Although UK audiences were unfamiliar with the American sitcom on which The Honeymooners is based, that was the least of its problems. Cedric The Entertainer failed to carry this "tediously half-baked" comedy about a black family trying to scale the social ladder via various get-rich-quick plans. US audiences werenít impressed either and it flopped like Cedric at the local swimming pool.
Renewing The Vows
Cast and crew tip their hats to the original series in Hanging With The Honeymooners and Cedric The Entertainer sums up the character of Ralph Kramden saying, "He has dreams of grandeur, but like most Americans he never gets there." Most of this featurette is taken up with the process of casting and thereís all the usual gushing and backslapping. Only John Leguizamo comes closest to admitting the failings of the script when he says that director John Schultz "was always trying to get something better than what was on the page".
In the audio commentary Schultz himself admits that many liberties were taken with the written word. Apparently even bit player Kim Chan (the coffee shop owner) "added a lot of his own dialogue". But as Cedric The Entertainer points out, "This guyís like 102," so maybe he just kept forgetting his lines! Later on, Schultz explains why he gave some characters more screen time than they originally had in the TV show - in particular, he felt that Regina Hall had more to give as the long-suffering Trixie Norton. Other talking points include shooting in Ireland (to double for New York!), but itís a pretty flabby commentary overall.
Cut And Run
Eight deleted and alternative scenes showcase more of the actorís improvisations, but whatever they try, it just ainít funny. Among them, Ralph and Ed (Mike Epps) go door-to-door trying to sell assorted junk ("How about these sunglasses? They block out the sun - very futuristic"), The Entertainer tries to diffuse a pool hall face/off by inviting the thugs to "a church symposium" and John Leguizamo nearly falls over on a treadmill. In an optional commentary, Schultz gives the usual excuse about having to cut these scenes for time.
Like a marriage gone stale, The Honeymooners offers an unsurprising batch of extras and Cedric struggles to be entertaining for anything past 30 seconds.