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Neil last won the day on October 14

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About Neil

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  1. Who is this person? Very creative and fascinating! Great graphics!
  2. Lucy and Phil Harris I"m not a fan of the 6th season, mainly because the Lucy Carmichael of this season is so far afield from the Lucy Carmichael as created by 3Bobs&Madelyn. I was never wild about "Phil Harris" but it's grown on me. You have to give Bob O'Brien credit for creating characters with a backstory in the short running time of a half-hour show. This one has some genuine pathos and dialogue that doesn't just set up the jokes, very rare for this series especially at this point. I love Phil's interaction with Lucy at the piano bar ("We've got a live one here tonight") and Mooney's reactions to Lucy's loud off-key singing. Lucy's funny, but SO class-less and brass. Would 1st-2nd season Lucy be so clueless as to cause such a scene that the manager would "start to get complaints from other customers"? During one moment back at Lucy's apartment when Phil is reflecting seriously in that gaudy robe, the audience laughs and he shoots them a derisive look. I've never noticed that Phil is actually crying when he's singing the "But I Loved You" song to "B.B." But what a waste of Carole Cook seen briefly as one of the bar patrons. She's not even in the wide shot of the people around the piano! I understand that they wanted to present the song sounding as good as possible, but the orchestra from nowhere cut into the believability of the episode. Lucy Carmichael may be classless but she's a wonderful person, selflessly trying to help a total stranger, a common theme in the 6th season.
  3. Lucy on The Jackie Gleason Show on DVD

    And like Sammy Davis, Jr. who had a short-lived mid-season entry variety show in 1965 or 66. Due to some contractual conflict, he was absent as host from his own show for several weeks!
  4. Bob Schiller has died at 98

    Note the error in this obit: If only it were true! "the duo developed The Lucy Show and had a hand in every one of that comedy's 156 episodes from 1962-68." I'm so glad Desi talked the writers into returning to Lucy. Had "The Lucy Show" not started out with such strong writing, I wonder if it would have been as big a hit as it was. The subsequent writers were never able to capture the Lucy character and make her a real person. (I'll give an exception to Bob O'Brien who wrote a handful of good ones)
  5. Bob Schiller has died at 98

    Yes, I was thinking of that meeting we had. Wasn't it at some sort of "club"? I got to meet them all and have great memories. When I started stalking the writers, they were living in relative anonymity. Their addresses were in the phone book!
  6. On "The Handcuffs" episode when it came time for Viola Von (Mrs. Frank Nelson) to introduce Ricky, she asked for a list of his hits. "Well, there's "Yucatan" and ..let's see...."Semido", neither of which rung a bell with me. Well, on a new commercial for the Galaxy phone, what are the singers singing? : "'SEMIDO"!!
  7. MAME

    Well in 1970 Vallee was still packing them in to The Hairy Ape (or was it the Hungry Hippie?), putting a wig on backwards and singing updated version of "Whippenpoof Song" ("We are hip little cats who have grooved our way...Bah....Bah....Bah") . This episode is so outrageous it's one of my HL guilty pleasures.
  8. Mrs Irma Mooney

    She doesn't look like a professional wrestler, so bow-legged that if she straightened up she'd be 7 feet tall, or a woman mistaken by a cop for "a big tough-looking guy". Too bad they never added the character to the show. Mooney got thrown off the set of the Beach Party movie for "drooling" and I'm assuming it was not over Frankie Avalon. Also he had that Atlantic City relationship with Edie Adams. If any Gale Gordon character was "questionable" it would be never-married Harry Carter, though he did have his flings with Dona (Kaye Ballard), Gertie (though wasn't wild about their attempts to rekindle the romances) and Mrs. Fleetwood, but she may have been attractive for her money. However he wrestled the binoculars away from Jack Benny when they learned Raquel Welch was sunbathing. But when it came to marriage, he "took the veil" after he saw how his friends' marriages were working out.
  9. MAME

    An a sort-of-off-topic about Mame. The cut number "That's How Young I Feel": I've only seen Rudy Vallee on his 2 Lucy appearances, but..... Did Rudy Vallee ever squeal? And if so, was "a Rudy Vallee squeal" a "thing"? It's hard to imagine working a squeal into "The Whippenpoof Song" where he, as Ricky put it, "cantando BAH BAH BAH" And in response to "Mot", yes the flamers do have it in for Lucy in Mame, with a vitriol never, to my knowledge, aimed at any other star. They take the most umbrage with her singing (though I think she'll sound better in my "NEW MAME", the Gitterman Version) and the soft-focus shots, which I've also cleaned up. If people didn't know her actual age (noted in different sources as 61 to 64. She was actually 61 at the time of filming), it wouldn't have been a big deal. She looked great and moved like a woman 20 years younger, so she was not "too old" for the part. Going through Mame for my edit, what I'm noticing most is the lack of musical underscoring on scenes that without it, have a tendency to fall flat. Personally, if I had one casting difference to make in any Broadway-to-Hollywood musical, it would be Ethel Merman instead of Roz Russell in "Gypsy". And I do like Roz...and the dubbing was expertly done, but it's the one Merman Broadway role that really needed to be captured on film. While not in the annals of "classic musicals", "Gypsy" is better received than "Mame".
  10. MAME

