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Edgergays: How Did Ricky Ricardo's Job Work?

Since they don't have jobs like that now.

He seems to leave in the morning for work? But isn't it a NIGHTclub? So that should mean he would get home after midnight.

Then does he do the same show 7 days a week? How long is the show? Do you pay for the show? Or do you just buy food and eat it whilst he sings? Or do you just get served drinks and no food?

Then when he restages the show does the club shut down.

by Anonymousreply 225October 23, 2021 10:02 PM

I had a family member who was a gig musician in NYC. After serving in WWII, he went to Julliard and got some recording and tour gigs after graduating, but the real money was in nightclub gigs. He wasn't a band leader like Ricky and did have his days free to pursue other daytime gigs. For the nightclubs he usually had one month contracts that would be renewed or not, depending on changes to the show or if he wanted to do other gigs.

Ricky probably went in around 2 pm each day, played 8 - 12. Maybe spent more time for rehearsals at the beginning of a new show.

by Anonymousreply 1October 13, 2021 4:16 PM

So how long did the shows last? I mean did they play the same show each night, week after week?

by Anonymousreply 2October 13, 2021 4:22 PM

R2 - look at the size of the audience - 250 - 300 a night maybe; so a show could run for a very long time. Vaudevillians could tour the country for years with the same act.

Early TV variety shows really changed that equation - one appearance and suddenly most of the country had seen your act.

by Anonymousreply 3October 13, 2021 5:09 PM

People didn't just sit around all day on their computers back then. They got up, went out and did things even if not work related. Especially men who didn't want to be home with wives who didn't want them in the way. It was a different world. Any lots of chores and errands took longer then. People socialized and were more patient while conducting their business.

Ricky had to rehearse and work on music etc maybe arrangements and meet with agents and others. Probably had to schmooze during the day.

by Anonymousreply 4October 13, 2021 5:13 PM

How much rent were the Ricardo's paying for their apartment? Did the Mertz's give them a cut since they were the landlords?

by Anonymousreply 5October 13, 2021 5:16 PM

Plus he had to give Lucy the thick pinga at least 3 times a day. At least.

by Anonymousreply 6October 13, 2021 5:16 PM

Yes, "Ricky" went to the club to escape harpy Lucy in the am's and to work out arrangements, smoke, drink, womanize and then come back in the afternoon to rehearse. Probably went home for dinner and to pick up anything he'd need for the show, and then back to the club. The club's staging probably went through a certain time frame and then they would change out the show with a new show after a good run. They probably did just guest bands/singers during the nights of the stage change and had the curtain hanging behind those performers.

by Anonymousreply 7October 13, 2021 5:17 PM

R5 - my grandparents lived in a similar 6-flat landlord occupied building in Brooklyn. When they moved out of their 2 bedroom in 1977 they were paying $70 a month. So 20 years earlier in Manhattan - maybe $40.

But why on earth do you think Fred would give Ricky a cut? Or even a discount.

by Anonymousreply 8October 13, 2021 5:23 PM

Since he owned the club he also had to pay bills and otherwise manage the business.

by Anonymousreply 9October 13, 2021 5:30 PM

The only club Rocky owned was below his belt.

by Anonymousreply 10October 13, 2021 5:50 PM

Threads like this are why I can't quit the DL. Where the hell else would you find this discussion?

And can someone please start a thread asking why Mel's Diner on ALICE needed 3 waitresses all day long, when there were barely any customers?

by Anonymousreply 11October 13, 2021 5:57 PM

I got another one….why did the Golden Girls dress like they lived in Minnesota instead of Florida? Even the episodes were they talked about how hot is was they were wearing layers and sweaters?

by Anonymousreply 12October 13, 2021 6:08 PM

After they came back from Hollywood it was said the Ricardos paid the Mertz's $125/month.

Then in Switzerland, when they are trapped and think they are going to die, Fred confesses he charges Ricky $5 (or some other amount) more a month than the other tenants. Ethel then confesses she gave that overcharge back to Lucy each month.

by Anonymousreply 13October 13, 2021 6:28 PM

Every performance of "Babalu" was meticulously rehearsed, bar by bar, with the orchestra. Daily.

Ricky was a total perfectionist.

by Anonymousreply 14October 13, 2021 6:31 PM

IIRC Ann Marie's first apartment apartment was $79 a month.

by Anonymousreply 15October 13, 2021 10:20 PM

He had a band, Ricky Ricardo And His Orchestra - he was the bandleader and vocalist, played conga drums and guitar. The band had a residency at the Tropicana night club. I doubt they played the same set all the time. Just like if you went to see Xavier Cugat at the Waldorf, they played some favorites and some new or different songs, over time.

by Anonymousreply 16October 13, 2021 10:42 PM

Ricky didn't own the Tropicana, he later bought it and changed the name to Club Babalu.

by Anonymousreply 17October 13, 2021 10:55 PM

Not sure about Ricky, but Lucy got up at 10 am.

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by Anonymousreply 18October 13, 2021 11:05 PM

It took her 2 minutes to make the beds and clean? Impressive!

by Anonymousreply 19October 13, 2021 11:13 PM

Ricky had a full orchestra and many dance-girls on staff. He also had novelty acts and exotic performers on standby. Ricky must have shelling out thousands for performers!

by Anonymousreply 20October 13, 2021 11:36 PM

Keep in mind back in Ricky’s area those cats could play, and knew catalogs of songs, different styles, you name it. So changing a musical number wasn’t much of a big deal unless it would have include the dancers.

by Anonymousreply 21October 13, 2021 11:58 PM

[quote]How much rent were the Ricardo's paying for their apartment? Did the Mertz's give them a cut since they were the landlords?

From what I understand, CBS paid the Mertz's the rent on the apartment for the run of the show.

by Anonymousreply 22October 14, 2021 1:13 AM

The Golden Girls were all menopausal so they wore layers to deal with their hot flashes.

by Anonymousreply 23October 14, 2021 1:20 AM

How could Robert Barone dump that beautiful Italian girl (or even his sexy-but-bitchy first wife) for mousy doormat Amy on "Everybody Loves Raymond"?

by Anonymousreply 24October 14, 2021 1:31 AM

The Tropicana Nightclub....The Crisco Disco. When did they stop naming venues after popular supermarket brands?

by Anonymousreply 25October 14, 2021 1:32 AM

The question is what did Lucy do all those nights when Ricky was working before Little Ricky? Hang out at the Mertzes. Watch was little there was on TV?

Off topic, but I would have loved a full season 7 of ILL. I loved the Connecticut episodes, and bringing the Ramseys on board with the Mertzes injected some freshness into the show. It could have used another year to flesh things out more. Give it a proper ending. It's like they moved to CT and then the show was over.

The comedy hour episodes are very inconsistent in quality.

by Anonymousreply 26October 14, 2021 1:36 AM

R26, just like in real life, Lucy sat at home missing that gigantic pinga.

by Anonymousreply 27October 14, 2021 1:39 AM

In 1950's New York bars tended to close by 11PM or so. Nightclubs OTOH remained open far later and thus likely did business since it was only place to get a drink, socialize, etc... until wee hours.

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz frequented the famous Stork Club in New York City, so they had some idea of how such places operated. What the didn't know could always ask people like Stork Club's owner.

Supper clubs generally had two shows; one at or around 8PM and another at midnight. Right there you have two gigs for a band or orchestra. In between shows band/orchestra played at times for dance music.

Being generous and saying last bank/orchestra gig was around 3AM or 4AM, Ricky Ricardo likely didn't get home until nearly 5AM or at least in very early morning. He likely thus slept until well after 12 Noon before getting up and starting his day.

Once he became owner of a night/supper club Ricky would have remained until the place closed and locked up, and or at least until money was counted, people paid, money put in safe, etc...

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by Anonymousreply 28October 14, 2021 2:29 AM

Ricky paid rent on another apartment. He had a Puerto Rican tranny girlfriend who lived there. Lucy and Ethel heard rumors and found where the apartment was. They walked in while Ricky was getting pounded by the tranny. To smooth things over. He was forced to give Lucy a part in a dance number down at the club. Pretty standard stuff for 1950s television.

by Anonymousreply 29October 14, 2021 2:42 AM


Tropicana nightclub had zero to do with oj of same name.

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by Anonymousreply 30October 14, 2021 2:55 AM


Like many real life wives of night/supper club owners or bandleaders Mrs. Lucy Ricardo often got herself all dolled up and went to where her husband was working/placed he owned.

