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This seemed to be such a sure thing that it made it into a reference book (published in 1968) as one of Lucy's credits in 1969.

If this was so good and she had wanted to make it for so long, why why why did she do the tepid "3 for 2" with him instead of this? I don't know anything about Lillian Russell or what age she would have been depicted in this production. But maybe Lucy thought by 1976 she was too old to play the Lillian of the script.

She mentioned on a talk show (don't know the year) that she was going to do this but "then that dirty rat went and lost a lot of weight". She meant this as a joke as was quick to point out that she didn't want him to be unhealthy, but Diamond Jim was huge. I don't remember ever seeing Gleason looking thin or even thinner.

And the only thing I know about Diamond Jim is the many many references in Here's Lucy. Variations of "He makes Harry look like Diamond Jim Brady".

I bought the script to Diamond Jim Brady and Lillian Russell from Lucie's eBay auction last year. The plot is pretty thin. The thing that surprised me the most is that it was a musical (Diamond Jim even has a song called "How Sweet It Is!") I will check to see if there is a specific time the film is set in. Governor Theodore Roosevelt is a minor character and Roosevelt was only governor for a single year 1900-1901. I don't think historical accuracy was foremost in Bob O'Brien's mind, though. In 1900, Lillian would have been about 39 and Jim 44.

 

Although Jim and Lil started out to be a TV special, by 1975 they had expanded it into a feature film. It probably would have been too expensive and the script too long for a TV special.

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I bought the script to Diamond Jim Brady and Lillian Russell from Lucie's eBay auction last year. The plot is pretty thin. The thing that surprised me the most is that it was a musical (Diamond Jim even has a song called "How Sweet It Is!") I will check to see if there is a specific time the film is set in. Governor Theodore Roosevelt is a minor character and Roosevelt was only governor for a single year 1900-1901. I don't think historical accuracy was foremost in Bob O'Brien's mind, though. In 1900, Lillian would have been about 39 and Jim 44.

 

Although Jim and Lil started out to be a TV special, by 1975 they had expanded it into a feature film. It probably would have been too expensive and the script too long for a TV special.I had no idea it was a musical.  Does it say who wrote the music?  Does Lucy/Lillian have any songs?   Maybe Lucy thought this would be her follow up had Mame been a success.

I had no idea it was a musical.    Maybe Lucy thought this would be her follow up had Mame been a success.  Does it say who wrote the music?  Does Lucy/Lillian have any songs?  Did Bob O'Brien revive "My Trousseau Just Lies on the Shelf"?  ("...since his buffet tray came back by itself"?)

Of the unrealized Lucy projects, she talked about this one the most, always saying "I've got a great script."   Is it written in a recognizable Bob O'Brien style?....such as:

Secretary: How do you spell Lillian?  With 2 L's or 3?

Lillian: You been working for me since 1892. How have you been spelling it?

Secretary: With 4 L's.

Lillian: 4 L's????

Secretary: Yes.  That way they'll think it's a typo.

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I had no idea it was a musical. Maybe Lucy thought this would be her follow up had Mame been a success. Does it say who wrote the music? Does Lucy/Lillian have any songs? Did Bob O'Brien revive "My Trousseau Just Lies on the Shelf"? ("...since his buffet tray came back by itself"?)

Of the unrealized Lucy projects, she talked about this one the most, always saying "I've got a great script." Is it written in a recognizable Bob O'Brien style?....such as:

Secretary: How do you spell Lillian? With 2 L's or 3?

Lillian: You been working for me since 1892. How have you been spelling it?

Secretary: With 4 L's.

Lillian: 4 L's????

Secretary: Yes. That way they'll think it's a typo.

I think the songs were yet to be written. There are song titles in the script, but no lyrics. The film opens with Lillian performing a song entitled “I’m in Love with a Man Named Manhattan." I will get back to you with more music details.

 

I don't recall a lot of standard Bob O'Brien humor. The script came with a letter from Bob saying that he wanted to cut a lengthy sequence with Jim and Lil going to various ethnic food restaurants and add some moments of actual depth for the characters. This would have been a good idea.

