Interviews

 

Madelyn Pugh Davis

Writer & Producer

Bob Carroll, Jr. & Madelyn Pugh Davis on the timelessness of I Love Lucy

01:37

We never had to argue about what was funny. We just argued about the temperature of the room.

About this interview

"Bob said, 'I don't want to get tied down, I'll give it a year.' We've been writing together, it'll be 50 years -- and he wasn't sure it would work out," Madelyn Pugh Davis laughs. Bob Carroll Jr. (1918-2007) and writing partner Madelyn Pugh Davis (1921-2011) first began writing for radio as a team in about 1946; in television they were writers on every one of Lucille Ball's series. In their Archive interview, each briefly recounts their early years and influences and then sit together for a career-spanning interview which begins with their work in radio for such legends as Steve Allen. They eventually became writers on radio's My Favorite Husband , which starred Lucille Ball. When Ball made the transition to television with I Love Lucy , producer Jess Oppenheimer hired the team as writers. During the interview they discuss in great length the process of writing for I Love Lucy and the immense talents of the cast. They recount how some of the classic scenes came about (including the candy factory scene) and how production of the show was done. They briefly discuss working on Ball's subsequent series and as well as a few non-Lucy sitcoms including Alice . When Lucille Ball returned to television in 1986 for her ill-fated Life With Lucy, Carroll and Davis were there, too, although Davis admits "none of us should have done it." They conclude the interview with their thoughts on the legacy of I Love Lucy and the timelessness of the series. Bob Carroll, Jr. (1918-2007) and Madelyn Pugh Davis were interviewed in Los Angeles, CA on November 24, 1997; Tom Gilbert conducted the two-and-a-half-hour interview (including individual interviews about their early years running approximately 10 minutes each).

We never had to argue about what was funny. We just argued about the temperature of the room.

Interview Highlights

Embedded thumbnail for Bob Carroll, Jr. & Madelyn Pugh Davis on the timelessness of I Love Lucy

Bob Carroll, Jr. & Madelyn Pugh Davis on the timelessness of I Love Lucy

01:37
Embedded thumbnail for Bob Carroll, Jr. & Madelyn Pugh Davis on the first reviews of I Love Lucy

Bob Carroll, Jr. & Madelyn Pugh Davis on the first reviews of I Love Lucy

01:12
Embedded thumbnail for Bob Carroll, Jr. & Madelyn Pugh Davis on Lucille Ball doing "Vitameatavegamin" in one take

Bob Carroll, Jr. & Madelyn Pugh Davis on Lucille Ball doing "vitameatavegamin" in one take

00:39
Embedded thumbnail for Bob Carroll, Jr. & Madelyn Pugh Davis on Lucy's nose "catching fire" on an episode of I Love Lucy

Bob Carroll, Jr. & Madelyn Pugh Davis on Lucy's nose "catching fire" on an episode of I Love Lucy

01:33
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