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Everything posted by Neil

  1. In earlier Seinfeld episodes, Kramer would get the same "Hi I'm Larry" applause. Subsequently, they either warned the audience not to or cut it out. Because of set/costume changes, there would be instances where enough time had gone by between scenes that Lucy and/or Gale would get entrance applause in each scene.
  2. No it never was. Strange I think, because a TV version might have recouped most of the production cost, fronted by Desilu.
  3. That would have been a GREAT idea. I have nothing specific to back this up but I always got the impression that Lucy & Preston didn't see "eye to eye" during Mame. In Mame interviews, I don't ever remember her mentioning him.
  4. I believe I can now say "I've seen everythin', brudder!" I wonder if the audience knew they were listening to the golden vocals of one Lucille Ball.
  5. You may be right. There can be only one star of a Lucy series, as it should be. "Horse Guest" is a pleasant enough entry. Memorable mainly for Frawley's cameo. You have to overlook a lot of plot holes. Such as: how did they get the horse into the Glenhall apartments since Lucy is on at least the 2nd floor if she's got that old crank Mrs. Golddapper living below her. Ann adds a lot to every episode she appeared in. Being a weekly regular probably wouldn't have worked out but I don't know why the 3-4 guest shots a year didn't continue. I think My Mother the Car was the next season but that didn't take much of her time. Speaking of MMTC: I recently bought a batch of Chicago TV Times from the mid-60s. The "Mailbag" column has some interesting, if dumb questions. Looking them over, I don't think they are supposed to be jokes. Someone wrote in:" In My Mother the Car, is Ann Sothern saying her lines from the trunk?". The answer only addresses the fact that this particular car doesn't have a trunk. Other questions "How does Samantha on Bewitched perform her magic?" "Does Mr. Ed actually speak the English language?" and "On the Patty Duke Show, are Patty & Cathy played by the same actress?" . Mailbag answer: yes. My answer: watch the opening credits, you moron! Also notable about "Horse", Herb Vigran gets entrance applause which I'm sure pleased him.
  6. Continuing through my boxes of Lucy clippings, I came across all the Mame reviews I collected. Local papers were for the most part pretty positive; or at least positive-ISH. Seattle headline "Lucille Ball Isn't Mame" sub-headline: "But She is Funny!". Sub-sub "And Bea Arthur is even funnier". People today seem to delight quoting the most savage reviews. Milton Krims in Saturday Evening Post, a magazine with a still-large circulation, was thrilled with the movie and Lucy in particular. Having seen many Mames,(play and musical) he proclaims Lucy the best ever. His review, if ever mentioned, is dismissed as "a breathless paean".
  7. I'm going through my big boxes of Lucy clippings and getting rid of a bunch. I happened upon this article from April 1987 when the first 2-hr. We Love Lucy aired hosted by Lucie and Danny Thomas. The show crammed Talullah, Danny Thomas and Milton Berle into the 2-hrs--less commercials and Lucie-Danny banter so they had to cut a lot. I remember they cut the whole "Queen's Lament" rehearsal scene which made the gags they set up for the actual performance less effective. BUT I believe they reinstated the dinner table strawberry allergy reference...from 16mm footage. (if my memory is accurate). Headline: "Lucy: forever funny, as special attests" It's mostly positive with the reviewer citing Lucy's "Makes Room for" courtroom scene pantomiming with laryngitis as a highlight. But there was this snarky comment "Note now that the gags aren't that great: they never were. Much of the comic writing now sounds clunky and leaden. Frawley calls Thomas "banana nose" and he responds with "blubber face". Maybe you had to be there in 1958 to think this was screamingly funny." Harumph... If you take Cheers and Golden Girls out of the running, what comedy writing was actually funny in 1987? "Who's the Boss?" ? "Webster?"...maybe. I didn't watch them. But it's cool that rerunning these, then 30 year old episodes got media attention. There were 2 more We Love Lucys, each with 3 condensed episodes, for a total of 9 of the hours. I'm not sure which 4 they left out.
  8. Correction: the smaller print above this reads "A New Novel From the ..." Reminds me of the time I bought a 99 cent My Fair Lady album that said in big print LOLA FISHER AND (next legible line) THE ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST, without noting the VERY small print line in between "members of". Lola is better known to us as "Franchise Fiasco"'s Bunny Westcott. You should have seen the look on her face when a certain teenager told her he had her album! (wish I still did).
