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Everything posted by Neil

  1. "No Children Allowed" is really a wonderful episode. Nothing outlandish happens. The plot moves along briskly and plenty of true-to-life laughs along the way. The "little things...." in this episode that I've never noticed before: the very last shot of Mrs. Trumball holding the baby. It's quick but when the camera zooms in as Mrs. T is saying her "don't worry, you'll always have me" speech, she looks up from the baby and gives the 4 a quick side glance look. So real and a perfect ending to this perfect little episode. And it sets up that Mrs. Trumble would, in the future be their on-call willing baby-sitter. I wish during the Europe arc, they had had a "Meanwhile Back in New York" episode with Trumble and Mrs. M. ( where scatterbrained Mrs. M brings the wrong "baby" home from nursery school and the two panic.) Spin-off material!
  2. Working with Lucy

    Actors and staff who have worked with Lucy tend to be polarized about the experience. She's either a thorough professional or something of a tyrant. We tend to believe the stories about Lucy being difficult or rude without considering extenuating circumstances. At least the stories are related with that slant. My "jiggle it a little, it'll open" reminded me of the infamous Joan Blondell toilet-miming. MAYBE Lucy was saying the MATERIAL didn't work and it wasn't a personal slam against Joan; and Joan took it the wrong way and did her "FU Lucille Ball!" exit which wouldn't have sat well with LB. The other one I think was taken (and quoted) wrong was during "Calls the President" when Viv showed her the dress she was going to where and Lucy ALLEGEDLY said "You'd look like a cow in anything you wear". That exchange is usually quoted to show how cruel Lucy could be. But maybe she was trying to be 'bosom buddy'-like funny with a jab she didn't really mean. You also have to look at the possible agenda of the interviewee--such as Herbert Kenwith who seems to have nothing good to say about good friend Lucy.
  3. Lucy Fest 2019

    Mine too!! In answer to Mot's comment about his sitcom. No, that is not a good use of his talents. The show was SO Seinfeld, it's almost like they were trying in a satirical way (which, if they were, they didn't pull off). Here's one of my favorite bits from his stand-up.
  4. I Married Joan

