tim gould

King Charles III (2017)

Prince Charles’ accession to the throne following the Queen’s death. When he refuses to sign a controversial bill into law, political chaos ensues: a constitutional crisis, rioting on the streets and a tank in front of Buckingham Palace.

Well done the BBC for another fantastic production. Based on the excellent play by Mike Bartlet, it is a wonderful, a bit Shakespearean, drama. 

I think Prince Charles gets a lot of flak in the news, but I don’t think he is anything like they show him on screen. I find him eccentric and thoughtful. When the Guardian published his “Blackspider Memos”, I thought he came across quite kind hearted. I too care for organic farming AND the albatross! Princes Charles does have a history of meddling, but as King, would he refuse to give Royal Assent to a Bill? I hope not…

Lucy Gets the Bird

S3;E12 ~ December 7, 1964

Synopsis

When Mr. Mooney’s home is being painted, he lets Lucy and Viv birdsit with his prize cockatiel.  When the bird flies away, they climb to the roof to find him. When that fails, they try to replace it with a similar bird, but Mr. Mooney is on to their scheme.

Regular Cast

Lucille Ball (Lucy Carmichael), Vivian Vance (Vivian Bagley), Gale Gordon (Theodore J. Mooney), Jimmy Garrett (Jerry Carmichael)

Ralph Hart (Sherman Bagley) and Candy Moore (Chris Carmichael) do not appear in this episode.

Guest Cast

Tim Herbert (Sam) was born Herbert Timberg in 1914.  In 1944 he appeared on Broadway in the Jackie Gleason revue Follow the Girls. This is the first of his three appearances on “The Lucy Show.” He also did one episode of “Here’s Lucy” in 1968.  

John J. ‘Red’ Fox (Charlie) makes his second appearance on the series.  He was best known for playing policemen, which is what he did on five of his eight appearances on “The Lucy Show” as well as three of his five episodes of “Here’s Lucy.”

Ginny Tyler (Bird Voices) previously voiced Clementine the sheep in “Lucy Buys a Sheep” (S1;E5).  She did the voice of the sheep in Disney’s 1964 hit Mary Poppins. She started out on radio before hosting a children’s TV show in Seattle. By the late 1950s, she had moved to Hollywood and was narrating record albums for Disney, including “Bambi” and “Babes in Toyland.” She returned to do a 1974 episode of “Here’s Lucy.”  Although she died in 2012, her voice can still be heard in the chorus of birds outside The Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

Mr. Mooney’s cockatiel (and all the other budgies in the pet shop) are played by live birds.

Sid Gould (Voice on the Telephone) made more than 45 appearances on “The Lucy Show,” all as background characters. He also did 40 episodes of “Here’s Lucy.” Gould (born Sydney Greenfader) was Lucille Ball’s cousin by marriage to Gary Morton. Gould was married to Vanda Barra, who also appeared on “The Lucy Show” starting in 1967, as well as on “Here’s Lucy.”

The title puns on the slang expression “give/get the bird,” meaning to make a rude gesture by raising your middle finger to show that you are angry with someone.

In real life, Lucille Ball had a bird phobia.  When she was four years old her father died of typhoid fever.  That same day, a bird got trapped inside their home.  

The episode opens with Lucy and Viv collecting trading stamps.  Viv wonders if they have enough to get to Hawaii.  Lucy says they have enough to get to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Trading Stamps were small paper coupons given to customers by merchants in loyalty marketing programs. When a customer accumulated a number of them, they could be exchanged for premiums, such as toys, personal items, housewares, furniture and appliances. The stamps were generally pasted into a booklet by licking the back, much like a postage stamp.  Although they were first introduced in 1891, they were most popular in the USA between 1930 and 1980.  Today they have been replaced by customer loyalty cards.  There were several companies responsible for sponsoring trading stamps, the most popular being Blue Chip, S&H Green Stamps, and Plaid Stamps.

Mr. Mooney’s pet bird is a female cockatiel named Greenback for its coloration.  Also, “greenback” is a slang word for US paper currency due to its dark green color; an ideal name for a miserly banker’s bird.  

Mr. Mooney has taught the bird to say “E pluribus unum” (latin for “out of many, one”), the de facto motto of the United States of America, appearing on the presidential seal and on many denominations of US currency.  Lucy teaches it to say, “Give Lucy more money.”Greenback calls Mr. Mooney “Poppsy-Whoppsy.”  

Lucy finds a “Vote for Dewey” button under her couch and says she needs to clean more often. Thomas P. Dewey, was a Republican who lost the US presidential election of 1948 to Democrat  Harry S. Truman. This episode was broadcast right after the 1964 election. Dewey was a Republican, while Lucille Ball was a liberal Democrat. This discovery also implies that Lucy may have lived there at least 16 years, ten years longer than she and Viv have lived together.

