Laughs, Luck-- and Lucy: How I Came to Create the Most Popular Sitcom of All Time, Volume 1

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Syracuse University Press, 1996 - Biography & Autobiography - 290 pages
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The man Lucille Ball once called "the brains" of I Love Lucy gives us an inside view of television history as it was being made. Jess Oppenheimer's famous sitcom was the most popular and influential television phenomenon in the history of the medium. Forty-five years after its debut, it remains a favorite the world over. Oppenheimer's book, written with his son, Gregg, is not only a reliable record of how this groundbreaking comedy was conceived and executed but also an amusing insider's account of the broadcasting industry's development from the early days of radio to television's "golden age". Reading much like an episode of Lucy itself, Oppenheimer's comic genius shines through page after page. Hollywood aficionados will delight in his entertaining stories of stars such as Douglas Fairbanks, Edgar Bergen, Fred Astaire, and, of course, Lucille Ball. Lucy lovers will relish more than fifty rare photos, never-before-published scripts (including the only I Love Lucy script that Lucy or Desi ever refused to perform), and an audio compact disc full of Lucy's previously unreleased radio comedy performances.
 

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User Review  - knahs - LibraryThing

A hilarious laugh out look book. Oppenheimer was the creator, main writer, and producer of I Love Lucy but much of the humor in the book is Oppenheimer's writing style and how he tells stories of ... Read full review

Contents

Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Vivian Vance William Frawley
6
a Look at It This Way
9
Perfect Timing
23
Fourth grade class portrait
25
Harrison Holliway
42
The Passports
47
Jess Oppenheimer and Ralph Freud in The Bat
60
Letters from John Steinbeck and James Thurber
70
First page of 1 Love Lucy audition script
135
Jess Oppenheimer and Karl Freund
146
Three Cameras or Four?
148
Love Lucy set and cameras
152
Bud Molin and Dann Cahn with threeheaded monster
158
The Ideal Cast
163
Jess Oppenheimer Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball
167
Clowning around on the set
177

Going Hollywood
75
Jess Oppenheimer at typewriter
82
The Eyes Have It
98
Jess and Estelle Oppenheimer on honeymoon
108
My Favorite Comedienne
114
Lucille Ball Jess Oppenheimer Madelyn Pugh Davis and
117
Richard Denning Jess Oppenheimer and Lucille Ball with
123
Bea Benaderet and Gale Gordon
125
The TV Audition
132
Anatomy of a Lucy Script
180
Jess Oppenheimer Bob Weiskopf
186
The Man Behind the Ball trophy
193
Lucy Is Enceinte
198
Alfred Lyons Jess Oppenheimer Marc Daniels
199
Afterword
213
This
245
Index
281
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Oppenheimer, producer and head writer of 153 classic episodes of I Love Lucy, wrote for many of America's greatest stars during radio's Golden Age.

Oppenheimer completed this book after his father's death.

Bibliographic information