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What episodes are you watching on "The Lucy Show"?

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43 minutes ago, RodMcK1 said:

Usually, when these channels pay public domain episodes, it’s from horrible old prints.  I guess this channel ripped it from a consumer dvd.

The first time I saw part of "Lucy's Substitute Secretary" was on some random channel on a motel TV. It was clearly taken from one of the beat up 16mm prints that showed up on all those public domain releases. 

Is channel 263 not one of the official channels that would legitimately carry The Lucy Show?

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"Lucy the Disc Jockey" is one of those that gives "The Lucy Show" a bad name.   Though written by Garry Marshall and Jerry Belson (in their sleep?), the smoke coming out of the radio console is a definite pyromaniac-Milt touch.  So much wrong with the episode that I'll only mention one: it's unlikely the radio people would put Lucy in charge and then just disappear.  Well, maybe two: does DANFIELD have freeways?   What is this?  Bancroft??  Most of the gags make me do same.   There are a couple of laughs but the last scene might have worked with Viv.  Did she have to catch an earlier flight back to Connecticut?  (John Dodds: "Why, Viv honey!  So NICE to see you back early" as poolboy slips out back door).   I always thought 'what a waste for the last Viv show', but then I learned  it was pre-empted from its original airdate making the much better  "Stockholder" the last Viv episode (last one aired, anyway).   "Glynis", unspooling in The Lucy Show's time slot in the summer gave Viv some time to have her whirlwind romance with Vern Bunson, leaving poor Eddie to drown his sorrows at the Elm Tree Inn's bar listening to ROberta Sherwood's nightly 3-hour rendition of "Up a Lazy River" (RO ignores Eddie's requests: "Toot Toot Tootsie, Good-By" and "Viv Bagley, Won't You Please Come Home?").  Judging by the commercials, The Lucy Show's target audience is either overweight, wrinkled or has one foot in grave (don't be taken in by "John Hancock Funeral Insurance"'s claim that "your premiums will never go up and your coverage will never go down" because I read the fine print "benefits subject to John Hancock's ability to pay"  WHAAAA????)

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On ‎5‎/‎25‎/‎2019 at 10:21 AM, Mot Morenzi said:

The first time I saw part of "Lucy's Substitute Secretary" was on some random channel on a motel TV. It was clearly taken from one of the beat up 16mm prints that showed up on all those public domain releases. 

Is channel 263 not one of the official channels that would legitimately carry The Lucy Show?

Said channel appears to air only public domain episodes, and I don't believe the bouncing ball/jack in the box opening was ever included in any legitimate syndication package.

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3 hours ago, Neil said:

(John Dodds: "Why, Viv honey!  So NICE to see you back early" as poolboy slips out back door). 

:hlLOL:!!!!!

I agree, Disc Jockey is not one of the show's finer moments; Stockholder definitely should've been the last broadcast episode as intended. Had the radio station scene been a joint comedy routine between Lucy and Vivian, it would've been much better. After season one, there were so few Lucy/Viv routines that really stood out, and this was a missed opportunity for another one. 

Lucy and Viv wreaking havoc together was a riot, but Lucy goofing everything up alone can be grating. It's like, "come on, woman, pull yourself together!"

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Decades Lucy Shows this morning "Choirmaster" and "Discovers Wayne Newton".

There's something different about 4th season Lucy Carmichael.  For one thing: IMO she looks better than in any other TLS season and her voice still has that ingenue-lilt.  There's a sweetness and vulnerability about her that's absent from much of the 3rd season.  Those inexperienced Lucy writers tended to mine the bossy side of her character for comedy--not realizing that for Lucy to be lovable, her character has to be balanced with heart.   There were some writer hold-overs from 3rd season but the new 4th season crop brought a fresh angle to Lucy's character.  (And yes, I'm fully aware of the handful of 4th season duffers). 

She's particularly appealing in "Choirmaster", a little sad being alone at Christmas ---even though Jimmy/Jerry makes an unexpected, unexplained appearance.  "This year I'm only buying presents for the children" (Chris: "That's us....").  Under the category of "it's the little things she does", two moments stand out.  After the boys flub the lyrics, she apologizes to the audience and poses to start conducting, but then turns to the audience one more time to apologize again.  ("Do forgive us....").  Then earlier when they're rehearsing, she's making sure they're all there and says with seriousness "Will any boy who is not here please raise his hand?" and she's got her finger up ready to count them.    Again, little moments but they go a long way adding appeal to the character of Lucy.  (something later shows didn't always project).  1965-66 would have been the height of her Desilu presidential duties, but she knows the scripts---no cue card eye-darting that I could see.   Amazing that in 3 short years, The Lucy Show went from a cast of seven (if you count Barnsdahl and Harry) to a cast of TWO (if you don't count Mary Jane's sporadic appearances).

