- Considering you can''t even get the name Marian Mercer right do you think you should be starting a thread about anything?
- Oh, you''re so right, r1--I''ll go out and commit seppuku now because of that unforgivable error.
- Holy crap I forgot all about that show. WEHT Ann Jilian? I knew she had breast cancer.
- Barrie was considerably prettier than Patti. Sorry, Patti. And the show had Susan Sullivan, didn''t it?
- I was gonna ask when Mabel Mercer was in a sitcom but r1 answered it for me.
- According to Wikipedia, that theme (the most braying theme song of all time) was written by Leslie Bricusse. Good Lord.\
Remember when Louise Lasser was added to the cast (briefly) as one of the waitresses? Did. Not. Work.
- Paul Kreppel did NOT play Donna''s dad on "That 70''s Show", you douche--that was Don Stark as Bob. %0D\
Maybe you should take R1''s advice. Or better yet--your own.
- That was the best R1 of all time.
- They went through a lot of cast changes - partly due to the shift from network to first run syndication but didn''t it also get cancelled briefly then brought back during its network run?\
Crystal Bernard from Wings and the last awful season of Happy Days was also on for awhile.
- I loved the theme song!!!
- Mabel Mercer was the cabaret singer. Marian Mercer was the actress in It''s A Living.
- Ann Jillian was all over TV in the 80s and then she just disappeared.
- Marian Mercer also won a tony award for playing Marge Macdougal in Promises, Promises 40 years before Katie Finneran won a tony for the same role.
- Don''t forget that between 1982 (the end of its network run) and 1985 (the beginning of its syndicated run) the show was retooled as "Making A Living".
- Was this show syndicated all over the country? I told a friend of mine about the show this summer, but she had never heard of it. I showed her the theme song on Youtube, but she drew a blank.
- At one point, it was called "Making a Living."
- Paul Kreppel was JACKIE''S dad on "That 70''s Show", OP, not Donna''s.
- Is Crystal Bernard still in denial?
- Sadly, Ann Jillian''s breast cancer and subsequent mastectomy was a serious blight on a show that featured waitresses in sexy low-cut uniforms. If I''m not mistaken, this opening clip was after the operation because the original uniforms showed far more cleavage.
- Ann Jillian stole my hair-do!
- No, no, no.%0D\
In it''s first season (1980-81), it was called "It''s a Living" and featured Susan Sullivan but not Barrie Youngfellow. The show was cancelled, Sullivan signed on for "Falcon Crest," then somebody at ABC decided to give the show another try and retooled it as "Making a Living," with Youngfellow replacing Sullivan, for the ''81-''82 season. Still didn''t work and it was cancelled.%0D\
Brought back for syndication under the original title, "It''s a Living," from 1985 to 1989, with Ann Jillian gone, being replaced by Sheryl Lee Ralph.
- I wanted Ann Jillian''s hair. Desperately.
- I am obsessed with this show - why isn''t it on DVD. There are EIGHT seasons of it. Yes, there''s that high-belt theme song; I didn''t know Leslie Bricusse wrote it, though that makes sense.\
There''s Louise Lasser, Ann Jillian (is that her singing "although we may be less than wealthy"), Tony winner Marian Mercer, Susan Sullivan and Sheryl Lee Ralph and Crystal Bernard later on...\
Here''s a dissection of the cast changes through the years:
- Wrong R21.%0D\
Barrie was always on "It''s a Living". Susan Sullivan was replaced by Louise Lasser.%0D\
And Ann Jillian was on the first syndicated season but left in 1986. She was replaced by Sheryl Lee Ralph.
- Also some agents seem to have gone into overtime on the billing. Season 1 is "Starring Susan Sullivan", but then both Ann Jillian and Barrie Youngfellow get the "And" + their character names, though two other actors (without an "And") are sandwiched between.\
It was another Junger Witt / Thomas sitcom, I think they had a bunch of shows on ABC around that time.\
It was also one of the first shows to be made exclusively for strip syndication (in its later seasons)...Suzanne Somers in "She''s The Sheriff" was another from around the same time.\
Here''s season one ("It''s A Living"):
- Who was Barrie Youngfellow that she rated that special billing?