Once there she would schmooze with customers and friends, work the room, etc.. But more importantly kept an eye on her husband. Night/supper clubs had floor shows or other acts with all sorts of women; singers, dancers, barflies, etc.... Many bandleaders had not problems pulling women, and many female performers, dancers, etc... weren't above doing a bit extra to get or keep work at a club.

We know in real life Desi Arnaz couldn't keep his dick in his pants. Actresses, dancers....

You could do a play or musical about it; oh wait, someone did! Pal Joey....

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by Anonymousreply 31October 14, 2021 3:07 AM

The club only had room for about 10 people. So they could run the same show for a year because they had such small audiences.

When they moved to CT, that was probably a long commute for Ricky. And I doubt the train was running when he got off work.

by Anonymousreply 32October 14, 2021 3:12 AM

I remember one episode Ricky was getting home around 4 am. He was also the club manager, so that is probably why he went to the club in the morning as well.

by Anonymousreply 33October 14, 2021 3:14 AM

[quote]Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz frequented the famous Stork Club in New York City, so they had some idea of how such places operated. What the didn't know could always ask people like Stork Club's owner.

Well, and also, Desi was a bandleader and played in a lot of clubs for many years.

by Anonymousreply 34October 14, 2021 3:20 AM

Has anyone heard about how well-endowed Desi was?

by Anonymousreply 35October 14, 2021 3:25 AM


To best of my knowledge last trains out of Grand Central Terminal to anywhere were around 2AM in1950's, and first trains in at around 5AM. Like so much about ILL and other television shows things played fast and lose with reality.

Ricky likely would have kept an apartment somewhere in Manhattan, or maybe went to a hotel. He needed to be at his club by early or certainly late afternoon to supervise and otherwise get ready for opening, not to mention rehearse with his band. Trains would not be running in wee hours when he finished work/club closed.

The alternative of course was for Ricky to commute by car to and from CT and Manhattan.

Lucy likely was no different than any other suburban wife whose husband worked in Manhattan. Stuck in suburbia with a husband that was largely absent much of the week. In case of supper or night clubs that likely extended to good part of weekend as well. Saturday was big for night clubs, so you know Ricky wasn't home.

by Anonymousreply 36October 14, 2021 3:29 AM

If a club opened at 7 or so, I can see musicians getting there an hour before. They didn't have to rehearse ALL the time.

by Anonymousreply 37October 14, 2021 3:32 AM

"Edgergays" is awesome!

by Anonymousreply 38October 14, 2021 3:32 AM


ILL move to CT was last gasp to inject some freshness into what had become a stale show. Writers had run out of ideas, Lucy and Desi were at each others throats (largely over Desi's serial infidelity).

Lucy, Desi and rest of star cast of ILL were starting to get tired of grind that came with doing a weekly show, End of ILL and starting of Lucy/Desi comedy hour was supposed to be a fresh start, but again it didn't last for many of same reasons, largely Lucy's and Desi's marital woes. Day after Lucy and Desi comedy hour wrapped up last show, Lucille Ball filed for divorce.

When you think about it normally kiss of death for any "adult" sitcom is when babies arrive. Little Ricky was getting too old to be cooped up in that (two bedroom?) apartment. Also by this time white flight out of New York city and other urban areas to suburbs was in full swing. So on face of it things seemed natural for Ricardo family to decamp for CT. But then what about Fred and Ethel?

Things might have been different if Lucy and Desi made a clean break from Fred and Ethel, taking up with the Ramsey and their new suburban neighbors. But Betty Ramsey was no Ethel Mertz, you just couldn't picture that suburban matron getting herself mixed up in Lucy's hairbrained schemes.

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by Anonymousreply 39October 14, 2021 3:43 AM

[quote] How could Robert Barone dump that beautiful Italian girl (or even his sexy-but-bitchy first wife) for mousy doormat Amy on "Everybody Loves Raymond"?

Brad Garrett had a problem with that very same thing, and let everyone know, creating a less than ideal environment for the actress who played Amy

by Anonymousreply 40October 14, 2021 3:53 AM

R35, if he's like the Cubans I've hooked up with, Lucy was a lucky lady and Cesar Romero was a lucky gay.

by Anonymousreply 41October 14, 2021 3:55 AM

He left each morning to fuck pussy, Rose.

by Anonymousreply 42October 14, 2021 3:58 AM

He spent half the day pounding Mr. Littlefield's ass.

by Anonymousreply 43October 14, 2021 4:02 AM

In a related question, was Gale Gordon a closeted gay? I've always thought so.

by Anonymousreply 44October 14, 2021 4:05 AM

Just my opinion, but I think the mistake they made was returning to New York permanently after the Hollywood episodes. LA opened up a lot of possibilities for the show. It would have been good if they decided to move back to LA, rather than Connecticut (which was uninteresting). Ricky could have opened a club in LA. Continued to do movies. Fred and Ethel liked it there so they could have relocated too. It gave the show an interesting location and a lot of chances for guest stars.

by Anonymousreply 45October 14, 2021 4:18 AM


On face of it producers and others knew what they were doing with Amy and Robert. Yes, Stefania was hot, stacked, Italian (well on show at least), etc... But Amy wasn't a slouch either and brought many other qualities including a surprising ability to put Marie Barone in her place. Something it took Debra years to get up the balls to even attempt.

While not to extent of his younger brother Raymond, Robert Barone in many ways was a big baby. He wanted in a wife patience, strength, and of course loving along with other things that Robert didn't have in whole or part.

There is also fact Amy and Debra were girlfriends and understood each other, thus were better able to mount a unified front against Marie Barone. Debra desperately needed someone in her her corner against Marie, and Stefania may or may not have fulfilled that role. Debra hardly was going to warm up to Stefania for some time (if ever) simply because of her looks and other qualities. Stefania was a Latin bombshell who took all attention in any room she entered.

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by Anonymousreply 46October 14, 2021 4:19 AM

What does this thread have to do with Everybody Loves Raymond?

by Anonymousreply 47October 14, 2021 4:20 AM

Maybe missed something, but never understood why only Little Ricky and his grandmother went ahead by train, and Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel drove cross country to California.

By train trip took about four or so days. By car depending upon route, rest breaks, etc.. could be much longer or a bit shorter.

by Anonymousreply 48October 14, 2021 4:59 AM

They decided they would need a car while in California. Of course, they could have waited until arriving in LA to buy one. But they also wanted to take the opportunity to see the USA.

by Anonymousreply 49October 14, 2021 5:01 AM

There was a bit where Lucy couldn't decide which form of transport she wanted to take. She first wanted to go by train. Then she changed her mind and wanted to go by plane. Then she changed again and wanted to go by bus. Finally, Ricky in exasperation tells her that he would carry her and Little Ricky across the country piggy-back if she would just make up her mind. That's when she blurts out that they should go by car. She says they'll need one when they get there anyway. And that she read that there in California there is a car for every two-and-a-half people - "You, me, Little Ricky. That's two-and-a-half". She says they may not even let them across the border without one.

by Anonymousreply 50October 14, 2021 5:07 AM

Ricky often visited another side piece, Grace Foster, who conveniently lived upstairs from the Ricardos. She eventually ran off with the milk man, who ended up as a bellboy at the Beverly Palms Hotel in Hollywood.

by Anonymousreply 51October 14, 2021 5:09 AM


Ricky buys a car and Lucy doesn't know how to drive so he teachers her; until Lucy tried to make a U-Turn in the Lincoln (or was it Holland?) tunnel.

When fateful day of departure arrives Lucy, Ethel, and Lucy's mother begin to bring every fucking thing but the kitchen sink as "luggage. Fred ties everything onto car so their new Pontiac looked like something used in Grapes of Wrath....

That's when Ricky comes up with idea "has it ever occurred to any of you this all can go ahead by train?", and decision to send Lucy's mother and Little Ricky by rail was made as well.

It still seemed dumb IMHO. There were car rental places even back in 1950's. That and or studio bringing Ricky out to California could have arranged something if asked.

by Anonymousreply 52October 14, 2021 7:19 AM

Since were veering off into fantasy....

Days of bands and orchestras were numbered by 1950's. By 1960's supper/night clubs were someplace one's grandparents or older parents went. By the 1970's many were becoming discos or maybe even gay bars.

