11 Horrible Money Mistakes From ‘The Honeymooners’

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“The Honeymooners” hubby, Ralph Kramden, was a funny, hot-tempered bus driver, portrayed by comic great Jackie Gleason on the classic ‘50s sitcom. But Kramden wasn’t exactly a financial genius. Despite having a union job, limited expenses, and an exceptionally tolerant wife, Ralphie could never quite upgrade his two-room Bensonhurst walk-up to live in the lap of luxury. Here, we present Ralph Kramden’s most cringe-worthy penny-pinching moments:

1. Millionaire for a day


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Ralph brought home a beat-up old suitcase that was left behind on one of his bus routes after it went unclaimed for 30 days. When he discovers that the suitcase is stuffed with what looks to be “a million dollars,” Ralph goes on a spending spree worthy of Rick Ross. Ralph is living large and throwing $100 bills around until one of his neighbors is arrested for passing counterfeit loot–Ralph’s counterfeit loot. Actually, the mob’s counterfeit loop. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

2. Liberace is worth it


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In 1955, a new TV cost about $150— almost $1,300 in today’s dollars. That was a lot of cabbage for Ralph Kramden. Always on the lookout for ways to stretch a buck, Kramden proposes that he and neighbor Ed Norton split the cost of new set. Great idea, until they fight over which shows to watch. Ed prefers the adventures of “Captain Video,” while Ralph wants to watch the late, late movie. Meanwhile, Ralph’s wife Alice declares, “I don’t wanna look at that icebox, that stove, that sink, and these four walls. I wanna look at Liberace!”

3. A happier life through television


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Long before Ron Popeil, Billy Mays or any of those other home-shopping hucksters, Ralph Kramden attempted to sell a contraption called the Handy Housewife Helper on TV. Ralph bought 2,000 of the gadgets from a guy who had “a warehouse in the Bronx” for 10 cents apiece and planned on reselling them on what may have been the world’s first infomercial for a buck each. Ralph, naturally, wanted to rope Norton into his latest money-making scheme. “I can’t stand to make a fortune again,” pleaded Norton. “I’m going broke!” Of course, Ralph’s nerves got the best of him during the taping of the live segment and the glorified can opener commercial was a colossal–and hilarious–bust.

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