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Mot Morenzi

Desi's Later TV Career

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Mot Morenzi    1,234

I personally loved the Mothers-in-Law. Got the deluxe MPI DVD set last Christmas. It definitely had an I Love Lucy feel to it due to Desi, Bob and Madelyn's involvement. I especially enjoyed the episodes he guest-starred in as the Matador. It was nice seeing him back on TV considering how active Lucy continued to be with The Lucy Show/Here's Lucy at the time.

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C L A U D E    2,007

I personally loved the Mothers-in-Law. Got the deluxe MPI DVD set last Christmas. It definitely had an I Love Lucy feel to it due to Desi, Bob and Madelyn's involvement. I especially enjoyed the episodes he guest-starred in as the Matador. It was nice seeing him back on TV considering how active Lucy continued to be with The Lucy Show/Here's Lucy at the time.

I think Eve Arden also gave it a LUCY feel, as did Desi Arnaz jr guesting on the show also.

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JoeySoCal    965

I think Eve Arden also gave it a LUCY feel, as did Desi Arnaz jr guesting on the show also.

Eve was fab and it was always nice to see little (!) Desi appear during his prime beef years! :peachonthebeach:

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C L A U D E    2,007

Eve was fab and it was always nice to see little (!) Desi appear during his prime beef years! :peachonthebeach:

Seen him lately? Not ageing as well as his sis.

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Mot Morenzi    1,234

Eve was fab and it was always nice to see little (!) Desi appear during his prime beef years! :peachonthebeach:

 

Mhmmm! I was sad when I found out he left the show. His character was severly underused on Here's Lucy.

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vivfantoo*    129

I liked The Mothers-In-Law, too, VBagley! I first heard about the DVD set here on this forum & it got glowing reviews from some people here. Funny stuff, & I'm now a fan of Kaye Ballard -- she was so funny in that show.

 

Loved the Desi guest appearances, too :desi1::D

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Mot Morenzi    1,234

I liked The Mothers-In-Law, too, VBagley! I first heard about the DVD set here on this forum & it got glowing reviews from some people here. Funny stuff, & I'm now a fan of Kaye Ballard -- she was so funny in that show.

 

Loved the Desi guest appearances, too :desi1::D

 

Ditto!

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Sydney    7

I just discovered Desi's SNL appearance earlier today. I haven't watched it all yet; I only made it to the part where he reads a book for the "Literature Recital," which wasn't allllll that funny to me. The accent sketch was just a bit too familiar. Although I couldn't help but laugh at his pronunciation of Jabberwocky. I'll probably finish it later, so I'll hold my final judgement until then.

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Taylor    416

I watched that whole episode awhile back and I was afraid Desi was going to have a heart attack doing the "Babalu" number at the end.

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Sydney    7

I haven't gotten that far yet, but he hadn't aged very well so I can see why lol! I thought all of those actors were usually pretty funny, but I just couldn't get into it.

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C L A U D E    2,007

I watched that whole episode awhile back and I was afraid Desi was going to have a heart attack doing the "Babalu" number at the end.

The people at NBC and SNL thought so too at the time and shortened the number.

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C L A U D E    2,007

The "I Love Lucy" spoof was pretty cute. Desi Jr. played his dad if I remember right.

Yes he did and he was wunnerful wunnerful.

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C L A U D E    2,007

I haven't gotten that far yet, but he hadn't aged very well so I can see why lol! I thought all of those actors were usually pretty funny, but I just couldn't get into it.

SNL is not for everybody, the humor is from '76, so not topical, but that first cast was excellent. We remember it as being funnier than it actually was but it was still funnier than today's version.

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Lucyilove    234

The "I Love Lucy" spoof was pretty cute. Desi Jr. played his dad if I remember right.

There was also a bit of a ILL spoof on the episode Ricky Nelson hosted a few years later that was also wonderful.

 

What I remember most about the Desi show was both Desis telling Lucy good night at the end of it, touching moment.

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C L A U D E    2,007

There was also a bit of a ILL spoof on the episode Ricky Nelson hosted a few years later that was also wonderful.

 

What I remember most about the Desi show was both Desis telling Lucy good night at the end of it, touching moment.

Probably because of the goodnight Lucy ending to many Laugh In episodes.

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Neil    1,158

I sure wish Desi had covered his entire life up to the point where he wrote "A Book".   His never-written "Another Book" would have been a bit of a let-down without the Desilu glory years.

But Desi's life between the  years 1960  when "A Book" ended and 1963 after he exited Desilu are fascinating to me, full of real life drama: the turmoil of the divorce, stuck running the now-behemoth Desilu and the epiphany that made him chuck it all, while  Lucy went on and on.  

