Happy Birthday Ms. Vance

26 Jul

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Vivian would have turned 108 today! Happy Birthday to her!!

Lucy and Desi Trivia

13 Jul

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  • Lucille Ball was naturally a brunette. She dyed it blonde when she moved to Hollywood and didn’t dye it red until 1942 for her role in DuBarry was a Lady.
  • Lucy was on the very first cover of TV Guide. She would go on to be cover picture 39 more times, more than any other celebrity.
  • Desi Arnaz had a remarkable memory. He would often memorize all of this lines after only one read through of the script.
  • Ricky never says the famous line, “Lucy, you have some ‘splaining to do.” The closet he comes is saying, “Lucy, ‘splain!”
  • In 1933, for her role as a slave girl in Roman Scandals, Ball shaved her eyebrows and they never grew back.
  • For many years, Lucy and Desi hid the fact that she was 6 years older than him. Instead they met in the middle making her 3 years younger and him 3 years older.

Color Photo Gallery

15 Jun

It’s always a little weird to see this show in color. Like when I first saw that color footage of the Tropicana. It’s pink?! Here are just  a few classic moments, now in color!

I Love Lucy:

I Love Lucy in color - Page 19 - Sitcoms Online Message Boards ...:

<a href="http://sitcomsonline.com" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">sitcomsonline.com</a> - Happy Anniversary, Darling!

sitcomsonline.com - the Italian haircut:

I Love Lucy in color - Page 21 - Sitcoms Online Message Boards - Forums:

Lucille Ball dolled up like Marilyn Monroe in a 1954 episode of "I Love Lucy.": I Love Lucy scene where Lucy Performed behind Ricky as he sang and then she was discovered.:

I Love Lucy Nose On Fire Postcard | LucyStore.com:

Photo from "Visitor From Italy" episode (1956).:

Miss Madelyn Pugh

8 Jun

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Madelyn Pugh was born on March 15, 1921 in Indianapolis, Indiana. She started writing for her high school’s newspaper with classmate Kurt Vonnegut. She later graduated from Indiana University with a major in journalism.

She moved to California and started writing for NBC and then CBS where she met Bob Carroll Jr. where they began the start of their 50-year partnership. Pugh was often the only female writer on staff and credited the war effort for a lot of her opportunities as there were less male writers available. Pugh and Carroll submitted a spec script for My Favorite Husband and soon started writing it under Jess Oppenheimer. When MFH turned into I Love Lucy, Ball and Oppenheimer brought Pugh and Carroll on staff. The team continued their loyal friendship with Ball, going on to write The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, The Lucy Show, Here’s Lucy, and Life with Lucy.

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Pugh married Quinn Martin on December 24, 1955 and had 1 son, Michael. Martin and Pugh divorced on November 21, 1960. She later met Dr. Richard Davis and married on May 30th, 1964 until his death. Pugh would then be credited as Madelyn Davis.

Pugh died at the age of 90, on April 20, 2011.

 

Head Writer: Jess Oppenheimer

4 May

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He was born Jessurun James Oppenheimer on November 11, 1913. He attended Stanford University and during his junior year visited the radio station KFRC in San Francisco and would spend as much time there as he could. He would later perform on the air; his first broadcast on the program Blue Monday Jamboree in a comedy sketch he’s written himself. Oppenheimer moved to Hollywood in 1936 and got hired as a writer on Fred Astaire’s radio show and later Jack Benny’s.

In 1942, Oppenheimer met Estelle Weiss and the two married on August 5th, 1947. Together they had a daughter, Joanne and son Greg.

When WWII broke out, Oppenheimer joined the US Coast Guard and was part of the Public Relations Dept. His desk neighbor was Ray Stark, the son-in-law of Fanny Brice who hired Oppenheimer to write for The Baby Snooks Show starring Brice.

Soon after Snooks was cancelled, Oppenhemier was asked by CBS Radio to write for a new show called My Favorite Husband. It was Oppenheimer that decided to change the direction of the show and the wife to be less of a sophisticated socialite and more of a scheming middle class housewife. The show became a huge hit!

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When Ball was approached by CBS to convert MFH to a TV show, Ball insisted the writers come with her. He stayed on as producer and head writer for 5 of the 6 seasons of ILL, leaving in 1956 to take an exec position at NBC. Aside from his television expertise, he was an avid inventor including the in-the-lens teleprompter.

Oppenheimer died on December 27, 1988 from heart failure following complications from intestinal surgery. His memoir Laughs, Luck… and Lucy: How I came to Create the Most Popular Sitcom of All Time was completed posthumously by his son, Greg.

My Favorite Husband

27 Apr

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The radio program ILL was based on, MFH was- to take it even further back- based on the novels Mr. and Mrs. Cugat, the Record of a Happy Marriage and Outside Eden  written by Isabel Scott Rorick. MFH originally aired as a one off on CBS Radio July 5th, 1948, to fill air time before the new show Our Miss Brooks  was set to premiere. That “pilot” starred Lucille Ball and Lee Bowman as Liz and George Cugat. It received such positive feedback that CBS Radio decided to order a full series.

Bowman was unable to to do the series so Richard Denning took over as the husband and the last name was changed to Cooper to distance the couple from Xavier Cugat.  Gale Gordon got hired to play George’s boss and Bea Benederet played his wife, Iris. Bob LeMond, who was the narrator of the lost pilot ep of ILL, was the announcer on the show. The show was originally written by the same writers as Ozzie and Harriet but after about 10 episodes it was taken over by Jess Oppenheimer, Bob Carroll Jr. and Madelyn Pugh, who of course we know later would write ILL.

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This show about a happily married, middle class couple aired 124 episodes from July, 1948 to the last one on March 31st, 1951.

CBS ended up turning MFH into it’s own TV show in 1953 starring Vanessa Brown and Barry Nelson and more closely mirrored the  early radio version of the couple, a well to-do bank exec and his social butterfly wife. It lasted two and a half seasons.

Photo Gallery: Behind the Scenes

20 Apr

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A studio audience awaits to be let into a taping of the show.

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