The Honeymooners was a situation comedy, which is well-remembered and influential as a highlight of television's golden age. Yet the show was in fact seen for most of its life as a segment within other programs, lasting only one season as an independent series. Created by Jackie Gleason, who starred as bus driver and put-upon husband, Ralph Kramden, The Honeymooners debuted in 1951 as a sketch within the variety show Cavalcade of Stars, a series then hosted by Gleason and with Art Carney and Pert Kelton as regulars. Carney played Ralph's best friend, sewer worker Ed Norton, which would become Carney's definitive role, and Kelton was initially cast as Ralph's wife Alice. When the show moved to CBS as The Jackie Gleason Show in 1952, Audrey Meadows took over as Alice, and Joyce Randolph was added as Ed's wife Trixie.
The Honeymooners sketches remained a popular element, and in 1955, for a single season, the series aired as a half-hour sitcom, before reverting the following year back to the variety format. When Carney left as a regular in 1957, The Honeymooners sketches became far more sporadic until 1966, with new color segments shot, often as full hour musical comedies; Gleason and Carney reprised their roles, while Sheila MacRae and Jane Kean took over as the wives. Pert Kelton, the original Alice, guest starred as Ralph's mother-in-law. In 2005, a feature-length remake was released to movie theaters, starring an African-American cast.