    I missed the first of the episode but in it Joan has to get rid of some excess dresses. She goes to a dress shop to snatch customers with "Tell ya what I'm gonna do". I guess the IMJ people were counting on viewers who didn't have TV sets during the 51-52 season. (Joan debuted in the fall of 1952), and there were a lot of them. I read that my hometown Portland, considered a major metropolitan market, did not get a TV station until '52 (and at first there was only one), so we missed the entire first season. IMJ lasted only 3 seasons but was one of the first successes in syndication; the first to run episodes 5 days a week. It was a huge success; its 98 episode were run by local stations well into the 60s. Yes, the show is a bit of a hush-push but I find something endearing about Joan herself. She tries SO hard.
  5. When Here's Lucy ended in 1974, Broadcast Magazine reported about it saying that Lucy's show has "not kept up with the times, still relying on old-school slapstick while shows like All in the Family and Maude deal with relevant social issues". Were they suggesting Here's Lucy be more "relevant" in the way that Lear's shows were? So what if Norman Lear had taken over when Milt Josefsburg left in 1972, changing the title and titillating up the plots. (Desi Jr: "Where was he when we did the Ann-Margaret episode??") I'm sure MOT will chime in with possible racy "Lear's Lucy" episodes, but in the meantime here's my contribution: "No Nudes is Good Nudes" The marina raises her rent so Kim scans the classifieds for a 2nd job and answers an ad looking for "liberal-minded" models. Kim had recently watched a TV interview with her lookalike Lucille Ball, who advised aspiring actors to "take anything that comes along like I did. Don't turn anything down. " When the photographer turns out to be working for "Hustler", Kim heeds Lucille Ball's advice and does what she is told, assuming no one she knows will see "the spread". But Kim's aghast when the issue comes out and she finds she's on the cover, prominently displayed at every newsstand in Encino, prompting all her former one-episode suitors, except Wayne Newton and Jim Bailey, to seek to rekindle their romances with her. Kim confesses to Uncle Harry and they both panic when Harry realizes that he has had his Hustler subscription sent to the office (so he can write it off as business expense). The two try in vain to keep the magazine from Lucy who, when she takes one look, does her "spider". Steaming mad, Lucy Carter then sets out to punch special guest star Larry Flynt in the nose. (and also give "Miss Ball" a piece of her mind). The name Lucy Carter is well known in the celebrity world so Flynt has been expecting a visit. It seems Flynt has the negatives from an old nude photo shoot attributed to Lucille Ball, though the name on the negative sheet is that of "Lucy Hinkley". When Miss Ball got wind of it, she sued Flynt claiming "that's not me. It's the lookalike contest winner: 'that motor-mouthed, scatterbrained Carter woman'". Meanwhile Cynthia Duncan claimed the pics were of her. "Wanna see proof?", said Duncan when she showed up at the Hustler photography studio in a very revealing negligee ready to pose for a sequel spread. Just as Lucy Carter's winding up for a punch, Flynt confronts her with one of the more provocative stills from the old black-and-white shoot, and Lucy does her 2nd "spider" of the episode. Episode promo: "So who is the young nude model? Is it Lucy Carter, Lucille Ball or Cynthia Duncan? Tune in tonight on CBS for the premiere of "Lear's Lucy" and find out!" (followed by the season premiere of another show Lear has taken over, making its Monday night debut, now called "The Nude Dick Van Dyke Show" pronounced the same way as the series title from the previous season.)
  6. Mot inspired me to rewatch the episodes "Misses the Mertzes" and "Chummy with Neighbors" (also "Hates to Leave"). The bit is "Misses" about just missing each other at the train station was done again in "No More Double Dates" and "Serves a Summons" from TLS season 1 and 2. I think it works each time. Very well choreographed. I can't think of another time it was done. (I'm not counting in this category where people are in the same house but don't know the other is there like "Summer Vacation" ---a bit repeated in "The Carol Channing Show" pilot).
  7. Now Patty Lupone knows how the Merm felt because..... EVERYTHING'S COMING UP NOSES...THIS TIME FOR BABS!!!!!! "Streisand_Interested_in_Starring_Not_Directing_GYPSY_Producers_on_Board" Michael Riedel reported in the New York Post today that straight from the mouth of bookwriter Arthur Laurents is word that Barbra Streisand is "deep in negotiations to direct, produce and star in a movie version of GYPSY" for which Laurents has given her approval. Laurents, who directed Streisand in her first Broadway show, I CAN GET IT FOR YOU WHOLESALE, and who wrote THE WAY WE WERE for her said that he's has long talks with her on the subject, and that "She had a mother who she always thought was Mama Rose. I don't want to get into the details, but the point is she knows. She's got it in her. She's going to be much more than people expect." The New York Times has gotten more information on the story, talking to both Arthur Laurents and to Stephen Sondheim who told them that Warner Brothers and Joel Silver are on board as producers, and that he'd (Laurents) suggested Tom Hanks for Herbie, an idea that he says Barbra Streisand loved. Laurents also says that Streisand is no longer going to direct the film, as she once wanted to but instead will just play the part.
  8. These are both great ones. An I Love Lucy episode didn't need a big physical comedy scene to be memorable. I know of no other series that was able to combine touching and wildly hilarious episodes, sometimes the same one. (Some might convincingly argue "All in the Family" did it, but their serious episodes could be a bit ham-handed IMO.) Before the days of reference books and episode guides, sometimes you would only catch an episode here and there. And these syndicated prints sometimes unceremoniously lopped off the first 5 minutes. I remember seeing one of these moving to the country episodes and assumed the Mertzes were being written out of the show. Adjusted for inflation, Lucy's furniture expenditure was over $31,000! No wonder she collapsed in that rocking chair, one of my favorite bits in that episode. The premise of Lucy mistaking stock numbers for prices was very clever. Poor Ethel.after 15 years of being a part of the excitement Lucy brought to her life, then being left with lumpy, sags-in-the-wrong-places Fred, I would cry too! When reference books first started being published, Frank Nelson was listed as a 1957 regular despite the fact his Ralph Ramsey appeared in only TWO episodes. (Am I right?). Bobbie the Bellboy appeared in more! "Mot": Were there many "new furniture" episodes? I only remember one other one.
  9. I Married Joan

