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L E’s Stories – “The Queen Of Comedy Has Been Gone For 32 Years, But Her Memory Continues On” – Tribute To Lucille Ball

So tell me, is there any “red-blooded American” who has never seen an episode of the “I Love Lucy….The Lucy Show….Here’s Lucy” trilogy of television comedy shows starring Lucille Ball….cuz this famous American red-head is unquestionably the The Queen of Comedy when it comes to fem ale comedians in the annals of American history.  Bone Daddy says he remembers gathering in front of the TV with the family every Monday night from 8pm (CDT) for I Love Lucy show from 1951 to 1957….as he believes he and his family never missed one of the original 180 episodes during the six years the program aired….and the truth be told, Fred and Ethel Mertz were his favorite characters on the program.  This story is about the life and legend of Lucille Ball…..who without question put her stamp of women in comedy…..which has continued even to this day.  When you hear the name, Lucille Ball, you immediately think of an effervescent redhead pulling wacky faces and making everyone in America laugh…..however, Ball was more than just America’s favorite comedienne…..as she was a television pioneer and her artistic and business decisions have shaped the entire landscape of 21st century pop culture.  Sure, it’s easy to see how Lucille Ball’s comedy stylings influenced the likes of Mary Tyler Moore, Carol Burnett, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler…..however, she also was the first women to head a major television production company…..as she and husband Desi Arnaz founded Desilu, which didn’t just back I Love Lucy….. but also the studio that gave the world The Dick Van Dyke show, Mission: Impossible and Star Trek.  In fact, Lucille Ball was the person who pushed behind-the-scenes to make Star Trek and  Mission: Impossible actually happen…..as she made other creative choices that have had irrevocable repercussions on the cultural landscape….like when CBS balked balked at Ball wanting to cast Desi Arnaz as her onscreen husband in I Love Lucy…..for it had something to do with the fact that she was white and he was Cuban…..but Ball stuck to her guns and gave television one of its first interracial couples. When Ball got pregnant, she worked it into the show and appeared pregnant on camera.  So, when you see Kerry Washington making out with Tony Goldwyn on Scandal….or if you saw her wearing baggy clothes to hide her pregnancy….then you’re seeing Lucille Ball’s influence.  Therefore, this story isn’t just about the original Queen of Comedy…..but also about America’s first woman to show the world that women can compete and produce with men on any stage and endeavor.

 

 

Comedy – 1951 – I Love Lucy Show Skit – Lucille Ball & Vivian Vance – “The Chocolate Factory”   

 

 

Comedy – 1965 – “The Lucy Show” Skit – “Lucy Gets Jack Benny’s Account”                                                                                                          

 

Lucille Désirée Ball (August 6, 1911 – April 26, 1989) was an American actress, comedian, model, studio executive and producer…..who was the star and producer of sitcoms I Love LucyThe Lucy Show and Here’s Lucy….as well as comedy television specials aired under the title The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour….and was also the first female head of a major Hollywood studio, Desilu Productions, which she also owned.

 

 

Documentary & Comedy – 1911 To 1989 – Special – The Life And Times Of Lucille Ball

 

Ball’s career began in 1929 when she landed work as a model….and shortly thereafter, she began her performing career on Broadway using the stage name Diane Belmont…..when she later appeared in several minor film roles in the 1930’s and 1940’s as a contract player for RKO Radio Pictures….while being cast as a chorus girl or in similar roles.  During this time, she met Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz….and the two eloped in November 1940.  In the 1950’s, Ball ventured into television…..and in 1951, Arnaz and her created the sitcom I Love Lucy…..while during the same year, Ball gave birth to their first child, Lucie Arnaz….who was followed by Desi Arnaz Jr. in 1953.  Following the end of I Love Lucy, Ball produced and starred in the Broadway musical Wildcat from 1960 to 1961….as the show received lukewarm reviews….and had to be closed when Ball became ill for several weeks.  After Wildcat, Ball reunited with I Love Lucy co-star Vivian Vance for The Lucy Show….which Vance left in 1965….but the show continued with Ball’s longtime friend and series regular Gale Gordon until 1968…..when Ball immediately began appearing in a new series, Here’s Lucy, with Gordon….with frequent show guest Mary Jane Croft along with Lucie and Desi Jr…..as this program ran until 1974.