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On ‎7‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 9:23 AM, Neil said:

 Amazing that in 3 short years, The Lucy Show went from a cast of seven (if you count Barnsdahl and Harry) to a cast of TWO (if you don't count Mary Jane's sporadic appearances).

If you don't count the kids, the cast in season 1 was primarily just Lucy and Viv, and seasons 2 & 3 was Lucy, Viv, and Gale. Season 4 through 6 was Lucy, Gale, and to some extent, Mary Jane.

The secondary cast for season 1 was the kids, Dick Martin, and Charles Lane, and seasons 2 & 3 was the kids (with Ann Sothern in season 3), season 4 was Ann Sothern, and seasons 5 and 6 was Roy Roberts (as Harrison Cheever). 

So in a nutshell, there really wasn't that much difference throughout the series when it came to the size of the main cast.

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I wouldn’t count Barnsdahl as an official character, even though he was intended to be. Carol “Bradford” Burnett appeared in as many episodes as Lane did. 

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7 hours ago, Freddie2 said:

I wouldn’t count Barnsdahl as an official character, even though he was intended to be. Carol “Bradford” Burnett appeared in as many episodes as Lane did. 

One book which discussed The Lucy Show claimed that the writers came up with the idea of Gale Gordon as Mr. Mooney when developing the first season, but Gordon had already signed on to Dennis the Menace and wasn't available. If this is the case, Mr. Barnsdahl could be seen as a placeholder character, and they simply used him while holding out for Gordon. 

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I find this kind of an odd take on the various "supporting" players over the years; for example, why wouldn't you consider the late great Charles Lane's Barnsdahl character "official"? He was not only recurring but integral to the story line set up and many of the plots; that B&M&B&B didn't deem to use him in their scripts weekly perhaps was just due to lack of sense in working him in each week to that plot line, although there were probably many instances they didn't but could have.  He also may not have been readily available to be present each week for 35 weeks that first season -- wasn't he also playing Homer Bedloe on CBS' "Petticoat Junction" at the same time? He was an integral antagonist on that show, too.  

I'm just thinking perhaps with a regular recurring cast of the star and her sidekick and three kids playing their children plus the occasional appearances of "friends" like Harry, Eddie, Thelma and the other volunteer firemen ladies, there was maybe just not enough opportunity to work Lane into that week's script.  After all, this version of The Lucy Show wasn't "set up" to have her banker as main foil/daddy figure as it was just 3 years later when the entire set up of the show shifted from charming small Danfield to the wilds of Hollywood. :HALKING:

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2 hours ago, JoeySoCal said:

After all, this version of The Lucy Show wasn't "set up" to have her banker as main foil/daddy figure 

Now THERE’S a hot take!!

 

I guess I do agree that Barnsdahl was enough of a key player that he could be considered an official cast member- I believe he even gets mentioned in Mooney’s introductory episodes. I think I read somewhere that Charles Lane was phased out because he couldn’t remember his lines or something, which seems odd considering how prolific he was. 

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2 minutes ago, Freddie2 said:

Now THERE’S a hot take!!

 

I guess I do agree that Barnsdahl was enough of a key player that he could be considered an official cast member- I believe he even gets mentioned in Mooney’s introductory episodes. I think I read somewhere that Charles Lane was phased out because he couldn’t remember his lines or something, which seems odd considering how prolific he was. 

That's the official reason given in The Lucy Book for his departure, yes. Apparently he stuck to single-camera shows afterwards. It could well be why he didn't appear beyond four episodes. The writers may have planned more Bansdahl episodes but had to change course after Big Red made Charles no longer in charge. 

And yes, Barnsdahl received a farewell mention in Mooney's first episode, which is more than poor Harry Connors got, and he appeared in 10 episodes!

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On 7/27/2019 at 11:37 AM, Mot Morenzi said:

That's the official reason given in The Lucy Book for his departure, yes. Apparently he stuck to single-camera shows afterwards. It could well be why he didn't appear beyond four episodes. The writers may have planned more Bansdahl episodes but had to change course after Big Red made Charles no longer in charge. 

And yes, Barnsdahl received a farewell mention in Mooney's first episode, which is more than poor Harry Connors got, and he appeared in 10 episodes!