It must have been a really rough time for him.  Building something from scratch and inventing the business as it went along was surely heady and fun, but by 1960 the big studios had joined TV production giving Desilu real competition.  And how much 'fun' could it have been for him to helm a huge ship that was now taking on water?  And without the outlet of performing.

Thought they put on a great public face, the whole Gary Morton/Barry Norton thing had to have been rough (particularly seeing the "Password" with Lucie and Desi,Jr where Allen Ludden refers to Lucy and Gary as "the parents").   The official version of Desi's departure was that it was his idea.  It wasn't until years later that it was revealed that Desilu was having trouble and Lucy was advised to exercise her forced buy-out option, wherein one partner could force the other to buy them out or sell to them.  Desi's drinking and resulting volatile temper burned a lot of bridges for him and continued to do so into the 60s.  

Could there have been talk of a "Desi Arnaz Variety Hour" after the 59-60 season (or beyond) ?  Probably on another network.  CBS had passed on the Gracie-less "George Burns Show" (NBC) and would do the same later for the "Sonny Comedy Revue" (ABC).  Both last only one season. 

"Desi never really got the credit he deserved" is an oft-repeated lament, but everything I've read from the period belies that---including Lucy who humbly would not take any credit for building the empire and continued to minimize her role even after she became the studio president.

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Luvsbway    1,731

Over on Lucyfan.net is a letter Desi wrote outlining what would have been in the next book. You bring up good stuff with the whole early 60s of the studio and the buyout. Along with that I would love to know what it was like working together as exes and especially with Gary running around there. Did he advise Lucy in 67’ when she was going to sell? I know she labored over that decision very much.

 

Desi says that the horse breeding stuff would be in the book and I think that would be fascinating to know about. I always wondered why he bought the farm at the end of 59’ knowing about the divorce or was there some sort of special arrangement that he would get it in the divorce given Lucy got the other 2 houses. He did this breeding for most of the 60s and spent a lot of time at the track. I’ve heard Lucie talk about being there and watching calfs be born. Was this more relaxing a profession to him and why did he eventually sell?

 

I’ve read a few articles around 67’ where he talks about coming back to TV but I’d like to know more and the pilot projects that didn’t get picked up like Land’s End. What was it like 10 years later producing a sit-com that differed to him from the last time he did it? The whole Mothers-In-Laws process would be interesting as I’ve enjoyed the behind the scenes footage from on the bonus disk..

 

Then there is all the personal stuff too. I know where he knew Edie from but how did they eventually get together and why was everyone tailing each other with private detectives. I just want to know way more about her. We hear so little but of what we do it’s always very good. And we never hear anything about her son. Also how was this marriage different? And we know the connection to Lucy he still had but I want to hear more. We get it in small bits in news articles over the years.

 

He got to work with the kids as they grew up, what was that like?

 

I’ve also read from his publisher that they decided not to do the second book because of what was written was just too sad. Did he spend most of it tearing himself apart over the divorce? If he hadn’t gotten around to writing the other business things yet maybe all they had to base that decision on was the personal stuff he wrote for this time period.

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Neil    1,158

I don't about "sad" necessarily but it's more of a coda to a brilliant, though relatively short, fantastic career preceded by a meteoric rise "from cleaning canary cages to....).  While it's great that Desi Arnaz Productions got something on the air, The Mothers In Law was not exactly a triumph.  The parts have more appeal than the sum.  (though not knocking MIL because there are a handful of great ones). But Desi's deft hand and ability to doctor weak scripts was nowhere to be seen.

Nor was Jess Oppenheimer's.  He once said to a friend of mine "You can't do LUCY without LUCY" a lesson he learned all too well when he tried to fashion Debby Reynolds into a new Lucy.....and Anne Farge before that.   Jess's greatest post-Lucy creation, IMO was Glynis but 1963 viewers and critics did not agree with me. 

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leenorman    503

Agree with both of you, Luvs, and Neil;  tons of 'stuff' we all want to know; but . . . .

 

 

....... let's look at the other side of the coin and pray the last 20 years of his life were spent doing whatever he wanted to do, without the hounds nipping at his rear and/or those stabbing him in the back. 

 

He was wealthy; had another life without Lucille; his children loved him dearly; and are living beautifully in his hereafter, carrying on his legacy; and I'm sure he did many things he could NEVER have time to do running the business! 

 

I say: "HOORAY FOR YOU, DESI; YOU GOT TO DO IT YOUR WAY the last third of your life!" 

