Comments

  1. jj says

    Thank God. Sorry to be a grinch, but I was not ever at any time in my life able to sit through an episode of her show. She wasn’t funny; she was stupid. The basis of her humor was what an ass she was, and the trouble flowing from that. In the real world, Ricky Ricardo would have been serving a life sentence for having reached his limit and killed her somewhere along the way. (And the judge would have sympathized, but would have had no choice.)

    I never was able to conflate ‘stupid’ and ‘funny.’ Stupid is not funny, thus I always preferred Bud and Lou – who did actual routines – to Stan and Ollie, the basis of whose ‘humor’ was what a dope Stan was.

    God! Lucy, Laurel and Hardy – they make my teeth itch. Sorry!

  2. Caped Crusader says

    Back when you had to wait for the tubes to warm up, adjust the contrast, the horizontal, the vertical, and walk up to the TV to change the four stations. Wonder if folks today could stand the strain of such a “tough life” when couch potatoes had to ambulate. Back in the day when the chrome was thick in autos and all the women were straight, and a car bumper could actually bump another with doing a thousand dollars in damage. I recently bought a set of DVD’s of Groucho Marx’s You Bet Your Life program; as good as improvisation humor ever got!

    Many of the old TV, and golden age of radio shows can be downloaded at:

    https://archive.org/

    I love hearing again all the great radio shows I remember as a kid from the 30’s and 40’s before they were killed by that newfangled TV. Also all literature in the public domain is available free and audio books of same downloaded there.

  3. Texan99 says

    But she was a treasure on that “What’s My Line?” episode. It was lovely, too, to see how courteous and charming the contestants and host were. Notice how Steve Allen automatically stood up as Ms. Ball approached at the end to take her leave?

  4. says

    My grandmother LOVED this show!! Hence, I saw it often when “babysitting” her in my pre- and early teens. I’m sorry Bennett Cerf wasn’t in this clip – the original four were (IMO) the best of them!

    And Lucy is just the BEST!!

    Thank you.

  5. Charles Martel says

    What they don’t make anymore are programs like “What’s My Line.” My wife fell in love with the series a couple of years ago after stumbling across some re-runs of it on cable. I was able to hunt down DVDs spanning the show’s years from the early 50s to early 60s. So once or twice a week, she sits down late at night and treats herself to an episode.

    What strikes both of us the most is the courtliness that Texan99 mentions, as well as the lack of coarseness and innuendo that is par for the course these days on game shows. There was an assumption among the panelists and hosts that English is a vast and robust language that is to be enjoyed, not debased.

    Of course that era wasn’t free of drawbacks. My wife and I crack up at the wolf whistles that seemed to greet any female guest in the 50s shows, even if she was a dowdy 45-year-old spinster. As long as it had pronounced mammaries and was showing a bit of leg, it was a target.

  6. Caped Crusader says

    And see how much grander and more fun air travel is today versus 54 years ago. Kinda makes you happy you are not in the cruder past doesn’t it? Personal touch much better today don’t you think?

    • says

      Thanks for the trip down “memory lane,” CC!

      Can you imagine–five hours with no in-flight entertainment, no Kindle, no Ninentendo? And blankets with a pillow if you wanted to take a nap!

      One of my families favorite destinations was to go to the Observation Deck just under the Tower at SFO and watch the planes take off and land. When Boeing released the 707, they had an “open house.” We stood in line and walked through the plane, peeking into the pilot’s cabin. United also had a program for high school-aged Girl Scouts, “Wing Scouts.” When DD#1 was old enough, we participated and I got to see the newest controls. No more Flight Engineer–everything looked like a video game.

      Alas, thanks to DHS and TSA, United no longer offers Wing Scouting.

      • Caped Crusader says

        I suppose all were blown away by the rampant sexism displayed in the stone age as the boy was given pilot wings and the girl stewardess wings. Oh, the horror of it all. Let’s hope no “progressives” see this or it will be banned.

        And, aren’t we all waiting for the outrage to begin demanding that “Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and Restaurant” change it’s name to something not as racist?

  7. says

    Caped Crusader: I remember those days – when we actually dressed up to go the airport.!! And the same when just going to San Francisco….”No jeans, Earl!!” Of course, no one was allowed to poop on the sidewalks in those days, either…..

    Did you hear the thunder of those 55-year old jet engines on takeoff? No more of THAT, baby….

    And did you notice that no one buckled their seat belts while seated during the flight? No downdrafts in those days? Or just tougher stock…..? Maybe it’s because there were fewer tort lawyers!

    The amount of leg room blew me away….you could actually recline your seat without messing up the guy behind you.

    Of course, my family simply didn’t fly commercial back then – it was too expensive! And Dad was a physician. These days, flying is CHEAP….at least in relation to incomes. I simply will not complain about the commercial inconveniences – but the TSA is another matter entirely. “Security Theater” makes me crazy.

    • Caped Crusader says

      Earl, two sounds one will never forget is the Super Connie cranking up, and the whine of the Rolls Royce Merlin engines of the P51 Mustang, the most beautiful plane ever designed! Rode the Super Connie’s in Alaska 1962.

  8. says

    Oh they still make media entertainment like this, Book. It’s just made in Japan, not in America.

    Even the introduction reminds me of social rituals, where people introduced other people to new social circles, as social grease and to make people more comfortable. In the modern world, it’s not that technology replaces communication face to face, it’s more like teens are unable to communicate face to face with strangers because they are all perpetual patients of anxiety disorder and stick their noses in their iphone to avoid embarassment because nobody is supporting them socially to “come out”. They have to do self introductions, and often people don’t even know how to do those.

    The whole blindfold gimmick reminds me of the crazy Japanese comedians that are exposed to physical cold or punishments for losing luck contests.

    Sometimes I say that Japanese media of the variety I select, is like 1940 America, but also not like it. Obviously modern 21st century American culture is closer to a banana republic or dictatorship in Venezuela/Zimbabwe.

    Equality naturally destroys grace and good manners. If everyone is equal, then the equal standard is to behave like an uncontrollable 18 year old. If everyone is not equal, then one gravitates towards the social group that they wish to belong to, whether that is on the high or low end. Inequality is freedom. Equality is thus poor quality.

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