I'm doing this one pretty much for myself, and a select few.
It's very much like playing to the band.
It interests me, and maybe not many others.
So, stick with me if you care to.
I knew that Ann B. Davis had won two Emmys for "The Bob Cummings Show".
But I never knew who her competition was.
Because it was something that interested me, I decided to investigate.
It was all there in Wikipedia.
All the various colors and markings are their doing.
The goal here is to determine who I think should have won all five years Ann B. Davis was nominated, and whether she was ever deserving of winning.
The award was for Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series.
So what's the best criteria to determine this?
Well, being outstanding, for one.
Funny counts for a lot with me.
Talent and versatility are major considerations.
She must truly provide support.
And it must be a comedy series.
Those last two actually sometimes become an issue.
So I will go year by year, and dope it out.
The winner for each year is the top one listed, and tanned out, color-wise.
1955-1956: Nanette Fabray was easily the class of the field, in all respects.
She filled Imogene Coca's shoes admirably, and was every bit as funny, going toe to
toe with Sid Caesar.
Ann B. Davis broke in Schultzy, and charmed the pants off America.
She certainly deserved the nomination, but as she later proved, was limited in what she
could play, and really wasn't a laugh riot.
Jean Hagen, as the first Mrs. Danny Thomas, either chose to, or was forced to, not be
funny on this show. And if you saw "Singin' In The Rain", you certainly know that
she was hilarious. Marjorie Lord, as the second Mrs. Danny Thomas, was much
Audrey Meadows was great as Alice Kramden, going at it with Gleason, Hilarious.
Great timing. She was the best of three Alice Kramdens. She was the more talented
of the Meadows sisters. But I don't recall her being even remotely funny in anything
Thelma Ritter was one of the greats. And one of the funniest. But "A Catered Affair"
was a play. A very good play. And I'll bet she was great in it. But it's not a comedy.
And it wasn't a series. I don't know what she's doing here.
Nanette Fabray. No contest.
1956-1957: For pure talent and funny, nobody can beat Pat Carroll. I worked on three series with
her. I wouldn't deny her anything. She was used so sporadically on Caesar's Hour that it
really didn't show her off well. I think the nomination was nothing more than a slap in
the face to Janet Blair, who couldn't fill Coca's or Fabray's or anybody's shoes.
Ann B. Davis: Nothing either improved or got worse from the previous year.
Audrey Meadows: Ditto.
Mildred Natwick: What I said about Thelma Ritter essentially applies here, except I
never liked her work as much as Ritter's, and Blithe Spirit, though a one-shot play, was,
in fact, a comedy.
Vivian Vance: Was always a hoot, and always made Lucy look better. Desi knew what
was doing when he cast her.
Vivian Vance. I'd have stuffed the ballot box myself.
1957-1958: Ann B. Davis---Schultzy's first win. I think there were better options.
Pat Carroll: Same issue as the previous year.
Verna Felton: Played Spring Byington's best friend on "December Bride" A walking
punchline. Nobody could deliver snappers like her. You might also remember her as
Dennis Day's mother on the Jack Benny Show. Just as funny there.
Marion Lorne: Given the opportunity, I would have voted for her earlier, when she was
nominated for Mr. Peepers, doing the same dithering act as on The Garry Moore Show
and Bewitched. I think I only saw "Sally" a few times. It wasn't good, and she couldn't
Vivian Vance: Still Ethel, and still great. This one's a very close call.
I tossed a coin, and it came up Verna Felton.
1958-1959: Ann B. Davis: Schultzy wins again, against a considerably weaker field
Still doesn't get my vote.
Rosemary DeCamp: Never made me laugh.
Elinor Donahue: Much as I've loved her personally, folks, let's face it. "Father Knows
Best" was not a comedy.
Verna Felton: Another year older and just as funny.
Kathleen Nolan: Never made ANYBODY laugh.
Zasu Pitts: Had this Olive Oyl shtick that she did that was pretty funny, and
was the only thing that made "The Gale Storm Show" watchable.
It's once again Verna Felton. Good thing she was in the race, or I might have had to vote for Zasu.
So no, I suppose I don't think Ann B. Davis deserved her Emmys.
But she certainly didn't deserve her ignominious death either.
It was very sad to hear how she went.
My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link: www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman
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- mark rothman
- Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at email@example.com. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."