    We are spoiled by the quality of "I Love Lucy"! The fact is that I Married Joan is probably a cut above the bulk of the sitcoms aired by the networks in the 50s---especially the early 50s when they were still trying to come up with a workable production formula. They're mostly so CHEAP looking. I don't know what the economics of sitcom budgets vs. network revenue were but some of these filmed shows would crank out 2 in a week, leaving no time for enough rehearsal or attention to detail. Starting with one plot and veering to another one unrelated: seems to me like Here's Lucy did this a few times. There was that one where she went on strike, then thought Harry was trying to kill her! IMJ's 2nd season #25 is impressive when you consider how many shows there were at the time (the Dumont network was still around) and that it was opposite top 10 "Arthur Godfrey and His Friends" on CBS.
  10. I Married Joan

    In your opinion, is the blonde Jane Kean?
  11. I Married Joan

    And Doris sounds like Florence Halop! My cable guide called this episode #2, but youtube has it listed as #3.
  12. I Married Joan

    I Married Joan's SECOND episode in the fall of 1952 was entitled "Ballet". The plot made NO sense, even by IMJ standards. Three actors who had already appeared on I Love Lucy were in the cast. The original premise for IMJ was that the judge would be counseling a couple about their problems which would lead him into describing some related Joan antics. In this episode the married people at the beginning of the episode were Doris Singleton.....married to BOBBY JELLISON!! Seems wife Doris needs more energy (?!). Judge Jim Backus then describes how he solved this by sending Joan to ballet school (?!--#2) in a scene VERY reminiscent of Lucy's ballet--including a stern instructor (Florence Bates-?!-#3) and Joan getting carried away and doing the Charleston. End of scene. The rest of the episode had NOTHING to do with ballet. Brad is bringing home an important judge for dinner...BUT earlier that day, his car splashes a puddle and ruins the dress of a young woman (who I THINK is Jane Kean) so he takes her into a department store to buy her another dress and runs into the same judge---(yes, at the store: ?!-#4). To explain why he's with this young woman, Brad tells the judge that SHE is Mrs. Stevens and brings her home with predictable confusion. Meanwhile Joan gets a call from an old boyfriend (LEIF ERICKSON!!), who used to be a pro football player, who's in town so she invites him over too. (And this point: WHY NOT?) And then they, for no particular reason, re-enact some of his greatest football game moments in the Stevens living room. A dizzyingly pastiche of a storyline. Before you call me daft, looney, off my rocker, out of my head-----here's my proof: I found the episode on Youtube with these strange "woo-woo" opening credits.
  13. This has REAL episode possibilities!
  14. Kaye Ballard has passed away

    Do you remember when the "all Lucy" show aired? With the writers, Robert Osbourne and Carole Cook, I think and more. And Lucie Arnaz's infamous "she was a control freak who had to be in charge 24 hours a day" appearance. (Lucie suffered a little backlash for that one). I can't tell if they're airing these Joan Rivers Shows in chronological order. Or if they're doing the "Decades" thing of buying a batch and repeating those over and over again. Do you know how long Joan's show ran?
  15. Kaye Ballard has passed away