- Here''s season 3 - those poor girls, having to go back to the Bonaventure Hotel and walk around and ride the elevator to reshoot the opening all the times the cast re-tooled.\
Billing is now "Starring Ann Jillian" and only Barrie Youngfellow gets the "And"\
WARNING: lots of fried 80''s hair in this one, but the print quality is better than the other clips.
- Paul Kreppel is neither fat, nor gross.
- Even as a kid I could see that without the blonde mushroom hair Ann Jillian would not look like much
- Was Youngfellow as well-known as Jillian before this show started? Because I notice the credits for each are the same.
I thought Sheryl Lee Ralph did a great job. Of course, I was about 7 at the time, but I did love her anyway.%0D
- Our Datalounge tour of IT''S A LIVING title sequence variations continues with Season 6 (still somehow with the title IT''S A LIVING, though the MAKING A LIVING title was in there for a while).\
Crystal Bernard has traded in the hideous blue-green and black hunter''s jacket pattern for an awful looking bear sweater. This time it''s Gail Edwards who wears the awful blue-green and black hunter pattern garment...only this time, it''s a dress.\
At last, it''s "Starring" Barrie Youngfellow, still twirling around by the locker (though in a different direction and with different hair), and Sheryl Lee Ralph is sandwiched in the middle and Marian Mercer gets the "And" with her character''s first AND last names; previously she was closer to the top of the credit sequence, but with no "And".
- Barrie Youngfellow is married to Sam Freed (Kate & Allie) for over 30 years. She is a NY theater actress, and once the series was canceled resumed her theater career in NY.
- I imagine Youngfellow being very demanding... like Lupone. Anyone know her?\
I dreamed of having a nice cocktail in that lounge. It looked so glamorous to my six year old eyes.
- My biggest beef was that the restaurant only offered one type of salad!
- Here are some lyrics.\
Life''s not the French Riviera, believe me, life''s not a charity ball.\
It isn''t all a great big bed of roses, it''s not like showbiz, but the main thing I suppose is%E2%80%A6\
We''re not the people you envy, believe me, we know we''re doing okay.\
(Descant over the above: We are not faking it, we are gonna make it)\
Okay, we may be less than wealthy, but then again, we''re young and healthy,\
And anyone who''s young and healthy knows that that''s the way the traffic flows.\
It''s a living.
Sing along, bitches! You know you want to.
- Oops -there are only SIX seasons of it (120 episodes). And I''m ashamed to admit, I cannot find the Lasser version of the credits, nor can I find any MAKING A LIVING titled credits (though there''s no question that was the title for a while).
R 23, 25, 27, 32, and the lyrics troll
- Here''s Ann Jillian''s website. There are pics of her with everyone from Jonas Salk to Mickey Rooney.\
She mainly does personal appearances, it seems, though she keeps an agent at APA.\
We''re still waiting for you to upload those audio clips to your site, Ann. It''s said "audio coming soon"...for a while.
- I can''t believe many of the same names that worked on Golden Girls produced this trash!
- I, too, would like to make personal appearances for a living.
- In the pilot Mabel Mercer''s name was Marian Mercer but they changed it because "Mabel" sounded too ethnic!
- One of Barrie Youngfellow''s pre-sitcom credits is playing - wait for it - JOAN CRAWFORD in the mini-series "The Scarlett O''Hara Wars". Talk about your MARY!%0D\
Why isn''t THAT on DVD?%0D\
- [quote]Who was Barrie Youngfellow that she rated that special billing?\
I was thinking exactly the same thing, not to mention she''s hideous in that clip. \
I can''t remember ever having watched this show, yet I know the theme song and it was on the air for years it seemed. Did anyone actually watch this?
- I think Bricusse makes perfect sense for the theme song. It sounds like something cut from Victor/Victoria.
- Uh, I don''t think so r33. She''s a hack 80''s TV actress whose credits mostly stick to late season appearances in long running shows like WKRP, Three''s Company, and Blossom. Her only steady work was "It''s A Living."\
She''s never appeared on Broadway, unless it was under another name.
- I never said she was a broadway actress. I said she is a NY theater actress. Last time I checked there are TONS of theaters in NYC, with no connection to broadway.
