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HarryCarter

The Mothers-in-Law on DVD and TV

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"The Good Guys" filmed in front of an audience its first year.  When it returned for its next half-a-season, it was a single cam sitcom. Pretty sure I'm right and that it wasn't the other way around.

So for the 68-69 season it was just Good Guys, Lucy and Mothers In Law.  The next year it was just Lucy and Governor and JJ! (said without looking it up to verify) which despite Lucy Carter's poison pen letter, did not make it to two full seasons.

 

Pre 1960s (and into the 60s), NBC had Bachelor Father, Father Knows Best , Bob Cummings/Love That Bob (All 3 of these ran on other networks too--though not sure about Bob), plus I Married Joan and My Little Margie. All had healthy syndication lives.  Car 54 in the only one I can think of from the 60s you did not mention.  NBC was just not known for good comedies in the 60s and 70s.  Few lasted past their first years.

We had the Mothers In Law syndicated here on a once-a-week weekend basis.  KTTV in LA ran MIL 5 days a week at 9:30 right after ILL.  Would have been interesting if Washing Machine and Refrigerator were to run on the same day. 

Great post, Neil! It's interesting that almost no NBC sitcoms prior to the 1970s ever had any life in syndication. The exceptions would probably be I Dream of Jeannie, Get Smart, and Hazel. The latter two both completed their runs on CBS. It looks like during the seasons The Mothers -in-Law ran the only sitcoms filmed before a live studio audience were it, Lucy, He & She, and Good Morning World.

I saw Kaye in concert a year and a half ago and she was marvelous. I strongly recommend anyone who has the chance to see her to do so. I went to a Gavin MacLeod book signing a few months ago and he said he would be joining his pal Kaye onstage in this show.

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I just screened every single episode of The Mothers-In-Law for two blogposts (coming in May to http://jacksonupperco.com/) covering my favorite episodes. I also screened every episode of Good Morning World and 25 of the 26 He & She. (I will be viewing the one I'm missing of the latter at the UCLA Archives in March.) 

 

I can tell you that He & She is brilliant. Better than any single season sitcom that I have ever seen. It won the Emmy for best writing that season -- deservedly. The ensemble is excellent, the stories are fresh, and the show is laugh-out-loud funny... every single episode. Blows the competition completely out of the water. Good Morning World has about three good episodes out of its 26. The rest are bland. Meanwhile, The Mothers-In-Law launches superbly and runs out of steam embarrassingly early in its run (before the 13th episode). I will say, however, that the second season isn't nearly as dire as I remember -- maintaing that sort of amusing mediocrity for the majority of its run.

 

The Mothers-In-Law deserved the second season it got, but He & She more than deserved the one it never got. 

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I just screened every single episode of The Mothers-In-Law for two blogposts (coming in May to http://jacksonupperco.com/) covering my favorite episodes. I also screened every episode of Good Morning World and 25 of the 26 He & She. (I will be viewing the one I'm missing of the latter at the UCLA Archives in March.) 

 

I can tell you that He & She is brilliant. Better than any single season sitcom that I have ever seen. It won the Emmy for best writing that season -- deservedly. The ensemble is excellent, the stories are fresh, and the show is laugh-out-loud funny... every single episode. Blows the competition completely out of the water. Good Morning World has about three good episodes out of its 26. The rest are bland. Meanwhile, The Mothers-In-Law launches superbly and runs out of steam embarrassingly early in its run (before the 13th episode). I will say, however, that the second season isn't nearly as dire as I remember -- maintaing that sort of amusing mediocrity for the majority of its run.

 

The Mothers-In-Law deserved the second season it got, but He & She more than deserved the one it never got. 

You're the guy who does the "That's Entertainment!" blog? I'm a big fan :D

I'm just wondering how far you're going to go with your Sitcom Tuesdays- I mean decade wise. I'm hoping you eventually do the ten best episodes of each season of Frasier someday :lucyhmm:

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I'm hoping you eventually do the ten best episodes of each season of Frasier someday :lucyhmm:

 

Thanks! Cheers is my second favorite sitcom, after I Love Lucy, of course, and I'm just nuts about the writing during the first five years of Frasier -- so sharp. I'm not that enamored with the later years, but I can say the same of All In The Family and Seinfeld. So, I'll definitely be doing Frasier. It'll just be a while before I get there. 

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Speaking of Kaye Ballard   Hopefully I can work it out but a guy can only ask for so much time off, ya know?? Guess I'll start practicing my cough! ;)

 

 

Have you learned NOTHING from Lucy Carmichael?  You get sick RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM.  He's HUMAN, isn't he??

 

Just watch out that going through the turnstile, you're not named the 10,000th person to see Kaye's show.

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I think there's a number of great episodes towards the end of the second season and it would have been great if they could have continued into another season. I think "Two On the Aisle," "Take Her She's Mine" (Joi Lansing), "Void Where Prohibited By In-Laws" (Blimpo cereal), and "Charge of the Wife Brigade" are all particularly funny episodes.

 

Although I like Richard Deacon a lot, he does not have the same chemistry with Kaye and the rest of the cast as Roger C. Carmel did. I imagine it would be hard to replace someone like that and I don't know how quickly he was hired. Kaye always says he just took the job for the paycheck and didn't really care about the work. Kaye is right, though. He couldn't take a punch.

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For curious parties, here's a clip from perhaps my favorite episode of He & She entitled "A Rock By Any Other Name." I'll set it up...

