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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Life with Luigi


Life with Luigi was a radio comedy-drama series which began September 21, 1948 on CBS, broadcasting its final episode on March 3, 1953. The story concerned Italian immigrant Luigi Basco, and his experiences as an immigrant in Chicago. Many of the shows take place at the US citizenship classes that Luigi attends with other immigrants from different countries, as well as trying to fend off the repeated advances of the morbidly-obese daughter of his landlord/sponsor.

Luigi was played by J. Carrol Naish, an Irish-American. Naish continued in the role on the short-lived CBS television version in 1952 and was later replaced by Vito Scotti when the series was briefly revived in the spring of 1953. With a working title of The Little Immigrant, Life with Luigi was created by Cy Howard, who earlier had created the hit radio comedy, My Friend Irma. Other characters on the radio show included Pasquale (Alan Reed), another Italian-American who was always trying to set Luigi up with his daughter Rosa; and Shultz (Hans Conreid), a German immigrant and fellow student in Luigi's citizenship class.

The show was sometimes regarded as the Italian counterpart to the radio show The Goldbergs, which chronicled the experience of Jewish immigrants in New York.

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References: Old Time Radio Researchers Group, Wikipedia, Frank Passage & Others OTR Logs, Archive.org, Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio by John Dunning, Australian Old Time Radio Group



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