Let me get this straight, the show about Bensonhurt’s most beloved cantankerous bus driver was not filmed in Bensonhurst? Not even the exterior shots? Well, that’s a let down.
Perhaps this was well-known to you, oh educated reader, but I always held on to the notion that the Honeymooners was, at least in some way, filmed in the neighborhood. Alas, this well-researched blog post from Rockcellar Magazine crushes my pipe dream, much like what happens to every Kramden get-rich-quick scheme.
For the younger folk reading this, the Honeymooners was a sitcom that ran for a single season. Yet, it’s impact changed the scope of sitcoms to come. It was the first to feature a middle-class couple living in grittier, more realistic conditions. This was at the insistence of creator, writer and star Jackie Gleason, who based the show on his own upbringing.
It also inspired the Flintstones, among many other notable television characters.
Here’s a brief summary of where the scenes really took place:
1. Home of the Kramdens and the Nortons: 328 Chauncey Street.
“The place was dull. The bulbs weren’t very bright. The surroundings were very bare,” Gleason said of his boyhood tenement apartment. The exterior shots of their home were filmed in Bedford-Stuvesant.
2. Alice Gets a Job: 383 Himrod Street.
A neighbor suggests Alice get a secret babysitting just a few blocks away from their home because Alice wanted to pay for a telephone she installed. The gig is actually located in Bushwick, which is miles from Bed-Stuy, and even further from Bensonhurst.
Wikiepedia also let me in on a little bit of TV trivia:
328 Chauncey Street in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, NY. In the Honeymooners episodes filmed from 1967 to 1970, the address of the Kramdens’ and Nortons’ apartment house changed to 358 Chauncey Street, and the number of the Kramden apartment is 3B. In actuality, the real 328 Chauncey Street is located in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of the borough, approximately eight miles north of the show’s location.
One of these days, Alice, we’ll watch a Honeymooners New Year’s Eve marathon.