I never bought that explanation, personally, Lane was not only in demand on the small screen for all the cantankerous coots he played but he was a busy theater actor, too, which I'm pretty sure he maintained well into the sunset days of his career, so I don't buy the bs that he "couldn't remember his lines." :lucywow:

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Decades still runs 2 I Love Lucys from 6am to 7 (Pacific time) followed by 2 Lucy Shows from 7 to 8.  I don't usually watch them but if I'm up, I sometimes turn it on.

Last week, the I Love Lucys were the Connecticut episodes "Raises Chickens" and "Does the Tango".   What followed were The Lucy Show's "Lucy Loves Main Street" 2-parter.  Wow....these are almost exactly 10 years apart and what a difference 10 years made:  1957 vs. 1967.   The 5th season of TLS is when Lucy's voice got a little raspy.  She looks and sounds like a completely different actress than 1957.   I don't know about you, but I still feel like I'm pretty much the same as I was in 2009 (it helps when you don't update your picture.....I would update it if I had a new one, but they just don't make cameras like they used to). 

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10/3/19 (Thursday evening):

"Lucy and the Runaway Butterfly" (preceded by Dennis the Menace "Miss Cathcart's Friend" [with Mary Wickes] and followed by Here's Lucy "Lucy Goes Hawaiian" Parts 1 & 2)

Just discovered these on Hulu. I'm on cloud 9! :D

 

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10/16/19:

“Lucy Buys a Sheep” (Episode #2)

“Lucy Becomes an Astronaut” (Episode #6)

“Lucy Is a Kangaroo For a Day” (Episode #7)

 

10/28/19 (Evening):

“Lucy and the Missing Stamp” (#70)

“Lucy, the Rain Goddess” (#101)

(preceded by a Here's Lucy marathon featuring season five episodes of that series)

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I stumbled across 1966's "Lucy Gets a Roommate" (Carol Burnett) on youtube.  It is by far the best of Carol's 7 TLS/HL appearances.  This was a year before Carol got her variety series and four years after she left The Garry Moore Show.  In the meantime she had had a Broadway show and a special or two.    But many CBS affiliates were unsure enough about Carol that they did not carry "TCBS" that fall (as I read in TV Guide), so I'm unclear just what Carol Burnett meant to the general public at that particular time.  The episode is a fun and funny half-hour.  I was struck by a couple things:

-what a generous performer Lucille Ball was.  The episode is designed as a showcase for Carol who is given the bulk of the comedy.  Lucy carries her own but is essentially playing straight for Carol.  1966's Lucille Ball had nothing to prove, but not all performers would design a showcase for another who could potentially be considered a rival, and a 20-years younger one. 

-how far afield The Lucy Show got from the original premise in a very short period of time.  Though undeniably funny, the "Roommate" proceedings are played much more broadly, sort of a sitcom-skit hybrid, a unique style that was not usually satisfying, IMO.  I can't think of another similar sitcom, can you?  It's impossible to imagine "Roommate" being done any time in the first 2 seasons.  (I never equate the 3rd season Danfield episodes as being the same caliber as the first two).   I didn't watch the Roommate sequel "Lucy and Carol in Palm Springs" but is there ANY reference to roommate Carol moving out of the Glenhall Apartments?   As I recall, Carol Bradford's goofy, shy librarian character is totally different in "Palm Springs".   The 1962-64 shows had at least SOME continuity but by this time TLS did not...and apparently no one cared.   "Roommate" ranked #1 for its week!.  

Both the Carol Burnett TLS 2-parters offer a format-changing shift that is abandoned and never mentioned again after Bradford/Tilford returns to wherever she came from.   The Tilford exit is even worse.  They two DID graduate from stewardess school after all; and with enough honors to headline--some of their fellow graduates might say HOG---the graduation musical show (attended by ?????).   Just try to imagine the 2-part stewardess shows as part of season 1 with Lucy and Viv playing the exact same script, Viv subbing for Carol!  (...pausing while you do that....). To me the only highlight of both is the brief but hilarious visual of  Lucy fighting the movie film upstream.  Even when the comedy has potential, it's ruined by artificiality.  The serving lesson has that fake-sounding over-dubbed tick of a clock.  When Lucy and Carol's turn devolves into mayhem, it's accompanied by the annoying college fight song music---and doesn't the clock start ticking faster for no reason?   Episodes like these are the type that have tarnished historic reputation of The Lucy Show.  Entertaining (mostly)  but vapid. .....sort of like my posts.  When books are written about 60s TV shows, The Lucy Show, THE MOST successful sitcom of the decade (title shared with Andy Griffith), barely gets a mention, let alone any respect. 