 

In the meantime, we can smile and THINK of the things he would have put in Another Book.... :fabrary:

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Neil    1,158

I would hope so but I don't know....Going from being one of the most powerful men in television to retirement at the young age of 45 could not have been an easy transition----particularly if he was forced out, which I think is the more likely scenario (over the other version: he just decided to chuck it one day without warning).  

I'm not one of those people who point out the way stars age, as if they're doing something WRONG so I'm reluctant to say this,......HOWEVER..

Seeing Desi in his first The Mothers In Law guest shot was a bit of a shock.   Being prematurely grey didn't help but you can't hold that against him.  He was also bloated, unkempt and looked 10 years older than his 50 years, even by normal people aging standards.   For comparison sake, he's about the same age as Bob Cummings in "Ricardos Go to Japan" (probably an unfair comparison since Cummings wrote the book on "How to Stay Young and Vital"----and yes, this was a real book).

I suppose if he had aged in public view, it wouldn't have been so jarring.   In 1967, it had been a mere 10 years ago that he cut such a dashing figure clad in a tuxedo for "Country Club Dance".   

 

Did he make any TV appearances in the 7 years between "Moustache" and "MIL"?

 

Get-TV ran a "Sonny and Cher" show last night.   Had Lucy and Desi's marriage stayed together, this might have been a viable post-I Love Lucy TV format that might have suited the Arnaz's, a couple hosting a variety show.  Think about it!

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JoeySoCal    965

I would hope so but I don't know....Going from being one of the most powerful men in television to retirement at the young age of 45 could not have been an easy transition----particularly if he was forced out, which I think is the more likely scenario (over the other version: he just decided to chuck it one day without warning).  

I'm not one of those people who point out the way stars age, as if they're doing something WRONG so I'm reluctant to say this,......HOWEVER..

Seeing Desi in his first The Mothers In Law guest shot was a bit of a shock.   Being prematurely grey didn't help but you can't hold that against him.  He was also bloated, unkempt and looked 10 years older than his 50 years, even by normal people aging standards.   For comparison sake, he's about the same age as Bob Cummings in "Ricardos Go to Japan" (probably an unfair comparison since Cummings wrote the book on "How to Stay Young and Vital"----and yes, this was a real book).

I suppose if he had aged in public view, it wouldn't have been so jarring.   In 1967, it had been a mere 10 years ago that he cut such a dashing figure clad in a tuxedo for "Country Club Dance".   

 

Did he make any TV appearances in the 7 years between "Moustache" and "MIL"?

 

Get-TV ran a "Sonny and Cher" show last night.   Had Lucy and Desi's marriage stayed together, this might have been a viable post-I Love Lucy TV format that might have suited the Arnaz's, a couple hosting a variety show.  Think about it!

Now why didn't I think of that!!? Good one Neil! :HALKING:

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Luvsbway    1,731

I came across this comment on Ken Levine's blog post last week on the colorization of the Lucy specials. Does anyone know what this show is he is talking about?

 

Jeff Maxwell said...

It was my good fortune to have met Desi Arnaz on a long-forgotton series. He played an auto mechanic sent to repair a stalled car, and I was his goofy assistant. Spending two solid hours under a car with an icon was truly a thrill. It was tight quarters and hot, but he couldn't have been more friendly, humble and funny. We had a good time.

When we met, I was struck by his deep tan and vivid features. This post made me realize that was the first time in my life I had ever seen Desi Arnaz in color. Living color. He looked great, but it was actually kinda weird.

Bad anything, including colorization, stinks. It's hard for me to watch Lucy in color, but I have, and I still laugh. Is that proof that laughing is color blind?

11/26/2017 2:14 PM

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Mot Morenzi    1,234
12 hours ago, Luvsbway said:

I came across this comment on Ken Levine's blog post last week on the colorization of the Lucy specials. Does anyone know what this show is he is talking about?

 

Jeff Maxwell said...

It was my good fortune to have met Desi Arnaz on a long-forgotton series. He played an auto mechanic sent to repair a stalled car, and I was his goofy assistant. Spending two solid hours under a car with an icon was truly a thrill. It was tight quarters and hot, but he couldn't have been more friendly, humble and funny. We had a good time.

When we met, I was struck by his deep tan and vivid features. This post made me realize that was the first time in my life I had ever seen Desi Arnaz in color. Living color. He looked great, but it was actually kinda weird.

Bad anything, including colorization, stinks. It's hard for me to watch Lucy in color, but I have, and I still laugh. Is that proof that laughing is color blind?

11/26/2017 2:14 PM

I saw that comment, too, and also wondered what show this was. Somebody must know.

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