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Neil

Happy Birthday, Carole Cook!

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While channel flipping last night, I ran across Carole on an episode of "Knight Rider."  She had a starring role as some kind of legislator whose life is at risk for trying to derail some bad laws from being enacted.  Carole was the best part of this silly show.  Her funniest line was "Devon is more of an old grandma than me."  

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Saw this over on the Carole FB group.

 

This is a bit short notice, but Carole will be performing in the 25th annual Help is on the Way event this Sunday at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco benefiting the Richmond/Ermet Aid Foundation. She will be receiving their lifetime achievement award. If you're in the area, be sure to get your tickets!

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12 hours ago, Luvsbway said:

Saw this over on the Carole FB group.

 

This is a bit short notice, but Carole will be performing in the 25th annual Help is on the Way event this Sunday at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco benefiting the Richmond/Ermet Aid Foundation. She will be receiving their lifetime achievement award. If you're in the area, be sure to get your tickets!

I hope someone can get footage of this!!

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A little clipping from April 1960 in MIKE CONNOLLY's column:

Patio vignette: Comedienne Carol Channing with comedienne Carole Cook. Lucille Ball's protegee (Miss Channing was MINE, a long time ago I was one of her umpteen “discovers” when she first starred in a Hollywood little-theater revue called "Lend an Ear"). 

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The Goldwyn Theatre was packed last night when TCM paid tribute to Robert Osborne by hosting a 35mm screening of his favorite movie Dodsworth. In attendance, and later up on stage to reminisce, were such luminaries as our own Carole, Diane Baker, Robert Wagner, Eva Marie Saint, and Dame (or is it “Mame”) Angela Lansbury. I really hope that there’s a recording of this in some form.

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1 hour ago, Freddie2 said:

The Goldwyn Theatre was packed last night when TCM paid tribute to Robert Osborne by hosting a 35mm screening of his favorite movie Dodsworth. In attendance, and later up on stage to reminisce, were such luminaries as our own Carole, Diane Baker, Robert Wagner, Eva Marie Saint, and Dame (or is it “Mame”) Angela Lansbury. I really hope that there’s a recording of this in some form.

Greg in Hollywood had some photos on his Instagram and a lovely one of Carole and Tom. 

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I'm looking through Carole's TLS and HL appearances for a project I'm doing.  They have to be in color so most of Thelma Green is out.

Carole had the unfortunate fortune to appear in the most insipid episodes of TLS and HL respectively.  TLS's 5th season "Tennessee Ernie" and HL's 3rd season "Ma Parker".   Ever the pro, she gives it her all (as does Lucy) but those scripts.....My GAAWWD!   There's nothing to say about "Parker" except I wonder if writers Rhine & Derman had the nerve to show up at the Monday morning table read.   "Ernie" is more frustrating because the 5th season started out with some pretty good episodes through the last great one #14 of the seasons 22 episodes: "Substitute Secretary" (I know there are those that can't get past the fact that Lucy looks and sounds nothing like "Mrs. Winkler" but the comedy is so good, I can forgive; and that winners streak was interrupted by "Phil Silvers" "Mooney the Monkey" and the last half of "Pat Collins"), but from episode 15 on, it's all downhill (with one or two exceptions, those being Jody Gilbert & Iris Adrian).   "Tennessee Ernie" (and Mainstreet 2, I guess) were the first of a Lucy show trend to rely on extended musical sequences that just go on WAY too long with expert but mirthless choreography done by professional dancers (bank employees?).  Just when you've had more than enough, in through the bank doors pops  that acrobatic dancer for his turn, more weird than entertaining (the slide whistle accompanying his painful-to-watch splits doesn't help).   I guess there's no point in analyzing the Ernie plot such at it is, but I can't resist pointing out that the usually morally upstanding Lucy Carmichael is LYING to Ernie Higgins just to get his money.  If her plan had worked, how would they have continued this charade?   And speaking of performers saddled with the worst, Tennessee Ernie, after scoring big in 3 ILLs, hits rock bottom with this and his "Fun Farm" HL appearance, another "unwatchable"  that is just a lazy writing excuse for one musical number after another, none of them entertaining in any way; and none that have any place in what we want from a Lucy episode.   

Though Carole as Cynthia Duncan has no dialogue in "Lucy Meets Lucy", it's my favorite 'Carole on a Lucy show', 2nd only to her fireman's pole debut entrance 11 years previous.   Lucy Carter gets the prize and Kim gets the car, but the sequel (my project) has Miss Ball taking pity on poor Duncan and offering her the job as her stand-in for the new musical film she's doing.   (There must have been SOME reason why the title MAME is never uttered in the episode, but I LOVE that they refer to it as "Miss Ball's new musical film".)

