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When I was  a kid I used to watch "I Love Lucy" over and over again.  I also was fascinated by the end credits, and actually used to read them aloud, as if I were the announcer.  The closing credits included, of course the writers Madelyn Pugh and Bob Carroll, Jr.   Little did I know that years Bob Caroll, Jr., Madelyn Pugh Davis of "I Love Lucy" fame -- and Rowbylater, when I grew up I would not only meet Madelyn and Bob but would actually work with them!

And as an added bonus, I would actually meet Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz!

I first worked with Madelyn and Bob when they were producing a CBS Comedy sitcom starring former Happy Days star Pat Morita.  The show was titled "Mr. T and Tina".  The production company was Jimmy Komack Productions, which also produced the John Travolta series "Welcome Back Kotter".  A friend mine, David Panich was one of the staff writers on the show and he suggested I submit a script to the series.   I went ahead and wrote an episode and sent it in.  Bob and Madelyn read the script and called me into the office.  The suggested I make just a few changes and they put the script into production.   I was also hired to punch up other scripts they had ready to shoot.  My episode was the final script that was shot for the series.  It was my first sitcom script and I was very excited to be at the ABC studios while it was being taped.  The producers, sponsor representatives and network representatives were with me in the "Green Room" which was in the basement of the studio.  As soon as the episode started taping we could hear howls of laughter from the audience one floor above us.  The laughter continued non-stop through the end of the taping.

Flash forward 3 or 4 years later.  Bob and Madelyn invited me to a taping of a Lucille Ball Special at Warner Brothers. I was excited to see Lucy in sitcom action (although I had met her briefly when she did a cameo on "Laugh-In". I arrived at Warner Brothers and found Lucy hard at work shooting a scene involving water sprinklers, which are turned on "accidentally" during the scene.  Needless to see it was a privilege to see the famous comedian at work.  At the end of the scene Bob and Madelyn took me to Lucy's dressing room and introduced me to Miss. Ball.  Even though she had just finished a strenuous bit of physical comedy she was not only friendly but wanted to know all about this young Rowby writer that Bob and Madelyn had raved about. I must say I truly behaved like a fan and gave her an endless list of compliments!

The following week I got a call from Madelyn.  She told me that she and Bob were signed on the take over the "Alice" TV series, and they wanted me to be a part of the writing team. I was in heaven -- the thought of working again with Bob and Madelyn was a dream come true.  Stay tuned for my next installment about working with Bob and Madelyn and my adventures on the "Alice" TV series!

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