    Well not to THIS critic, it wasn't. But it's been a long time since I watched it and only sought it out when I saw it in Bea's filmography. Is "BUZZR" a channel? I cannot keep track of things anymore-----when a Best Comedy Emmy nomination can go to a series you can only see on your Apple watch. Bob Hope's old joke about the proclivity of I Love Lucy reruns: "I once turned on my toaster and got her show" is not all that far-fetched today. Decades runs half-hour versions of Ed Sullivan shows and they too, annoyingly, just keep running the same batch over and over. Sometimes they show a b/w episode so I keep hoping for Wildcat. Acts presented on these edited versions are trimmed down substantially. Decades has started running Joan Rivers morning talk show from the late 80s and early 90s. I'm waiting for the Gary Morton/Altovese Davis "neglected widow(er)s" show. It's great to see Joan looking so......well, HUMAN. She was an entertaining and engaging talk show host and the show was consistently interesting. So unlike the (IMO) UNWATCHABLE talk shows of today ("View" "Talk", etc.) where the gals BRAY over each other and the length of topics covered is geared to low-attention spans. On my DVR queue, I have a JR show in which Valerie Harper discusses the cancellation of her new series "City". I remember seeing an episode and thought it was pretty good (in comparison to the general quality of 1990 comedies). CBS chose to run it opposite NBC's "Valerie" incarnation "The Hogan Family". Initially "City" bested "Hogan" but the satisfaction Valerie felt was short-lived. "City" ran only 3 months. I never saw "Valerie, Valerie's Family or Hogan Family" so I don't know how good it was; nor do I know what the beef was that got Valerie thrown off her own show. I'll bet series stars in the future thought twice before throwing down ultimatums---thinking (like I"m sure Valerie did) "They CAN'T write me out of a show whose title bears my NAME." Imagine Mary Jane in the Lucy-less Lucy Show: first "Lucy's Friend", then "The Screwball Lewis Family" starring Mary Jane with Marcia Lewis, Al Lewis and little Richard Lewis as MJ's constantly kvetching son.....with occasional appearances by Jerry Lewis and Louis Armstrong.
  16. Kaye Ballard has passed away

    These What's My Line?'s are from the 5-day-week syndicated version, which looked a little cheap compared to the original run's classy glamour. Someone obviously saved the original videotapes! The original WML ran from 1950 to 1967 and this 5/week one went from 1968 until 1975, so WML had 24 seasons. I don't know where they found this Wally Bruner guy. Talk about your dud emcee. It's obvious Wally was not a Mothers In Law viewer. Kaye sang on the show a LOT. The much-more appropriate Larry Blyden took over as emcee in 1972. Bennett Cerf also appeared on the syndicated version. Cerf died in 1970. With the strange nature of syndication distribution, he kept popping up on WML's for a year after his death. Not getting a movie was not good for Kaye but if she was going to not get one, this would be the one to not get. "Lovers and Other Strangers" must have played better on stage. I've seen the movie...once--and only to see a pre-Maude Bea...and found it dullsville. I don't think it was a success. I see "Kay" dropped the "e", supposedly her numerologist's recommendation for the "Molly" marquee (or so rumor has it). "Molly" was a huge disappointment for Kay(e) running only 3 months. I've got an audio recording of the show. The house seems full and the audience is loving it. But I guess the era of the homespun, heart-warming musical had passed. "Molly" might have had a chance 10 years earlier. Throughout the 50s, 60s and into the 70s, it was standard practice to release Broadway musicals on LP, including most of the failures. ("Anyone Can Whistle" with only NINE performances was recorded and released by Columbia in the deluxe gatefold album format!) Broadway musicals as best selling albums: that era had also passed by 1973. 1961's "Wildcat" stayed on the Billboard album "top" charts from its January release through August of 1961 even though the musical had closed the first part of June, selling upwards of 100,000 copies. "Molly" with 108 performances should have been preserved on record. She got to do the inspirational number from the show "Go in the Best of Health" in costume on Carol Burnett's Show. Years later, she recorded many of the songs for a Kaye Ballard album (not officially an "original cast recording"). Like "Wildcat", "Molly" played at the Alvin and featured Swen Swenson in the cast.
  17. Kaye Ballard has passed away

    Here's a youtube video someone just posted for Kaye
  18. Kaye Ballard has passed away

    If you want to review on of Kaye's best Mothers In Law episode, I suggest Episode #43 from season 2: "Didn't You Used to Be Ossie Snick?" with guest star Ozzie Nelson.
  19. Kaye Ballard has passed away

