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Any News on the Lucy/Desi Comedy Hour?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Randy Korstick, Sep 7, 2006.

  1. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Well-Known Member

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    Since all 6 Seasons of I Love Lucy are now out any news on this show coming out? The 13 hour long episodes would make a nice set. And of course we would all like to finally see the original 75 minute (with Commercials) length version of the 1st episode released in this set as well. Previous video versions have been the shortened version.
     
  2. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Well-Known Member

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    We need to be pestering Paramount Home Video for this. The "Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Specials" (as they were originally called -- and I'd like the original opening and closing credits restored) were a continuation of "I Love Lucy." No "I Love Lucy" collection can be considered complete without them.

    Two of them -- "Lucy Makes Room for Danny" and "The Celebrity Next Door" -- might be the two best "I Love Lucy" scripts ever written.
     
  3. Shawn_Sm

    Shawn_Sm Well-Known Member

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    I think I remember them saying they had to "consider it". They need to hurry up! These are some of my favorite episodes and I will be very disappointed if they aren't released. The Lucy Show would also be appreciated as well as more Here's Lucy.
     
  4. JohnMor

    JohnMor Premium
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    I haven't seen "Danny" yet, but "Celebrity" is a favorite:

    Tallulah Bankhead: "P-T-What???"
     
  5. Jeff#

    Jeff# Well-Known Member

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    "And here's your host on The Big Show: The glamourous, unpredictable Tallulah Bankhead". The introduction to THE BIG SHOW on NBC Radio during the first season (1950-1951), a 90 minute weekly variety program.
     
  6. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Well-Known Member

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    I've always watched these shows with a bittersweet feeling with the knowledge that the Ball-Arnaz marriage was crumbling while these shows were being done, therefore I can't feel as excited over a Lucy-Desi release as opposed to the original series. Kinda like watching the Sonny & Cher shows that they did after the divorce. After a while, it just seems like Lucy and Desi are just going through the motions, with even less screen time for the Mertzes. There are some great moments, though, like the courtroom scene with Danny Thomas and that snowball, the Tallulah episode, and even the finale with Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams ("Lucy Meets The Mustache").

    One more thing- it always seemed to me that things really changed when Lucille Ball cut her hair. She no longer looked like Lucy Ricardo, but looked more like the soon-to-come Lucy Carmichael/Carter. And that's another reason why I tend to shy away from these episodes- it's like when Marlo Thomas stopped wearing her trademark "flip with bangs" hairdo in the last season of That Girl, Lucy's haircut signaled the beginning of the end of the Ricardos and the beginning of The Lucy Show.
     
  7. RickER

    RickER Well-Known Member

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    I had never seen these episodes until TV Land showed them. The Danny Thomas one was very good indeed. I am not up on my Lucy, so i was wondering why the change to this format from the original show? After 6 years were they tired of the weekly grind or was this a last gasp to keep the show alive in some format?
     
  8. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Well-Known Member

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    Charles
    I can see your point but the marriage problems had begun in the 5th season of I Love Lucy so I don't let that hamper my enjoyment too much. Her hair was changed in the 6th season around the time they moved to the country I believe.

    RickER
    The reason the show went to the Hour Specials is that Desi was becoming a big TV Producer with the formation of Desilu and wanted to devote more time to Producing and Lucy wanted to spend more time raising their kids. So the idea was for 5 Hour long specials per season with a big Guest star or two in each episode and a larger budget than I Love Lucy had. The 3rd Season of this show was cut short at 3 episodes because of their divorce which is why there are 13 episodes.
     
  9. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Well-Known Member

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    And I'd like to add that there was no diminishment in the popularity of "I Love Lucy" when they stopped making the half-hour shows, and there never was to the bitter end in 1960. It was the Number One show in its sixth and final season, even with the infamous "Twenty One" quiz show on opposite it cutting into its ratings to some extent.

    The first five hour-long specials (in the 1957-58) season were hugely successful -- in fact, when the list of the highest rated specials of the season was published at season's end, those were in the Top Five spots.

    I've always been mystified about how so many "I Love Lucy" fans find fault with the hour episodes. When I was a kid, and they were new, it was very exciting to me when one of them would come on. I loved most of them -- the uranium hunt, the racehorse, the trip to Mexico, the trip to Sun Valley -- there's hilarious stuff in all of those episodes. And, as I said, "Lucy Makes Room for Danny" gets my vote as the best "Lucy" script of all time -- it follows one funny scene with one even funnier, all the way to the end.
     
  10. RickER

    RickER Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys for the reponse. I sure never found any fault with the hour long episodes. what i thought was strange is that i didnt know of them until TV Land. I am a 40 something year old guy, grew up on I Love Lucy, and i had never heard of the hour long show! And i even pride myself on old TV trivia!

    But i have corrected my error, and have seen these episodes, alas only once and that was 5 or so years ago?. At any rate id buy them on DVD.
     
  11. Steve...O

    Steve...O Well-Known Member

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    My favorite is the one with Freddie MacMurray/June Haver where they enter a competition of sorts to find some uranium. MacMurray is hilarious playing against his "Steve Douglas" personna.
     
  12. Garysb

    Garysb Well-Known Member

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    The short haircut was actually a wig. Lucy didn't cut her hair because Desi liked her in long hair. In fact she almost never appeared without a wig after she started wearing it on the hour Lucy - Desi shows. She started using tape and straps to appear younger and the wig helped hide this. This information is from various bios of Lucy .