Ricky Ricardo would have had to either join a long list of performers that toured USA and Europe to make money. That or maybe get a residency in Las Vegas or one of the few places that still catered to crowds that liked bands/orchestra.

by Anonymousreply 53October 14, 2021 7:22 AM

Yes, r46, all true. But what Brad Garrett basically was complaining about, superficial as May be, was that a hotter actress could have played Amy, snd still had all those qualities that contributed to the show. The producers went with a Carol Burnett type (funny and funny-looking) rather than the typical pairing of hot wife and funny husband.

by Anonymousreply 54October 14, 2021 8:11 AM

They apparently served food at the Tropicana because, in the episode where Ricky got fired, with Lucy, Fred and Ethel dressing up as different people who've booked all the rerservations - only to keep walking out when they learn Ricky Ricardo is no longer there - we not only see a waiter, but Fred and Ethel are given big menus.

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by Anonymousreply 55October 14, 2021 8:39 AM

[quote] Since they don't have jobs like that now.

Well there's this place in Downtown Los Angeles ....

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by Anonymousreply 56October 14, 2021 9:13 AM


Don't think Cesar Romero ever said...

by Anonymousreply 57October 14, 2021 9:43 AM

I thought that Lucy’s mother flew to California with Little Ricky. That was the Hedda Hopper episode. There was a mixup in picking them up at the airport.

by Anonymousreply 58October 14, 2021 10:53 AM


You're right, my bad.....

Just looked it up and what I found jolted my memory.

When Lucy's mother finds out it will take two weeks to get from NYC to Hollywood, CA she announces she gets car sick. So in end yes, Lucy's mother remained in NYC until after everyone else arrived in Hollywood, then flew out with Little Ricky.

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by Anonymousreply 59October 14, 2021 11:03 AM

Ricky continued making movies and touring with his orchestra.

by Anonymousreply 60October 14, 2021 1:10 PM


No, it would've just became what the "Lucy Show" became in the later half of the 1960s, disjointed and one episode having little to do with another.

by Anonymousreply 61October 14, 2021 2:01 PM

Putting five adults and a toddler in that car going cross country would've been a nightmare.

by Anonymousreply 62October 14, 2021 2:04 PM

R61 I see no reason why it would have become disjointed. The problem was that once Rickey went to Hollywood and made a movie, their life changed. They were hanging around with movie stars, Rickey was becoming famous. When they came back to New York, it was hard to bring the show back to what it had been. They were running out of ideas. That's probably why the writers had them go to Europe. But Connecticut was not a great move. Nothing was going on there and the possibilities of what could be written about suburban life were not exactly endless.

by Anonymousreply 63October 14, 2021 2:40 PM

Did Ricky actually make a movie? I thought “Don Juan” got shelved & that’s why then moved back east.

by Anonymousreply 64October 14, 2021 5:18 PM

He made a different film in Hollywood but the title of it was never revealed.

by Anonymousreply 65October 14, 2021 5:19 PM

Lucy was a bad mother. First, leaving her kid to go to Hollywood, then leaving the kid to go to Europe.

I realize they had to work around Lucille Ball’s real life pregnancy, but adding a child to the show was a mistake.

by Anonymousreply 66October 14, 2021 6:04 PM

Anyone know anything about Desi's donger?

by Anonymousreply 67October 14, 2021 6:09 PM

Nothing to see,

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by Anonymousreply 68October 14, 2021 6:56 PM

R68, I'll bet it was tucked.

by Anonymousreply 69October 14, 2021 6:57 PM

[quote]Tropicana nightclub had zero to do with oj of same name.

Bless your heart R30.

by Anonymousreply 70October 14, 2021 7:15 PM


Desi Arnaz got his band (or orchestra if you will) gig playing music for ILL including IIRC opening and closing closing credits.

Prior to this in 1951 CBS offered Desi's band a job playing music for their radio show "Your Tropical Trip". The network was keen to keep Lucy and Desi from going over to NBC, and to keep both Arnaz and his band in Hollywood instead of touring.

Later in 1951 when IIL debuted on television again as mentioned Arnaz kept his band on payroll.

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by Anonymousreply 71October 15, 2021 4:31 AM

WEHT members of Desi's band members?

Read on....

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by Anonymousreply 72October 15, 2021 4:32 AM


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by Anonymousreply 73October 15, 2021 4:33 AM

In the episode where the Mertzes and the Ricardos were living together Lucy had to get up in the middle of the night to cook a meal for Ricky. He was working late hours at the club.

by Anonymousreply 74October 15, 2021 4:37 AM

Desi was dreamy. I'd have gotten up in the middle of the night to feed him.

by Anonymousreply 75October 15, 2021 4:59 AM

She probably didn't mind getting up in the middle of the night so she could have a cigarette. They were both heavy smokers. Desi smoked cigars as well. P.U.

by Anonymousreply 76October 15, 2021 6:08 AM

[quote]I see no reason why it would have become disjointed.

Well just look at the later seasons of "the Lucy Show," and you will see why.

by Anonymousreply 77October 15, 2021 6:43 AM

Vivian Vance and William Frawley were offered their own show after ILL ended, but such was the bad blood between then Ms. Vance said "no".

William Frawley once said of his IIL co-star that Vivian Vance was the best gal to come out of Kansas, and that he wished she would go back....

by Anonymousreply 78October 15, 2021 6:50 AM

Interesting tidbit; episode "California Here We Come" was directed by William Asher.

At this time Mr. Asher was still married to his first wife, Danny Sue Nolan (1951-1961). Second wife Elizabeth Montgomery (1963-1973) began just as Bewitched was taking off. Indeed in first season of that show Elizabeth Montgomery was expecting her first child IIRC.

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by Anonymousreply 79October 15, 2021 1:18 PM


Where Ricky and Lucy called home wouldn't have made much of a difference. ILL had simply run its course.

Show had been on air for ten years and as noted above the grind of doing a thirty minute show weekly was getting to everyone, and by 1957 the thing was done. Going to the hour long format with a different name but same ensemble cast didn't help matters.

Underlying issue is that the Arnaz marriage was breaking down big time. The one thing that endeared many to ILL from start was the obviously loving husband and wife team of Desi and Lucy. Stress and cracks in that marriage couldn't help but to be seen onscreen.

Since Desilu was a joint effort of Lucy and Desi both were there daily and often were at each others throats, screaming and shouting.... The stress of co-running Desilu caused Desi to drink, which on top of his fooling around just added to marital woes.

Ricky Ricardo could have moved to Hollywood and become the next Rudolf Valentino and it still wouldn't have solved underlying issues.

by Anonymousreply 80October 15, 2021 1:31 PM

I'm a big fan of the show, but I agree with the poster upthread. Instead of Connecticut, they should have moved to LA - if they were looking to breathe new life into the show. Maybe the issue was finding a way to get Fred and Ethel out to LA.

by Anonymousreply 81October 15, 2021 1:38 PM

R80: Lucy played zero role in Desilu before their divorce outside of their show. Even after, she wasn't much of an executive. The studio evolved into a rental lot until she hired Herb Solow to develop new shows, so she could sell it. She was notr terribly original---she finished out her later run with celeb driven shows much as they had done with Lucy-Desi Comedy Hours.

The show would have been intolerable without the Mertzs--Lucy needed a foil with a different temperament and the superficial appearance of having more common sense. Lucy and Ricky arguing about the same stuff over and over would have been grating and even more cliche ridden than the show already became. The move to the suburbs wasn't going to given them more than a season. Staying in Hollywood would have run out of gas if it had continued beyond the season with that story arc. The writers either didn't know how to turn it into a domestic sitcom with a family or weren't given the freedom to do that. It was a good example of show that ran too long but still had enough of an audience that no one wanted to cancel it. In some ways, the show was probably already becoming an exercise in nostalgia--nightclubs were dying and music was changing.

by Anonymousreply 82October 15, 2021 2:16 PM

The Lucy-Desi hour ended in 1960 and that was a good time to end because culture was changing. Women were shedding hats and gloves and the conservative 1950s was ending.

Additionally, Lucy would be 50 in 1961 and color couldn’t cover her age as well as black and white did. It would be noticeable that a “grandmother” was mother to 10 year old Little Ricky.

There were enough older audiences to keep her next two shows on the air. And brava to her for trying to move back into film although her choices weren’t well thought out. I think her movie career would have been very different if she had accepted The Manchurian Candidate. She came back periodically with one off specials to please her tv fans.

by Anonymousreply 83October 15, 2021 3:53 PM

[quote]Additionally, Lucy would be 50 in 1961 and color couldn’t cover her age as well as black and white did. It would be noticeable that a “grandmother” was mother to 10 year old Little Ricky.