When Lucy is on the telephone man’s zip line, Greenback says “It’s the only way to fly!” This was the advertising slogan for Western Airlines, a US carrier that was in operation from 1926 to 1987, before merging with Delta Airlines. In 1965 R&B singer Jewel Akens (“The Birds and the Bees”) released a song titled “It’s the Only Way to Fly.”  

Mr. Mooney says that leaving his precious Greenback with Lucy was like leaving General Custer with Sitting Bull.  George Armstrong Custer (1839-1876) was a United States cavalry commander in the Civil War and the American Indian Wars.  Sitting Bull was a Sioux chief who rallied his tribe to defeat Custer and his men at the Battle of Little Bighorn (1876), known as “Custer’s Last Stand.”  Jerry celebrates Sitting Bull’s birthday in “Lucy and the Good Skate” (S3;E1).  

A working phone on top of a telephone pole was also a running gag on the TV series “Green Acres” (1965-1971).  

Sam at the pet shop refers Mr. Mooney to pet psychiatrist Dr. Marshall Belson PhD (parrots, horses and dogs). The doctor’s name is a combination of the name of the two writers of this episode, Gary Marshall (right) and Jerry Belson (left).

Sam tries to sell Lucy a mynah bird that says “rat fink.”  “The Rat Finks” was the name of Jerry and Sherman’s group at camp in “Lucy, the Camp Cook” (S3;E6).  

Viv guesses that Greenback is “halfway to Capistrano.” This is a reference to San Juan Mission in Capistrano, southern California.  It is there that the American cliff swallow migrates to every year from its winters in Argentina, making the 6,000-mile trek in springtime. The Mission’s location near two rivers made it an ideal location for the swallows to nest.  The expression “when the swallows return to Capistrano” has entered common usage.  

Speaking of Hawaii and birds!  (The red one is Lucy, naturally!)

Callbacks!

Little Ricky had two parakeets Alice and Phil (“molting buzzards” to Fred Mertz) in “Little Ricky Gets a Dog” (ILL S6;E14).  In that episode, voice artist June Foray did the bark of Fred the dog, much the same way Ginny Tyler voices the birds here.  

Lucy Ricardo contended with city pigeons on the ledge outside her apartment in “Lucy and Superman” (ILL S6;E13), one of the ten colorized episodes, and….

…500 baby chicks loose in her Connecticut living room in “Lucy Raises Chickens” (ILL S6;E19).  

More a look forward than a callback, in “Lucy is a Bird Sitter” a 1974 episode of “Here’s Lucy” Lucy Carter is enlisted by Harry (Gale Gordon) to care for a rare Tongan Weewawk, a fictional creature made up by the writers. That bird looks a lot like a common white pigeon, which makes finding him difficult when he flies away.

Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz wanted to go to Hawaii on “I Love Lucy” (inset) but never got any further than the Ricardo living room!  

On a rare two-part episode of “Here’s Lucy” (1971) Lucy Carter and Vivian Jones cruise to Hawaii.  Hawaii was a favorite get-away destination for the Arnaz family (inset).  

While on the roof, Viv mentions that the last time she was up there was when the two put up the TV antenna in “Lucy Puts Up a TV Antenna” (S1;E9).  This is one of the most direct callbacks to a previous episode thus far in the series. Lucy and Mr. Mooney were also on the home’s roof to break into Viv’s bedroom in “The Loophole in the Lease” (S2;E12).  

Blooper Alerts!

Even though it’s the same house as in “Lucy Puts Up a TV Antenna” (S1;E9), in “Lucy Gets the Bird” the antenna is in a different location, the background landscape has more buildings, and the design of the roof is slightly different.

Close-ups of Greenback sitting on the electrical wire reveal that the wire is not metal, but rope. Stray threads of hemp can be seen.  

“Lucy Gets the Bird” rates 4 Paper Hearts out of 5

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Top 8 Firmin hairdos:

  1. Steen Springborn, Copenhagen, 
  2. Anton Rattinger, Hamburg
  3. Richard Gould, San Francisco,
  4. Barry James, West End,
  5. Maria Bjørnson’s design (detail),
  6. Richard Hazell, West End (AKA “the spitting image of the design),
  7. John O’May, World Tour,
  8. Tim Jerome, Broadway,
  9. Jeff Keller, Broadway.

I really tried to find more international Firmins to include, but most of them has had seriously generic hairdos and instead fun with beards and moustaches. I’ve included those who went all the way with the combover locks, or featuring other creative hairdos.

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I know we’ll be lovers again.. [x]

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