 

Dick makes a fuss about he and Paula buying each other inexpensive gifts for their upcoming shared birthday. Dick forgets and buys Paula a pricey fur coat, only to learn that Paula has gifted him with a rock...

 

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I did watch "Two on Aisle" and found it pretty funny.  Usher was a young Teri Garr.  And seated in front of the stars was Vanda Barra.

"Blimpo" is funny, but the explosion bit was very poorly put together...probably the worst of any of them.  For me, that bit never worked anyway: MIL did it with a mimeograph filling a closet with paper.  Lucy did it with a popcorn popper filling the closet.  It doesn't really make sense since the popper and mimeograph would have to have had unlimited supply of raw material.

In retrospect, I have to side with Roger C.  They were promised a raise after all.  According to Kaye it was only a mizzly $250/week.  An example of Desi's volatile side.  During his Desilu days, he would fire people abruptly with his hair-triggered, which is probably what happened with Roger C....when some sort of diplomacy could have kept him on.  If they were all supposed to get an extra $250/week, certainly an extra $1000 could have come from somewhere.

I think there's a number of great episodes towards the end of the second season and it would have been great if they could have continued into another season. I think "Two On the Aisle," "Take Her She's Mine" (Joi Lansing), "Void Where Prohibited By In-Laws" (Blimpo cereal), and "Charge of the Wife Brigade" are all particularly funny episodes.

Although I like Richard Deacon a lot, he does not have the same chemistry with Kaye and the rest of the cast as Roger C. Carmel did. I imagine it would be hard to replace someone like that and I don't know how quickly he was hired. Kaye always says he just took the job for the paycheck and didn't really care about the work. Kaye is right, though. He couldn't take a punch.

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I agree, as much as I love Richard Deacon, he was not as good with Kaye as Roger was.  Desi was like that, the more you tried to push him around, the less it worked, ask Van Johnson's wife/manager, who screwed Van out of his Untouchables gig by squeezing the Cuban, so Robert Stack was the beneficiary of Desi's temper.

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Having seen all 56 recently, I think the biggest disappointment with the switch is how little Deacon himself brought to the role. Carmel was an individual, and given that the only characters with fully developed quirks and nuances were Kaye and Eve, his distinction was a major benefit. The material certainly wasn't doing Roger (or the rest of them) any favors, but Deacon didn't do the material any favors either -- certainly not in the way Carmel did. 

 

That said, I don't think the switch had anything to do with the show's declining quality, especially since the comedy had already plateaued by the middle of the first season. Simply: the premise couldn't sustain a full year of excellent episodes. Moments here and there, sure, but nothing consistent. 

 

I'm crazy about the show, don't get me wrong. But most of it has to do with the performers and the scattered moments of SUPREME physical comedy.

 

And I certainly don't ascribe the show's failure to receive a third season to the casting of Deacon. As Hamlet said, "the play's the thing..." 

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Have you learned NOTHING from Lucy Carmichael?  You get sick RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM.  He's HUMAN, isn't he??

 

Just watch out that going through the turnstile, you're not named the 10,000th person to see Kaye's show.

Actually she's a she -- banshee, that is -- and been the bane of my existence for the last 4 years; my job would be quite pleasant otherwise!  ;) 

 

Get sick right in front of 'em....now why didn't I think of that???  :lucyhorror:

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Thanks! Cheers is my second favorite sitcom, after I Love Lucy, of course, and I'm just nuts about the writing during the first five years of Frasier -- so sharp. I'm not that enamored with the later years, but I can say the same of All In The Family and Seinfeld. So, I'll definitely be doing Frasier. It'll just be a while before I get there. 

I agree on the writing for Frasier, but the later seasons do have some particular gems; "Daphne Does Dinner" from season 10 immediately comes to mind.

Frasier was always perfect at 'case of mistaken identity' type things. Plus that episode probably has the best sight gag from the whole series with the bed falling through the ceiling!

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I agree on the writing for Frasier, but the later seasons do have some particular gems; "Daphne Does Dinner" from season 10 immediately comes to mind.

Frasier was always perfect at 'case of mistaken identity' type things. Plus that episode probably has the best sight gag from the whole series with the bed falling through the ceiling!

 

Yes, each season has their standout installments. And I actually think the final two years are better than Seasons Eight and Nine, but my opinions may change when I view them all again chronologically... 

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I had seen all the episodes and last year I decided to view them chronologically. I noticed that season four episodes were ones I looked forward to the least! :lucywow:

I think some of the season 10-11 appeal is the recurring characters: Mrs. Moon, Noel, Lilith etc. 

Plus Daphne's baby :D

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The last season of Frasier is one of my favorites of the series. The 10th season is by far my least. I haven't seen a lot of those since they originally aired.

 

Back to Roger C. Carmel, it's pretty amazing how young he was when they did The Mothers-in-Law. He was 24 years younger than Eve and three years older than son Jerry Fogel!

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For a little project I'm doing, I need to find the episode where Eve goes "Herb Herb Whoa Herb".

Or am I just imagining she did that??

 

Other than on the trampoline does Lucy go "Viv Viv Whoa Viv" in any episode?

 

Is anybody from going to Kaye's show?

 

I AM!!!!

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We want a full report for us on the east coast in 11 degree weather with a foot of snow on the way.

The sunshine has got to be spending the winter in Palm Springs. It sure as heck hasn't been around the northeast very much.

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I know it's a little late for this thread, but I just realized that there were a bunch of episodes of this show involving boats.

Has anyone else noticed this?

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