    KAYE BALLARD SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED FOR..... TONYs: When Kaye's "Golden Apple" played Broadway, they named winners but no nominations--I'm not sure there was even a supporting category yet. For the 60-61 season, unfortunately Tony rules were changed: LEAD in a musical required the actress's name being above the title on the marquee. Any other actress in any show, be they the STAR or not, was categorized as "Featured" , the category that replaced "supporting".. Elizabeth Seal won for "Irma La Douce" , Channing for "Show Girl", Julie for "Camelot and Nancy Walker for "Do Re Mi"......I know nothing of Elizabeth Seal, but Nancy's role in "Do", I would categorize as somewhere between lead and supporting. (Phil Silvers was THE lead). I don't know when Tony nominations came out in relation to Wildcat's run but no nomination for Lucy is one of those things that will forever be lodged in my near-capacity-filled CRAW. This is the season that Kaye was such a big hit in "Carnival" and surely would have received a nomination and very possibly a WIN had the leads in Bye Bye Birdie (Dick Van Dyke) and Molly Brown (Tammy Grimes) been in the category they rightfully belonged in (LEAD) and not the ridiculous "featured" category by virtue of the technicality of the stupid rule. They both won. EMMYs: "The Mothers In Law" was not the type of show the Emmys embraced, but look at the actual best comedy nominees during these 2 years: 2 nominations for the badly aging "Bewitched", 2 for "Family Affair", 2 for "Get Smart" (the winner both years), 1 each for Hogan's Heroes, Julia, Ghost and Mrs. Muir and The Lucy Show. The following is a just IMO analysis. "Bewitched" had lost a lot of its charm by then (its 4th and 5th season); "Get Smart" was amusing but TWO 'Best" Awards? I say: only by default; I never saw an episode of "Heroes"; and only have a scant memory of "Ghost and Mrs." (which NBC had CANCELED). With that enticing premise, I probably watched "Ghost" at the beginning but it must have been extremely dull or laugh-less for me to lose interest. I wouldn't have traded "The Lucy Show"'s one nomination for anything but I would have nominated it in ANY of the other 5 seasons over this one. And I say "Julia" was nominated only because of the publicity of the first black woman to be the lead in a "sitcom" (ignoring the early 50s "Beulah") If they say Julia was a comedy, I have to take their word for it, I guess....same for "Family Affair", which I would nominate only as Best Sitcom For Those Suffering From Insomnia. But look at the Best Actress in Comedy nominations. I don't see why Kaye (or Eve for that matter) shouldn't have scored a nomination, despite what the Academy thought of "MIL". Again Lucy's 1968 win: while I love the fact that she won 2 in a row, I don't consider her performances this season as stellar (and can't really say why). Her snub for season 2: stored in aforementioned craw; I wish Liz had won in 1966 over MTMoore for Dick Van Dyke Show. She deserved it then. But by 1968, someone had decided to make her more of a comedienne and she was less effective at that (I would go so far as to say "annoying"); Diahann Carroll's Julia was not exactly an acting challenged--Diahann's nominated for same reason described above for series. Not knocking the lovely, likable Hope Lange but the dull "Ghost" did not tap her talents--and TWO wins in a row---JEEZ!!!; Barbara Feldon was cute and appealing but nomination as LEAD?--I say no; the buzz was that quirky Paula Prentiss would win for the one season "He and She", the season's critic's darling. Its Best Comedy snub was surprising. I think Lucy took the undeserved backlash for winning a second time over newcomer Paula and that's the reason Lucy was never nominated again. I can't argue with poor Marlo Thomas, nominated for 4 of That Girl's 5 seasons, losing all. With that said, I think Kaye Ballard was as equally deserving of a nomination as those that got them. Try picturing any of the other nominees (excepting Lucy of course) livening up MIL material. While Mothers In Law wasn't as consistently high-rated as Kaye has said ("It was cancelled when it was #14", she said often), at #40 (or so, if memory serves) for its 2nd season at a time when the networks had some 100 shows, it was the highest rated show BY FAR to be cancelled at the end of the 68-69 season. The cast left for the break assuming they'd be back for season 3. It was one of the last to be cancelled by a sponsor Proctor & Gamble who, if I'm understanding it correctly, owned that Sunday 8:30 time slot. But why didn't another network pick it up, as they did with the lower rated "Ghost and Muir"? Scuttlebutt has it that Desi, bless him, was just too hard to work with by that time for another network to take on a show whose ratings were good but not great. His alcoholism trumped his better judgement, sometimes throwing his weight around like he was still as influential as he was in his Desilu days. I do wish Desi had gotten around to "Another Book" as promised. I think his post-Lucy/Desilu years were harder on him than he let on. Those who worked with him (that did not suffer the wrath of his hair-trigger temper) speak of him, Kaye included, in consistently loving and glowing terms afforded no other producer in TV history. But back to Kaye: there's no reason that audience-pleasing Kaye could not gone on to her own "Kaye Ballard Show". Possible premise: Kaye runs an Italian restaurant along with (and living with) her loving but brow-beaten father and her dominating, disapproving, acid-tongue mother. (which describes Kaye's real life mother). But WHO could have played the mother? For those who made it to the end of my blathering, sorry. I didn't mean for this post to go on so long, but I had a personal, if sporadic, relationship with Kaye and her passing has upset me greatly. She used to call me occasionally---a real thrill when it happened. My thoughts today are of her. I only wish she had had the higher profile career deserving of someone with her enormous talent. But grateful that she got to see the premiere of the documentary about her. And the positive response and long-overdue attention. Hopefully we'll all get to see it eventually. The few clips I've seen look great (a virtual one-man production by our own enormously talented Dan Wingate, an occasional poster to our board). It would be a perfect inclusion for a Mothers In Law marathon by the Decades channel.
  20. Kaye Ballard has passed away

