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Any News on the Lucy/Desi Comedy Hour?


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#41 of 92 OFFLINE   Harry-N

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Posted September 22 2006 - 01:12 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff#
Richard Denning was quite good as her husband George. I think he would have been better for I Love Lucy than Desi, and not just because of Desi's thick Cuban accent. The CBS execs at that time were right. Posted Image

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#42 of 92 OFFLINE   Randy Korstick

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Posted September 22 2006 - 02:44 AM

Thanks for the great Info. Ron. Really looking forward to this release. I wonder if they got some of this info. wrong though. I really question the part about 3 episodes linked together by 12 minutes for a feature film. I have never heard of this either and it doesn't add up.
3 episodes at 50 minutes each is 150 minutes + 12 Minutes. I can't picture them releasing a I love Lucy movie that would be nearly 3 hours long!
12 minutes is the exact amount missing from the 1st episode that was shown as 75 minutes with commercials and then then later cut to an hour episode like the others. Which means it would have been 62 minutes - 12 Minutes = 50 minutes. I have a strong feeling that this is the 12 minutes they are talking about which is still great news if they present the 1st episode complete.
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#43 of 92 OFFLINE   Alan-A

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Posted September 22 2006 - 03:27 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Korstick
Thanks for the great Info. Ron. Really looking forward to this release. I wonder if they got some of this info. wrong though. I really question the part about 3 episodes linked together by 12 minutes for a feature film. I have never heard of this either and it doesn't add up.
3 episodes at 50 minutes each is 150 minutes + 12 Minutes. I can't picture them releasing a I love Lucy movie that would be nearly 3 hours long!
12 minutes is the exact amount missing from the 1st episode that was shown as 75 minutes with commercials and then then later cut to an hour episode like the others. Which means it would have been 62 minutes - 12 Minutes = 50 minutes. I have a strong feeling that this is the 12 minutes they are talking about which is still great news if they present the 1st episode complete.

I believe the 3 episodes they are referring to were from the original half hour shows and not the later "specials". It would make perfect sense to have linked three of the half-hour shows plus twelve minutes --that would equal approximately 90 minutes - Perfectly acceptable runtime for a comedy feature film.

#44 of 92 OFFLINE   Bob Hug

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Posted September 22 2006 - 04:05 AM

Anyone looking for the 4-DVD set of "Here's Lucy" can find it for just $9.95 plus shipping at Oldies.com.
Link: http://www.oldies.co...iew/4230GD.html

#45 of 92 OFFLINE   Randy Korstick

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Posted September 22 2006 - 04:34 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Hug
Anyone looking for the 4-DVD set of "Here's Lucy" can find it for just $9.95 plus shipping at Oldies.com.
Link: http://www.oldies.co...iew/4230GD.html

That is a great deal. I wish they would do a volume 2 since they don't seem to be interested in season sets.
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#46 of 92 OFFLINE   Joe Lugoff

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Posted September 22 2006 - 04:39 AM

Jeff#, you made my jaw drop, too, with that comment about Denning being better than Arnaz.

Although the only one of the four never to even be nominated for an Emmy (as actor), Arnaz is every bit as good as the others. His performance is amazing (especially considering he started out as a band leader, not an actor.) More importantly, he gives the show a unique atmosphere that makes it unlike any other. With Denning, it would have become rather bland.

Besides, wouldn't you miss the way Lucy makes fun of her husband's accent? That brought about some of the biggest laughs.

#47 of 92 OFFLINE   Joe Lugoff

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Posted September 22 2006 - 04:49 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Hug
Anyone looking for the 4-DVD set of "Here's Lucy" can find it for just $9.95 plus shipping at Oldies.com.

That's good news and bad news.

The good news is that's a great price for a really nice set. The bad news is it indicates it didn't sell well (piles of 'em left over at the warehouse), so there won't be any more sets.

Although the show "Here's Lucy" was inferior to "I Love Lucy," it did have its moments. But this DVD set is very good -- with loads of commentaries and extras and outtakes and some invaluable extended films of Lucy rehearsing, so we could see what she was like in real life. There are also lots of flubs -- scenes needing retakes because the actors flubbed their lines, I mean. I would have loved to have seen some of those for "I Love Lucy."

