Art Carney praised Jackie Gleason in a 1977 interview for his ''generosity''

There would be no Ralph and Ed without the connection between Art Carney and Jackie Gleason.

When big stars collaborate on productions or work in the same environment, sometimes their egos clash. Yet, that was not the case for Art Carney and Jackie Gleason, who played best buds on The Honeymooners.

In fact, Art Carney credited Gleason for helping him expand his talents. The duo was comedic gold for viewers worldwide on the 1950s hit series, although it only had one season. In an interview with Copley News-Service in 1977, Carney talked about why people loved the show.

"We were believable in what we did. Jackie Gleason and me," he began. "He was Ralph Kramden, the bus driver, and I was Ed Norton, the guy down in the sewer. And people accepted us in that way."

According to the article in the newspaper, viewers didn't see Gleason and Carney acting as the fictional best friends; they saw them acting as themselves. Carney added, "People just didn't think we were acting. I don't know what they thought we were doing, but they never thought of it as acting."

The chemistry viewers saw on-screen between Gleason and Carney was just as strong behind the scenes. He learned a lot from the multi-talented actor, but one piece of advice connected with him the most.

"[It's] more about timing and more about how to observe people," Carney said. "Jackie brought things out of me. He gave me free rein. He trusted me. He knew I wasn't after his job. He was very generous professionally and financially. He really is The Greatest."

Carney was an Oscar-winning actor, after receiving the award in 1975, so the demand for interviews was high. However, he loathed it. "No offense, but I'm much more comfortable when I'm playing someone else. When I'm myself, that's the problem and it's always been that way."

All of the things Carney did in the industry were from his "instinct, watching other people and learning." Yet, he was still a private guy, and people loved it.

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15 Comments

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Runeshaper 11 months ago
Art Carney and Jackie Gleason = pure gold (-:
Big3Fan 11 months ago
Right up there with Laurel and Hardy and Abbott and Costello, in my opinion.
MrsPhilHarris Big3Fan 11 months ago
I love Abbott & Costello. My husband doesn’t understand why I do. He doesn’t think they are funny. I just watched Africa Screams.
Big3Fan MrsPhilHarris 11 months ago
One of my favorites is their 7x13=28 skit.
MrsPhilHarris Big3Fan 11 months ago
Oh that’s a good one! Funny show, funny movies.
MrsPhilHarris 11 months ago
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MrsPhilHarris 11 months ago
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MrsPhilHarris 11 months ago
Jackie Gleason always praised Art Carney.
BrittReid 11 months ago
What a great story about a great show. Super chemistry between the entire cast and visitors. One of the best shows ever.
Peter_Falk_Fan 11 months ago
I read somewhere that Jackie Gleason was a big tipper. I enjoy watching Gleason and Carney in any movie, even movies critics pan.
harlow1313 11 months ago
I own a copy of "Harry and Tonto," and have watched it many times. The film was released in 1974, and I particularly enjoy movies made in those days, times I know quite well.

I sort of consider "Harold and Maude," one of my favorite films, to be a companion piece. Somehow, they seem similarly flavored.

"I should like to turn into a sunflower most of all." - Maude
harlow1313 11 months ago
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Pacificsun 11 months ago
I like this quote, and it's a great Story!! Thanks MeTV Staff Writers! Can't get enough Honeymooners!

"We were believable in what we did. Jackie Gleason and me," he began. "He was Ralph Kramden, the bus driver, and I was Ed Norton, the guy down in the sewer. And people accepted us in that way."

The four of them were perfect together!
Bapa1 11 months ago
If I am not mistaken, Gleason was way ahead of his time by giving residual money to his three co-stars.
Pacificsun Bapa1 11 months ago
JG left this world with a nice reputation, didn't he!
madvincent Pacificsun 11 months ago
a good watch is his only appearance on johnny Carson on youtube, he chain smokes 4 cigs in 20 minutes.... a must see
Pacificsun madvincent 11 months ago
I would, except it's not there, after a search of about 200 episodes.
madvincent Pacificsun 11 months ago
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQ5Pwr_RQY8.........hope this helps not too good with computers
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