- I want to hear more about how demanding Barrie Youngfellow is.\
God knows she re-shot that spin around at the locker enough times.
- [R42] One of Barrie Youngfellow''s pre-sitcom credits is playing - wait for it - JOAN CRAWFORD in the mini-series "The Scarlett O''Hara Wars". Talk about your MARY!%0D\
Why isn''t THAT on DVD? %0D\
Actually, it is on DVD. It''s one of the special features on the GWTW blu-ray.
- No one said Youngfellow was demanding. One sad soul posted %0D\
[quote]I imagine Youngfellow being very demanding%0D\
which is one of the small handful of stock delusions about actors here on DL. The other is that every cast of every show is a big family, and stays in touch forever after.
- Ann Jillian was a pretty terrific actress. Scored three Emmy nominations during the eighties.
- Still, R49, it would be fun to hear about fireworks and backstage geschrei on the set of an 80s strip-syndicated sitcom like IT''S A LIVING.
- Speaking of Ann Jillian - anyone here see her portrayal of Mae West? Campy 80s fun at its best.:)
- I remember this being on forever but never watched anything but the opening credits. So, was it just an upscale version of "Alice"?
- I have worked in The NY Theatre for 65 years and never heard of Barrie Youngfellow.
- It wasn''t a bad show, but the people who produced it also worked for "The Golden Girls" %0D\
One episode had Crystal Bernard''s character moaning about how she wanted a dog, and Ann Jillian saying "If you''re lonely, get yourself a man" and I think you know how the rest of the joke turned out (word for word by the way)%0D\
The kitchen set was the same one that they used on the Golden Girls episode where they serve the homeless dinner.
I know, MARY!
- I thought Paul Kreppel was very funny. I remember on one episode, they had a group of lounge singers singing "I Write The Songs" with him.\
"I am music...me, Sonny Mann, AND I WRITE THE SONG!"
- [quote]Speaking of Ann Jillian - anyone here see her portrayal of Mae West? Campy 80s fun at its best.:)\
Yes! I love this thread, I haven''t thought about It''s a Living in years. I wanted to be Ann Jillian.
- I don''t understand R18''s post. What is Bernard in denial about?
- I loved the theme song too. I would tune in just for that.
- Gotta give Gail Edwards some credit for modesty---it''s her website that lists all of the cast rotations, but she never tries to give herself "top billing" on any of the lists.%0D\
That kind of perspective is refreshing.
- "Life''s...not the French Riviera...life''s not a charity ball..."
- From Sam Freed''s website\
''He has appeared with his wife, Barrie Youngfellow, at the O%E2%80%99Neill Theatre Center and in the West Coast Premier of A. R. Gurney''s The Fourth Wall at the Pasadena Playhouse.
- Did they do a "very special episode" dealing with Ann Jillian''s breast cancer or am I imagining that? \
To the person who asked if it was just an upscale version of ALICE: not really. Or maybe in the very broadest of terms. I didn''t realize it was from the same producers as GOLDEN GIRLS but now I can''t help but see the similarities. Much warmer-fuzzy than ALICE, which tended to be crass and cornpone.
- I remember a TOWERING INFERNO type episode where there was a fire on the floors below and the girls were trapped in the restaurant upstairs.\
Or maybe that''s just my imagination.\
Even enterprising R62 can''t turn up an NYC theatre credit for Ms. Youngfellow.
- No, it''s not your imagination, r64. I remember that episode, too.
- "Is Crystal Bernard still in denial?"\
- Did anyone see Bernard on Broadway when she was the fifth Annie in the Weissler''s ANNIE GET YOUR GUN revival (after Bernadette Peters, Susan Lucci, Cheryl Ladd, and Reba McIntyre?)
- A Google search turns up only 2 NY theater credits for Barrie Youngfellow: a part in one of EST''s one-act marathons in 1999, and a play with her husband Sam Freed (and Kerry Butler) than ran off-off-Broadway for 21 performances (3 weeks) in 1998.
- Barrie Youngfellow demanding? Well, I might have thought so, until I starred on Blossom. That Joey Lawrence is a fucking DIVA.
- Susan Sullivan, Barrie Youngfellow, Paul Kreppel, Gail Edwards and Wendy Schall appeared on All-Star Family Feud and it''s on DVD!
