Yes, she was a movie star before radio and television and after vaudeville. Zany. Versatile. A woman not afraid to engage in slapstick and play the clown.
We say this is a tough quiz because Joan Davis had a busy but relatively brief career. She covered a lot of show biz ground quickly. Good thing because at the age of 48 she, felled by heart trouble, died in 1961.
She didn’t really become a household name until the 1950’s when she emerged as the star of a largely successful, five-year tv sitcom on NBC. On radio she was a regular on the Rudy Vallee Show in the early Forties. In movies she consorted with, among many others, Eddie Cantor, Abbott and Costello and — (see below) Jinx Falkenburg. (Now there’s a name from the past).
There’s a PhD. thesis somewhere in the notion that Joan Davis perhaps is an interesting reflection of none other than Lucille Ball. Both had movie careers before making their marks on tv. Both their tube careers began at about the same time. And both women (Davis, a native of St. Paul, Minn., was by no means the looker that Ball was) did not hesitate to make themselves look foolish if the payoff was laughter.
Ok, on to our Joan Davis Quiz. Questions today, answers tomorrow. Here we go
1) Question: What was the title of the NBC tube series that made Davis a household name? a) Joanie Loves Chachi; b) Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best; c) Joan of Arcadia; or d) I Married Joan.
2) Question: Which one of the following was Davis’ principal costar in that NBC-TV series mentioned above? a) Eddie Albert; b) Robert Young; c) Fred MacMurray; or d) Jim Backus.
3) Question: David scuffled for most of her career economically and was often forced to take roles she deeply disliked. a) True; or b) False.
4) Question: Which of the following did NOT appear in a Joan Davis movie? a) George Murphy; b) Roy Rogers; c) Alice Faye; or d) Jane Frazee.
5) Question: Davis amply displayed her bubbly sex appeal by portraying a stripper in her final film, 1952’s Harem Girl. a) True; or b) False.