Life with Luigi

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Luigi Basco (J. Carrol Naish) and Pasquale (Alan Reed) in the CBS-TV series Life With Luigi (1952)

Life with Luigi is an American radio situation comedy series which began September 21, 1948 on CBS Radio, with the final episode broadcast on March 3, 1953.

The story concerned Italian immigrant Luigi Basco, and his experiences as a newly naturalized American citizen in Chicago. Many of the shows take place at the English classes that Luigi attends with other immigrants from different countries, or concern his attempts 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 actor.

Beginning on September 22, 1952, Naish continued the role on the live short-lived CBS Television version 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, the TV version of 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 Schultz (Hans Conried), a German immigrant and fellow student in Luigi's citizenship class. Each episode used the framing device of Luigi narrating a letter to his mother back in Italy.

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 City.

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