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Ralph Kramden's BusRalph Kramden's Bus - On the classic sitcom THE HONEYMOONERS/CBS/1955-56, Jackie Gleason played the portly, ill-tempered bus driver Ralph Kramden who works for the Gotham Bus Company located at 225 River Street in Manhattan. Ralph's daily bus run (Bus No. 2969 & No. 247) took him along Madison Avenue in Manhattan.

On the episode "A Matter of Life & Death" Ralph thinks he's dying and laments "It's that poundin' I take, drivin' that bus every day. Well, I guess there'll be no more bus rides for me. I've come to the end of the line. I'm goin' to that big bus depot in the sky. It's a one-way trip with no transfers."

On episode "A Man's Pride" Ralph boasts untruthfully to his friend Bill Davis that he is President of the Gotham Bus Company. Ralph's best friend Ed Norton comments "You know Ralph, when I was a kid there was a guy named Houdini. He had a great act. They handcuffed him. They put him in a big packing case. They nailed down the cover. Tied ropes around it. Attached a big rock and then dropped the whole thing in the middle of the East River." When Ralph asks "What about it?" Ed answers "Well, getting out of that was a cinch compared to what you got yourself locked into."

Despite Ralph's daily problems (his bus was robbed six times - five time the robbers got nothing; the sixth time they stole $45 dollars and his bus) Ralph was voted the city's safest driver on the episode "The Safety Award" (aired 5/19/56) and got interviewed by Universal Magazine who wrote a three-page spread on his achievement.

During his interview Ralph remarks "This is a special award. Happens once in a blue moon. But take policemen, and firemen, they're gettin' awards all the time, and I think bus drivers, in a way, are public servants just like them guys."

When the interviewer asked what extreme danger he encountered on the job similar to police or firemen Ralph rallies by saying "When you open the door for a mob of howlin' women on their way to a January White Sale at Macy's!"

Ralph elaborated on his disdain for women riders "All women are the same. The bus is crowded - there might be an empty one right behind - but they push, they shove, they fight to get on the bus. And then when they're all on and I finally get the door closed, that's the signal for them to start askin, 'Does this bus go up Madison Avenue?' But that's nothin'. Did you ever see a woman on a crowded bus go lookin' through her pocketbook for change? If they dig deep enough, they come up with everything. A gas bill from 1932, a hockey puck, even burnt-out electric light bulbs. but the right change? HAH!"

Other fellow Gotham Bus drivers to serve the public included Joe Cassidy, Frank Ferguson, Gallagher, Grogan, Charlie Henderson, Herbert Johnson, Jimmy Nolan, Philbin, and Potter. The Gotham Bus Line's president is John J. Marshal (played by Robert Middleton).

Ralph Kramden with his wife, Alice and friends Ed Norton and his wife, Trixie


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