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I went through the script again last night. The setting is just described as "Gay Nineties." Other songs for the Lillian character are called "Everything Happens For the Best" and "Them That Has 'Em Wears 'Em" (which is a reprise of a song Jim sings earlier in the film). There seems to be some Lucy-like physical comedy in a scene where Jim and Lillian go ice skating. There is also a scene where Lillian's mother attempts to drive Jim's new car. I'm sure if Milt Josefsberg did a rewrite on the script the scene would end with sparks and smoke coming out of the car.

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So excited to come across this.  Just saw both their daughters in NYC last week.  I'm a big fan of Monty's daughter Joanna.  Other than the Variety Club tribute this is the only thing I've come across with Lucy and Monty's path crossing.

 

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Shel:  Do you have acess to a site I can go to which would enumerate the Variety Club Shows (all)?  Here is what I have for Monty and his IMDb appearance(s) with Lucille; would LOVE to add more if I could get the Variety Club one - thanks if you can supply a site or a suggestion - JK:
.
 
 

Monty Hall, Daytime Emmy Award-winning Lifetime Achievement Award, 2013; producer, 9 titles; actor, 10 titles; Host of various television Game Shows fame; appears with Lucille Ball, All-Star Party for Carol Burnett, 1982; Master of Ceremonies. CBS' All-Star Party for Lucille Ball, 1984; with Lucille, as Hostess, All-Star Party for Clint Eastwood, 1986; as well as with the Arnazes, archivally, Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen's, 1997, is born this date, 8/25,  in 1921.

 


 

 

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Thanks, Shell:  I'll keep trying; meanwile, I've edited the above, adding his lifetime achievement Award, Day Emmys 2013; and his birthday doesn't show - it's 8/25. Tried to edit; but, it wouldn't let me - that's okay.  Do you know if any of his celebrity children would have had exposure to Lucille?  I think I'll look.  Loving you, JK

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Monty’s acting daughter is Joanna Gleason. She’s done a ton of stuff but is most known for winning a Tony for Into The Woods. The closet connection I have come up with her and anything Lucy related is the following.

 

Joanna originated the role of Muriel in the 2005 Broadway musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Lucie then took over this role in May of 2006 and played it until the show closed (with the exception of the time when she was out from knee surgery).

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Nope and I'm pretty obsessed so I would have found one.

LOL! Well there's a Bette connection which I'm always interested in and that's that Joanna played Bette's assistant/best friend in her short-lived CBS sitcom and was one of -- IMHO -- the best things about the show! :lucythrill: 

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Joanna played Midler's secretary???  Did not remember that, shame that show didn't succeed, Bette was a wonderful addition to our tv screens.  Was Nathan Lane in it?  Or was that yet another failed sitcom with a one of the greats attached to it?

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You see, you can have this GREAT talent like Nathan, but if the script doesn't work, well, no BIG STAR can make a hit out of a dog.  Although Lucy always said that Merman and Sammy Davis made hits of some lousy Broadways shows sometimes.

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My mom loves Bette so I saw a couple episodes many years ago. There were a lot of in jokes about different things from her career. Although I couldn't care less about Bette, the show seemed very Lucy-ish and I remember laughing at a couple of jokes; At least that's how I remember it being ten years ago. Maybe if I saw it again my opinion would change.

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I thought the same thing about Life with Lucy yesterday, why dun't I give them another WHIRL to see if they would be better than I remembered seeing them at that time.  Why wouldn't Bette be doing similar things as Lucy did, Bette was a BIG fan of hers and knew that Lucy was the biggest star television ever had. :lucythrill:

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I have all those episodes and the unaired ones too. She was the best thing about that show. Joanna has wonderful comedic timing.

You mean ...she was the best thing about the show next to the star herself, right?? ;)

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B L A S P H E M Y !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  LOL!  The Bette Midler fan club, Claude and Joey, co presidents.

Uh, I think I'd be Pres and you could be co Pres....every other 3rd Wednesday, that is! :lucythrill:

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