Thursday, April 21, 2011

RIP Madelyn Davis

Well, I had planned to come over here today and talk about last night's 8 mile run.  But then my plans changed when I saw this come across Twitter.

"Lucy" Scribe Madelyn Davis Dies

As the title suggests, Madelyn Davis was one of the writers on I Love Lucy.  She worked for almost the entire run of that show and did some other work on Lucy's later sitcoms.

To the best of my knowledge, this means we've lost the last of the cast and writers responsible for the show.

I Love Lucy remains my all time favorite sitcom.  It doesn't matter how many times I've seen certain episodes, they still crack me up.  While some references to thinks like party lines are antiquated today, there is a timelessness to the situations and jokes that still makes this show laugh.  That's the sign of a true classic.  As much as I love Friends and even Big Bang Theory, I don't think they will hold us as well as this gem.  (And don't even get me started on Seinfeld topping lists of all time best sitcoms over Lucy.  Please!)

A few years back, Madelyn wrote her memories called Laughing with Lucy.  Laura Levine, a former TV comedy writer turned to humorous mysteries, got an autographed copy of that book for me.  I read it and truly enjoyed it.  While I know that I Love Lucy had problems behind the scenes, Madelyn focused on the good and presented a picture of a happy life spent figuring out how to make others laugh.  I'll never forget her discussion of coming up with Vitameatavegimin (or however it is spelled).  She wrote great scripts that made it easy for Lucy and the rest of the cast to make us laugh.  Everyone made it seem effortless even though it wasn't.

When the book came out, she was at the LA Times Festival of Books to sign it.  Before Laura sent me the book, she had Madelyn sign it for me, but I still wanted to go down to see her.  Sadly, she was only there on Sunday, and I wasn't able to go both days, so I missed her.  Honestly, I still regret not getting to thank her in person for all the laughter she's given me over the years.

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