In real life, she was a mother to a 10 year old and an 8 year old, and no one seemed to find it particularly unbelievable.

by Anonymousreply 84October 15, 2021 4:38 PM

I hope the building the Tropicana turned into a gay bar in the 80's. Something called Pinga!

by Anonymousreply 85October 15, 2021 5:16 PM

R85 First it became a Howard Johnson's, then a tattoo and piercing parlor.

by Anonymousreply 86October 15, 2021 6:11 PM

But when Ricky was rehearsing a new show, how did that work?

Did they have to play the old show whilst rehearsing the new one?

Was it a restaurant club or a drinking club?

by Anonymousreply 87October 15, 2021 6:18 PM

R87 it was fiction, so it was whatever you imagine it was.

by Anonymousreply 88October 15, 2021 7:02 PM

It’s interesting that movie set trailers have rooms named “Lucy” and “Desi”.

by Anonymousreply 89October 15, 2021 11:46 PM

[quote]But when Ricky was rehearsing a new show, how did that work?

Did they have to play the old show whilst rehearsing the new one?

Ricky's band didn't play 365 days a year. They would take a couple months off at a time and it's then when they work out a new show. It never would be that you go on Friday night to see RICKY RICARDO MUCHO MARIMBA, MARIA! then go the next night to THE GAY NINETIES EXTRAVAGANZA.

by Anonymousreply 90October 16, 2021 12:07 AM

Can you imagine being a hot lady out on the town and bumping into Ricky Ricardo one night while Lucy's at home? I'd have even paid for the hotel room.

by Anonymousreply 91October 16, 2021 12:22 AM

I hated when the shows centered around celebrities. It made sense when they went out to Hollywood for Ricky's film deal. But later on when celebrities just kept popping up, ILL began to lose that common touch that Lucy Ricardo showed in the early shows. This was really apparent in the Lucy/Desi Comedy Hours. Only one of those made me laugh (the one with Danny Thomas and his TV family) and one made me cry (the last episode where Edie Adams sang "That's All" to Lucy and Desi, who weren't even on speaking terms.

by Anonymousreply 92October 16, 2021 12:34 AM

[quote]Only one of those made me laugh (the one with Danny Thomas and his TV family) and one made me cry (the last episode where Edie Adams sang "That's All" to Lucy and Desi, who weren't even on speaking terms.

The Tallulah Bankhead one was the best episode. It would have been cool if it was Bette Davis (as originally planned) but I think it was probably funnier with Tallulah. Unfortunately they had to change the script to have Ethel say she cried at Lifeboat, which wasn't a movie that would make anyone cry (instead of a Bette Davis movie, like - probably - Dark Victory).

by Anonymousreply 93October 16, 2021 12:38 AM

[quote] It would have been cool if it was Bette Davis (as originally planned)

What happened that BD didn’t do it?

by Anonymousreply 94October 16, 2021 12:54 AM

Gary talked her out of it, r94

by Anonymousreply 95October 16, 2021 12:56 AM

I wish Ricky's job was feeding me his junk.

by Anonymousreply 96October 16, 2021 1:48 AM

There couldn't be ILL without Fred and Ethel, and as such moving CT was a more logical choice than CA.

Yes, that California/Ricky in film arc was a nice diversion, in particular because it opened up more chances for guest stars like Van Johnson to appear. Those appearances in turn drove more of Lucy's schemes that she always dragged Ethel into.

What were Fred and Ethel going to do in CA? At least in CT they put their background of being born on a farm to good use when Ricky and Lucy decide to go into egg business.

As noted many times in this thread Lucy needed a co-partner in crime, and that was Ethel Mertz.

More to the point Lucy and Desi likely forgot more about California entertainment scene then that many posting today. If there was a possibility of making a go of ILL in CA it would have been strongly considered or done instead of CT.

Again it wasn't so much location, but fact ILL had run for ten years and had run out of ideas. Writers and cast were getting tired, things were getting stale, Little Ricky was growing up..

As things stand Lucy did move to California in form of the "Lucy Show" and other efforts post ILL. But by then she was a widow which left open other possibilities. Gale Gordon became the new "man" in Lucy's life and to some point sort of stand in for Ricky. Mr. Gordon often was the one laying down this or that law, this in turn set stage for Lucy to do what she did best, get around said law....

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by Anonymousreply 97October 16, 2021 2:02 AM

R97, I Love Lucy DIDN'T run for 10 years, it ran for SIX years. Then after the season in Connecticut it became the Lucy and Desi Comedy Hour, which is a very different animal. Anyway, it ended in 1959, which is eight years after I Love Lucy premiered.

by Anonymousreply 98October 16, 2021 2:05 AM

You’ll also notice in the CA episodes they were plugging movies. Do you think DesiLu was getting financial kickbacks for those plugs?

by Anonymousreply 99October 16, 2021 2:07 AM

And it couldn't be just any sidekick. Vivian Vance just knew how to work with Lucy which is why I will never understand why Lucy didn't give Viv a salary increase and equal billing to keep her on The Lucy Show. All of Lucy's other sidekicks, ever could live up to Viv.

by Anonymousreply 100October 16, 2021 2:08 AM

The movie plugs were to get those stars to appear on TV.

by Anonymousreply 101October 16, 2021 2:09 AM

[quote] The movie plugs were to get those stars to appear on TV.

For what purpose? John Wayne didn’t need to do ILL.

by Anonymousreply 102October 16, 2021 2:11 AM

But he wanted to promote his movies and what better place to promote than the #1 TV show. I think a few of them did it for publicity and because they were friends with Lucy and Ricky.

by Anonymousreply 103October 16, 2021 2:14 AM

Lucy kept mentioning an orange signed by Robert Taylor, but he never appeared on the show. Does anyone know what happened there?

by Anonymousreply 104October 16, 2021 2:16 AM

[quote] Vivian Vance just knew how to work with Lucy

Lucille Ball should have bowed down and kissed the feet of Vivian Vance. VV was the glue that held that show together. Watch the chocolate conveyor belt scene. While Lucy is mugging her way through it, VV keeps the scene from going off the rails by being more natural.

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by Anonymousreply 105October 16, 2021 2:24 AM

From 2008:

[quote]Ricky Ricardo was based on the very real Cuban bandleader and vocalist who played him: Desiderio Arnaz y de Acha, or Desi Arnaz.

[quote]Ricky was from Havana; Desi was from Santiago de Cuba. Ricky emigrated to New York, Desi to Miami. Ricky married Lucy McGillicuddy; Desi married Lucille Ball. Ricky's wife wanted desperately to be in show business; Desi's wife was already a successful radio and film actress. Ricky eventually owned a nightclub; Desi eventually owned TV and movie studios.

[quote]So it only took a few changes for I Love Lucy's writers to turn Desi into Ricky. Says 81-year-old trumpeter Tony Terran: "They retained much of his character and his emotional side."

[quote]Terran is the last surviving member of the Ricky Ricardo Orchestra, the band that backed Ricky in that I Love Lucy nightclub. Terran says that, while Ricky may have been fictional, his band was very real.

[quote]The Ricky Ricardo Orchestra was made up mostly of the Desi Arnaz Orchestra, which had been playing in ballrooms and theaters around the country when not performing on Bob Hope's radio show.

[quote]Yet many in Hollywood had their doubts about a TV show based on all-American girl married to a Latino. The band's musicians felt differently.

[quote]"I think the general feeling in the band was that it was quite a venture," Terran says. "It made some sense to us — we didn't have the same doubts that CBS had."

[quote]After all, Terran says, many popular orchestras back then were designed for mass appeal, alternating between swing and Latin rhythms, with vocalists singing in both English and Spanish. [...]

[quote]"We were commercial," Terran says. "We were more for TV."

[quote]"It was corny but commercial," says Johnny Rodriguez Jr. "I mean, it wasn't the hip Latin music."

Tony Terran died in 2017, he was 90.

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by Anonymousreply 106October 16, 2021 2:25 AM

There was a certain stigma in 1950's that established film stars had against appearing on television. Some felt once you did that it signaled your career on big screen was over or at least on downward spiral.

Van Johnson and others bucked this trend by appearing on highly rated shows like ILL. By time VJ made his famous appearance on ILL he had left MGM and started out on an independent career.

In any event we all know what was happening, the studio system was in its death throes and by 1960's and certainly 1970's many film stars from "A" down to "C" were looking for any sort of work they could get, including television.