 

 

Comedy & Documentary – 1933 To 1989 – Special – Lucille Ball Documentary – “Finding Lucy”                                                                                                                   

 

Lucille Désirée Ball was the daughter of Henry Durrell Ball , a lineman for Bell Telephone, and Désirée “DeDe” Evelyn Ball…..who was born in Jamestown, New York.  As part of her father’s work for Bell Telephone, he was frequently transferred and the family moved often during her childhood. The family had moved from Jamestown to Anaconda, Montana, and later to Trenton, New Jersey.  In February 1915, while living in Wyandotte, Michigan, her father died from typhoid fever at 27 years old, when Ball was three.  At the time of Henry’s death, DeDe Ball was pregnant with her second child, Fred Henry Ball…..as Ball recalled little from the day her father died, except a bird getting trapped in the house….which caused her lifelong ornithophobia.  Ball’s mother returned to New York….where maternal grandparents helped raise her brother Fred and her in Celoron….which was a summer resort village on Lake Chautauqua about 2.5 miles (4 km) west of downtown Jamestown…..as Ball loved Celoron Park, a popular amusement area in the United States at that time…..where its boardwalk had a ramp to the lake that served as a children’s slide, the Pier Ballroom, a roller-coaster, a bandstand, and a stage where vaudeville concerts and regular theatrical shows were presented.  

 

 

 Comedy – 1953 – “I Love Lucy” Show Skit – Lucy Ricardo Tells Ricky Ricardo They’re Having A Baby”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

 

Comedy – 1953 – “I Love Lucy” Show Skit – Lucy & Ricky Ricardo In “Pregnancy Cravings” 

 

 

Comedy – 1953 – “I Love Lucy” Show Skit – “Lucy Goes Into Labor (This Is It!!)             

 

Four years after Henry Ball’s death, DeDe Ball married Edward Peterson. While her mother and stepfather looked for work in another city, Peterson’s parents cared for her brother and her.  When Ball was 12, her stepfather encouraged her to audition for his Shriner’s organization that was in need of entertainers for the chorus line of their next show…..and while Ball was onstage, she realized performing was a great way to gain praise….and her appetite for recognition was awakened.  In 1925, Ball, then only 14, started dating Johnny DeVita, a 21-year-old local hoodlum. Her mother was unhappy with the relationship….and hoped the romance she was unable to influence would burn out….but after about a year, her mother tried to separate them by exploiting Ball’s desire to be in show business….so, despite the family’s meager finances, in 1926, she enrolled Ball in the John Murray Anderson  School for the Dramatic Arts, in New York City, where Bette Davis was a fellow student. Ball later said about that time in her life, “All I learned in drama school was how to be frightened.”  Ball’s instructors felt she would not be successful in the entertainment business….and were unafraid to directly state this to her.  Despite this harsh criticism, Ball was determined to prove her teachers wrong and returned to New York City in 1928….when she began working for Hattie Carnegie as an in-house model….when Carnegie ordered Ball to dye her brown hair blond and she complied.  Of this time in her life, Ball said, “Hattie taught me how to slouch properly in a $1,000 hand-sewn sequin dress and how to wear a $40,000 sable coat as casually as rabbit.”  Her acting forays were still at an early stage when she became ill with rheumatic fever and was unable to work for two years.

 

 

Comedy & Talk Show – 1974 – The Dick Cavett Show With Lucille Ball – Talking About Her Favorite “I Love Lucy” Episode

 

 

Comedy & Talk Show – 1985 – The Tonight Show With Joan Rivers – With Guest Lucille Ball – Four Years Pryor To Her Death

 

 

In 1932, she moved back to New York City to resume her pursuit of an acting career….where she supported herself by again working for Carnegie and as the Chesterfield cigarette girl…..while using the name Diane Belmont….when she started getting chorus work on Broadway….but it was not lasting.  Ball was hired….but then quickly fired by theater impresario Earl Carroll from his Vanities…..and by Florenz Ziegfeld, from a touring company of Rio RitaAfter an uncredited stint as a Goldwyn Girl in Roman Scandals in 1933, starring Eddie Cantor and Gloria Stuart….as Ball moved permanently to Hollywood to appear in films…..where she had many small movie roles in the 1930’s as a contract player for RKO Radio Pictures….which included a two-reel comedy short with the Three Stooges in Three Little Pigskins in 1934….. and a movie with the Marx Brothers in Room Service in 1938…..whereas, her first credited role came in Chatterbox in 1936.  She also appeared in several Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers RKO musicals…..while as one of the featured models in Roberta in 1935….as the flower girl in Top Hat in 1935….and in a brief supporting role at the beginning of Follow the Fleet in 1936…..then  Ball and Ginger Rogers, who were distant maternal cousins, played aspiring actresses in the film Stage Door in 1937 alongside Katharine Hepburn.