- "Sing along, bitches! You know you want to."%0D\
R61, you have to sing it like THIS:%0D\
"Life''s not... the French Rivieeeerrrrra...believe me, life''s not.... a charity baaaaaaaaaaall!!!" %0D\
Don''t forget to fling your arms wide ala Helen Lawson
- Ann Jillian''s husband wrote (or it was ghost written for him) a book for husbands dealing with their wives'' breast cancer. I picked it up when my mom was diagnosed with bresat cancer years ago. Ann went through a horrible battle with the disease, and considering how young she was when she was diagnosed, I assumed that her disappearance from the public eye might mean she ended up dying some time ago. Very nice to see that she is not only alive, but went on to have a son. She''s still married to her husband; he came off as a very nice guy in the book.
- Ann Jillian had the lowest-cut dress of all of them on that show. When she came back after her surgery, they raised the neckline and she didn''t wear any padding.\
It''s probably more common today for breast cancer survivors to make do without visible reconstruction or padding, but it wasn''t so much back then (particularly for an actress whose boobs were a big part of her public persona). It seemed to be a terrible ordeal, and she handled the whole ordeal with a lot of class.
- As a child actress, Ann Jillian played Dainty June in the movie of GYPSY with Roz Russell.\
And as a child actress, Morgan Brittany played Baby June.\
Of course, Natalie Wood played Louise.
- I believe she did have some reconstructive surgery. Actually most women today do have reconstructive surgery, it has become very advanced now. And many insurance companies must by law cover reconstructive surgery.%0D\
Full masectomies are not as common now as they were when Ann had her cancer. But her cancer was widespread in both breasts, so she would have had no choice even today.%0D\
Yikes! Didn''t mean to bring the thread down!%0D
- I thought Wendy Schaal had fallen off the planet after the 80s but she''s currently the voice of Francine on "American Dad." I''ve had a gay crush on her since "Where The Boys Are ''84."
- I LOVE this thread! YAY for first run syndication!\
It''s A Living\
Wait Til Your Father Gets Home\
Out of This World starring the immortal Donna Pescow!
- Ann Jillian was in "Sammy, the Way-Out Seal"? Thank god for IMDB!
- Michael Feinstein! No one has mentioned Michael Feinstein!
- Throb with Jane Leeves.
- I loved this show back then, but wonder if it still holds up. Marian mercer stole every scene she was in as Nancy beebe.
- Apparently Ms. Youngfellow is "retired" as a TV and film actress.
- Sometimes "retirement" is forced upon you.
Marian "Mabel" Mercer
- I didn''t know Wendy Schaal was the voice of "Francine." I love stupid trivia like that.
- Heidi Klum ripped off Ann''s hairstyle for this season''s Project Runway, though it looked fucking awful on Heidi.\
Love Ann Jillian! I think she''s still performing in cabaret these days. Who else remembers "Jennifer Slept Here"?
- The Louise Lasser credits are found!
- I also wanted Ann Jillian''s hair DESPERATELY. We never played anything without my going out of the way to specify that I had long platinum hair. The other kids never got it.
- I think Ann Jillian had a bout with cancer. That might be why she dropped off the radar. I''ve seen her in a few tv movies on Lifetime and Hallmark.
- Louise Lasser?! I must have missed that. \
That was weird how "Ann Jillian as Cassie" was inserted into the middle of the credits instead of at the end.
Special Guest Star Heather Locklear
- I love this thread. I really love Marian Mercer. I absolutely friggin'' love [R54].
Coco (the cook on episode 1 of Golden Girls)
- Love this show! Love the theme! I think you''re not gay unless you know the words to this theme song and have fantasized about going to the Bonaventure Hotel and recreating the opening!
- Was the Bonaventure nice before? Yelpers weren''t impressed.
- r89 is a bit late to the thread.
- Ann Jillian had a double mastectomy due to breast cancer around 1984. She later starred in a made for TV movie about her experience. She had a son about a year or so later.
- [quote]I think Ann Jillian had a bout with cancer. That might be why she dropped off the radar.\
Really? You thought 99.9% of DLers didn''t already know this? Honey, I guarantee that not only did most DLers already know, they probably incorporated it into their Ann Jillian "dress-up" when they were kids by removing the rolled up socks.