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by Anonymousreply 107October 16, 2021 2:28 AM

For those not around during night club heyday, this sort of floor show was standard part of entertainment.

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by Anonymousreply 108October 16, 2021 2:30 AM

Desi had a few shirtless scenes on the show. I noticed that Desi Jr. was much hairier, like the fur was coming out of the top of his shirt when he was still in his teens. It's strange how that happens.

by Anonymousreply 109October 16, 2021 2:41 AM

[quote] Desi had a few shirtless scenes on the show.

In one, he’s taking a shower. Pretty racy scene for 1950s tv that made a married couple sleep in twin beds.

by Anonymousreply 110October 16, 2021 2:44 AM

I agree r105.

by Anonymousreply 111October 16, 2021 8:48 AM

r100 I don't think anything Lucy offered would have kept Viv. She was tired of doing a weekly TV show. Plus she was married and needed to keep an eye on her "formerly" gay husband

by Anonymousreply 112October 16, 2021 10:38 AM

If you believe tittle-tattle Vivian Vance only married gay men. Her father did such a number on young Miss Vance growing up she was apparently afraid of men, so gay ones were deemed a safer bet.

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by Anonymousreply 113October 16, 2021 10:56 AM

Vivian Vance had remarried and was living in CT. Commuting to Hollywood, CA where Lucy Show was filmed was getting Ms. Vance down.

IIRC at first Ms. Vance asked to have her role tapered down so she only did guest appearances, but soon she was just done, period.

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by Anonymousreply 114October 16, 2021 11:04 AM

Desi Arnaz, Jr was hot as fuck when young. No wonder he was pulling girls from high school age onward. Also no wonder Liza M. wanted a slice of that, probably was one of the few straight men she ever dated much less (almost) married.

by Anonymousreply 115October 16, 2021 11:29 AM

r113 relatively little is known about Viv's first two husbands. I doubt the third (Phil Ober) was gay, though. Maybe bi? Someone in the ILL circle claimed he was a womanizer, and Vivian started out as his mistress (and their affair caused something of a scandal).

Viv truly detested her mother, and they never made amends. She claimed she was abusive and a religious nut, and that during Viv's childhood she'd sown the seeds of Viv's later neurosis and nervous breakdown. One of Viv's younger sisters claimed she's had a "different" mother than Viv and doesn't remember her being abusive.

Viv adored her father all her life. As a child, she said he would take her with him when he visited his mistress, and she would wait in the car while they fucked. She aspired to be the carefree mistress, rather than the miserable wife. Later, Viv often came to Desi's defense during his arguments with Lucy; she claimed Lucy was being too hard on him. I wonder if she saw something of her father in Desi.

I think she married a gay man because she still had emotional scars from her marriage to Phil Ober, who was abusive and domineering.

Viv and her father and sisters:

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by Anonymousreply 116October 16, 2021 11:32 AM

R112, I wrote that because I read something that said that those things were what Vivian asked for to return to the series, but Lucy said no. It's possible that I misinterpreted the article or maybe Vivian asked for those things knowing that Lucy would say no so that she could have a clean out from the series.

by Anonymousreply 117October 16, 2021 1:21 PM

I assume Viv knew Lucy would never give her equal billing r117

by Anonymousreply 118October 16, 2021 1:27 PM

Viv essentially wanted to be an equal star. Sort of like Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams or Susan Saint James and Jane Curtain.

[quote]And it couldn't be just any sidekick. Vivian Vance just knew how to work with Lucy which is why I will never understand why Lucy didn't give Viv a salary increase and equal billing to keep her on The Lucy Show.

The only two Vivian replacements that worked were Ann Sothern and Joan Blondell. Joan hated Lucy's guts and told her to "fuck off" in front of a stunned studio audience.

Ann Sothern had the same problem as Vivian Vance, she wanted to be equal not a second banana.

Lucie Arnaz said that Ann Sothern and Vivian Vance were the only two people to successfully stand up to her mother.

by Anonymousreply 119October 16, 2021 2:06 PM

I don't think Vance wanted equal billing. Sothern did, which was preposterous because it was Lucy's show (even the title was Lucy!)

by Anonymousreply 120October 16, 2021 2:07 PM

[quote]You’ll also notice in the CA episodes they were plugging movies. Do you think DesiLu was getting financial kickbacks for those plugs?

Lucy always did trades. A plug for a performance. For instance, Desi Jr appeared on "the Brady Bunch," and Maureen McCormick was to appear on "Here's Lucy," as an even trade, but for some reason, she didn't appear and Eve Plumb appeared in her place.

by Anonymousreply 121October 16, 2021 2:08 PM

[quote]There couldn't be ILL without Fred and Ethel, and as such moving CT was a more logical choice than CA

Actually in the California episodes, (I forget which one), the Mertzes come back from a day of sightseeing and Ethel asks Lucy to talk Fred out of selling the apartment building a buying an orange grove. The joke being:

Lucy) What do you know about raising oranges?

Fred) What do I have to know? The oranges know.

by Anonymousreply 122October 16, 2021 2:11 PM

OP = Richard Fader of Fort Lee, NJ

by Anonymousreply 123October 16, 2021 2:31 PM

[quote]You’ll also notice in the CA episodes they were plugging movies. Do you think DesiLu was getting financial kickbacks for those plugs?

Lucy and Desi were going to make some movies for MGM - The Long Long Trailer, and Forver Darling - hence the frequent plugs for MGM. One episode even contained a preview clip from a highly anticipated movie, Guys And Dolls (not an MGM picture, but to be distibuted by them). This clip is not in the rerun episode (the show where Lucy dances with the dummy of Ricky). Apparently Dore Schary (MGM studio boss) was even going to make an appearance (but was replaced by VV's husband Phil Ober at the last minute). Another actual MGM executive, Walter Reilly, is played by Parley Baer in the episode where Lucy screws up and gets Ricky is released from his contract ("He's released?" "He's released!")

The guest stars were sometimes old friends Lucy had costarred in movies with - William Holden, Van Johnson - there was even the Don Loper episode where several movie star wives appear, including the wife of Bill Holden and the wife of Richard Carlson (another of Lucy's former costars) and actress Sheila MacRae, Mrs. Gordon MacRae (who was later the new Alice Kramden on The Honeymooners).

A lot of stars were very happy to appear on I Love Lucy because it was one of the the hottest things in show business at the time. It was good free publicity, and they did get their movies plugged - naturally. But it was one of the best gigs in town at the time.

As for the Mertzes going to Hollywood, permanently - Fred went to Europe as Ricky's band manager, maybe he could have done that, in LA. Or Fred and Ethel could have gone back to performing - didn't they used to do an act in vaudeville, and didn't they appear in a movie while in LA? Or Fred just could have retired. It's not that hard to write these things into a sitcom.

by Anonymousreply 124October 16, 2021 2:33 PM

Fred and Ethel could have done a show where they just sing Red Red Robin and Carolina in the Morning over and over. I would have watched it.

by Anonymousreply 125October 16, 2021 2:37 PM

I was a waiter in the Copacabana back in the day. We were a supper club in NYC catering to an upscale clientele. Often, celebrities could entertain other celebrities in a more intimate setting. I wore a tux as a waiter and we served french style, even had a cigarette girl. Shows were terrific with top stars. Usually, shows ran for about six weeks, then a whole new show came in, with resident orchestra. I'm not sure if Desi had anything but an orchestra, and occasionally Lucy singing. It was a fun, fast life back in the 70's. There is nothing like that now.

by Anonymousreply 126October 16, 2021 2:48 PM

r4 makes me almost unbearably nostalgic

by Anonymousreply 127October 16, 2021 2:52 PM

This is going to sound cunty, but how old are you R126 and when was this?

by Anonymousreply 128October 16, 2021 2:56 PM

In California, Fred could have bought some bungalows like Garden of Allah and managed those. Same thing he was doing in NYC.