#48 of 92 OFFLINE   Charles Ellis

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Posted September 22 2006 - 07:10 AM

Wow, what a bunch of extras for the upcoming set. Is there a chance that the Desilu Playhouse special that was done for Christmas 1959 will be released? All four stars of the main series were in it as Lucille Ball envisioned the special to show off the up and coming talent she had under contact at Desilu like Carole Cook (who became a lifelong friend), Dick Kallman (best remembered for the sitcom Hank), and Robert Osborne (yes, the Turner Clasic Movies host- he was an actor then). And if Paramount finally releases The Untouchables, let's hope they include the original pilot film which was done as a 2-part primetime special with guest stars Pat Crowley and Keenan Wynn!
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#49 of 92 OFFLINE   Randy Korstick

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Posted September 22 2006 - 07:21 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Lugoff
That's good news and bad news.

The good news is that's a great price for a really nice set. The bad news is it indicates it didn't sell well (piles of 'em left over at the warehouse), so there won't be any more sets.

Although the show "Here's Lucy" was inferior to "I Love Lucy," it did have its moments. But this DVD set is very good -- with loads of commentaries and extras and outtakes and some invaluable extended films of Lucy rehearsing, so we could see what she was like in real life. There are also lots of flubs -- scenes needing retakes because the actors flubbed their lines, I mean. I would have loved to have seen some of those for "I Love Lucy."

Thats kind of a catch-22. I believe the reason it didn't sell as well as it could have is that many passed on it because it was a best of and not a season set. I would have preferred season sets too but purchased it to show support and because the show had been unavailable for quite a while. It is a great set.
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#50 of 92 OFFLINE   MikeMO

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Posted September 22 2006 - 07:27 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Lugoff
When these shows originally ran as specials (the first season) and as part of the "Desilu Westinghouse Playhouse" (the last two seasons) the ratings were HUGE -- even phenomenal. (I've seen the ratings in old copies of Variety.) The popularity of the "I Love Lucy" format NEVER diminished. All that brought the show to a close was the divorce of the stars.

One more bit of TV history: When Desi Arnaz decided that "I Love Lucy's" sixth season would be the last in the half-hour format, his idea was to have a spin-off show called "The Mertzes." It would continue in the same time slot, and he and Lucy would make occasional guest appearances.

That show would have been a guaranteed hit -- but Vivian Vance refused to do it, because she couldn't stand William Frawley. And when Frawley found out about that, he hated her for the rest of his life.

Vivian Vance was a rather troubled woman (she was in intensive therapy through the entire run of "I Love Lucy.") Some people think she just had a neurotic fear of being the "star." Desi Arnaz developed another show for her to star in, but she gave a poor performance in the pilot and was replaced by another actress. (That show was called "Guestward Ho," and only ran one season.)

This is extremely interesting. Two questions...I have heard that Vance and Frawley never liked each other. Do we exactly know why? Was it something specific or does it date back to a certain event that transpired?

I have also heard that Vance didn't like Ball. Is this accurate as well?

#51 of 92 OFFLINE   MikeMO

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Posted September 22 2006 - 07:31 AM

One more question...anyone know how the "I Love Lucy" dvd sets have sold, especially considering the show is 55 years old and has been in constant syndication for decades?

#52 of 92 OFFLINE   Ron Lee Green

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Posted September 22 2006 - 08:24 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Korstick
Thanks for the great Info. Ron. Really looking forward to this release. I wonder if they got some of this info. wrong though. I really question the part about 3 episodes linked together by 12 minutes for a feature film. I have never heard of this either and it doesn't add up.
3 episodes at 50 minutes each is 150 minutes + 12 Minutes. I can't picture them releasing a I love Lucy movie that would be nearly 3 hours long!
12 minutes is the exact amount missing from the 1st episode that was shown as 75 minutes with commercials and then then later cut to an hour episode like the others. Which means it would have been 62 minutes - 12 Minutes = 50 minutes. I have a strong feeling that this is the 12 minutes they are talking about which is still great news if they present the 1st episode complete.

I think this is the movie they're talking about. I got this information from the welovelucy.com newsletter:

The "I Love Lucy" movie was produced in 1953 by combining three episodes from the first season of the series with new "connecting" scenes, and Desilu intended to release the film theatrically. Plans changed, however, when Lucy and Desi signed with MGM to do "The Long, Long Trailer." Metro wanted THAT to be the Arnazes' big return to the big screen. Desilu's little "Lucy" movie went into a vault, and was not seen again until Dann Cahn found it again in 2001, and presented it at a special screening at our Loving Lucy 2001 Convention.