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2 hours ago, Neil said:

I'm looking through Carole's TLS and HL appearances for a project I'm doing.  They have to be in color so most of Thelma Green is out.

Carole had the unfortunate fortune to appear in the most insipid episodes of TLS and HL respectively.  TLS's 5th season "Tennessee Ernie" and HL's 3rd season "Ma Parker".   Ever the pro, she gives it her all (as does Lucy) but those scripts.....My GAAWWD!   There's nothing to say about "Parker" except I wonder if writers Rhine & Derman had the nerve to show up at the Monday morning table read.   "Ernie" is more frustrating because the 5th season started out with some pretty good episodes through the last great one #14 of the seasons 22 episodes: "Substitute Secretary" (I know there are those that can't get past the fact that Lucy looks and sounds nothing like "Mrs. Winkler" but the comedy is so good, I can forgive; and that winners streak was interrupted by "Phil Silvers" "Mooney the Monkey" and the last half of "Pat Collins"), but from episode 15 on, it's all downhill (with one or two exceptions, those being Jody Gilbert & Iris Adrian).   "Tennessee Ernie" (and Mainstreet 2, I guess) were the first of a Lucy show trend to rely on extended musical sequences that just go on WAY too long with expert but mirthless choreography done by professional dancers (bank employees?).  Just when you've had more than enough, in through the bank doors pops  that acrobatic dancer for his turn, more weird than entertaining (the slide whistle accompanying his painful-to-watch splits doesn't help).   I guess there's no point in analyzing the Ernie plot such at it is, but I can't resist pointing out that the usually morally upstanding Lucy Carmichael is LYING to Ernie Higgins just to get his money.  If her plan had worked, how would they have continued this charade?   And speaking of performers saddled with the worst, Tennessee Ernie, after scoring big in 3 ILLs, hits rock bottom with this and his "Fun Farm" HL appearance, another "unwatchable"  that is just a lazy writing excuse for one musical number after another, none of them entertaining in any way; and none that have any place in what we want from a Lucy episode.   

Though Carole as Cynthia Duncan has no dialogue in "Lucy Meets Lucy", it's my favorite 'Carole on a Lucy show', 2nd only to her fireman's pole debut entrance 11 years previous.   Lucy Carter gets the prize and Kim gets the car, but the sequel (my project) has Miss Ball taking pity on poor Duncan and offering her the job as her stand-in for the new musical film she's doing.   (There must have been SOME reason why the title MAME is never uttered in the episode, but I LOVE that they refer to it as "Miss Ball's new musical film".)

Very good observations.

Prior to that, however, Carole did appear in some great episodes. My personal favourite of hers is "Lucy's Barbershop Quartet" - which happens to be the first TLS episode I ever saw. That opening rehearsal scene gives her some great lines - "Even before she comes to a fire, she has to find a babysitter!" and "I'm not going all the way to Albany just to be a buzzer!" And you're right that her fireman's pole entrance is utter brilliance. That stark look of terror on her face - funny yet believable at the same time.

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And while I'm on a roll nit-picking  poor "Lucy and Tennessee Ernie", it bugs me that during the "Barndance Saturday Night" song, every time Ernie sings "the fiddler will be there", the fiddler-guy takes two steps forward and back.  (I admit I'm nit-picking!)   By the time of the bank dance sequence, any attempt at comedy is discarded.  Lucy's square dance calling is cute but if they had indeed remember this is a comedy, Lucy could have LIED to Ernie again and said she was a caller from way back.  Then when Ernie puts her to the test,  Lucy ad libs non-sensical calls, causing chaos for the square dancers who try to follow her calls and run into each other.    Robert Eastman seems to have had a career playing mentally-challenged yokels.  This one "Iffie" is practically identical to his running part he had on some latter Burns and Allen shows. "The named him Iffie because 'if he' was a girl they were going to name him Effie" the one witty line (and a very QUALIFIED "witty") in the show.  But must it be uttered TWICE?    In fact, Eastman had studied with the prestigious Sanford Meisner group in LA, along with Carole Cook and husband Tom Troupe.   Didn't Eastman later play the same part in "Wreckless Wheelchair Driver" HL singing "Down by the Lazy River" with Kim?  (as opposed to ROberta Sherwood's "UP a Lazy River")

Carole's great in the handful of 1st season Thelma Green episodes but I can't use those clips because they're b/w.   Thelma's only in one or two 2nd season color shows.  Then in a few 3rd season bits,  she's now "Mrs. Valance" for no particular reason, her Thelma abandoned along with all the other recurring characters (did Milt ever WATCH a TLS episode?)  Then Carole was off to Australia for an amazing TWO-YEAR Hello Dolly tour.   Carole Cook was and IS a huge talent.  

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