I'm not sure that an Ethel/Fred spinoff would have worked. Both of them were second bananas and really needed a younger couple to play off of. Both ended up well. Viv followed Lucy onto her new show and Bill went to My Three Sons.

by Anonymousreply 129October 16, 2021 3:06 PM

By the way, Don Loper was SO gay on that epiosde.

by Anonymousreply 130October 16, 2021 4:32 PM

*episode... episodesth

by Anonymousreply 131October 16, 2021 4:32 PM

Having them simply move the format to LA wouldn't have solved anything. They had exhausted the possibilities with the existing setup and Lucy and Desi were exhausted with each other. At best, they needed another full season arc that would be different from what they had done before---just imagine the racist possibilities if Ricky's band toured Asia or Africa, or even South America.

by Anonymousreply 132October 16, 2021 4:42 PM

Did Lucy and Ricky ever pay the gas money to Fred for the drive?

by Anonymousreply 133October 16, 2021 5:04 PM

[quote]Did Lucy and Ricky ever pay the gas money to Fred for the drive?

Ricky paid off the debt by fucking Ethel.

by Anonymousreply 134October 16, 2021 5:12 PM

Lucy and Desi driving up Whitney Portal Road in the 1954 film "The Long, Long Trailer." The road goes from Lone Pine, California up to Whitney Portal, California and is the same road that Humphrey Bogart drove up in the 1941 film "High Sierra."

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by Anonymousreply 135October 16, 2021 5:14 PM

Who knew there so many mysteries, bafflements, and complexities connected with "I Love Lucy." I for one am mightily impressed by the expertise on display--and I am OLD.

by Anonymousreply 136October 16, 2021 5:23 PM

R135 My parents and I drove up some steep mountain road in California once when I was a kid. It may have been that one. My mom (who was in the passenger seat) always said she felt like she was in an Alfred Hitchcock movie and my dad was trying to do her in.

by Anonymousreply 137October 16, 2021 5:33 PM

Carole Cook has a couple of interviews where she talked about the ‘60s Lucy shows.

I’ll try to dig them up and post ‘em.

by Anonymousreply 138October 16, 2021 6:44 PM

I loved watching I Love Lucy re-runs when I was a kid. I tried watching a couple of episodes last week and couldn't sit through it. I guess it was fun and silly comedy when I was a kid, and translates differently as an adult. Way too corny.

by Anonymousreply 139October 16, 2021 10:32 PM


According to Barry Manilow's "Copacabana" which was released in 1978...

"Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl, but that was thirty years ago when they used to have a show..."

1978 minus thirty years is 1948......

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by Anonymousreply 140October 16, 2021 11:17 PM

OTOH in film "GoodFellas" the mafia men take their wives and mistresses (never on same night of course) to Copacabana to see a show and have dinner/drinks. This was in 1960's, so there's a bit of range there....

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by Anonymousreply 141October 16, 2021 11:19 PM


Again a "Fred and Ethel" spin off wouldn't have worked because Vivian Vance and William Frawley hated each other's guts with a white hot passion.

Ms. Vance was put off by William Frawley at first sight, complaining loudly that it wasn't believable for "Ethel" to be married to "that old coot". WF overheard that remark and it was game on ever since.

Story goes Vivian Vance was out at a nightclub or whatever when informed of William Frawley's death. Her first comment was "champagne for everyone...."

William Frawley went off to do "My Three Sons", so he wasn't out of pocket when IIL and the hour long format ended.

by Anonymousreply 142October 16, 2021 11:24 PM

Whenever I see a Cuban guy naked, I always wonder if that's what Ricky Ricardo's thingie looked like.

by Anonymousreply 143October 17, 2021 12:19 AM


If anything IIL or whatever came afterwards should have dropped Ricky Ricardo as a bandleader etc... period. He was getting on in age anyway and as stated previously era of bands/orchestras along with nightclubs was slowly dying. Yes, places held on into the 1960's and bands/orchestras may have found work, but still.

If the Arnaz marriage weren't on the rocks there could have been many other possibilities for "Ricky and Lucy" at least into 1960's. Something like "The Danny Thomas Show/Make Room For Daddy".

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by Anonymousreply 144October 17, 2021 12:57 AM

ILL still makes me laugh 70 years later, but I can't bear to watch her follow-up sitcoms. The first couple seasons of "The Lucy Show" are okay, but once Vivian left, it was awful. "Here's Lucy", though, is the absolute bottom of the barrel. Someone as strong as Lucy needs a good supporting cast, and she never had one post-Viv. Mary Jane Croft? GMAFB.

by Anonymousreply 145October 17, 2021 1:03 AM


First few seasons of "The Lucy Show" worked IMHO because Gale Gordon replaced Ricky Ricardo, and Vivian Vance was back as "Ethel" . In short it was a recreation of ILL with some tweaks.

That Lucille Ball kept getting television shows and even landed Mame late as 1974 proved how much juice she still had. Well at least that is what suits and others putting up money believed anyway.

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by Anonymousreply 146October 17, 2021 1:14 AM

R142 I think some of that is legend. Vivian Vance was a class act, she wouldn't have said that. Every feud between two actors, there is some variation on that pass the champagne line when one of the two in the feud dies. In VV's case, I just don't think she would be that crass.

But I do agree that a F&E spin off would not have worked, not because they hated each other, but because I think VV and WF knew they were supporting players and knew that F&E didn't work with out Lucy and Ricky. The 4 characters needed each other. That was the magic.

For instance, while I like the first three seasons of the Lucy Show; it's missing Ricky and Fred. There were never any real consequences to Lucy and Viv's actions because there was no Ricky and Fred. They brought in Mr. Mooney and before him Mr. Barnsdahl, but it wasn't the same.

by Anonymousreply 147October 17, 2021 1:44 AM

My school had some private dance at the Copacabana. It think it must have been near the end - it was a disco. It was impossible to see what it had once been like.

by Anonymousreply 148October 17, 2021 1:44 AM

Susanne Bartsch gave the greatest parties at Copa in late 1980's through good part of 1990's until the place shut down.

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by Anonymousreply 149October 17, 2021 1:46 AM


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by Anonymousreply 150October 17, 2021 1:47 AM

Fate of Copacabana nightclub post 1970's...

Note when the East 60th street location (original) closed and Copa moved to West 57th, Barry Manilow purchased the original "Copacabana" neon sign.....

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by Anonymousreply 151October 17, 2021 1:50 AM

[quote]For instance, while I like the first three seasons of the Lucy Show; it's missing Ricky and Fred. There were never any real consequences to Lucy and Viv's actions because there was no Ricky and Fred. They brought in Mr. Mooney and before him Mr. Barnsdahl, but it wasn't the same.

It's interesting how they tried to put Lucy's character's sometime boyfriend, the pilot played by Dick Martin, into that Ricky position for a while. He would come back from a flight and find Lucy in the freezer, or the coal bin. Something like that. But he wasn't her husband, so it was not the same dynamic at all.

Years later, Lucy did a pretty good one-off called Lucy Calls The President, I think. It was the first time in a 'sitcom' style show that she had a husband again - played by Ed McMahon. It worked. People like Gale Gordon and Viv were back (Viv had had a stoke, or had Bell's Palsy - but she was still good). Gordon was not her boss, for once. Mary Wickes was in in, too, I think. Lucy played a suburban housewife and it wouldn't have made a bad series. It was cute, and Lucy was actually very funny in it. Much better premise than Life With Lucy.

by Anonymousreply 152October 17, 2021 1:53 AM

Dick Martin was then too young (and rather good looking IMHO) to be Lucy's husband. Ok, leaving out the looks thing, he was still too young. Gale Gordon or some other man his age, yes, that one could see.

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by Anonymousreply 153October 17, 2021 2:04 AM

All Lucy's post-Desi TV leading men were too young for her. The Lucy shows were always cast that way. I guess someone thought it made her look younger. I think it made her look older. Desi himself was younger than her (6 years).

by Anonymousreply 154October 17, 2021 2:11 AM

I love Lucy, but even as a kid watching the syndicated repeats I would roll my eyes at all the times they would call her "young lady" or "a young widowed mother" on The Lucy Show. I never really got into Here's Lucy, so I'm not sure if they did that or not.

by Anonymousreply 155October 17, 2021 2:15 AM

I forgot to add watching ILL as an adult you realize that as the show went on Fred and Ethel actually got more youthful and better looking, but Lucy and Ricky started to fall apart right around season 5.

by Anonymousreply 156October 17, 2021 2:16 AM

So many remember ILL, but nobody ever talks about the rival show, I Married Joan.

by Anonymousreply 157October 17, 2021 2:44 AM

Read about Joan Davis and you'll know why.

by Anonymousreply 158October 17, 2021 2:47 AM

Watch one episode of "I Married Joan" (if you can). It was truly awful. As tiresome as ILL's defenders can be--it was a great show to watch in reruns as a little kid, but seems like predictable, cliche-ridden drek as an adult---I Married Joan makes it look like Chekov or at least Noel Coward.

by Anonymousreply 159October 17, 2021 3:12 AM

Joan Davis was just dreadful. A better imitation Lucy was Cara Williams in Pete& Gladys.

by Anonymousreply 160October 17, 2021 3:26 AM

Seeing Viv's decline in Lucy Calls the President always makes me sad, r152.

