Originating on radio as The Little Immigrant, Life
With Luigi is the story of a gentle Italian and other
immigrants from Germany and Scandinavia taking US citizenship
night school classes. Their new home is Chicago, and their
heartwarming encounters with American ways makes this
show as contemporary now as it was post WWII, or at any
time in the 19th or 20th centuries. J. Carroll Naish,
veteran character actor of stage and screen, makes Luigi
Basco come to life in each and every show. He is a perfect
The cast is stellar: Hans Conried is Schultz, a
German with more of an upright and straightforward manner.
Alan Reed is Pasquale, Luigi's friend and sponsor who
has already made a success of himself in America, as a
restaurateur. Jody Gilbert plays Pasquali's chubby daughter,
Rosa. Mary Shipp is Miss Spaulding, the teacher of the
night class. Joe Forte is Horowitz, and Ken Peters is
Olsen, Luigi's classmates. Gil Straton is Jimmy, who is
Luigi's partner in a small antique business that Luigi
has opened, as he grew up on the outskirts of Rome and
has always loved the past and its glories. But his eyes
were on the New World, and now, that new world is his
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Cy Howard, creator of My Friend Irma, created
the show. Both shows share a sincere human-interest type
of human comedy. The characters become our friends, and
we share in Luigi's joy and sadness as he works to
become a fine American citizen.
Will Pasquali persuade Luigi to marry Rosa? Will Jimmy
and Luigi thrive in the antique business? Each week Luigi
writes a letter to his Mama in Italy, and begins to tell
her (and so the show begins for the listener) just what
is happening to him in Chicago, USA.
And that is the way the show ends, with the letter, and
he closes with love. That is the way this heartwarming
old time radio show is done - with lotsa love. If you like Luigi, you'll love Irma on Cy Howard's other program, My Friend Irma!