Table 5.1: The Honeymooners Scene Découpage

On the "TV or Not TV" Honeymooners episode (1 October 1955), a 151-second scene between Ralph (Jackie Gleason) and Ed (Art Carney). It contains 8 shots, with an average shot length of 18.875 seconds and a median shot length of 20 seconds. The setting is Ralph's apartment.

Shot Number, Scale & Length Figure Sound
long shot
19 secs.
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Figure 5.9

Ed: Hey there, Ralph.
Ralph: Shut up, you trouble maker.
Ed: What'd I do? Wha'? Wha'?
Ralph: I'll tell you what you did. You had to go and buy Trixie another television set. Now Alice wants me to buy her one. And she wants to use my pool, my bowling, and my dues money to do it.

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Figure 5.10
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Figure 5.11
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Figure 5.12


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Figure 5.13


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Figure 5.14
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Figure 5.15
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Figure 5.16
medium long shot
24 secs.
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Figure 5.17
Ed: How come Alice found out about such a thing as television, Ralph? I thought you kept her in the dark about things like that. Well, if you're going to buy a television set then I guess what I came down to see you about is out. I was down pricing those television sets and they're pretty steep, pretty expensive. I can't afford one right now. I figured maybe I'd borrow a little money from you.
medium long shot
6 secs.
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Figure 5.18
Ralph: Why should you do that? Why don't you go down and get it like you got everything else--on time?
medium long shot
21 secs.
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Figure 5.19
Ed: I can't. They won't give me any more credit down there at the store. I got eighteen accounts going already. No, nineteen. I bought a water softener last week.Well, I guess just for the next two, three months I got to go without television. Boy, I'm going to miss it, too. I couldn't come at a worse time. Do you realize that tomorrow afternoon Captain Video takes off for Pluto?
medium long shot
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Figure 5.20
Ralph: Hey, wait a minute. Wait a minute, I got the solution to the whole thing. Look, you haven't got enough money to buy a set. I haven't got enough money to buy a set. But if we put our money together, we got enough dough to get a great set. It solves the whole problem. You can see Captain Video. I can go bowling. And Alice can sit around here watching television all day if she wants.
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Figure 5.21
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Figure 5.22
medium long shot
32 secs.
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Figure 5.23
Ed: I gotta go along with you, Ralph. The whole route, all the way, except for one thing. How come automatically the television set lands down here instead of up there?
Ralph: I've seen some babies in my day, but you are the champ. Alright, we'll flip a coin to see where the television set goes. Give me a coin. Alright. Heads I win, tails you lose. Right? Tails, you lose.
medium long shot
14 secs.
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Figure 5.24
Ralph: Now...
Ed: Wait a minute, wait a minute.
Ralph: What's wrong?
Ed: I hope I don't insult you, Ralph, but would you mind giving me back my coin?
Ralph: Oh, yes, yes.
medium long shot
9 secs.
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Figure 5.25
Ralph: Right about here, it ought to go, pal.


Jeremy Butler has written about television style for over thirty years, publishing in ScreenCinema JournalThe Journal of Popular Film and Video, and Jump Cut. His textbook, Television, contains the most comprehensive overview of style in television studies. He has taught television, film, and new media at the University of Alabama since 1980.


Jeremy Butler
Professor Emeritus of TV and Film Studies
The University of Alabama
Television Style cover