October 18, 2009
I Love Lucy!
I'm well aware that my love for the classic 'I Love Lucy' television show is not at all unique. I mean, isn't it like the absolute most popular t.v. sitcom of all time?! As far as I know, it's still always playing somewhere on some t.v. channel, in some country around the world. I'm not sure of the actual statistics, but I think that 'Lucy' has been loved by millions, if not billions of people since the show's debut back in the 1950s! Wait, am I overestimating a bit with the billions part? I've never been good at numbers. I just know that a whole LOT of folks have been big 'Lucy' fans over the years!
Of course, I've purchased all 6 seasons and all 13 Lucy-Desi Comedy Hours on DVD. I can watch them repeatedly, and never tire of them! In fact, it's one of my favorite things to do with Tommy. We just laugh, and laugh... And it doesn't seem to matter how many times we've seen an episode. I think that's quite a testament to the show's quality. The writing, the acting, the comedy, EVERYTHING was well-done!
It goes without saying that Lucille Ball was a comedic genius, and she was largely responsible for the show's success, but she also had a stellar ensemble cast to both back her up and play off of. I don't think they got enough of the credit they deserved, either. A lot of the show's funny bits happened between Lucy and Ethel, especially whenever they were being catty with each other, or even in a feud and not speaking. Plus, there was always some crazy scheme of Lucy's that Ethel would get reluctantly drug into. Vivian Vance was a great actress with excellent comedic timing and delivery. Sad thing was, privately she struggled with depression. And it certainly did not help matters any that Miss Ball insisted her female co-star be heavier, and look less attractive than her. Poor plump, not-as-appealing Viv... I've always thought you were pretty. Pretty darn funny, too!
Picking only ONE favorite 'Lucy' episode would be very hard
for me, but if my life depended on it, this might be the one
to receive that honor! It's Episode #89, titled 'Lucy is Envious'.
The above still is from its classic sequence where Lucy and
Ethel are doing their best lady-martian impersonations atop
the Empire State Building. Their hilarious attempt to "scare"
N.Y.C. tourists with this publicity stunt for an upcoming sci-fi
movie ('Women from Mars') is just SO bizarrely funny and
strange, that I couldn't even imagine another comedy team
doing it. Period.
"Lucy... You got some splainin' to do!"
Most anybody who's seen at least one episode is likely familiar
with this recurring confrontation. I like how you can obviously
see here that Lucy's brain is working overtime to come up
with something, ANYTHING, to tell Ricky that'll get her out of
the pickle she's gotten herself into.
Who could forget Ethel's stodgy old husband, Fred? I don't remember if they ever said what the age difference was supposed to be between those two, but it always seemed to me that Fred could almost be Ethel's father. He was such a grumpy character, too. The more I think about it, I realize Fred Mertz is probably the one character in the entire cast that I like the very least. Mostly, I think, because he was hardly ever nice to Ethel! In fact, Fred was always putting Ethel down, making fun of her weight and just humiliating her at every turn. I always wondered what would make a self-respecting woman stay married to an awful man like that? At least, Ethel did shoot back some real "zinger" lines of her own, once in a while! I do know that it was all just pretend, and that Fred was written to be that way, but it's also known that the actor, William Frawley, didn't talk to anyone (including his co-stars) if they weren't actually filming scenes for the show. He would just arrive shortly before an episode's filming, keep to himself, perform his scenes and then leave. Needless to say, Mr. Frawley was not one to suffer small talk gladly. Or much talk at all, for that matter. Just knowing this behind-the-scenes factoid tells me he must've been a real old, grumpy man! Wouldn't you agree?
I had no idea there were 'I Love Lucy' comic books!
I wonder if Little Ricky collected them?
I always liked the concept of Ricky Ricardo's character: A suave, handsome, charming and confident Cuban who also happens to be a talented bandleader that can both sing and beat a mean conga drum. Now, notice how I said I liked the concept. Actually, I do think that Desi Arnaz represented most of those qualities pretty well, but I never have thought his voice was very good. And I can't stand it when he sings in Spanish. Terrible of me, I know...
But I DID like the way Ricky dressed and styled his hair!
"I love Lucy
she loves me..."
I can see why the ladies were attracted
to Desi Arnaz. But it was awful and very
sad for Lucille Ball that he was such a
womanizing Casanova-type in real life,
and couldn't ever resist temptation.
I like watching Ricky go totally nuts on his conga
(bongo?) drum. He gets so into it that he's usually
out of breath by the number's end, and his perfectly
coiffed hair becomes a total mess. That's what I
"Yes, can I speak to a Mr. Jass?
I believe his first name is, Hugh."
Often times, Lucy used the good old telephone as a tool
for her plotting & scheming. Could you imagine the sort
of trouble she'd get into today, with a computer and
Here's a couple of funny Lucy-related toys that I found around the interwebs and thought would be fun to share... But don't fight over them, children.
My Little Lucy, My Little Lucy
What will today's adventure be?
I just had to include this one for the crazed adult
MLP collector in my life! You're welcome, Tommy.
Close your windows!
Lock your doors!
The Dolls from Mars!
These Kelly dolls totally cracked me up! What a
great idea. I'm thinking that I might actually need
to have these.
My second favorite episode would probably have to be Episode #147, titled 'Lucy Gets a Paris Gown'. That's the one where they're all in Paris as part of their European vacation, and Lucy decides to go on a hunger strike until Ricky agrees to buy her a Jacque Marcel dress. Ricky ends up feeling sorry for sad, starving Lucy and gives in. Then he comes to find out that Ethel had been smuggling food in to Lucy the whole time! Well, of course, he had to get even. So Ricky and Fred get a local tailor to make a couple of wacky outfits from burlap potato sacks, and a few hats out of a horse's feedbag and a restaurant ice bucket. Then they just sewed in the Jacque Marcel labels. The funniest part was watching Lucy and Ethel strut down the Paris street like they were a couple of haute couture models, or something! Classic.
"Do you like our
Jacque Marcel originals?
They are the latest
high-fashion in all of Paris."
It's too bad Lucy and Ethel decided to burn these.
But then, how could they have known that the
REAL Jacque Marcel would steal their husbands'
crazy designs and pass them off as his own?
For the longest time I felt quite strongly about wanting to meet Lucille Ball just so I could give her a BIG hug and thank her personally for all of the laughs and happiness she brought into my life. It never did happen, but I think Miss Ball knew how much she and Lucy Ricardo meant to the fans of 'I Love Lucy'. I just hope that, before her death, she fully understood how profound her impact was on both show business and pop culture.
~All photos via Google Images~