  9. Queen of Tuesday "Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award"
  10. You get used to it. When I put the TV to the correct 4:3 aspect ratio now, everyone looks too thin!
  11. Me-TV is running the early My 3 Sons episodes and I can now see why it caught on. William Frawley WAS the show. Apparently Bill was originally intended to be the star. And he is. In the few episodes I've seen, Fred MacMurray isn't particularly engaging or even necessary. Frawley could have carried the show as the only adult. There was an episode called "The Toupee". "Bub" is meeting up with a lady he's been corresponding with and is trying unsuccessfully to grow hair. Chip uses his allowance money to buy Bub a mail-order toupee. It looks ridiculous but Bub wears it because of his appreciation for Chip's sacrifice. Everyone gets a big laugh at the sight of Bub with his pompadour hair---including MacMurray who's sporting a rug of his own! So this episode had everything a comedy (especially of that era) should have: laughs (thanks to Bill) and heart (thanks to Bill and Chip). I'm not familiar enough with the series to know if the Demerest episodes were any good.
  12. I think YOU should write the letter. My arguments will descend into Mrs. McGillicuddy "Oh, POOH!" and "HA!" Why is it that "Wildcat" has gradually gained the status as a "flop" over the years? There are many reasons Lucy dropped out after 6 months (8 if you count the Philadelphia out of town run) but lack of attendance or interest didn't figure into it. I can't remember which Lucy biography it was but when it came to the Wildcat chapter, it took a negative slant and quoted reviews. I went back and looked at the full text of the 7 * New York newspapers and the biography author cherry-picked the negative and left out anything that was praised. This is how these things morph into "facts". I got into a "friendly" back-and-forth with someone on Facebook about it who stated something like "it was a disaster and it was Lucy's fault". Them's fightin' words! The reviews as a whole can be summed up with "loved Lucy; hated the book (script)". Writer N. Richard Nash may have had some other great works but Wildcat is not among them. In fact, Wildcat has the same general concept as his big hit "Rainmaker". A stranger comes to town, promises are made, and the final curtain douses the cast with liquid (one ends up wet, the other greasy). Even an accomplished writer can have a dud. Lucy has been criticized (in revisionism) for inserting Lucy-isms but when the audience is bored with the goings-on, what else is a performer to do? N objected to the changes and years later complained that his concept was highjacked. I say "O, N shut your M". They didn't highjack it enough. N was lucky to have a star of Lucy's caliber interested in his work. *yes, can you believe in 1960, New York City had SEVEN major newspapers.
  13. The Denver Pyle syndrome.....he was 2 years older than "daughter" Doris Day
  14. From the new book "Dolls Dolls Dolls" about the making of the movie Valley of the Dolls. In the section about casting Helen Lawson (eventually played by Susan Hayward), it states: (CAPS are mine) "In January, Lucille Ball SHOULDERED in (??), VAULTING herself to the top of the list of contenders. The moviemakers sparked to that idea: signing Ball to that role would not only be a shocker but a publicity windfall. Ball--with her singing voice dubbed * of course--certainly could have been a revelation. On December 24th national syndicated columnist Alex Freeman reported that Ball was committed to the project as long as the script could be "padded a little to make it an even more important part". Apparently Ball wanted more than a little padding so the moviemakers kept dangling the carrot before Joan Crawford, Bette Davis and BETTY HUTTON (??)".....(then they signed Judy Garland and....well I assume you know the story) I find it hard to believe that Lucy would consider appearing in such a movie but wouldn't THAT have been interesting? Especially considering who her co-star would have been. *With just a slight tweak, I can see/hear Margaret Whiting dubbing for Lucy and it sounding like the real thing.
  15. Add my tith to the list of those that RR puts on etch. People keep sending them to me figuring they're right up my alley. I actually think his lyrics can be clever but there's such a thing as being TOO cute.
  16. "Lucy and Fred are having trouble finding their birth certificates, needed for their passports." This was actually the description given for "Passports" on a recent Me-TV airing. Fred: "I didn't even know there WAS a West Steubenville!"
  17. I love "Florence Nightengale" too. It's not one that makes a lot of people's fav list. Sets look much larger on TV than they are in real life and Lucy's deft and precise handling of the wheel chair in that small set is amazing. Particularly in my favorite shot of Viv looking on as Lucy races across the floor (followed by the hospital staff) and manages that slight turn into the narrow hallway---though I wish they had kept the camera on a wide shot for this.
  18. If you had to pick one episode of "The Lucy Show" to show someone unfamiliar with anything post-ILL, which would it be? I picked "Electric Mattress". Though it's rather low on plot compared to a great I Love Lucy, the TWO great block comedy scenes make up for it. Two little B&M/B&B touches I'd like to point out. The over-waxed slippery floor is established before the bed takes off making the whole bit a little more plausible. #2: Lucy to Jerry: "Why do you leave these stilts in the middle of the room? Someone's liable to trip over them." Again paving the way for Lucy's eyeing the stilts, one of her best physical bits of all time.