- I''m glad to see that Barrie had her teeth fixed in between seasons.
- Ann Jillian was one of those 80s celebrities (like the Landers sisters) who was always on TV every five minutes, but as soon as the decade was over she practically disappeared.
- Fucking fantastic, another cast change. I suppose we have to redress the parking ramp with that god damn Sky High Dining...Above the Top sign, again.
- LOVE the opening theme song and video. It looks like a MAD TV parody of an 80''s sitcom.
- OMG Marian Mercer died? I missed that. I loved her in 9 to 5 as Mr. Hart''s clueless wife.
- Wasn''t THROB with Diana Canova?
- Ann Jillian was the younger "version" of Baby June in the film version of Gypsy. I don''t know if another poster mentioned this or not.
- "We''re young and healthy.."\
Except for Ann''s tits.
- Marian Mercer was Cousin Magda on the Golden Girls. "Dorothy, let it go"\
The guys in the kitchen were:\
The priest at Phil''s funeral\
The city inspector that threatens to kick Dorothy, Rose and Sophia out of Blanche''s house.
- Paul Kreppel has a Tony award.
- Yes, Throb was mine, MINE, ALL MINE!
Diana Canova, still recovering from co-starring with Billy Crystal
- "Throb" starred Diana Canova with co-star, Jane Leeves. A really enjoyable sitcom at the time.
- My friend saw the Landers sisters do a cabaret act in the early 90s and said they sucked. What made them so special?
- THROB credits. I loved this show as a kid. Didn''t realize Paul Walker played Diana Canova''s son.
- Dear God, that looks awful, r110. I have absolutely NO recollection of that show and I''m a TV addict since childhood. From the look of it I''m guessing late-80s first-run syndication, but please correct me if I''m wrong and one of the big networks actually aired that shit.
- I WAS awful, R111, lol. But I watched it anyway on Saturday afternoons. It usually came on after my cartoons. Throb, along with shows like It''s A Living, Mama''s Family and Small Wonder babysat me while my mom was at work.\
And yes, it was syndicated.
- Interesting that the opening credits to Throb are on You Tube, but I can''t find the credits to "I''m a Big Girl Now" anywhere!
Dot Higgins, on my break and hiding from Nancy Beebe
- Thank goodness Diana Canova is out of the business. Her acting got on my nerves.
- I think Throb was mid-80s\
It was another one of those "dweeby little guy wins the heart of cute gal" shows.
- I remember one thing about THROB. It was a scene where the short guy and Miss Canova were on a bus and they were giving each other the googly eyes as a generic version of Tina Turner''s "Two People" played in the background.%0D\
Jimmie Walker''s BUSTIN LOOSE and Don Adams supermarket sitcom were also on around that time.%0D\
I miss the old USA!! NBC execs should be hanged for what they''ve done to it!
- Was Diana Canova considered an IT girl in the early 80''s? Didn''t she leave Soap a la Shelley Long to do bigger and better things? Hard to believe she was ever a star she has that look that screams soccer frau.
- it never seemed like a very demanding waitressing job
- And the tips must have been really good for them to stay on for almost a decade!
- I remember watching this show as a kid but not being particularly moved by it. I think it was on Friday nights. Surprised to read that it was controversial at the time and even considered risque. Was also surprised it was given numerous lifelines throughout its run, even disappearing from the schedule for almost 3 years. As if ITS A LIVING was SUCH an astounding show, that had to be continually saved, which it really wasn''t. I mean, it was nothing like the Golden Girls or Taxi, real groundbreakers. I am also surprised that nobody here has yet mentioned that the theme song lyrics were different when it was called MAKING A LIVING. The last lines go like:\
With no misgiving....\
We''re making a living....\
Also, weird that they would have made such a subtle change to the title. I don''t get how Hollywood works sometimes.
- There were many 80''s sitcoms that found new life in first run syndication after the networks cancelled them. It''s A Living, Mama''s Family, We Got It Made, Charles in Charge, What''s Happenin'' and I''m sure there were a few others. First-run syndication for comedies and dramas kind of died off in the last decade though. I guess those are the shows that are pitched to cable now.
