Saturday, November 20, 2010

Screen Gem Saturdays: I (still) Love Lucy!



“I Love Lucy” is still one of my favorites shows. You can trace just about any present-day situation comedy setup to an episode of this 50+-year old gem. Much of the show’s success rested on the shoulders of its star, Lucille Ball, who had previously enjoyed a moderately successful career in the movies. Her facial expressions alone were enough to make audiences roar with laughter; she needed no dialogue. Everything going on in her scheming flaming-red-haired noggin’ was visible in her expressive eyes. Lucy was an amazing talent. Much credit is also owed to the rest of the ensemble cast; Vivian Vance and William Frawley were not the best of pals in real life, which helped to give them great on-screen chemistry as the ever-bickering Ethel & Fred Mertz. When it came to Desi Arnaz, you never doubted that he loved Lucy with all his heart. Why else would he put up with her crazy antics? And when it came to Lucy & Viv, you knew that these two were the best of friends, despite any kind of underlying rivalry that might have been going on.



“I Love Lucy” was groundbreaking by being one of the first TV shows to use multiple cameras for filming, making it ideal for reruns & syndication. Desi knew that the show had financial potential outside of its initial airing. Here are a few behind-the-scenes shots:







This set was used when the gang invaded Hollywood:





Even fifty years after the show wrapped up, you can find Lucy’s face on books, dolls, wax dummies, and even on the side of buildings. She is a comic icon who is hard to forget.









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10 comments:

HBG2 said...

You can get a feel for how special Lucille Ball was by asking the question, "Who's the greatest male comedian/comic actor of all time?" You'll have a list of credible choices over which to debate. Ask the same question with "female," and there's nothing to debate; Lucy runs away with it. There can only be a competition for second place in that category.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

I love Lucy Too!!!

Oh man, those behind the scenes shots are amazing, so many decades of seeing the "produced" show, its odd (and very cool) to see there is no ceiling or forth wall....

THANKS!

TokyoMagic! said...

I agree with VDT about getting to see behind the scenes...especially that shot of the Hollywood set. I'd never seen a shot like that of that particular set. Can we tell who the people are in the scene or which episode they might have been filming? It looks like Bobby the bellboy is there, but is that Desi Arnaz on the sofa or do you think it might just be a stand-in?

I LOVE LUCY TOO!

TokyoMagic! said...

I've been studying that same photo a little bit more. Maybe that's "Lucy" writer, Madelyn Pugh on the Hollywood set? It also looks like there is a room service cart off to the far right, so maybe it's the episode where Ricky forgets their anniversary, or the one where Lucy hides in Cornel Wilde's hotel room. Those are the only two that I can think of off the top of my head where they used a cart like that.

Okay, okay, so when it comes to I Love Lucy (and Disneyland), I'm a little hardcore. Too bad there wasn't an episode where "Lucy Goes To Disneyland." I know there is a Hollywood episode where Fred says he was hoping they were all going to Knott's Berry Farm!

pixiegirltink said...

I knew I liked you! Only I admit, I love Desi. He was my first love and I'm sure I married my black haired husband because of Desi.

The Hollywood episodes are my all time favorite. I recently did a little research on the hotel, The Beverly Palms. It's still there, only now it's the Avalon. Looks like a great place to stay.

Another excellent post my friend. :)

Mike, Studio city said...

That was fun.

Davelandweb said...

Chris - I think Bobby the Bellboy is the only actor in the shot; I'm guessing the rest are crew. I am also guessing that it's the Cornel Wilde episode.

Tink - we are overdue for a catch-up session and a trip to the park together!

quizshowbob said...

Every time that I would go to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in Las Vegas, I would stick my finger in Lucy's mixing bowl.

Davelandweb said...

Bob - I hope you have a photo of that!

Connie Moreno said...

Love, love, love Lucy, the QUEEN of comdey.