15-minute Life with Luigi


Ryan Ellett
 

If anyone would like a research project, we have three episodes of Life with Luigi that are 15 minutes long, the same three listed at the end of Goldin's log of the show. He has them listed as May 1954 but there's no record of any 15-minute broadcasts that I can find during that time or anytime, actually. The 30-minute show left the air abruptly in March, 1953, likely because writer ac Benoff was called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. The shows have an audience but no sponsor associated with them. Joe Webb and I suspect these 15-minute programs were auditions for a proposed quarter-hour version; I did find newspaper references to attempts to revive it in this format in 1954. I find half-hour broadcasts as late as summer 1954 (Hawaii), I assume they are re-runs of earlier shows. If anyone wants to try and find evidence the series was actually broadcast in this format, consider this a challenge!
Ryan


DaveC
 

In an essay, "What Luigi Basco Taught Americans about Italian Americans" (in a 2010 book, Anti-Italianism: Essays on a Prejudice, eds. W Connell and F. Gardaphi), the essay author, Dominic Candeloro, states that some 15-minute episodes were broadcast in 1954. The link to the essay is below. Hope it works.

https://books.google.com/books?id=hQNeAQAAQBAJ&pg=PT112#v=onepage&q&f=false


K & J Hammel
 

Thanks for Sharing this. Very interesting Essay, even with the one page missing.

Kathy

On Sunday, May 24, 2020, 05:48:14 PM PDT, DaveC <craigdav@...> wrote:


In an essay, "What Luigi Basco Taught Americans about Italian Americans" (in a 2010 book, Anti-Italianism: Essays on a Prejudice, eds. W Connell and F. Gardaphi), the essay author, Dominic Candeloro, states that some 15-minute episodes were broadcast in 1954. The link to the essay is below. Hope it works.

https://books.google.com/books?id=hQNeAQAAQBAJ&pg=PT112#v=onepage&q&f=false


Ryan Ellett
 

Thanks Dave for the reference. I wish the author had cited his source for that claim. I wonder if it was based on Goldin's log. Maybe Luigi writer Mac Benoff's collection at the American Heritage Center gives more details but the brief collection description online doesn't say much.
Ryan

www.RyanEllett.com


The Old Time Radio Researchers
"Saving the Past for the Future"

www.OTRR.org
www.OTRRLibrary.org



On Sunday, May 24, 2020, 07:48:14 PM CDT, DaveC <craigdav@...> wrote:


In an essay, "What Luigi Basco Taught Americans about Italian Americans" (in a 2010 book, Anti-Italianism: Essays on a Prejudice, eds. W Connell and F. Gardaphi), the essay author, Dominic Candeloro, states that some 15-minute episodes were broadcast in 1954. The link to the essay is below. Hope it works.

https://books.google.com/books?id=hQNeAQAAQBAJ&pg=PT112#v=onepage&q&f=false


Scott Galley
 

Although I find our host slightly irritating (actually, more than slightly, although I'm sure she mean well), my interest in silent film brought me to the Orphan Film Symposium, which had this little video devoted to radio:



and a site which is going live in October which will be a goldmine for vintage radio show collectors.

Check out the video.

 
Yours faithfully,
Scott


DaveC
 

"Life with Luigi made a brief reappearance on radio in 1954 in a fifteen-minute strip-show format…and then closed the antique shop permanently."

From the Radio Spirits website:
http://www.radiospirits.info/2017/09/21/atsa-funny-thing-when-im-a-say-it-itsa-come-out-different/


Randy Watts
 




A number of newspapers carried the following brief announcement in late spring/early summer 1954 that LIFE WITH LUIGI would be returning to radio as a daily serial.

"'Life with Luigi," starring J. Carroll Naish, didn't make the grade as a TV show but returns to CBS radio as a daily 15-minute soap opera."

No more can be found about a daily LIFE WITH LUIGI radio show after July, when newspapers carried a story that Cy Howard, creator of LUIGI, had refused to sign an exclusive contract with CBS and was taking his shows (LUIGI, MY FRIEND IRMA and THAT'S MY BOY) elsewhere. 

