I have watched just part of Disc 14 - enough information for this fan (who watched the Honeymooners on first telecasts in the 1950s) to give the package a *****.
I find that the June 1, 1957 sketch, Manager of a Baseball Team, looks beautiful for a kinescope...but besides the surprisingly good audio-video, we finally, finally have the final sketch from the '50s! (Needless to say, this episode was listed on three earlier packages which contained a *1953* rendition!).
I would have paid the full price for that historic episode on its' own, so my effusiveness can be understood!
There is very little material missing here...and both listed and nonlisted items are carefully notated. Hopefully, the apparent next-to-last sketch of May 11th, 1957 will be soon issued.
Another two sketches are not included: two 1962 efforts, from the American Scene Magazine, Gleason's return to weekly variety. Carney was back...but no Meadows or Randolph. This, plus the excellent 1966 remake of The Adoption, with Carney and Meadows.
For relatively new fans, I'll say that, generally speaking, you will not find "Classic 39" quality throughout any entry here - that season was done live on film, which benefitted the actors who could err and not worry that the error will be beamed out to the cosmos; the naturally, the writing and editing was exceptional. There are, shall we say, Classic *sketches* in this collection: i.e., Stars Over Flatbush, Peacemaker, Kramden vs. Norton, One Big Happy Family, Finders Keepers, Boys And Girls Together, etc.)
Also found herein is a new interview with Joyce Randolph (Trixie, 1952 to 1957); and old interviews with her TV "husband", Art Carney, in character, in various settings, including The Ed Sullivan Show.
Another featured extra is a group of Ed Norton "Interviews" from that final season. Gleason interviews Norton on current events, the most interesting the announced move by the Brooklyn Dodgers that they will soon be playing three-thousand miles away! The jokes are only mildly mildly funny but the full melancholy of the sports scenario hits a little closer to home: soon the Chauncey Street quartet will be joining the Ebbets Field, "Sym-Phony", as depressingly conspicuous by their absence, as well - Ralph, Alice, Norton, and Trixie would not return until 1962.
Ellen Burstyn fans, look out!! She's show briefly in the '57 shows as a "Glea Girl"!
All political correctness aside, or should I say generational stereotyping aside, this show offered more than just laughs. We can watch a very underappreciated actor, Jackie Gleason, emote, and make the Charlie Sheens (all due respect) drop their heads. Yes, it sounds corny, but this show had "heart". Alice Kramden may have beeen the first TV feminist but her exasperation was couched in true love, respect, and understanding of her blue-collar guy. No effort, as today, to turn the tables on the dude who just doesn't get it.
So, take a row seat near the front, look at the drivers' rear view mirror, and let this collection, in tandem with The Classic 39 set (also on Amazon), take you right to the Moon!!!