 

 

Comedy & Movie Clip – 1933 – The Three Stooges With Lucille Ball In “Three Little Pigskins”  – Facts + Bloopers + More

 

 

Comedy & Movie Clip – 1938 – The Marx Brothers With Lucille Ball In “Room Service”

 

 

Movie Clip – 1937 – From Movie “Stage Door” – With Katharine Hepburn + Ginger Rogers + Lucille Ball

 

In 1936, she landed the role she hoped would lead her to Broadway, in the Bartlett Cormack play Hey Diddle Diddle….which was a comedy set in a duplex apartment in Hollywood…..as the play premiered in Princeton, New Jersey, on January 21, 1937, with Ball playing the part of Julie Tucker….who was “one of three roommates coping with neurotic directors, confused executives, and grasping stars, who interfere with the girls’ ability to get ahead”.….when the play received good reviews….but problems existed with star Conway Tearle, who was in poor health.  Cormack wanted to replace him, but producer Anne Nichols said the fault lay with the character and insisted the part needed to be rewritten…..when unable to agree on a solution, the play closed after one week in Washington, DC….when Tearle became gravely ill.  Ball later auditioned for the role of Scarlett O’Hara for  Gone with the Wind in 1939…..but Vivien Leigh got the part….while winning an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role.  In 1940, Lucy appeared as the lead in the musical Too Many Girls….when she met and fell in love with Desi Arnaz….who played one of her character’s four bodyguards in the movie.

 

 

Movie Trailer – 1940 -From Movie – “Too Many Girls – Starring Lucille Ball & Desi Arnez

 

 

Comedy & Dance – 1972 – “Here’s Lucy” Show Skit – Lucy + Kim + Ginger Rogers Do “The Charleston”

 

 

Comedy & Music – 1968 – “The Lucy Show” Skit – “Lucy Teaches Ethel Merman To Sing”                                                                                                              

 

Ball signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in the 1940’s….but never achieved major stardom there…..as she was known in Hollywood circles as “Queen of the Bs” …..which was a title previously held by Fay Wray…..and later more closely associated with Ida Lupino and Marie Windsor…..while starring in a number of B-movies like Five Came Back in 1939.  Like many budding actresses, Ball picked up radio work to supplement her income and gain exposure…..when in 1937, she appeared regularly on The Phil Baker Show. When its run ended in 1938, Ball joined the cast of The Wonder Show starring Jack Haley…..and there began her 50-year professional relationship with the show’s announcer, Gale Gordon…..as The Wonder Show lasted one season…. with the final episode airing on April 7, 1939.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

 

Music & Movie Clip – 1940 – From Movie “Du Barry Was A Lady” – Red Skelton + Lucille Ball + Gene Kelly Sing “Friendship”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

 

Music & Movie Clip – 1940 – From Movie “Du Barry Was A Lady” – Lucille Ball Performs The Title Song “Du Barry Was A Lady”                                                       

 

MGM producer Arthur Freed purchased the Broadway hit musical play DuBarry Was a Lady in 1943 especially for Ann Sothern….but when she turned down the part…..that is when the role went to Ball….who was Sothern’s real-life best friend…..then also in 1943, Ball portrayed herself in Best Foot Forward.  In 1946, Ball starred in Lover Come Back…..and in 1947, she appeared in the murder mystery Lured as Sandra Carpenter….who was a taxi dancer in London.  In 1948, Ball was cast as Liz Cooper, a wacky wife in My Favorite Husband, a radio comedy for CBS Radio…..as the show was successful….and CBS asked her to develop it for television….to which she agreed….but insisted on working with her real-life husband, Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz…..as CBS executives were reluctant, thinking the public would not accept an Anglo-American redhead and a Cuban as a couple…..when CBS was initially unimpressed with the pilot episode, produced by the couple’s Desilu Productions company…..so, the pair went on the road with a vaudeville act….in which Lucy played the zany housewife, wanting to get into Arnaz’s show…..when given the great success of the tour, CBS put I Love Lucy into their lineup.  I Love Lucy was not only a star vehicle for Lucille Ball….but also a potential means for her to salvage her marriage to Arnaz…..as their relationship had become badly strained, in part because of their hectic performing schedules, which often kept them apart….but mostly due to Desi’s attraction to other women.