    My audio sources: 1. the original movie track transposed up a tone with a little reverb added (and for the "Fellas, watch out" segment, it's up 2 tones) 2. The OBC version with as much of Angela's vocals as was possible to remove, which I had to take down 4 keys. 3. The "It's Today" portion of the finale on the OBC. 4. A karaoke version (instrumental) version I found, which is most of the background instrumentals. 5. The opening background instruments are from the closing credits of the movie (that augment the "Light....The....Can...") Combining 1 or 2 or 3 of the above in any given segment. Did anyone notice that Lucy looks a little more in-focus? What was sad, in the end, is their overly soft-focusing Lucy backfired horribly. To this day, there is not a piece written about the movie that doesn't mention it. They certainly didn't invent soft-focus for Lucy's Mame, but there are several shots that are just so jarring. And they didn't need to be. If Criterion is willing, I'm available. And a couple of "Mame" 'bloopers' I'm noticing for the first time. A minor one: when she's rolling the wheel of the skate while looking lustily at Robert Preston, when they cut to another angle, she's wheeling it in the opposite direction. If Patrick came on December 1st (instead of Mame's November 31st), are we to assume that she had Patrick for nearly a full year before Babcock took him away? Because if it all happened in that brief window, 1) the infamous stock crashed happened on Oct. 29th 1929, a month before Patrick arrived and 2) in "We Need a Little Christmas", Patrick's solo line is "But Auntie Mame, it's one week TILL Thansgivings Day now", which would have been at least 2 weeks before he arrived (and BTW in the OBC, the lyric is "one week PAST T'giving Day...")
  11. MAME

    I only have 2 things left on my bucket list: Play with a baby elephant and Make "Mame" into a respected movie musical. Here's my attempt to liven up the leaden "It's Today". You may notice that Lucy's face looks a little sharper than the original.
  12. "Steamboat Hoovie"

    Sounds like a straight line for a Fred zinger.
  13. Lucy/Desi phone convo

    On screen they were so genuine that it's SO tempting to believe that Lucy and Desi WERE Lucy and Ricky. But alas no. They were consulate actors playing characters. In the end, it was Desi's flagrant and unapologetic infidelity that did the couple in. Exacerbated by the personality change in Desi as he buckled under the enormous pressure and stress of commanding the expanded Desilu empire, a position for which he had no experience. If Desi had not acquired RKO in1957, they might have made it as a couple. I think that's the way they both really wanted it.
  14. Lucy Sightings!

    Ken Burns current "Vietnam" series. Footage of the Chicago Democratic national convention riots included a partial shot of a bus with the large font advertisement on the side of the bus "Yours...." as in "Mine and Ours" now playing at the Astor. Chicago riots and "Yours Mine and Ours": talk about your polar opposites depicting that turbulent year 1968. We weren't exactly aware of current events, particularly politics, in our household. I don't remember watching the news and we did not subscribe to a newspaper. (I would, however, go to the neighbors every Monday to read the pre-show review of that night's Lucy Show....Digressing a bit: I guess the episodes of all the shows were available for pre-screening by the critics. Their blurbs about Lucy's show were very interesting. Usually very pro-Lucy, even during the HL years. "Lucy Meets Lucy" was highlighted as the evening's "Best Bet", sort of like the old TV Guide's "Close up".) Anyway, I was too young to be politically aware. I heard about Vietnam at my grade school but didn't understand. When peace talks were scheduled in Paris, I thought: well, they'll wrap this thing up soon. I remember being absolutely dumbfounded when I heard that the first 6 weeks of these talks consisted of haggling over the shape of the table! Ken Burns does tremendous work but somebody's got to talk to him about his hair: stop coloring it SO dark and a more age-appropriate style. He looks like one of the Monkees.
  15. From a November 1954 TV Guide, Sheila Graham writes "When I Love Lucy ceases production at the end of next year, Lucille Ball will give up acting and become a director"! As we all know the series went on to a 6th season and then into the specials. I think Lucy took a directed by credit for the "Desilu Revue" but it would be 20 years before she took a co-directing credit for Here's Lucy.....along with the usual director Coby Ruskin (for "Lucy, the Sheriff"). The remaining few episodes of that season, the last for Here's Lucy were directed by Jack Donahue. Seems like there's a story there that's never been told. The first run episode of "I Love Lucy" that week in November 1954: the classic "Ethel's Birthday". Think of the wonderful episodes those people in November of 1954 had in store for them.