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Old 01-01-2010, 03:03 AM   #1
lucyandethel
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Default Mary Jane Croft Was NOT A Regular?

I've been enjoying my "Here's Lucy" DVDs and something dawned on me. So, Mary Jane Croft was NOT a regular in this series? For some reason, I thought she was featured more in this series than in "The Lucy Show". It seems she was only in a few episodes of the first two seasons.
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Old 01-01-2010, 04:25 AM   #2
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I would consider her a regular cast member, but recurring character might be more accurately descriptive.
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Old 01-01-2010, 12:08 PM   #3
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My understanding was the further along the series went, the more she appeared.
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Benno123
My understanding was the further along the series went, the more she appeared.
Lucie Arnaz even mentioned in one of the intros on the dvd sets that Mary Jane was pretty much a regular in seasons 5 and 6. Of course Desi Jr., had left the show and Lucie was missing much of the later seasons.
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:24 PM   #5
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I'm trying to figure out how many episodes Mary Jane was in on Here's Lucy and alsoThe Lucy Show. Ibdm is unreliable as it states Croft appearing in only 5 episodes. As for The Lucy Show it doesn't count her appearances as Audrey Simmons in Season 1.
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markway895
I'm trying to figure out how many episodes Mary Jane was in on Here's Lucy and alsoThe Lucy Show. Ibdm is unreliable as it states Croft appearing in only 5 episodes. As for The Lucy Show it doesn't count her appearances as Audrey Simmons in Season 1.
I don't know how many times Mary Jane appeared on HL, but I can tell you this much: she only appeared once during the first season. That was in the Cesar Romero episode, and her appearance was very brief. She didn't appear again until well into the second season, and then only a couple times that year. But by the third season, her number of appearances picked up and she was pretty much a semi-regular, and much more the next year. By the fifth and sixth season, she was probably appearing in about half the episodes, practically as much as Lucie Arnaz (who had gotten busy with her own projects and only appeared in half of the sixth season episodes).
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:17 AM   #7
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I've always liked Mary Jane Croft.
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I've always liked Mary Jane Croft.
Me too. And a lot of people make the mistake of assuming Mary Jane was a replacement for Vivian Vance, when Lucille Ball deliberately did not replace Vivian Vance after she left the show. With few exceptions through the years, Mary Jane's primary purpose on the show was not to be Lucy's sidekick, but only to help launch Lucy off on some adventure where Lucy was interacting with some other guest star (almost always without Mary Jane), or performing a comedy routine solo. Usually -- at least prior to the end of Here's Lucy -- Mary Jane would only be featured in the first act and would be absent from the main comedy scenes. Even by the sixth season of Here's Lucy, when Mary Jane was essentially a regular and was now sometimes appearing throughout most of the episode, she was still not really acting as Lucy's sidekick in her schemes. I can only think less than a handful of instances where Mary Jane was allowed to do that (e.g., The Lucy Show episode with Sheldon Leonard when Lucy and Mary Jane disguise themselves as cleaning people, and the Here's Lucy episode "The Not-So-Popular Mechanics," where Mary Jane tries to help Lucy repair Harry's car). Most often, her role was like what she did in the John Wayne episode, where she appears early in the episode to help set up the plot, then Lucy goes off solo to do her big comedy scenes with John Wayne, and Mary Jane is nowhere in sight for the rest of the episode. Given that Mary Jane was rarely even given the opportunity to do Vivian Vance-type scenes, and did not play a character that was meant to stand up to Lucy like Ethel/Viv did, drawing that kind of comparison is unfair. It's comparing apples and oranges. For the kind of role she was given, which was not as an Ethel/Viv-type character, I think she was great.

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Old 11-13-2013, 06:52 PM   #9
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I don't know why, but I am constantly mixing up Mary Jane Croft and Doris Singleton.
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Old 11-14-2013, 02:55 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Fontaine
I don't know why, but I am constantly mixing up Mary Jane Croft and Doris Singleton.
I do that too!!
