Laughing with Lucy: My Life with America's Leading Lady of Comedy

( 2 )

Overview

I Love Lucy. You love Lucy. We all love Lucy. At any-time day or night, I Love Lucy is on TV somewhere in the world-which means that twenty-four hours a day, Lucille Ball is speaking the words that Madelyn Pugh Davis wrote. As Lucille Ball's staff writer for nearly fifty years-spanning I Love Lucy, The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, The Lucy Show, Here's Lucy, and Life with Lucy-Madelyn was responsible for thousands of hours of classic TV. Many of the story elements used on the shows were, in fact, taken from Madelyn's ...
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Overview

I Love Lucy. You love Lucy. We all love Lucy. At any-time day or night, I Love Lucy is on TV somewhere in the world-which means that twenty-four hours a day, Lucille Ball is speaking the words that Madelyn Pugh Davis wrote. As Lucille Ball's staff writer for nearly fifty years-spanning I Love Lucy, The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, The Lucy Show, Here's Lucy, and Life with Lucy-Madelyn was responsible for thousands of hours of classic TV. Many of the story elements used on the shows were, in fact, taken from Madelyn's own life and immortalized by Ball's comic genius-Mertz, for example, was the last name of her real-life neighbors.

Madelyn and her long-time writing partner, Bob Carroll Jr., share with you their priceless moments in crafting the stories for Lucy, Desi, and cast. In Laughing with Lucy, you'll learn about the scramble to address Ball's real-life pregnancy on the show without using the "p" word. You'll also see the behind-the-scenes, painstaking work to create "spontaneous" jokes. Also, whenever an elaborate physical comedy gag was devised, Madelyn had to act it out first to be sure that a woman could perform it. Best of all, you'll be treated to Madelyn's and Bob's fond memories of the partneship between Lucille Ball, the consummate perfectionist, and Desi Arnaz, the charmer. In Laughing with Lucy, Madelyn looks back with wit and affection on her many years working with Lucy, Desi, and other entertainment legends, and the adventures that came her way as a television pioneer.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fans who have read Geoffrey Mark Fidelman's exhaustive The Lucy Book or Jess Oppenheimer's Laughs, Luck... and Lucy won't find much new material here. The lure of this volume is its amiable and knowledgeable authors: Davis and her longtime writing partner Carroll co-wrote virtually every episode of I Love Lucy and continued to write on all of Lucille Ball's sitcoms through 1986's Life with Lucy. The duo gently clarifies tales that have become exaggerated over the years (e.g., Vivian Vance's contract did not stipulate she weigh 20 pounds more than Ball) and offers amusing examples of script shorthand (e.g., "SPIDER" meant Lucy should make her "eeuh!" sound). They praise Desi Arnaz as a staunch defender of his writers and an unsung behind-the-scenes innovator. Ball was "a beautiful clown" and a perfectionist, but, they cryptically note, "everyone is complicated, and Lucy was more complicated than most." Although tales of working with Ball take up the majority of the book, Davis also offers a fascinating look at being one of the few female comedy writers working on radio and TV in the 1940s and '50s, and lightly touches on her post-Lucy successes writing/producing Alice. (Sept. 30) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578603053
  • Publisher: Clerisy Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2007
  • Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 991,543
  • Product dimensions: 6.62 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents


Don't You Have a Better Joke than That?     13
But I Wanted to be a Foreign Correspondent     22
Worse than Married     39
The Cuban Arm     54
Lucy Isn't Pregnant, She's Expecting     72
California, Here We Come     88
You Wouldn't Fit In, You're a Girl     104
Bon Voyage     116
Our Longest Laugh     129
The Mertzes (Or As Desi Called Them, "The Merzes")     149
What's New?     160
Did You Really Try Out All Those Stunts?     174
I'm Going Over to the Pope's House     192
Your Show's Only Half an Hour; What Do You Do the Rest of the Week?     203
Don't Step on the Children     213
Who Am I?     229
Who's the Pushy Broad at the End of the Table?     247
Index     267
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2006

    A Real Pick-Me-Up Book

    This is a book to reach for if you are feeling down---it is a real pick-me-up book. A light-hearted, funny, and tasteful account of behind-the-scenes TV comedy. I always liked the characters on 'I Love Lucy'. It was nice to know they were good, likeable people in 'real' life too. It seems everything and everybody associated with the product called 'I Love Lucy' was talented. Good job on the writing of 'I Love Lucy' and good job on this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2009

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