The Museum of Television & Radio in Beverly Hills, CA, will present a special screening of "The 'I Love Lucy' Movie" on Friday evening (7pm), October 6, 2006. The event, one in a series of three "Media as Entertainment" seminars, will be hosted by actress (and longtime Lucy fan) Debra Messing. Film editor Dann Cahn, among others, will also participate in the special screening.

http://www.lucyfan.c...illweek243.html
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#53 of 92 OFFLINE   Randy Korstick

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Posted September 22 2006 - 09:50 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Lee Green
I think this is the movie they're talking about. I got this information from the welovelucy.com newsletter:

The "I Love Lucy" movie was produced in 1953 by combining three episodes from the first season of the series with new "connecting" scenes, and Desilu intended to release the film theatrically. Plans changed, however, when Lucy and Desi signed with MGM to do "The Long, Long Trailer." Metro wanted THAT to be the Arnazes' big return to the big screen. Desilu's little "Lucy" movie went into a vault, and was not seen again until Dann Cahn found it again in 2001, and presented it at a special screening at our Loving Lucy 2001 Convention.

The Museum of Television & Radio in Beverly Hills, CA, will present a special screening of "The 'I Love Lucy' Movie" on Friday evening (7pm), October 6, 2006. The event, one in a series of three "Media as Entertainment" seminars, will be hosted by actress (and longtime Lucy fan) Debra Messing. Film editor Dann Cahn, among others, will also participate in the special screening.

http://www.lucyfan.c...illweek243.html

Thanks for the info. Ron. Sounds like it will be very interesting. I really hope though that they will be presenting the original, long version of the 1st episode of the Comedy Hour. If they don't it will make an otherwise great set a little dissapointing.
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#54 of 92 OFFLINE   Jeff#

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Posted September 22 2006 - 10:33 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Lugoff
Jeff#, you made my jaw drop, too, with that comment about Denning being better than Arnaz.

Although the only one of the four never to even be nominated for an Emmy (as actor), Arnaz is every bit as good as the others. His performance is amazing (especially considering he started out as a band leader, not an actor.) More importantly, he gives the show a unique atmosphere that makes it unlike any other. With Denning, it would have become rather bland.

Besides, wouldn't you miss the way Lucy makes fun of her husband's accent? That brought about some of the biggest laughs.
Yes, I liked Desi to a point but that accent got on my nerves after a while, Joe. Apparently Lucy wasn't too fond of it either because don't forget that their relationship was on the rocks and the only reason that she insisted that her real-life husband play her husband on television was to save their marriage. Yet it didn't. When their hour-long show ended, so did they. If you listen to her radio show regularly, you'll find that Richard Denning isn't bland at all in the role of Cooper. In fact sometimes George and Liz team up on her wild schemes -- something that Ricky Ricardo didn't do too often with Lucy. Posted Image But that's because on I Love Lucy, she had Ethel. And for the first 3 years on The Lucy Show there was Viv.

On My Favorite Husband there were Katie the maid, and even Iris (wife of the frequently heard Mr. Atterbury, played by future Lucy Show foil Gale Gordon). I like Vivian Vance, and I'm hoping as I listen to each episode that maybe she once turned up on My Favorite Husband in some guest role, but I doubt it. Did she ever do radio?

Of course the TV shows are ultimately better because you can see what's happening. The counterpoint is that with radio you can use your imagination, which is aided when you know how several of the actors look from when you used to see them on TV. Lucille Ball knew how to appeal to radio listeners too -- and it was more than just reading a script in front of a microphone. She could adlib or do improv when she needed to on a live show. The only time the Ball was out of her court was when she did drama (in a few episodes of CBS Radio's SUSPENSE), although to be fair I never saw the dramatic work she did on the Desilu Playhouse.

#55 of 92 OFFLINE   Joe Lugoff

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Posted September 22 2006 - 11:06 AM

To MikeMO: The books say that Vivian Vance was extremely neurotic and only got along really well with Desi Arnaz. She was infuriated that since Lucy and Ricky (Desi) were married in real life, there were people who assumed that she and Fred (William) were married in real life -- and she came right out and said she would never marry anyone as old and unattractive as William Frawley. I believe that was the beginning of Frawley's dislike of her.

The books also tell us that Ball and Vance never really got along very well. They hadn't spoken for many years when the actress Mary Wickes (a mutual friend) forced Lucy to go up to the San Francisco area to visit Vivian who was dying of cancer. That was the last time they saw each other. By all accounts, Lucille Ball was a very difficult woman to get along with.

As for sales of the "I Love Lucy" DVD sets -- the article we were linked to in an earlier message says they're extremely good -- each set has sold hundreds of thousands of copies.

