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What was the last episode you watched on "The Lucy And Desi Comedy Hour"?

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On May 30, 2017 at 0:21 PM, Neil said:

At least in those days, there was still summer stock and dinner theater for a former TV star with name recognition.

There may be fewer outlets for that nowadays but it still exists. The Ogunquit Playhouse in southern Maine is a very popular summer stock theatre, and many former and current TV stars appear there. I believe Sally Struthers does at least one show a year (she got pulled over for drunk driving in 2013 or so, I believe).

I saw Stefanie Powers play Norma in Sunset Boulevard in 2010, and Grease with Mo Gaffney in 2014. Rachel York did Spamalot a few years ago. I wish I could've gone and given her a copy of Lucy with my DVD cover. 

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"Lucy Makes Room for Danny"   My mother lives in an assisted living facility.  The social director arranges all sorts of group activities posted on a weekly calendar.  I noticed "I Love Lucy" and asked her what she was running.  She has one DVD set: season 1.  She says the people love it.   Well with the virus, group activities are on hiatus including "TV/Movie Night".  But they have a channel this is piped to each room.  I put together a "Lucy Makes Room for Danny"  DVD for them that residents could see in their rooms.  Masked and sanitized, I'm allowed in so was able to walk the halls when the show was running, and able to see it via the hall TV.    Virtually all the units are 1-person occupied.  The residents' doors were closed, but the laughter echoed through the hallways.  Extended laughter during the bedroom scene and Lucy's court pantomime. (among Gale Gordon's best performances, ya think?)   But also a spike in laughter after these lines:  Fred's "Well, ya got ME!", Gale Gordon's "oh you ARE a miserable tightwad" and Ethel's "We raise chickens".   Isn't it wonderful that Lucy can STILL provide enjoyment in these troubling times?  I've probably seen this episode 50 times and never tire of it and never will.  This episode deserves a colorized network airing, but probably won't because Danny Thomas is not well-remembered by the general public.  Many people pick Talullah as their favorite LDCH, but after this, my umpteenth viewing, I go with Danny.  

I'd forgotten that "Danny" was so late in the run:  December of 1958.  Sadly, in a little more than a year, it would all be over.  A mere 2 years later Lucy would be preparing for her "Wildcat" opening.  "Danny" is probably the best hour of comedy ever produced for television.     It holds up as well today as when it was first aired (says I).   Ignored by the Emmys (something that still festers in my craw), it did get some industry recognition.  TV Guide printed a list of highlights of the past 58-59 season which included mostly prestigious specials.  The only other regular-characters comedy listed was an episode of "Father Knows Best" from that season. As you all know, CBS ran these in the summer through 1967.    Sometimes, but not always,  the first of the comedy hours overlapped with the last of the Lucy Show reruns before it too was replaced for the summer.  Imagine in June of 1967,  viewing "Mooney the Monkey" on Monday and "Danny" on Thursday.  It's night and day.  Mind-bobbling that  these two episodes were only 8 years apart!

A couple of things about the episode:  the whole 'sneaking into Danny's bedroom' is expertly set up.  INCLUDING a previous reference to Lucy's concern about her wilting houseplants.  At their best, these little set-up lines go unnoticed, not telegraphing what might happen; but because of those touches, the payoff is so much more satisfying  The dragging-Lucy-into-bed bit was pretty risqué for 1958.  Both Danny and Marjorie Lord are having a tough time keeping a straight face--which just adds to the fun.   Evidently Lucy saved her full-out performance for the cameras.  The whole business of Danny having to sign the check is a bit dated.  Why couldn't Kathy sign it herself?  And perhaps lost on the current generation is Danny's reference to just how HUGE a Sunday newspaper used to be.  The script is great and all the actors rose to the occasion. You'd think after 186 episodes as the characters that they would slack off a bit, depending more on familiarity than sticking true to the characters, no longer having to work so hard for hilarity.  But, no. Everyone is as sharp as if the future of their careers  depended on this installment.   It was years before I saw an episode of "The Danny Thomas Show" and assumed, based on this, that his show was better than it was (granted, only a sampling of a couple).   Lucy's well-thought-out defense for taking the check ("it belongs to us already and isn't worth anything anyway") is pure brilliance both in the writing and the execution.   Was there EVER in the now 70 year history of TV sitcoms a female lead who was as devious and underhanded as Lucy, while still remaining lovable?   I can't think of one.  And Lucy Ricardo did some pretty ROTTEN things to people. 

