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Lucy Calls the President (1977)

TV Movie  |   |  Comedy  |  21 November 1977 (USA)
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After Indiana housewife Lucy Whittaker (Lucille Ball) calls the White House to discuss a housing project, she finds herself making preparations for the President to visit her home for ... See full summary »


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Title: Lucy Calls the President (TV Movie 1977)

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Credited cast:
Lucy Whittaker
Omar Whittaker
Millie Baker
Mary Jane Croft ...
Midge Bowser
James Brodhead ...
Mayor Wally Bowser (as James E. Broadhead)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lillian Carter ...
Herself (President Jimmy Carter's Mother)
Joey Forman ...
Agent Thatcher
Floyd Whittaker
Stack Pierce
TV Director (as John Young)


After Indiana housewife Lucy Whittaker (Lucille Ball) calls the White House to discuss a housing project, she finds herself making preparations for the President to visit her home for dinner. Calamity and comedy follows as Lucy frantically prepares for the momentous event with the eager support of family, friends and neighbors. The special is capped with a surprise cameo appearance.

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Release Date:

21 November 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lach' mit Lucille Ball: Ein ganz besonderer Gast zum Dinner  »

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After the expansive living room stage set had been built on the Warner Brothers Studio stage, the entire cast's first script read was conducted on the stage's multi-camera lane aisle, in front of the studio audience bleachers. Two eight foot long tables were set on the front stage area with low director chairs for the cast members. At each end of the 16 foot long conference script table, a wooden high-director's canvas folding chair was positioned at each opposite head end of the table. Lucille Ball positioned herself in the camera right director-high chair while husband/producer Gary Morton seated himself in the camera left director-high chair. Lucy's subtle way telling everyone who was the boss. The director Marc Daniels, producers/writers Bob Carrol Jr. and Madelyn Davis joined the cast seated at the table. During breaks in the script read-through, the cast took time for a stretch, a cup of coffee and sweets from the craft service table set up on the stage. Art director Hub Braden would join the cast on stage, descending from his bleacher observation seat location. While the cast was scattered over the stage, Braden sat down in Lucy's director-high chair. Vivian Vance delicately came over to Hub, tapping him on his arm, whispering "you are sitting in the Queen's chair! No one sits in that chair except Lucy." Hub stepped off Lucy's director-high chair, joining Vivian for a cup of coffee! Vivian explained only the queen and king, Lucy and Gary Morton, were allowed the director-high chairs on the set. The director Marc Daniels had a director-low chair. The rest of the cast had to use the low director's chairs provided by the prop master. Lucy's temper would unleash if she observed anyone sitting in her chair. During the course of video-taping the comedy special, Lucy would halt the taping if she didn't like the fluid flow of the scene. Confronting Marc Daniels, the director, on stage, where he would join the cast from his off stage video remote control booth, Lucy would demand an action change, or a script dialogue alteration. In the middle of the video taping of the special, Lucy's action was to rise from her chair, step into a prop birthday cake on the floor in front of the chair. Lucy did not like the staging of the scene. An argument ensued when Lucy screamed at the director and the entire cast, stomping off the stage. The cast literally disappeared while Lucy and Marc Daniels argued over the scene in the middle of the stage set. Behind the living room set at the craft service table, Braden asked Vivian Vance "does Lucy blow up like this often?" Vivian replied, "we put up with Lucy and her temperament, knowing we will all kiss and make up after she blows her top! We have experienced Lucy's behavior for years. It is all part of the job!" Thirty minutes later, the audience still seated in their bleacher seats, the scene was successfully staged, video taped! Vivian Vance related "cast mates only talked to Lucy when they worked together. Lucy only called them when she needed them for a television special." See more »

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I remember this
17 October 2003 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

I do remember this TV movie just a little. Commenting on the other reviewer, on thing that I do remember about this show is the joke about the hors d'oeuvres. Mary Jane's character had made 50 deviled eggs that she was setting out for the president who was coming over. Vivian Vance went up to the tray and ate one as Mary Jane panicked and told her that each one represented a state and she had just eaten Kansas. Vivian Vance replied "for heaven's sake, I just ate my home state!" I didn't really get most of the jokes being just ten years old, but I do remember my grandmother laughing a lot.

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