Just like episodes of "I Love Lucy," Jackie Gleason's CBS series "The Honeymooners" remains a timeless classic comedy and just as entertaining and enjoyable today as it was 65 years ago.
Besides the star talent of Gleason paired with incomparable Art Carney, Audrey Meadows and Joyce Randolph, the writing on "The Honeymooners" was clever and relatable. (Randolph is the only surviving cast member left, and celebrates her 90th birthday this year).
One of my favorite episodes of "The Honeymooners" originally aired March 31, 1956, titled "The Man of the House." It has Ralph arguing with wife Alice about his role as "king of his castle." To prove his point, he invites neighbor Ed Norton over (on a work night) with the intention that the pals will drink an entire bottle of wine together "just because they can."
A concerned Alice, with help from Norton's wife Trixie, finds a way to pour out the real wine and refill the bottle with grape juice as a plan to keep the husbands from making themselves sick and unable to report to work the next day. Completely fooled, Ralph and Norton let their minds convince their lips they are drinking spirits and immediately begin to act tipsy. (Ralph's observance after the first few sips: "It's a little strong, but good.")
The episode ends with the husbands falling asleep at the kitchen table and Trixie and Alice pouring their own drinks for a toast.
"I give you our husbands," says Trixie.
"You can have 'em," replies Alice.
I've been thinking about wine this week, like so many others, since Passover observance began at sundown Monday and Easter Sunday dinner menus are planned.
Mike Zaucha and Toni Hammond of WiseWay Food Center in Winfield and Weiss Entities (parent company of WiseWay and WiseGuys along with other operations) contacted me with great news this week announcing the opening of a new WiseGuys Liquor Superstore at U.S. 30 and Mississippi Street in Merrillville across from Southlake Mall in the strip of stores landscape that is home to Toys 'R' Us.
"Why is this store a first? The size of the store will be 16,000 square feet so you could fit five to six 'normal' size liquor stores into the size of our superstore," Hammond told me.
"As you might guess, our selection is vast. We will have the largest selection of beer, wine, and spirits with the BEST selection of bourbon and tequila. We will have a customer walk-in beer cooler, built-in tasting bar with a cruvinet system, and many more other unique features. Our staff is educated as beer, wine and spirit specialists to help our customers with all of their alcohol beverage needs."
I'm told the new store will open in May and the announcement of the special grand opening is coming soon. Stay tuned!