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tropicjeff    25

I recently discovered the Roku (little box that attaches to your tv and lets you watch shows via the internet). There is a public domain station on there called Pub D Hub which features several of the 1950s shows such as "I Married Joan" and "Our Miss Brooks."

 

"I Married Joan" is quite interesting. The announcer proclaims "America's Favorite Comedy Show" and that the star Joan Davis is the "Queen of Comedy." Well, obviously everyone at the time was watching Lucy and according to what I found poor Joan never made it higher than #25 in the ratings. There isn't much available about her. Even a recent biography was rather lacking as she died in the early 1960s and there aren't any relatives left.

 

Some of the internet articles I read said that Joan really was jealous of Lucy's success. Her show featured her as a zany character but she certainly isn't endearing or memorable as Lucy. Despite that the show is fascinating. It seems like character actors/actresses that were on I Love Lucy pop up on almost every I Married Joan show! Was the pool of tv actors that sparse back then?!

 

I watched an episode today featuring the actor who was the jewel thief in the train robbery episode. He was a crook on this show as well! One I watched yesterday featured a actress playing a friend of Joan. She was one of the nurses in an I Love Lucy episode.

 

It's fun to spot these Lucy connections. If you don't have the roku you can watch several of these episodes on Youtube.

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vivfantoo*    129

Hi TropicJeff, thanks for posting this. I wrote a note to myself (love the Sticky Notes feature on my computer!) to watch one of her shows on youtube. I wonder if the sponsor insisted that the announcer call Joan the the queen of comedy, etc in the hopes that people would believe it & tune in more often.

 

I like finding actor/actresses who were on I Love Lucy on other sitcoms, too :) .

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Lucyilove    234

I recently discovered the Roku (little box that attaches to your tv and lets you watch shows via the internet). There is a public domain station on there called Pub D Hub which features several of the 1950s shows such as "I Married Joan" and "Our Miss Brooks."

 

"I Married Joan" is quite interesting. The announcer proclaims "America's Favorite Comedy Show" and that the star Joan Davis is the "Queen of Comedy." Well, obviously everyone at the time was watching Lucy and according to what I found poor Joan never made it higher than #25 in the ratings. There isn't much available about her. Even a recent biography was rather lacking as she died in the early 1960s and there aren't any relatives left.

 

Some of the internet articles I read said that Joan really was jealous of Lucy's success. Her show featured her as a zany character but she certainly isn't endearing or memorable as Lucy. Despite that the show is fascinating. It seems like character actors/actresses that were on I Love Lucy pop up on almost every I Married Joan show! Was the pool of tv actors that sparse back then?!

 

I watched an episode today featuring the actor who was the jewel thief in the train robbery episode. He was a crook on this show as well! One I watched yesterday featured a actress playing a friend of Joan. She was one of the nurses in an I Love Lucy episode.

 

It's fun to spot these Lucy connections. If you don't have the roku you can watch several of these episodes on Youtube.

That obnoxious intro is brazen and galling and defnitely puts Lucy fans on the defensive. It was a major mistake of course, I don't think Joan was ever even as popular as Gracie, Eve, or Ann much less Lucy. I MARRIED JOAN is one vintage sitcom I just don't like, it's situations are too incredible or phony, and it's painful to see Joan and Jim Backus trying desperately to make this corn funny. I can feel for her though, it had to hurt to have such a failure on tv when so many of your contemporaries as movie comediennes are rising to new heights. (BTW I think Joan was actually named "Favorite Comedienne" at some point in the mid 40s before Lucy really went fulltime in comedy and pre Eve on OUR MISS BROOKS; I think they usually didn't count "actresses" who played comedy in those polls like Claudette Colbert but female comics. I saw a movie mag from around 1950 with Eve listed as Favorite comedienne with Lucy in the top 5 and possibly Joan was in it, too. But to hold on to a title from years ago is kind of like these movies that say "Academy Award winner Jane Doe" when Jane's Oscar was 15 years ago and this current movie is a piece of ...

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vivfantoo*    129

I watched about 10 minutes of the "New House" episode yesterday. Once I got over Joan married to Lovey's husband Jim Backus, I tried to figure out why, even though there were some amusing bits, it just wasn't as funny as Lucy.

 

Lucy could act & be funny without saying a word. Her facial expressions alone were brilliant. Watching Joan do her scenes she was OK but also kind of -- meh. To me, she was not on Lucy's level, & not as interesting. I think all of Lucy's years in movies were very helpful as she was so 'sperienced & it helped shape her into a terrific actress.

 

While looking through the list of Joan episodes I noticed LOTS of similarities in titles. The Maid, Jitterbug, Diet, Changing Houses (just substitute :desi1: "Swishin Aparmens"). Sound familiar, don't they?

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Neil    1,336

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.

 

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Neil    1,336

And Doris sounds like Florence Halop!

My cable guide called this episode #2, but youtube has it listed as #3.

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Freddie2    837

What a piece of work! Just as any (non-rodeo-themed) episode of I Love Lucy could be analyzed as a perfectly constructed half hour of comedy, this episode of Joan is so absurd it teaches through its failures! It's quite a feat to turn Florence Bates, Jim Backus, Doris Singleton, and Bobby Jellison into dull, forgettable performers. The most nonsensical bit for me was the timer in the turkey, but then again, absolutely nothing makes sense anywhere else in the show. Flo Bates constantly assumes that Joan should know all of these ballet terms and know how to execute them even though she's in a beginner's class??? We never actually see the Jim Backus plot play out, so who knows- maybe he was having an affair with that girl and created an even bigger ruse to cover it up. Notice that the director is Hal Walker; an Academy Award nominee, albeit in the forgotten category of "Best Assistant Director". Less than a decade before IMJ, he was an AD on two of the greatest movies of all time (IMO)- The Uninvited and Palm Beach Story.

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Freddie2    837
2 hours ago, Neil said:

In your opinion, is the blonde Jane Kean?  

She didn’t strike me as such, but maybe I’m not that familiar with Jane Kean of that era.

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Mot Morenzi    1,482

I'll have to watch this when I'm in the mood for a good cringe. 

Even lesser Lucy episodes like "Drafted" had solid structure and weren't disjointed. Even if the plots were silly, they were at least well structured and paced. 

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Neil    1,336

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.

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Neil    1,336

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. 

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