Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Dick Tracy's Honeymoon(ers)

Sometimes I think I could almost make a weekly feature out of Dick Tracy cameos. Mike Curtis and Joe Staton are clearly having fun with the strip. As I've noted previously, they've had crossover stories with characters from other strips (see: Dick Tracy and the Jumble Crossover and Dick Tracy Gets Funky), and referenced other media (see: The Comical Dick Tracy, Part 3 and Dick Tracy and Superman). Some of these references are major parts of the story and some minor. But the most fun is the ones that are just throwaways. if you're not paying attention, you might think it's just filler -- but it's not.

Here's a good example -- the characters in the January 19, 2016, sequence only appeared this one day. And they were there to further the story (by showing what happened to a corpse).

Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden and
Art Carney as Ed Norton in "The Honeymooners."
To readers of a certain age, the identities of the two garbagemen are obvious -- it's Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton. These two blue-collar characters were mainstays on the Jackie Gleason Show in a skit titled "The Honeymooners." (Gleason played Kramden, Art Carney played Norton). The segment proved so popular that it later became a sitcom.

Their jobs were just a little different in the golden age sitcom -- Ralph Kramden drove a bus, and Ed Norton worked in the sewers. But Kramden was always quitting his job to pursue another get-rich-quick scheme, so it's not out of the realm of possibility that eventually the transit system just stopped taking him back. And as for Norton, collecting garbage might even be considered a promotion!

Thanks to Curtis and Staton for sequences like this one. It keeps readers like me on my toes!

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