Monday, October 14, 2013

Vivian Vance: "It's More An Expression of Me"

As most Lucy fans know, Vivian Vance was ambivalent about the prospect of playing opposite Lucille Ball in a second weekly series, when she was approached about making a comeback in The Lucy Show (CBS, 1962-68). Despite a generous salary, flattering wardrobe, co-star billing and the promise that her character would not be named Ethel, she was hesitant about taking the role, and in fact would remain a series regular for only three seasons. But when interviewed by syndicated columnist Cynthia Lowry in the fall of 1962, only a few months after joining the cast, Vivian was sounding upbeat about her new assignment. Here are some excerpts from that rarely-republished interview:

Opening titles for season 1 of The Lucy Show.
"I like being a woman with a son," Vivian said. "I think it's more an expression of me. Before we started the new show, I kept talking with the writers, begging them to keep the part feminine -- I didn't mean that I didn't want to be funny, but I wanted to get away from those tough, hard-bitten, masculine-sounding jokes." After shooting several episodes of The Lucy Show, Vivian pronounced herself pleased with the results. "I've read a lot of scripts and I think I can tell good comedy when I see it. I think that one of the things that makes our show good is that it is warm, and that basically we like each other ... Lucille has such a great talent -- she is a great clown.

 "Of course, when I Love Lucy finished, we never dreamed we'd be back doing this. But now, here we are -- and I couldn't be happier."

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