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"Celebrity Next Door" is certainly among the best of the Comedy Hours, but I think I agree that "Danny" might be the very best. IMO the former isn't quite as cohesive as the latter; when everything falls apart and gets farcical during the play, it feels a little too on the nose for some reason, like they didn't set things up well enough and they're acting like the payoff is way funnier than it is. 

It's very cool that you did that for your mother and her fellow residents- I'm sure they appreciated it. When my grandmother was in a nursing home, most of her tenure was in the "Sunshine Wing" of the building, which was for the unfortunate folks with varying stages of dementia, so they never had movie screenings or anything. The biggest entertainment for me was the lady down the hall who would have very loud conversations with herself! Although, we would always bring DVDs of her favorite shows to watch- especially Lawrence Welk. I remember one time when we were watching Keeping Up Appearances and as an aide was passing by, she recognized the sound of the show and came in to watch it with us. "Is that 'Keeping Up With Appearances'? My sister in law acts just like that woman!"

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Thanks to Neil's recent post, "Lucy Makes Room for Danny" and then "Lucy Goes to Alaska".

The only thing that "mars" this otherwise excellent episode of TLDCH for me ("Danny") is the severity which Desi as Ricky yells at Lucy; there's a harshness to it that feels a little bit too true to life to just ignore or laugh off as part of the "comedy"... I mean, he comes across (to me) as truly MEAN (spirited)... making me wonder, was the marriage already on its downhill slide as early as 1958? I haven't read any of the "Lucy"-related books from cover to cover in ages so I'm having difficulty recalling exactly when the transition from "lovey dovey" to not so "hotsy totsy" but his behavior toward her, in this episode at least, is palpably harsh. Oy! 

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4 hours ago, JoeySoCal said:

Thanks to Neil's recent post, "Lucy Makes Room for Danny" and then "Lucy Goes to Alaska".

The only thing that "mars" this otherwise excellent episode of TLDCH for me ("Danny") is the severity which Desi as Ricky yells at Lucy; there's a harshness to it that feels a little bit too true to life to just ignore or laugh off as part of the "comedy"... I mean, he comes across (to me) as truly MEAN (spirited)... making me wonder, was the marriage already on its downhill slide as early as 1958? I haven't read any of the "Lucy"-related books from cover to cover in ages so I'm having difficulty recalling exactly when the transition from "lovey dovey" to not so "hotsy totsy" but his behavior toward her, in this episode at least, is palpably harsh. Oy! 

When I did my watch every episode in order. The tv fights by the comedy hours and harshness was something I noted. Mexico has it as well. And it wasn't just Desi but Lucy came across as harsh too. 58' things were going downhill. Real life anger had to tinge some of those comedic fights. They both seemed to not be able to bring the lightness. You knew even when the Ricardos fought they still loved each other. The Comedy Hours, I'd be worried for them.

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Agreed, it didn't start with "Danny" but I guess it bugs me since it's one of my favorite episodes and probably part of the reason I rarely watch "Mexico" as, among its other faults, the harshness with which they speak to each other is palpable and frankly, hard to watch.

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The reason I know you're all right about the harshness of the latter-day Ricardos is that several years ago a friend of mine was trying to keep his dying mother entertained so I put together a "best of" DVD of episodes in random order and she pointed out how different Ricky was in, say 1952 to the way Ricky was in "Danny", particularly his yelling "LUCY!!" when she walked across the room after exiting Danny's bedroom.   "He's "different", she said. I hadn't thought about it before.   I notice it more in Ricky than in Lucy.  This is not a tone 1952 Ricky would have ever used.  It's hard to separate the Ricardos from the Arnazes.  The change happened in such a very brief period of time.  However, it does not diminish my love for "Lucy Makes Room".

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