 

 

Comedy – 1953 – I Love Lucy Show Skit – Lucille Ball + Vivian Vance Sing – “If You’re Ever In A Mess, S.O. S.”

 

 

Comedy – 1951 To 1958 – Special – The I Love Lucy Show Lost Episodes

 

 

 Comedy – 1957 – “I Love Lucy” Skit – “Lucy Falls Into The Vat Of Starch”                        

 

Along the way, Ball created a television dynasty and achieved several firsts…. as she was the first woman to head a TV production company, Desilu….which she had formed with Arnaz…..when after their divorce in 1960, she bought out his share….and became a very actively engaged studio head….when Desilu and I Love Lucy pioneered a number of methods that are still in use in TV production today…..such as filming before a live studio audience with more than one camera….and utilizing distinct sets, adjacent to each other. During this time, Ball taught a 32-week comedy workshop at the Brandeis-Bardin Institute…..when she was quoted as saying, “You cannot teach someone comedy; either they have it or they don’t.”

 

 

Comedy – 1951 To 1957 – Special – The Best Moments Of The “I Love Lucy” Show – Part 1

 

 

Comedy – 1951 To 1957 – Special – The Best Moments Of The “I Love Lucy” Show – Part 2

 

 

Comedy – 1951 To 1957 – Special – The Best Moments Of The “I Love Lucy” Show – Part 3

 

During the run of I Love Lucy, Ball and Arnaz wanted to remain in their Los Angeles home, but time-zone logistics made that difficult. Since prime time in Los Angeles was too late to air a major network series live on the East Coast, filming in California would have meant giving most of the TV audience an inferior kinescope picture, delayed by at least a day…..so,  Sponsor Philip Morris pressured the couple into relocating…..while not wanting day-old kinescopes airing in major East Coast markets….plus they didn’t want to pay the extra cost that filming, processing, and editing would require…..so, instead, the couple offered to take a pay cut to finance filming …..which Arnaz did on better-quality 35 mm film…..and on the condition that Desilu would retain the rights of each episode once it aired.  CBS agreed to relinquish the post-first-broadcast rights to Desilu….while not realizing they were giving up a valuable and enduring asset.  In 1957, CBS bought back the rights for $1,000,000 ($9.21 million in today’s terms)…..thus giving Ball and Arnaz’s down payment for the purchase of the former RKO Pictures studios ….which they turned into Desilu Studios.

 

 

Comedy – 1954 – I Love Lucy Show Skit – With Lucille Ball & Desi Arnez As Ricky And Lucy Ricardo In “English Pronuciation”

 

 

Comedy – 1955 – I love Lucy Show Skit – With Lucy + Rickie Ricardo & Ethel + Fred Mertz In “Stuck In A Rut”

 

 

Comedy – 1952 – “I Love Lucy” Show Skit – With Lucy Stomping Grapes

 

 

I Love Lucy dominated U.S. ratings for most of its run.  An attempt was made to adapt the show for radio using the “Breaking the Lease” episode….in which the Ricardos and Mertzes argue….and the Ricardos threaten to move…. but find themselves stuck in a firm lease as the pilot.  The resulting radio audition disc has survived, but never aired.  A scene in which Lucy and Ricky practice the tango, in the episode “Lucy Does The Tango” brought the longest recorded studio audience laugh in the history of the show….which was so long that the sound editor had to cut that section of the soundtrack in half.  During the show’s production breaks, Lucy and Desi starred together in two feature films….The Long, Long Trailer in 1954….and Forever, Darling in 1956.  After I Love Lucy ended its run in 1957, the main cast continued to appear in occasional hour-long specials under the title The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour until 1960.

