I Love Lucy Writer and Co-Creator Bob Carroll Jr. Dies
180 Episodes of Lucy over Six Seasons
Bob Carroll, Jr., with longtime writing
partner Madelyn Pugh Davis
Los Angeles, CA - Writer Bob Carroll, Jr., best known for his perennial work on Emmy®-winning sitcom I Love Lucy, died January 27, 2007. The Pennsylvania-born, Florida-raised scribe was 88.
Along with his writing partner of more than 50 years, Madelyn Pugh Davis, and producer-writer Jess Oppenheimer, Carroll created some of television's most memorable moments in such standout episodes as "Lucy Does a TV Commercial" and "Job Switching."
In the hysterical "Switching" installment, Ricky Ricardo is fed up (again) with wife Lucy's spending habits. Lucy then lands a job, along with best friend Ethel Mertz, working an ever-speedier assembly line, wrapping chocolates at Kramer's Kandy Kitchen.
Of course, more chocolates end up in Lucy's and Ethel's mouths, on the floor, in their hats and elsewhere—resulting in one of the tube's best-executed pieces of slapstick comedy to date.
I Love Lucy not only secured Carroll's place in television history, but pioneered a framework for decades of sitcoms to follow. Premiering in fall 1951, it was the first show of its kind.
Remarkably, Carroll, Davis and Oppenheimer went on to create 180 episodes of Lucy over six seasons. Reruns were not an industry staple at this point in history, so the team was expected to deliver a fresh episode every week.
The series ultimately garnered two Emmy® Awards for Best Situation Comedy. Plus, Lucy's cast and creative team earned several individual nominations and wins in their respective categories. Carroll shared two Best Comedy Writing noms with Davis: a nod in 1956 for I Love Lucy, and another in 1971 for Here's Lucy.
Carroll first met Madelyn Davis after moving to California with his family, and landing a front desk job at CBS. He told the St. Petersburg Times that he got a kick out of requiring famous stars to sign in, and described the "lucky little series of events" that got him into publicity and later onto the writing staff.
As a senior writer, he met partner Davis and created hundreds of scripts for radio shows including My Favorite Husband, which starred then B-movie actress Lucille Ball. When Ball jumped to television, she brought Carroll and Davis along.
The pair worked together for decades, writing for tube mainstays Steve Allen and Paul Lynde, as well as Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz and executive producing such shows as long-running CBS comedy Alice (1977-85).
In 1992, the Writer's Guild of America honored Carroll with the Laurel Award for TV Writing Achievement. Carroll also co-authored Madelyn Pugh Davis' book of memoirs, Laughing with Lucy, which was released in September of 2005.
He is survived by his daughter, Christina. Funeral services are pending.
Carroll Talks with the Archive of American Television
In 1997, the Archive of American Television interviewed Bob Carroll, Jr. along with writing partner Madelyn Pugh Davis. The complete interview is available for viewing at the AAT office, located on the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences plaza in North Hollywood. Contact the Television Archive at (818) 754-2800 for more information.
Click here to view the entire six-part Carroll-Davis interview online here at Google Video.
To learn more about the life and works of Bob Carroll, Jr. online, please visit
the Archive of American Television Update blog.