Her name was Lucille Ball. An actress that was like a meteor shower in Hollywood, making everyone sit down in the evening and talk about nothing else, but the greatest comedy of all time – I Love Lucy. Every week, as soon as the new episode came out, people would whisper and discuss how brilliantly she and Desi Arnaz (at the time her husband and co-star) had acted. None of them would say the name of the show, it was simply THE show.
The first time I saw her on TV, I was only 5 years old. Even though black and white movies weren’t exactly a ‘thing’ anymore, Lucille’s charm, laugh and down to Earth personality glued my nose to the screen and to this day will not let go. I re-watch her show every time I’m down or just need that dose of vitamin C to jump-start a day. Not only my somewhat personal hero but also an amazing icon for the rest of the world, she was recognised as the first woman comedian of such kind and later as the first woman to own a production company. The company was called Desilu and was created by herself and her husband Desi Arnaz. Also, a woman of her beauty, that makes fun faces and walks in to walls just to make someone laugh – in those days? Preposterous!
From the very beginning of when the idea of ‘I Love Lucy’ came to be, to the last episode that aired in 1957, the show revolutionised the Entertainment world and changed the concepts of comedy. To understand better of why even the birth of this masterpiece was so special, I will have to outline a few facts for you. In the Early 50’s there was a radio show called “My Favourite Husband” which starred none other than Lucille Ball, who at the time was married to her Cuban (band leader) husband, Arnaz. Their marriage had already lasted for around 10 years, but their busy schedules kept them apart. So, when CBS suggested making a TV show out of the radio program, Lucy and Desi didn’t sit around. They brought their A-game, trying to convince CBS to give the main role to Desi. Unfortunately, in those times, being Cuban meant you did not belong. Racist? I’d say so; but a simple ‘no’ did not stop our soon-to-be most beloved couple on air. Desi and Lucy brought to life 5 or 6 live shows and presented them in different cities, letting the audience decide whether they should have a go or not, instead of the handful of people at CBS who thought that this would never work. Surprise, surprise – people loved them together; and soon enough, it was all about Lucy.
The script and scenes for ‘I Love Lucy’ were genius. Every single episode had Lucille’s and Desi’s touch, as she would sit down with the writers, making up skits; and Desi would be the brains behind the camera-work and directing. Their co-stars – Vivian Vance (as Ethel) and William Frawley (as her husband Fred) – filled each episode with hilarious scenes. As one would say in this day and age, their relationship in the show and behind the scenes was #FriendshipGoals. ‘I Love Lucy’ depicted the everyday life of a married couple, and their best friends and landlords: Ethel and Fred. It did so, though, in the most real and hilarious way possible. Lucy constantly revolting against Ricky (Desi) because of the fact that he did not want her to be in the Entertainment business. Ricky always dealing with his wife’s mischievous plans on how to get into his shows at the Club (many times prevailing as well), where he played with his band. The husbands vs. wives skits and family values of those days were heart-warming and, in some situations, relatable – even today.
If this article of mine makes you at least Google the show, I will see it as a win. I believe that all ladies should have a bit of Lucy in them, and all lads should want one beside them, to keep them on their toes and wide awake at all times. Now, enjoy a few quotes from my favourite episodes of the show:
‘Ricky Ricardo: Now look, Lucy, we’re not going to go over all this again. You cannot be in the show.
Lucy Ricardo: Give me one good reason.
Ricky Ricardo: You have no talent.
Lucy Ricardo: Give me another good reason.’
‘Arthur: But… You’re a woman.
Lucy Ricardo: Yes, my husband likes me that way.’
‘Ricky Ricardo: Say, what do you know about rice?
Fred Mertz: Well, I had it thrown at me on one of the darkest days of my life.’
‘Fred Mertz: She said my mother looks like a weasel.
Lucy Ricardo: Ethel, apologize.
Ethel Mertz: I’m sorry your mother looks like a weasel.’