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Carol has said Lucy hired her when she couldn’t get a job. By the time she left The Garry Moore Show she was a beloved two time Emmy winner. Her next series, The Entertainers, was cancelled after a season and, at the same time, was the Fade Out - Fade In debacle. She was selling tickets on Broadway. At one point the show was out grossing Hello, Dolly! and Funny Girl just because of Carol’s name. Her TV specials were very highly rated. Carol moved to California from New York around this time, presumably for more work opportunities. I don’t know if the move occurred before or after her first Lucy appearance. Carol always says she  “pushed the button” and made the decision to do her variety show Christmas week 1966, but I have seen news reports from the time that had the announcement earlier that year. 

 

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Back in the good old Public Domain days, I always believed the longstanding rumor that Joe Pesci was a part of the band in the Carol two-parter. Now, in HD, it's pretty obvious that he isn't, but I wonder how that rumor got started. He's still credited on IMDb! 

Even though episodes from the second half of TLS are, as Neil says, sometimes closer to skits than sitcom episodes, they still are ridiculously entertaining. Looking at everything else that was on the air from 1965-68, it's no wonder that the show came closest to ILL's commercial success in spite of an obvious downtick in quality. Previously excellent shows like Andy Griffith and Beverly Hillbillies were past their prime, and besides variety shows, TLS was one of the only places you could see comedy in front of a live audience! Episodes like "Roommate" or "Meets The Berles" really could play as a sketch on a variety show without any changes- there really aren't characters or story arcs that we're invested in- but they deliver such great laughs from great performers that there's no reason to complain.

Connection: Carol sings "Heard Hearted Hannah" at the end of the episode. After she left Gary Moore she was replaced by the incomparable Dorothy Loudon, who gave a similarly burlesque performance of the song on her short lived sitcom that was written by Bob and Madelyn!

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11/7/19 (morning):

"Lucy & Viv Open a Restaurant" (episode #50)

"Lucy Takes a Job at the Bank" (episode #51)

 

 

 

11/23/19 (evening):

"Lucy and Robert Goulet" (episode #139)

"Lucy Gets Mooney Fired" (episode #141)

"Lucy Visits the White House" (episode #25)

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I watched “Lucy’s Contact Lenses” again this morning. This is one of the better third season episodes, partly because it was written by Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf, but I agree with the posters upthread who noted that the dialogue wasn’t as “crisp” as the episodes they wrote with Bob and Madelyn. Bob and Madelyn had a flair for writing witty banter/repartee that the other writers couldn’t seem to replicate. 

I did notice two major plot holes in this episode though. First, Mr. Mooney says that he put Lucy’s fudge cake aside because his wife “thinks Lucy is the best baker in town,” when the second season finale (“Lucy Enters A Baking Contest,”) established that Lucy Carmichael doesn’t have much of a reputation as a baker.

Second, Lucy tells Mr. Mooney that she made the second chocolate fudge cake for his sheepdog, Nelson, but chocolate is supposed to be poisonous to dogs. (Maybe they substituted gravy or something that looks like chocolate for the dog to eat in real life during the filming of this episode?)

Aside from those quibbles though, I enjoyed this episode. 

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Apologies for the double post, but I was watching "Lucy and the Good Skate," today, another superior third season installment. For anyone who is interested, Garry Marshall talks about this episode in his autobiography - which is definitely worth checking out. Marshall writes that he and his writing partner, Jerry Belson, had written a script that Lucy performed at a charity event in 1964 or 1965. When Milt Josefsberg took over, he remembered them from the charity event, and they were brought aboard. Initially, Garry Marshall didn't want to do it - he had done a couple of scripts for the Dick Van Dyke Show, and at the time, it was considered to be the "classier"/more sophisticated show. But Garry Marshall's wife had just had a baby, so Milt Josfsberg convinced him that The Lucy Show would give him greater job security/better exit opportunities. 

With regard to "Good Skate," Garry Marshall notes that the first draft was very different, and that Lucy didn't like it at all. She wrote "this is shit," on the cover, and handed it back to him. Lucy didn't think it had a strong enough climactic ending, so Marshall and Belson came up with the finale where Lucy keeps running into things on skates while at the party. Marshall notes that Lucy wasn't interested in plot  or believability at this point - she just wanted the slapstick that the audience loved, so that's what the writers gave her. 

