Monday, March 19, 2012

Rumor Resolved
I have included this text in the comments section of the blog about the real Fred and Ethel last week. I knew if the idea was put forward someone would have more information about the Floon Family Follies. Unfortunately I did not get the information on the Floons like I thought I would.  However, I did get the facts about the characters of Fred and Ethel Mertz.  Ironically it came from a friend whom I did not know was also a Desilu expert.  Below is the information from Chris Lockhart.
According to Madelyn Pugh, who wrote every I LOVE LUCY episode including
the pilot - Fred & Ethel were not based on real people.

The name MERTZ came from a local family from Pugh's hometown. Years
after the show became famous, she was always worried that the real Mertz
family was angry with her.
But she bumped into one of the adult children who told her that the
entire family got a big kick out of the "fame." Pugh could not remember
where the names Fred and Ethel came from, but she was pretty sure they
were pulled from the cast of characters out of the life of her writing
partner Bob Carroll, Jr - as was often the tradition.

According to the article, the real life Fred & Ethel were performers.
TV's Fred and Ethel Mertz were vaudevillians, but it was an afterthought
- not part of the original character creations. The writers wanted to
include a brief song during the first season and asked actors Frawley
and Vance if they could sing. The writers were surprised to learn that
both had extensive Broadway musical training. (Vance was even in the
original cast of ANYTHING GOES.)

So, a showbiz backstory was created to utilize their song & dance
talents - which the writers thought would open up all new
possibilibities for plotlines.

So, based on the recollections of the show's creators - the similarities
with the real life F & E are merely coincidental.
Chris Lockhart
Thank you Chris. Thank you Marge.
As you were,


Roomie said...

I thought you did get my resolution to thye F&E FLOON rumor.....that Fred Floon was really the talented one and Ethel was the straight gal to Fred.....some very interesting comments from the writer of I Love Lucy!!!!!
Thanks from the bottom of my heart for thinking of Fred and least Fred loves you....
Carry on,

Roomie said...

What kind of interest were you expecting from a couple of vaudevillians of 40+ years ago, except from Fred?
Carry on,
Fred...not Ehtel