden in the 1967 version of 'The Honeymooners' which Jackie Gleason taped in front of Miami audiences.  (According the Great One, Miami audiences were the best audiences in the world.)

Ralph Kramden and Art Carney were multi-versals, appearing the same no matter what TV dimension they were in.  (Well, except for Black Toobworld.)  But Alice and Trixie changed from Toobworld to Toobworld.

Pre-Toobworld is the dimension in which you would find the first incarnations of those TV characters who would go on to greater fame played by some other actor.  Pert Kelton, who made a career out of playing abrasive broads, was the first Alice Kramden.  But when the Classic 39 were being made, she had been replaced by Audrey Meadows.

My FB buddy Geoffrey Mark picks up the tale:
"Pert got blacklisted in the early 50s. Jackie tried to cover for her and said she had heart trouble. Audrey replaced her. In the 1960s version, Pert (now cleared from blacklist) played Alice's mother."

Skitlandia is the TV dimension of comedy sketches.  And this is where we would find the fourth incarnation of Alice Kramden*.  

And since she was now freed from the hated onus of the Blacklist, Pert Kelton was invited back to 'The Honeymooners'.  But now she was playing Alice's mother.


Luckily the two of them together did not trigger the Lazarus A&B Syndrome.....


* Between Audrey Meadows and Sheila MacRae, Sue Ane Langdon played Alice in some Skitlandian off-shoot dimension.

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