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by Anonymousreply 161October 17, 2021 10:02 AM

A followup thought to r116.

From what I remember, Phil Ober was generally jealous, but specifically jealous of Viv's female friendships. He demanded she keep a record of every interaction during her day to monitor who she was talking to, and tried to sabotage her friendships with Lucille and other members of the ILL crew. Infamously, he told Viv that there were rumors she and Lucy were having a lesbian affair. I wonder if he really did fear she was a lesbian, and if it was projection on his part.

by Anonymousreply 162October 17, 2021 11:26 AM

I've never watched the whole episode:

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by Anonymousreply 163October 17, 2021 1:36 PM

I always thought he took care of auditions, rehearsals, and business meetings in the mornings. But I was never too concerned about it.

by Anonymousreply 164October 17, 2021 1:40 PM

[quote]Watch one episode of "I Married Joan" (if you can). It was truly awful.

No it's not. Joan is very different. Joan is just wacky, much more so.

by Anonymousreply 165October 17, 2021 3:00 PM

r165 = the ghost of Joan Davis

by Anonymousreply 166October 17, 2021 3:09 PM

I believe a Fred and Ethel spin off would be OK. The real problem was Vance didn't want to work.

Yeah Viv and Bill disliked each other but so what? They worked for five years on ILL and had on screen chemistry. If Vivian Vance wanted to work, she would have done it. But as her history shows, they had to beg her to do the first year of "the Lucy Show," then beg her for the next two years to come back. Then she never really did much after but sell Maxwell House (with Cora - Margaret Hamilton).

The story goes Frawley had two special clauses in his contract, one that he could be let go immediately if his worked suffered even one time from his drinking. He had a reputation as drunk. But he never caused any issues with that on "I Love Lucy." The other clause was that if the Yankees won the pennant, he'd be given time off to watch the games.

Vance resented the fact her job depended (at least at first) on Frawley maintaining sobriety. If he went so would she. Then she said he was too old and he said she had a figure like a sack of doorknobs and so forth. Vance also considered him unprofessional because he didn't want to work. He would go to the writers and ask to have his lines CUT DOWN, while most actors want more screen time.

Then Frawley would only memorize his lines and not even read the script. Vance said many times she took him aside and had to explain to him what the plot was about.

But all that aside, Viv and Bill worked well together and had Vivian wanted to work at all, the show would have been fine. Frawley resented her not wanting to do the show, but as others said, he had "My Three Sons," which let him go, not beause he was old, sick or even a drunk, but rather he was uninsurable.

by Anonymousreply 167October 17, 2021 3:10 PM


No, watch some. It's superficially similar to Lucy but that is about it.

by Anonymousreply 168October 17, 2021 3:10 PM

[quote] Then Frawley would only memorize his lines and not even read the script.

But that’s how old time show business worked. If you’ve ever rented scripts for musicals some will just send the actual lines for smaller characters and not the entire script. Often Broadway actors would only get the pages of the scenes they were in.

by Anonymousreply 169October 17, 2021 3:18 PM

Well yeah but he was playing a second lead on ILL

by Anonymousreply 170October 17, 2021 9:03 PM

[quote] Well yeah but he was playing a second lead on ILL

But his training was in vaudeville which didn’t require scripts. You can’t teach an old man new tricks.

by Anonymousreply 171October 17, 2021 9:06 PM

Was Frawley closeted?

by Anonymousreply 172October 17, 2021 9:07 PM

Bill with Viv and her husband. For publicity, but they look happy enough.

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by Anonymousreply 173October 17, 2021 9:09 PM

The Frawley-Vance feud has been WILDLY exaggerated over the years. There was no love lost between them, but they were both professionals who got along as best they could while working.

by Anonymousreply 174October 17, 2021 9:16 PM

[quote]But his training was in vaudeville which didn’t require scripts. You can’t teach an old man new tricks.

Yeah but he was in movies for years where he played the bartender or the sidekick. But his roles weren't usually all that huge, so he could learn just his "sides" and get away with that. Understandable. Kind of funny that he did it on ILL, though I understand where he was coming from.

by Anonymousreply 175October 17, 2021 9:47 PM

[quote]They decided they would need a car while in California. Of course, they could have waited until arriving in LA to buy one. But they also wanted to take the opportunity to see the USA.

[quote]There were car rental places even back in 1950's. That and or studio bringing Ricky out to California could have arranged something if asked.

If they had gone by plane or train there would be no Shortnin' Bread.

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by Anonymousreply 176October 18, 2021 12:24 AM

That gag with Fred carrying the ever-growing tree across the stage always cracks me up for some reason.

by Anonymousreply 177October 18, 2021 1:23 AM

I love how at the end of that episode Ethel still wins.

by Anonymousreply 178October 18, 2021 1:26 AM

I still can't believe Lucy gave up that Cuban dong for Gary Morton.

by Anonymousreply 179October 18, 2021 2:42 AM

She got tired of sharing it r179 and the STIs.

by Anonymousreply 180October 18, 2021 2:48 AM

a simple STi from Desi Arnaz would have been worth it for that thing.

by Anonymousreply 181October 18, 2021 3:05 AM

R181, I'd pop a couple of blisters to have sex with Desi.

by Anonymousreply 182October 18, 2021 3:13 AM

I could give Ricky a really good job.

by Anonymousreply 183October 18, 2021 6:28 AM

I don't think an Ethel and Fred spin off would have worked...it's the same kind of thing as with spinning off the Ropers from Three's Company. Great characters but the characters don't really like each other very much and while that's funny when those characters are second bananas, it's not something you want to see in your main characters on a half hour sitcom.

And, the success of ILL was in that 4 character setup which mostly centered on conflict between couples. It was either "Ricardos vs Mertzs" or more frequently "The Girls vs The Boys". It would be hard to center a show on the Mertzs unless you came up with good conflicts for them with new characters. But, at the end of the episode, you'd still have to go back to Fred & Ethel united and that would be hard to believe in every week.

by Anonymousreply 184October 18, 2021 8:51 AM

[quote]I don't think an Ethel and Fred spin off would have worked

I don't either. It might have been funny, but how long could it have been sustained? Did we really want to see more of the intimate lives of Fred and Ethel?? Or did we see just enough? Sometimes on ILL when we got glimpses of their marriage, I felt a glimpse was plenty.

The compatibility of the four actors onstage is just one of those mysterious things. There was always something cool about the Ricky-Fred dynamic, too, for me - it came from the actors, no one probably would have deliberately written a show where a youngish Cuban-American bandleader is buddies with his oldish landlord. The unlikelihood works, and they had chemistry. They all did. But who (in the audience) needed Vivian Vance and William Frawley to headline a sitcom? Nobody was clamoring for that, they loved them on ILL and wanted to see them on ILL, period.

by Anonymousreply 185October 18, 2021 4:01 PM

The spinoff would have sucked---no where to go w/o another couple and because this couple is the beta, they'd need someone else to be the alpha which would overshadow them. The Ropers is a good analog---the story arc had nowhere to go. .

by Anonymousreply 186October 18, 2021 4:08 PM

Spin-off? Frawley wouldn’t read the script when he was second banana. Why did anyone think he would in a lead role?

by Anonymousreply 187October 18, 2021 4:16 PM

Actually, a good spinoff would be a road show. They travel around the country putting on shows in small towns. In each town, they get into some type of comedy bother with Fred being a tightwad or Ethel being overindulgent. Every show has one musical number so the actual storyline only needs to be about 18 minutes. They could have all the Lucy regulars making guest appearances.

by Anonymousreply 188October 18, 2021 4:23 PM

Kind of like Route 66...only a comedy.

by Anonymousreply 189October 18, 2021 4:26 PM

[quote] Kind of like Route 66...only a comedy.

With music! And old timey costumes and dancing.

One episode could be about a runaway kid who Fred & Ethel discover. They give him a life affirming talk and that night appear at his school where he gets to help them and it boosts his self esteem. Mary Jane Croft can play the distraught mother.

by Anonymousreply 190October 18, 2021 4:39 PM

R190 I think that sound like more a part for Doris Singleton. Or maybe Barbara Pepper!

by Anonymousreply 191October 18, 2021 4:42 PM

[quote] Or maybe Barbara Pepper!

