Posted September 22 2006 - 10:33 AM
| 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.
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.