Later in the book, Marshall adds that many of the sitcoms that he wrote and developed in the 1970s - The Odd Couple, Happy Days, Mork and Mindy, etc. borrowed heavily from his work on The Lucy Show. In fact, his later show, Laverne and Shirley, was essentially a homage to his work with Lucy and Viv.

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Thanks for the "Good Skate" trivia! I haven't read Marshall's autobiography yet so that's fascinating to learn. It's easy to see how Lucy's influence affected his later shows, especially Laverne and Shirley

"This is shit" - ah, Lucy, tactful as ever :lucycoy:

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I appreciate some of Garry Marshall's movie work (particularly "Nothing in Common" which should have earned Jackie Gleason a supporting actor nomination).  I acknowledge the greatness of The Dick Van Dyke Show and a lot of "The Odd Couple".  I'm not sure whether Garry was THE driving force behind either.  His other TV work in the 70s: "meh".  What offended me in his auto-biography was his implication (if I remember correctly) that writing for The Lucy Show was somehow slumming.  Though I gave him an "A" for effort for "Good Skate",  did the great roller skating scene require much writing or "black stuff"?  It's great to watch Lucy on skates but as I recall, that's all she does.  Brilliantly.  But it's all HER; and not in the writing.   I also give him kudos for using two B&M bits: entering all disheveled ;and for the line "Viv, you haven't live until you've....." (whatever the finish was).   Plus they tried to do the build-up to the big scene with as much logic as possible----again "A" for effort;  but "C" for execution.  "Your feet are going to swell up like balloons.  You'll NEVER get them into shoes in time for the dance", says Viv.  Really?  With a dress so long, she could have worn comfortable shoes and no one would have known.   Wasn't the dance the NEXT night?  Meaning Lucy would have to sleep and shower in the skates!    Sneaking out of the sports store wearing moose heads is a funny sight gag, but a bit of a cheap one......hardly a way to leave without drawing attention to themselves.  Marshall, like the bulk of the 1964-moving-forward writers, didn't respect the skill it took to write a great Lucy Show.   And didn't have it. 

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Now you all have got me convinced to rewatch "Good Skate". I remember my surprise at seeing Marshall and Belson listed as writers for the episode the first time I saw it. From literally everything I've heard, Garry Marshall was the nicest guy in the world, but I agree with Neil that his shows aren't exactly high art. Without a doubt, they're entertaining, and in the same way that I can forgive the lesser entries of TLS and HL in favor of laughs, I feel the same way about a lot of his works. I think I mentioned before that I picked up the complete Laverne & Shirley for like $35, and I pop that in every once in awhile. From what I've seen of Happy Days, it's also great fun. I once saw a documentary from the late 70s that showed what went into creating the average episode of HD, and at one point, in between takes, Garry brought out a bag of candy and started throwing handfuls into the audience to get them riled up. I think that really sums up what most of his shows were like; The Odd Couple's legendary performances notwithstanding.

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On December 8, 2019 at 7:29 PM, teenageluminary said:

Apologies for the double post, but I was watching "Lucy and the Good Skate," today, another superior third season installment. For anyone who is interested, Garry Marshall talks about this episode in his autobiography - which is definitely worth checking out. Marshall writes that he and his writing partner, Jerry Belson, had written a script that Lucy performed at a charity event in 1964 or 1965. When Milt Josefsberg took over, he remembered them from the charity event, and they were brought aboard. Initially, Garry Marshall didn't want to do it - he had done a couple of scripts for the Dick Van Dyke Show, and at the time, it was considered to be the "classier"/more sophisticated show. But Garry Marshall's wife had just had a baby, so Milt Josfsberg convinced him that The Lucy Show would give him greater job security/better exit opportunities. 

With regard to "Good Skate," Garry Marshall notes that the first draft was very different, and that Lucy didn't like it at all. She wrote "this is shit," on the cover, and handed it back to him. Lucy didn't think it had a strong enough climactic ending, so Marshall and Belson came up with the finale where Lucy keeps running into things on skates while at the party. Marshall notes that Lucy wasn't interested in plot  or believability at this point - she just wanted the slapstick that the audience loved, so that's what the writers gave her. 

Later in the book, Marshall adds that many of the sitcoms that he wrote and developed in the 1970s - The Odd Couple, Happy Days, Mork and Mindy, etc. borrowed heavily from his work on The Lucy Show. In fact, his later show, Laverne and Shirley, was essentially a homage to his work with Lucy and Viv.

And P.S. Mr. or Ms. Luminary- welcome to the Lounge!:gale2:

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