Thursday, November 15, 2012


Here's another character you may not have known originated (somewhat) in BookWorld:


'The Lucy Show'

"Life Without George"

Irene Kampen

Lucille Ball

Earth Prime-Time

After the death of her husband, Lucy Carmichael (Lucille Ball) and her friend, the recently divorced Vivian Bagley (Vivian Vance), move into a house together with their children. The series follows the adventures of the widow Lucy as she grapples with the comic complications of life on her own.
- DVD Release Note

'The Lucy Show' does not have the iconic status of I Love Lucy, but it was a worthy and very popular successor (it was the fifth-rated show in its inaugural season). Based on a book, Life Without George, it was something of a groundbreaking series in that it centered on two single moms: one, Lucy, a widower, and the other, Vivian (Vivian Vance), a divorcee (the first such sitcom character). Vivian and her son, Sherman (Ralph Hart), share Lucy''s suburban home in Danfield, New York, with her two children: teenage daughter Chris (Candy Moore) and wisecracking young son Jerry (Jimmy Garrett), who delivers zingers like a pint-sized Fred Mertz.
-Donald Liberson
Tower Video Review

From Wikipedia:
Irene Kampen (April 18, 1922, in Brooklyn, NY – February 1, 1998 in California) was an American newspaperwoman and writer who wrote several books about events in her life.

Kampen's first book, "Life Without George", was published by Doubleday in 1961 and was about her divorce. The book became the basis for 'The Lucy Show', a TV series that ran from 1962 to 1968 and starred Lucille Ball, who had also experienced divorce recently in her split with Desi Arnaz. (Producers re-wrote Ball's character, Lucille Carmichael, as a widow, however, Vivian Vance's character, Vivian Bagley, is portrayed as divorced.)

The credits list the show's basis as the novel "Life Without George", by Irene Kampen. This book was a collection of humorous pieces about two divorced women and their children living together. A next-door airline pilot neighbor, Harry Connors, became a character in the series played by Dick Martin. The character of Chris, Lucy's daughter in the series, had the same name in the book. In a later volume of essays, "Nobody Calls at This Hour Just To Say Hello", Kampen wrote a piece entitled "How Not to Meet Lucille Ball," which detailed her efforts to meet Lucy when she visited Los Angeles. Ms. Kampen and Ms. Ball never met.

I suppose this will be considered heresy, but I preferred 'The Lucy Show' over 'I Love Lucy'.....


1 comment:

Sparrow Canyon Illustrations said...

As much as I respect Ms Ball (especially for her role in Star Trek history) I don't care for I Love Lucy... Maybe I'll try this other show sometime.