Which would explain why both IRMA and THAT'S MY BOY ended on CBS that year.

In late 1954 a few newspapers carried an announcement that Howard had signed with NBC. The following year announcements were made that Howard had a new series coming titled JUST PLAIN FOLKS, a sitcom that was to star Zsa Zsa Gabor. Later that year there were news stories that NBC had passed on JUST PLAIN FOLKS and had decided against reviving LUIGI and IRMA.

Maybe the 15-minute LUIGI episodes that are out there were pilots or tests, made to see if the series would work as a daily serial. That's just supposition on my part. In newspaper searches there was no evidence to be found that LUIGI ever made it to the air as a daily.

Randy

<><><><><><><><><><>

On Sunday, May 24, 2020, 07:48:14 PM CDT, DaveC <craigdav@...> wrote:


In an essay, "What Luigi Basco Taught Americans about Italian Americans" (in a 2010 book, Anti-Italianism: Essays on a Prejudice, eds. W Connell and F. Gardaphi), the essay author, Dominic Candeloro, states that some 15-minute episodes were broadcast in 1954. The link to the essay is below. Hope it works.

https://books.google.com/books?id=hQNeAQAAQBAJ&pg=PT112#v=onepage&q&f=false


Ryan Ellett
 

Don Frey, an old-school collector who bought from Goldin back in the late 60s and early 70s, has the same three 15-minute episodes in his collection with an accompanying note that they were recorded on the same day for a possible revival. That note is not on Goldin's website. I checked with Ivan who wrote the Radio Spirits essay and he used these same sources (Goldin, Dunning). Goldin's date of May 30, 1954 very possibly reflects the day all three were recorded. For now I'll work under the assumption they were not aired unless we dig up evidence otherwise.
Thanks for digging, that's what makes this hobby ever-exciting,
Ryan

www.RyanEllett.com


The Old Time Radio Researchers
"Saving the Past for the Future"

www.OTRR.org
www.OTRRLibrary.org



On Monday, May 25, 2020, 07:15:21 PM CDT, Randy Watts via groups.io <rew1014@...> wrote:





A number of newspapers carried the following brief announcement in late spring/early summer 1954 that LIFE WITH LUIGI would be returning to radio as a daily serial.

"'Life with Luigi," starring J. Carroll Naish, didn't make the grade as a TV show but returns to CBS radio as a daily 15-minute soap opera."

No more can be found about a daily LIFE WITH LUIGI radio show after July, when newspapers carried a story that Cy Howard, creator of LUIGI, had refused to sign an exclusive contract with CBS and was taking his shows (LUIGI, MY FRIEND IRMA and THAT'S MY BOY) elsewhere. 

Which would explain why both IRMA and THAT'S MY BOY ended on CBS that year.

In late 1954 a few newspapers carried an announcement that Howard had signed with NBC. The following year announcements were made that Howard had a new series coming titled JUST PLAIN FOLKS, a sitcom that was to star Zsa Zsa Gabor. Later that year there were news stories that NBC had passed on JUST PLAIN FOLKS and had decided against reviving LUIGI and IRMA.

Maybe the 15-minute LUIGI episodes that are out there were pilots or tests, made to see if the series would work as a daily serial. That's just supposition on my part. In newspaper searches there was no evidence to be found that LUIGI ever made it to the air as a daily.

Randy

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Eliyahu Levin
 

Sorry I'm late but do you already have the pilot for the original show, The Little Immigrant? Jerry Haendiges shared it a while back, and it's on his site for download/listen.


Ryan Ellett
 

Yes, we do have that episode. Thanks for reminding me that came from Jerry's post, I don't think it was labeled as such.

Ryan

www.RyanEllett.com


The Old Time Radio Researchers
"Saving the Past for the Future"

www.OTRR.org
www.OTRRLibrary.org



On Tuesday, May 26, 2020, 02:16:06 PM CDT, eliyahusimlevin via groups.io <eliyahusimlevin@...> wrote:


Sorry I'm late but do you already have the pilot for the original show, The Little Immigrant? Jerry Haendiges shared it a while back, and it's on his site for download/listen.