- Susan Sullivan was wonderfully funny in this and didn''t deserve to be canned for Louise Lasser. Susan got the last laugh, though, for several succesful seasons on Falcon Crest.
- Susan Sullivan gave the show class, something it lacked by the time Crystal Bernard joined.
- I thought Ann Jillian''s hair was awful. However, I did spend a large part of the 80s scrunching, crimping and spritzing my hair to look like Crystal Bernard''s, so my taste is suspect.
- Can we get way from Diana Canova (not quickly enough!) and back to It''s A Living?
- Wait. I''m confused. We do hate or love Crystal Bernard?
- She''s a saint!
- Louise Lasser was hysterical (new Youtube clip found).
- The wait staff had to make their own salads at a rounded prep area...there was no consistency
- So why did Barrie Youngfellow get top billing OVER Gail Edwards?
It's A Living
- When your whole schtick for making a living is that you are young and have big boobs, it's no surprise that you sink without a trace when you're old and had a double mastectomy.
- Mr Barrie Youngfellow (Sam Freed) was a seriously hot man back in his "Kate & Allie" days. He had that Aiden Quinn look that used to drive me wild.
Valerie Harper was Wendy Shaal's stepmom at one time.
- Yes R132. And Nancy Beebe was Cousin Magda.
"It's just a helluva book!" - Dorothy Zbornak
- From an old thread about Ann Jillian:
[quote]Now it can be told: I was Paul Kreppel's fuck buddy.
[quote]He produces now as well as acts, and produced Jay Johnson (the ventriloquist from SOAP)'s one man show. We met when it "tried out" at an off-Broadway theater in Chelsea in 2005. And we were fbs on and off for about 3 years while the show played off and then on Broadway.
[quote]Nice guy, very funny, furry chest, very oral. Nice cut cock about 7" and versatile. Great hot Jewish lover, esp. since was in his late 50s when we were fbs.
[quote]I asked him about the tv series (since I remembered him from it) and he said he had a great time doing it, but he was very much a second-tier cast member - the women were far more catered to.
- I wonder why this show isn't on a cable network or AntennaTV or MeTV. There are certainly enough episodes available, and it hasn't been repeated to death like some other shows of the era (e.g., Golden Girls.)
- It's distributed by Warner Bros. and for some reason their shows aren't shown on any retro stations like the shows owned by CBS/Paramount or Sony. The Hogan Family, Mama's Family, Alice, Perfect Strangers, It's a Living, Growing Pains, Murphy Brown all have enough episodes for syndication yet air nowhere.
- Bump for "It's A Living."
- Why is Barrie top billed?
- "Why is Barrie top billed?"
Would Gail Edwards have been more appropriate?
- Murphy Brown is on the Encores retro station.
- Ann would be top.
- Hey, Barrie is part of TV history -- she played Blossom's mother in the pilot. But then she was never seen again.
- Susan Sullivan was wonderful at comedy. That was really more her metier than melodrama--she was annoying as hell on Falcon Crest (despite her mastery of the credits pivot), but she was enjoyable in both this and Dharma & Greg.
- I remember Barrie Youngfellow when she was still Barrie Rivchun.
- I was in love with Ann Jillian as a kid due to that Alice in Wonderland TV movie where she was the red queen. She was so beautiful and her big song always made me cry. She sold that shit, man.
She has a killer voice.
- Susan Sullivan was great in this too. She had a good feel for comedy, but the show wanted to promote Ann Jillian far too much. The weak link was Wendy Schaal.
- The "Scarlett O'Hara War" episode of the 1980 miniseries Moviola is worth tracking down for Barrie's portrayal of Joan Crawford. The movie, about the top Hollywood actresses bitch-fighting over the chance to play Scarlett, should be a DL favorite. It's like an early-80's "The Women".
- I loved Marian Mercer when she guested on The Golden Girls as Dorothy's ex-husband's cousin Magda from communist Czechoslavakia. She had a heavy accent and got addicted to Slurpees because "They taste so natural and fruit-like".
"She said we live in a plastic society with no soul. This, after I took her to Hickory Farms for beefsticks and spreadable cheese."