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleRickyII
Me too. And a lot of people make the mistake of assuming Mary Jane was a replacement for Vivian Vance, when Lucille Ball deliberately did not replace Vivian Vance after she left the show. With few exceptions through the years, Mary Jane's primary purpose on the show was not to be Lucy's sidekick, but only to help launch Lucy off on some adventure where Lucy was interacting with some other guest star (almost always without Mary Jane), or performing a comedy routine solo. Usually -- at least prior to the end of Here's Lucy -- Mary Jane would only be featured in the first act and would be absent from the main comedy scenes. Even by the sixth season of Here's Lucy, when Mary Jane was essentially a regular and was now sometimes appearing throughout most of the episode, she was still not really acting as Lucy's sidekick in her schemes. I can only think less than a handful of instances where Mary Jane was allowed to do that (e.g., The Lucy Show episode with Sheldon Leonard when Lucy and Mary Jane disguise themselves as cleaning people, and the Here's Lucy episode "The Not-So-Popular Mechanics," where Mary Jane tries to help Lucy repair Harry's car). Most often, her role was like what she did in the John Wayne episode, where she appears early in the episode to help set up the plot, then Lucy goes off solo to do her big comedy scenes with John Wayne, and Mary Jane is nowhere in sight for the rest of the episode. Given that Mary Jane was rarely even given the opportunity to do Vivian Vance-type scenes, and did not play a character that was meant to stand up to Lucy like Ethel/Viv did, drawing that kind of comparison is unfair. It's comparing apples and oranges. For the kind of role she was given, which was not as an Ethel/Viv-type character, I think she was great.
I always wondered why she wasn't billed as a co-star. This really kind of explains it.
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Old 01-20-2014, 04:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleRickyII
I don't know how many times Mary Jane appeared on HL, but I can tell you this much: she only appeared once during the first season. That was in the Cesar Romero episode, and her appearance was very brief. She didn't appear again until well into the second season, and then only a couple times that year. But by the third season, her number of appearances picked up and she was pretty much a semi-regular, and much more the next year. By the fifth and sixth season, she was probably appearing in about half the episodes, practically as much as Lucie Arnaz (who had gotten busy with her own projects and only appeared in half of the sixth season episodes).
I can sure say that Mary Jane is one of my most vivid memories of this later series, I thought she was perfect, almost as good a sidekick as Vivian Vance.
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Old 02-12-2016, 04:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleRickyII
Me too. And a lot of people make the mistake of assuming Mary Jane was a replacement for Vivian Vance, when Lucille Ball deliberately did not replace Vivian Vance after she left the show. With few exceptions through the years, Mary Jane's primary purpose on the show was not to be Lucy's sidekick, but only to help launch Lucy off on some adventure where Lucy was interacting with some other guest star (almost always without Mary Jane), or performing a comedy routine solo. Usually -- at least prior to the end of Here's Lucy -- Mary Jane would only be featured in the first act and would be absent from the main comedy scenes. Even by the sixth season of Here's Lucy, when Mary Jane was essentially a regular and was now sometimes appearing throughout most of the episode, she was still not really acting as Lucy's sidekick in her schemes. I can only think less than a handful of instances where Mary Jane was allowed to do that (e.g., The Lucy Show episode with Sheldon Leonard when Lucy and Mary Jane disguise themselves as cleaning people, and the Here's Lucy episode "The Not-So-Popular Mechanics," where Mary Jane tries to help Lucy repair Harry's car). Most often, her role was like what she did in the John Wayne episode, where she appears early in the episode to help set up the plot, then Lucy goes off solo to do her big comedy scenes with John Wayne, and Mary Jane is nowhere in sight for the rest of the episode. Given that Mary Jane was rarely even given the opportunity to do Vivian Vance-type scenes, and did not play a character that was meant to stand up to Lucy like Ethel/Viv did, drawing that kind of comparison is unfair. It's comparing apples and oranges. For the kind of role she was given, which was not as an Ethel/Viv-type character, I think she was great.
True, I also thought Mary Jane was a very charming and likable character.
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Old 04-22-2017, 09:03 AM   #14
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I'm a big fan of old time radio and Mary Jane Croft (along with Bea Benaderet and Shirley "Marion" Mitchell") were in every other radio show constantly in minor or supporting parts.
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Old 04-22-2017, 09:04 AM   #15
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As of this date the IMDB lists Croft in 30 "Here's Lucy" episodes.
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