    I don't think Lucy or Desi gave any hint of their marriage problems in the hour long shows. In my opinion many, not all, of these shows were not as funny and relied too much on guest stars at the expense of Fred and Ethel. I saw a commercial done for the hour shows with Lucy, Ricky, Fred , and Ethel for Westinghouse that was classic I Love Lucy and probably funnier then the show it appeared. I hope they include it and others in any DVD release
     
  13. Harry-N

    Harry-N Well-Known Member

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    If I recall correctly, THE LUCY-DESI COMEDY HOUR was part of the bigger WESTINGHOUSE DESILU PLAYHOUSE. Most of the weeks were hour-long anthology presentations of original dramas and comedies, and every so often they'd rotate in a LUCY-DESI hour. That's the same WESTINGHOUSE DESILU PLAYHOUSE that indirectly spawned THE TWILIGHT ZONE with its airing of Rod Serling's "The Time Element."

    Harry
     
  14. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Well-Known Member

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    The first season, 1957-58, the hour long shows (75 min. for the first one) were presented as specials.

    The final two seasons (1958-59, 59-60) they were part of the Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse, but certainly promoted as very special installments.

    It's interesting that Lucille Ball was indirectly responsible for two all-time great science-fiction series: "The Twilight Zone" and "Star Trek."
     
  15. Jeff#

    Jeff# Well-Known Member

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    Well, I disagree based on what Lucy herself had said in many interviews: That she colored her hair red with henna through middle and old age...even in the 1980s.

    Lucy didn't wear a wig on her later series. She was born a brunette, so she died it red for most of her adult life. I noticed in the original unaired TV pilot film for I Love Lucy from 1950 (when she was still doing "My Favorite Husband" on the radio) her hair is long. Although Lucille had shorter blonde hair when she was a Goldwyn girl in the early 1930s, and that was years before she met Desi!
     
  16. Jeff#

    Jeff# Well-Known Member

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    Lucy had very little do to do with The Twilight Zone. The only connection was that Rod Serling's original pilot "The Time Element" aired on Desilu Playhouse in October 1958. It starred William Bendix in a rare dramatic role -- his first after the cancellation of "The Life of Riley" TV series. The released version I saw on VHS in the 1980s had Desi Arnaz's original introduction, but in other versions it was cut.

    Don't forget that Desilu Playhouse (hosted by Arnaz) also served as a springboard for proposed TV series. The Twilight Zone didn't sell for almost a year after it aired, so that doesn't really count. However, the Desilu show aired a 2-part presentation in April 1959 that was the pilot for "The Untouchables" (which premiered that fall and lasted 4 years).

    Desilu Playhouse also was the series that aired The Lucille-Ball Desi Arnaz Show (a.k.a. The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour) and also featured members of the cast in dramatic guest roles in other episodes -- including Lucy herself.

    Both Star Trek and Mission: Impossible were filmed at Desilu, but only during their first seasons. Lucille Ball eventually sold her studio to Paramount Television.

    Another TV sitcom I remember from reruns was "The Mothers In-Law" starring former Desliu TV actress Eve Arden (who also played Connie Brooks on the radio in "Our Miss Brooks"). Her character on Mothers In-Law was different, but she and Kaye Ballard played wonderfully off each other for 2 seasons. I sure wish that would come out on DVD! I probably wouldn't buy it though. If only TV series could be rented!!
     
  17. Ollie

    Ollie Well-Known Member

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    They CAN!
    www.netflix.com
    www.blockbuster.com

    Netflix has the quicker more reliable service and is the better service of the two in my opinion. Blockbuster offers the added bonus of being able to get free in-store rentals with membership.
     
  18. Jeff#

    Jeff# Well-Known Member

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    That's good to know, Ollie! I was thinking more along the lines of public library offerings. Of the few that I've been to in this area, only one of them has TV shows on disc but there are so few titles. Those that that particular library stocks have a few shows per set rather than whole seasons, such as their copies of The New Avengers and shows that I have the entire series of already: Buffy, the Vampire Slayer and The Twilight Zone.

    I'm familiar with both Netflix (online) although I thought they were all feature films and nothing else. Blockbuster Video outlets are everywhere but the only TV series I've seen in their movie rental stores seem to be for sale (and typically at retail prices, as with Suncoast). Here in San DIego, the Sam Goody and Blockbuster stores lock their TV titles in a glass case, however I did see a Season 2 Mission 2 "Combat!" set at Sam Goody in the Used section for $18.

    I looked at Netflix's site for the first time in over a year, and I see they have a Television section now. But in most cases, I would rather own a TV show I like anyway. Thanks for the info. [​IMG]
     
  19. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Well-Known Member

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    You didn't mention that "The Mothers-in-Law" was produced by Desi Arnaz, and he utilized a lot of the old "I Love Lucy" team, including writers Madelyn Pugh Martin Davis and Bob Carroll, Jr.

    I remember liking the show to some extent, but it seemed to be acted too broadly. And I always couldn't help thinking that the show was written with Lucy and Viv in mind.
     
  20. Jeff#

    Jeff# Well-Known Member

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    I hadn't forgotten that it was produced by Desilu. [​IMG] By the way, Davis and Carroll also wrote a TV special that reunited Lucy, Viv, and Gale Gordon for the last time in 1977. They managed to get in a President Carter joke. [​IMG] I posted a link to a clip of that on the You Tube website in an earlier topic on this forum.

    Meanwhile, here are 2 links to part of a Here's Lucy episode guest starring Flip Wilson in which the cast does a parody of Gone with the Wind! :lol:

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfH89UKPqcU

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=iO4d2QbNi5E
     

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