  19. I've been putting together little videos for Carole Cook, moments from her career, to keep them entertained while confined. I put together all her episode intros and God! she's funny. Most of the intros done by others are entertaining but are usually straight-forward plot descriptions with a little trivial. Carole goes off-script. About "Part-Time Wife", she says "Lucy pretends to be pregnant", then pauses and adds "That's what we call a stretch". She does the intro to "Crusader" and mentioned it's the best of the series (I believe that opinion was scripted and on prompter). Fidelman said that too. Do others think so? I don't hate it but I don't particularly like it either. I like CN Reilly in it. HE should have been on Life with Lucy!
  20. Kim did?? Did she refer to it or did they show her talking to him on the phone?
  21. This is getting off the topic but was there EVER a mention of Craig in the first of the 4th season HL episodes? Or any that season?
  22. I was rereading these brilliant season 4 plot lines. We're a clever bunch! Here's a little different what-if take on season 4 Hedda Hopper's column Feb. 5, 1965: "It's official. Vivian Vance has turned in her resignation and will not be a regular when "The Lucy Show" begins its 4th season next fall. However, in a happy turn of events "Vivian Bagley" will be back for a limited run. Desilu has offered Vance a very lucrative deal to return for the first 13 episodes of the new season which will be a story arc chronicling her meeting and marrying new character "Vern Bunson" with the promise that many episode will center more on the lovey-dovey couple with little involvement from Lucy Carmichael. Doubling the enticement, if the couple clicks, is the possibility of her own "Viv & Vern" spinoff, which Vance would produce in partnership with Desilu. Story outlines for the 13 episodes have been completed which will include the courtship, wedding and the tearful parting of Lucy and Viv, sure to be a ratings winner for CBS (last episode in the arc "Viv Is Enciente"). Vance signed her contract, which puts her new salary on par with the series star and studio head Lucille Ball with the proviso that she waive casting approval. Desilu wanted her new co-star to be a surprise but Vance picked up little pieces of information from the gossip-mill. She heard the name "Fred" and the fact that the actor just completed 5 seasons of a hit sitcom on ABC. Naturally she thinks it will be tall, dashing and age-appropriate Fred MacMurray who recently quit "My Three Sons". *. When the cast sits down for the first table read of "Viv Meets Vern Bunson", she blows a gasket when the actor hired to play Vern walks in, a completely different My Three Sons "Fred" than she was expecting. Vance's contract is iron-clad so she'll make the best of it but has nixed the idea of a V&V spinoff unless her real-life husband, New York based bon vivant John Dodds can replace Frawley as Vern. Vance's weekly 3000 mile commute has afforded the couple little time together. Vance adds: "You can't have children long distance". Dodds: "U-u-u-u-u (spider voice)" *This part is based on fact. MacMurray's My Three Sons ABC contract WAS for 5 years (1960-65) and he wanted to walk but was talked into returning by CBS who offered him a sweetheart deal: all of his scenes for the entire season would be filmed in 3 months. Then the cast would do their scenes after MacMurray's departure which accounts for the show's clunky feel, post 1965.
  23. What the opinion of "Comedy Hour/Mr. and Mrs."? It was an interesting idea but if it was filmed before an audience, the laughter was sweetened, overly-so as they tended to do.--which gives the show a hollow feel to me. Hope's reliance on cue cards stifles the believability of his performance. Lucy looks so great that I can forgive the script not being all that funny. Lucy as Desilu president gave us a glimpse of what she may have been like behind the desk. The "traveling the world looking for Hope" montage may have gone one location too many. I find it so interesting that they (Desilu?/Lucy herself?) hired Jess Oppenheimer to produce this. Was the whole thing his idea? Not sure what his duties were but his deft hand is missing. I think of The Lucy Show as a lifetime away from I Love Lucy, but it had only been 8 years since Jess left the show. Could she have been testing the waters for the next season's head writer and/or producer? If so, I wish it had gone better so we could have avoided the influence of Milt (and Hilda). Another interesting fun fact. In an unusual move, the Lucy Show ran two weeks of reruns right before starting their official rerun cycle (selecting the relatively recent "Florence Nightengale" and "College Reunion"). One of those may have been opposite the Oscars. Then the next week LB Comedy Hour ran in Ed Sullivan's Sunday night slot (8pm) and 24 hours later, we got our first new Lucy Show in April, on the 19th, "Serves a Summons", followed by just one more new one "Baking Contest" before the "first in a series of reruns" started with "Locked in Vault" (which I would have picked as season premiere). You'd think they would have schedule the Comedy Hour during one of the weeks of a LS rerun.
  24. What is this from? Re: Xray pic and publicity letter. I'm speechless.
  25. Neil

    Mae West

    After snagging the Burtons, Lucy and Gary were after other big TV-shunning stars to do the show. I heard Mae West was one of them. But what sort of plot could they possibly come up with that would involve Lucy Carter and Mae West?
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