    Carol and Kaye in the same week: I can't take any more.... Kaye Ballard: typecast as the loud Italian: something she did very well and hilariously but she had an untapped dramatic range. I once saw a video (from I don't remember where but it was black and white from the 50s) in which she did very serious scene with someone and was amazingly effective. Desi did not augment the laugh track on Mothers In Law and it's KAYE that gets the most enthusiastic audience response. Here's my old tribute to Kaye on MIL. At the end Kaye sings. In the plot, the Hubbards and Buells invest in a rock band and this is Kaye's suggestion for a song to put in their act.......followed by the song written specifically for her act by Kander and Ebb, later incorporated into you-know-what and associated with you-know-who. Then her rendition of "My Man" from her hit album of Fannie Brice songs. It was her idea to turn this into a Broadway musical, done some 10 years later.
  21. Carol Channing has passed away

    If there is another number in any musical that inspires the same audience reaction as the "Hello Dolly" number, I can't think of it. It makes you glad to be there, glad to be alive and wanting to run onstage and join the waiters singing to her (or depending on your gender or leanings, want to get into her costume and descend those stairs to the opening bars of the song). Many wonderful actresses played Dolly on Broadway, each bringing their own charm to the role, including Phyllis Diller!. Her run was short--3 months--by all accounts she gave a great performance. But none captured the pure joy of the title song more than Carol Channing. The term one-of-a-kind is thrown around a lot but Channing was certainly that. A theater historian whose accuracy I trust told me that David Merrick made a personal visit to Roxbury Drive to try to talk Lucy into doing a limited run on Broadway. Said historian thinks this was about 1966. Lucy's memories of the rigors of "Wildcat" were probably still too fresh in her mind--but what a thrill that would have been had I been old enough to hitchhike the 3000 miles to Broadway. Interesting that the Dollys in the revival were so much older than the originals. The equivalent today in relation to the ages of the 60s Dolly's would be Tina Fey, Amy Poeler or Julia-Louis Dreyfus and none of them seem old enough for Dolly. Bette and Bernadette could be the mothers of all of 60s Dollys (except Merman: possible but a stretch). The 60s equivalent of the ages of the revival's well-preserved Bette and the even more well-preserved Bernadette would be the 1960s versions of Madge Blake, Lillian Gish, Isabel Randolph, Eleanor Audley, Norma Varden or Kathryn Card! And I mean "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" Kathryn, not Mrs. McGillicuddy--Bern and Bette are over 10 years older than that one. Chew on THAT! 70 really is the "new 50". Re: the wonderful What's My Line? "LuvsBway" posted. Lucy, Ginger, Carol, Dorothy and Arlene were still at their peak of glamour. Lucy's voice-disguise is the same one she used to impersonate Channing in "Countess/Undercover Agent" the next season! 1965 was one of those watershed years. Sadly, 3 months (and a few days) later Dorothy would be dead, the main reason for my WML obsession. Very few Broadway musical offerings from that point on would capture "Hello Dolly"'s exuberance . A perfect musical and I have to say, my all-time favorite. (I love Gypsy, but for different reasons). I'll never forget taking my newly purchased "Dolly" LP home, not knowing anything about Channing, and hearing THAT VOICE for the very first time.
  22. Carol Channing has passed away