We’re saving Barbara Pepper for the episode where Fred mistakenly books them into a strip club.

“Give me a break, Ethel. 30 years ago it was a vaudeville house.”

“Well now it’s a bawdy house.”

Barbara Pepper will play the woman who trains the girls to do their strip acts. We will find out that her daughter is embarrassed by the work that Barbara does.

by Anonymousreply 192October 18, 2021 4:52 PM

R192 Are you sure this is going to be a hilarious comedy series? It seems more like Ethel Knows Best.

by Anonymousreply 193October 18, 2021 5:05 PM

LOL r192

by Anonymousreply 194October 18, 2021 7:54 PM

Ethel will perform this number for Barbara Pepper’s girls in the bawdy house episode.

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by Anonymousreply 195October 19, 2021 1:04 AM

One time when we did this thread someone suggested a Fred and Ethel period show on HBO, but just as a drama. Basically how Fred and Ethel met. I said then that I would watch the fuck out of that and I still would.

by Anonymousreply 196October 19, 2021 2:01 AM

R196 What's a period show? It makes me think of 1890s costumes.

by Anonymousreply 197October 19, 2021 4:40 AM

IIL did do a "period show" of a sort; episode "Pioneer Women"...

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by Anonymousreply 198October 19, 2021 5:13 AM


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by Anonymousreply 199October 19, 2021 5:14 AM

William Frawley was born in 1887, and Vivian Vance in 1909. That's a 22 year age gap, and though it wasn't unheard of for older men to marry a younger woman, you can sort of see why Vivian Vance initially objected.

How Fred and Ethel met and married likely would make an interesting story, but not something to build an entire show new show around.

by Anonymousreply 200October 19, 2021 5:19 AM

[quote]William Frawley was born in 1887, and Vivian Vance in 1909. That's a 22 year age gap, and though it wasn't unheard of for older men to marry a younger woman, you can sort of see why Vivian Vance initially objected.

Maybe those weren't supposed to be the ages of their characters, necessarily. If you see him in old movies, Bill Frawley basically looked the same for 20 years. In those days you couldn't Google actors' ages. Anyhow, it worked.

by Anonymousreply 201October 19, 2021 5:32 AM

In one episode, Fred & Ethel celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. Perhaps Ethel married Fred because she wanted security from the Depression.

ILL began in 1951 and if we put the Mertzes in their 50s, then they were born before the turn of the century. Probably Vivian wanted to play them in their 40s. Either way, both actors were excellent in their roles.

by Anonymousreply 202October 19, 2021 11:40 AM

The real problem in our marriage was that Fred had himself trained to do anything in less than a minute.

by Anonymousreply 203October 19, 2021 12:14 PM

If I remember correctly, Fred and Ethel were originally supposed to have an adult child, but writers abandoned that angle.

by Anonymousreply 204October 19, 2021 12:17 PM

[quote]What's a period show?

A show set in the past during a particular time period. Mad Men was a period show. Boardwalk Empire, Carnivale, Rome... all period shows.

by Anonymousreply 205October 19, 2021 12:21 PM

On another note, RE why Viv left The Lucy Show. When she was divorcing Phil Ober, she blamed her professional success on the breakdown of her marriage, and claimed she'd spoken to him over the years about quitting the show in order to save their relationship. He enjoyed the financial windfall and told her not to quit, but she claimed she would have walked away from it all to keep him.

Maybe she saw signs of trouble in her last marriage and decided she didn't want to make the mistake of putting her career before her husband again.

I don't think anything Lucy offered could have kept her around.

by Anonymousreply 206October 19, 2021 12:33 PM

[quote]What's a period show?

A Very Special Episode of the Facts of Life, Rose

by Anonymousreply 207October 19, 2021 3:23 PM

I asked and I actually know what a period show means, I just didn't understand it in the context of the original post. I mean what could a show about Ethel and Fred be *other* than a period show? So I thought maybe something more was meant by it.

by Anonymousreply 208October 19, 2021 3:31 PM

[quote] What's a period show?

An adaptation of Judy Blume’s Young Adult novel “Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret.” They talk a lot about periods in that book.

by Anonymousreply 209October 19, 2021 3:55 PM

Fred & Ethel 1920 - two young, carefree, attractive Vaudevillians who are so very much in love.

The tragedy is we all know where this is headed - like those Scrooge Christmas Past scenes.

by Anonymousreply 210October 19, 2021 4:10 PM

^* I’ve just committed a grave Dataloungr sin by not naming the above show “Follies - Fred & Ethel”.

by Anonymousreply 211October 19, 2021 4:14 PM

I'd never seen a young Phil Ober. Here he is (at 4:00) around the time he met Vivian Vance. He seems a lot different younger. Not bad looking at all.

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by Anonymousreply 212October 19, 2021 10:32 PM

[quote]I asked and I actually know what a period show means, I just didn't understand it in the context of the original post. I mean what could a show about Ethel and Fred be *other* than a period show? So I thought maybe something more was meant by it.

When AMC did Bates Motel (which is a Psycho prequel), they set it in the current time. So it can be done.

by Anonymousreply 213October 19, 2021 11:08 PM

LOL r209

by Anonymousreply 214October 23, 2021 2:24 PM

[quote]I'd never seen a young Phil Ober. Here he is (at 4:00) around the time he met Vivian Vance. He seems a lot different younger. Not bad looking at all.

R212 He wasn't bad looking when he was older, either. He looks pretty much the same to me, there - just younger. I never thought he was too good an actor. Not bad - there used to be a lot of those pros who had good looks and could speak well, without having any artistry. His best role was in From Here To Eternity, he was perfect for that part.

by Anonymousreply 215October 23, 2021 2:41 PM

I prefer him in North by Northwest r215

by Anonymousreply 216October 23, 2021 2:46 PM

R216 His two or three lines were brilliant!

by Anonymousreply 217October 23, 2021 3:00 PM

Ober really didn't have to be interesting in FHTE, he merely needed to set-up Lancaster and Kerr's parts. Hiring someone who plays pompous martinets well is all that was needed.

by Anonymousreply 218October 23, 2021 4:14 PM

[quote]Ober really didn't have to be interesting in FHTE, he merely needed to set-up Lancaster and Kerr's parts. Hiring someone who plays pompous martinets well is all that was needed.

I guess you forgot he also is trying to recruit Pruitt (Clift) for the boxing team and has him mistreated so he'll give in and box. He stands by and watches while Pruitt is treated like shit by his men. He's a weasel. He's also not very good at his job - Sgt. Warden (Lancaster) has to do it for him. Holmes is not a simple, cut-out pompous martinet character. Holmes sets the entire plot in motion and influences everything that happens in the story, by being a weakling and an incompetent climber who never should have been an officer. And Ober captures all this perfectly - he's perfectly cast.

by Anonymousreply 219October 23, 2021 5:26 PM

ETA: And a shitty, neglectful, emotionally abusive husband.

by Anonymousreply 220October 23, 2021 5:28 PM

Band leaders don't make that much money. Ricky Ricardo liked to dress well so he was required to have a variety of side hustles.

Ricky ran a prostitution ring. He collected money from his bitches and hoes in the morning from the previous night's activities. Ricky sold weed and other drugs mid-day and early afternoon. Late afternoon Ricky rehearsed with the band for the evening show at the Tropicana. That was his main gig.

BTW, Lucy couldn't be in the act because Ricky didn't want her to know what he did during the day. Lucy's crazy antics are the result of the PCP laced weed she found in Ricky's jacket one night. She smoked it and hasn't been right since.

Fred Mertz was senile and didn't know he was in the world. Ethel went along with everything because she was... well...MENTALLY RETARDED!

by Anonymousreply 221October 23, 2021 6:20 PM

Mrs Trumbull had an affair with Grover Cleveland as a young showgirl.

by Anonymousreply 222October 23, 2021 6:22 PM

[quote]And a shitty, neglectful, emotionally abusive husband.

So, he played himself.

by Anonymousreply 223October 23, 2021 6:27 PM

I'm rewatching From Here to Eternity now. Ober was perfect in the role, but I do get the sense he was essentially playing a version of himself

by Anonymousreply 224October 23, 2021 6:56 PM

r221 you might enjoy

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by Anonymousreply 225October 23, 2021 10:02 PM
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