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Sunday, August 7, 2016


Fred: "Awww, I can't take anymore, Ethel! It's like listenin' to a cat bein' strangled!"
Ethel: "I'm trying to get 'Amos & Andy' but all that comes in is 'Sweet Adeline'!"

OK, "Ethel" might not look a lot like Vivian Vance, but that guy's a ringer for William Frawley. When you talk at any length with M/F-DD couples, you are bound to hear fond associations with the notion of living like 'Lucy & Ricky', though Lucy & Desi didn't seem to fare that well as a couple at all.

I'll admit I watched "I love Lucy" as a kid and found it entertaining enough.......when I was like 7, but I'll never understand the immense following, bordering on idolatry, you still see among certain women today. Just open a Bradford Exchange Catalog and you'll find more Lucy-worshiping tchotch than you could fit in a long, long trailer.

The thing is, despite raves to the contrary, I don't think Lucille Ball was really that funny. She had a certain knack for slapstick, but her character just grated on your nerves making you hope she got caught. I think I could really enjoy a scene like the one in the drawing above. Wouldn't that have been cool?  But still.....she did get spanked on TV ..............and that was worth something to a boy like me. 

In all honesty, the most talented person on the show was probably William Frawley, who had a decent career prior to doing 'Lucy'. (Though I doubt he was doing Lucy.) I loved his scene in 'Miracle on 34th Street' when he's sarcastically warning the judge about the consequences of denouncing the existence of Santa Claus. He had timing and a great scowl. 

I loved the way he and Vance bickered on the show, but I have read that those glares of pure loathing might not have had to be 'acted' since he and Vance did not like each other very much at all.

The other thing I like about Frawley is that at the time of his hiring, Desi Arnaz was warned by just about EVERYONE not to take him on due to his extensive reputation for excessive drinking. Desi really wanted him though and told him he'd hire him if he agreed in contractual form to not let drinking interfere with his performance or else be immediately terminated. Frawley not only agreed but stayed true to his word, establishing both a trust and friendship with Desi over the years. In a time where rehab centers should be designed with revolving doors, it is cool to hear about someone who stuck to their word despite inclinations to do otherwise.


  1. And Vivian Vance was also MUCH younger than Ethel was supposed to be.

    1. Yes, about 20 years younger than Frawley. In the Wiki blurb they stated she resented the notion of being 'married' to someone old enough to be her father.