    Here's a performance of the title song in black and white. This was done on a smaller stage than Broadway...in Washington DC. Someone has dubbed the OBC track into the video. As a child, "Hello Dolly" was the first Broadway cast album I ever bought: the mono version. Stereo was a dollar more! One of those wonderful "gatefold" albums. The backs of the mono and stereo were different. On the mono, there was a picture of David Burns (Vandergelder) with the caption ""Come and Be My Butterfly" has David Burns fighting his way through a web of wings". I don't know who was asleep at the RCA switch, but "Butterfly" was cut from the show and of course does not appear on the album. The song "Dolly" performed on stage has one split-second moment that never ever fails to inspire the audience to erupt in mid-song spontaneous applause. It happens here at 4:45 (but since this audio is the OBC audio we don't hear it here): one of the most thrilling moments in Broadway musical history. You can't blame movie execs for casting Marilyn Monroe in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" but Carol should have done the "Dolly" movie. After having gotten a supporting Oscar nomination for "Thoroughly Modern Millie", she had a legitimate shot. I recognize Streisand's talent but have never been a huge fan. I always thought she got the role on the strength of her Oscar win and huge success of "Funny Girl', but I've learned recently that she was signed for Dolly before Funny Girl, her first film, was even released. Some say Carol was "too big" for the movies, but I think she would have fit in perfectly into the cartoonish (and I don't mean that in a bad way) quality of the material. An elephantine and over-blown production, the movie did well enough but not enough to cover the cost of the huge budget ($20million, I think...$137million in today's dollars). Casting 20-something year old Streisand as the widow Levi was just plain ridiculous, especially her singing the line "Look at the old girl now, fellas" in the hideous GOLD dress. Carol was crushed when she was passed over. Also seriously considered for the role: one Lucille Ball! In think 1969 Lucy would have done well in the movie but she wouldn't have been able to hold the last note of "Before the Parade Passes By" as long as Streisand! But there is only one name synonymous with "Hello Dolly" and that is the wonderful Carol Channing. I take that back. Another Carole (Cook) was a huge success in the TWO-YEAR-LONG Australian tour, commenced while Carol was still on Broadway. Unfortunately no footage I know of exists of Carole's production.
  23. Carol Channing has passed away

    Carol Channing's name came up in conversation just YESTERDAY. I mentioned that of all the Broadway Dollys, she's the only one who still survives. I got to see her in Dolly twice (in her 90s tour). The show was in town for a week and I loved it so much the first time, I went back. In her 70s at the time, she had the audience in the palm of her hand. I once had breakfast with her! We were at the same LA hotel. At the restaurant, she invited me to join her and her husband. Even though she had fallen and blackened one eye, she insisted we take a picture together (I'll see if I can find it and post). At 7:30 in the morning, she looked better than I did! To look at her in her heyday, you wouldn't think she would be a star who would age well, but she did. I attended her 95th birthday in Palm Springs. A show was put on in her honor. Then she sat directly in front of me at Kaye Ballard's Farewell Show and Kaye called upon her to do her Cecilia Sisselman act, which she did, letter-perfect. Carol to Kaye: "Why didn't you tell me? I don't have my eyelashes on!" I took video:
  24. I'm one of probably dozens of people who are proud to say "I'm good friends with Carole and (husband) Tom". She's still sharp as a tack and, other than some aches and pains, has not aged at all. She looks a full 30 years younger (and a good-looking 65 at that).
  25. yes, today is the birthday of that bigamist Thelma Green, Mrs. Valence, Cynthia Duncan, Betty Jo Hansen, Effie Higgins, Sheila Kasten, Lillian Ryander, and of course, the one and only...................MA PARKER! (I'm sure I'm leaving someone out.....and I HOPE someone will correct me.) Some fans of Carole's have set up a facebook page....why don't we all sign it? (or whatever you do with a facebook page)