To Jeff#: You said "when their hour-long show ended, so did they." This is backwards --- they didn't wait to get a divorce until the show ended. The show ended because they got a divorce.

They had originally planned to do five hour shows that last season, not three. They stopped at three because they didn't think America wanted to see a divorced couple acting like they were married. I read somewhere who the guest star was going to be on the next show that was cancelled, but I've forgotten who it was.

Don't wait for Vivian Vance to be heard on "My Favorite Husband." Lucy never even met her until Desi introduced them on the first day of rehearsals for "I Love Lucy." Lucy was astounded that Desi hired her -- she felt she was entirely wrong for Ethel Mertz, who was supposed to be a generation older than Lucy (and Vivian was only one year older than Lucy.)

#56 of 92 OFFLINE   Jeff#

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Posted September 22 2006 - 11:19 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Lugoff
To Jeff: You said "when their hour-long show ended, so did they." This is backwards --- they didn't wait to get a divorce until the show ended. The show ended because they got a divorce.
I didn't say which happened first, but that both the divorce and the hour show ending occurred in the same year: 1960. The order of the events is irrelevant. Posted Image They almost got divorced before they started I Love Lucy some 10 years earlier.

I felt The Lucy Show was her best work overall...even if Lucy Carmichael and Vivian Bagley did have kids in the early seasons. As for male co-stars, Gale Gordon was so much more entertaining in the role of the blustery Mr. Mooney than anyone else Lucille had worked with before or since. What's interesting is that in My Favorite Husband, Gale plays George's boss Rudolph Atterbury. Gordon was also a regular on "Our Miss Brooks" at the time (as school principal Osgood Conklin), although it was there that he really got to shine on the radio. Then he got to re-create the role on TV, again playing off wisecracking Eve Arden. Posted Image

#57 of 92 OFFLINE   Garysb

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Posted September 22 2006 - 12:42 PM

For those who saw the PBS American Masters show "Finding Lucy" a clip of the I Love Lucy movie was included but not identified as such. The clip is of Desi Arnaz doing the audience warm up before the taping of an I Love Lucy show and then introducing the cast. This was the beginning of the I Love Lucy movie. It was just called rare footage in "Finding Lucy" . This information came from one of the Lucy websites , the same one that mentioned the movie was shown at the I Love Lucy convention .

I had read that they would have divorced sooner but Lucy didn't file for divorce until their Westinghouse contract expired. In fact Lucy filed for divorce a day after the last show was filmed. By the time it aired their divorce was old news. A lot of stories are out there.

It would be nice if they could include the Make Room For Daddy show where Lucy and Desi appeared as Lucy and Ricky . This was payback for Danny Thomas appearing on Lucy/Desi Comedy show. Next Lucy Ricardo guested on the Ann Sothern Show . Lastly the complete skit from the Bob Hope Show which was excerpt on the 6th Season set. One last thing. I have read but never seen that Lucy appeared for about a minute at the end of every Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse ( the weeks that were not Lucy/Desi Comedy Shows) talking to Desi about how great the show just seen was and asking about next week. Just those clips would be great to see. That would be a complete I Love Lucy. I think

#58 of 92 OFFLINE   Jeff#

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Posted September 22 2006 - 02:34 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garysb
The clip is of Desi Arnaz doing the audience warm up before the taping of an I Love Lucy show and then introducing the cast.
I Love Lucy and all of Lucille Ball's TV sitcoms were shot on film, not videotape. Although Ms. Ball has been on other shows that were taped (Password, Password Plus, Super Password, Three's Company retrospective, her 1974 special with Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc).

#59 of 92 OFFLINE   Joe Lugoff

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Posted September 22 2006 - 05:49 PM

I have found over the last few years that people (including professionals who should know better) use the words film and tape interchangeably, as if they both mean the same thing. Like Jeff#, I'm still a stickler for their correct usage, which usually brings me nothing but grief.

Also like Jeff#, I loved Gale Gordon's interchanges with Eve Arden on radio and television on "Our Miss Brooks." No one could get aggravated like Gale Gordon! And he never changed over the years. In many episodes of "Here's Lucy," he was funnier than Lucy herself was. And the books tell us that, ironically, he was an exceptionally nice person in real life.

#60 of 92 OFFLINE   Jay Pennington

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Posted September 22 2006 - 11:19 PM

In reaction to my insistence that "film" and "tape" be used correctly, a friend of mine tried to convince me that they're interchangable because the two mediums both accomplish the same task. I asked my friend, who is retired military, if it's okay, then, to refer to a rifle as a "gun".

He immediately said "you win". Posted Image
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