 

 

Comedy – 1951 – “I Love Lucy” Show Skit – Lucille Ball In “Lucy Pizza Amore”

 

 

 Comedy – 1955 – “I Love Lucy” Show Skit – “Men Vs Women At A Party”

 

 

Comedy – 1956 – “I Love Lucy” Show Skits – Ricky + Lucy Ricardo – “Guide To A Happy Marriage”                                                                                                             

 

Desilu produced several other popular shows, such as The UntouchablesStar Trek, and Mission: Impossible. The studio was eventually sold in 1967 for $17,000,000 ($132 million in today’s terms)…..and merged into Paramount Pictures….which was just next door to the Desilu lot.

 

 

Comedy – 1956 – “I Love Lucy” Show Skits – Ricky + Lucy Ricardo In “I Love Ricky”

 

 

Comedy – 1958 – “The Lucy – Desi Comedy Hour” With Tallulah Bankhead

 

 

Comedy – 1955 – “I Love Lucy” Show Skit – Lucille Ball & Harpo Marx In “The Mirror Routine”                                                                                                                      

 

The 1960 Broadway musical Wildcat ended its run early when producer and star Ball could not recover from a virus and continue the show after several weeks of returned ticket sales…..but the show was the source of the song she made famous, “Hey, Look Me Over”…..which she performed with Paula Stewart on The Ed Sullivan Show…..then Ball hosted a CBS Radio talk show entitled Let’s Talk to Lucy in 1964–65…..and she also made a few more movies including Yours, Mine, and Ours in 1968…..and the musical Mame in 1974…..and two more successful long-running sitcoms for CBS…..with The Lucy Show from 1962 to 1968….which costarred Vivian Vance and Gale Gordon…..and Here’s Lucy from 1968 to 1974…..which also featured Gordon, as well as Lucy’s real-life children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr…..plus, she appeared on the Dick Cavett show in 1974…..when she spoke of her history and life with Arnaz.

 

 

Comedy – 1951 To 1957 – “I Love Lucy” Show Skits – “The 7 Best Dance Numbers By Lucy Ricardo” 

 

 

 Comedy – 1953 – “I Love Lucy” Show Skit – With Lucy, Ricky, Fred & Ethel In “Charmed School”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

 

Movie Clip & Music – 1940 – From Movie “Dance Girl Dance” – Lucille Ball Performs “Jitterbug Bite”                                                                                                

 

Ball’s close friends in the business included perennial co-star Vivian Vance…. along with film stars Judy Garland, Ann Sothern, and Ginger Rogers…..and comedic television performers Jack Benny, Barbara Pepper, Mary Wickes, and Mary Jane Croft…..when all except Garland appeared at least once on her various series.  Former Broadway co-stars Keith Andes and Paula Stewart also appeared at least once on her later sitcoms….as did Joan Blondell, Rich Little, and Ann-Margret.  Ball mentored actress and singer Carole Cook….and befriended Barbara Eden….when Eden appeared on an episode of I Love Lucy.

 

 

Comedy – 1956 – “I Love Lucy” Show Skit – With Lucy In “Vitameatavegamin Commercial”

 

 

Comedy – 1956 – “I Love Lucy” Show Skit – With Lucy & Ricky In “Lucy Meets William Holden”

 

 

Comedy – 1957 – “I Love Lucy” Show Skit – “Lucy Meets Superman”                                                                                                                                                                   

 

In 1959, Ball became a friend and mentor to Carol Burnett….when she guested on Burnett’s highly successful CBS-TV special Carol + 2…..and the younger performer reciprocated by appearing on The Lucy Show.  It was rumored that Ball offered Burnett a chance to star on her own sitcom….but in truth, Burnett was offered and declined Here’s Agnes by CBS executives. She instead chose to create her own variety show due to a stipulation that was on an existing contract she had with CBS.  The two women remained close friends until Ball’s death in 1989…..as Ball sent flowers every year on Burnett’s birthday.

 

 

Comedy – 1963 – “The Lucy Show” Skit – “Lucy Meets John Wayne”

 

 

 Comedy – 1964 – “The Lucy Show” Skit – “Lucy Buys A Sheep”                                                                                                                                                                                                      

 

 Comedy – 1962 – “The Lucy Show” Skit – “Lucy And Viv Learn Karate”                         

 

Ball was originally considered by Frank Sinatra for the role of Mrs. Iselin in the Cold War thriller The Manchurian Candidate….when Director/producer John Frankenheimer, however, had worked with Angela Lansbury in a mother role in All Fall Down….and insisted on having her for the part.  Ball was the lead actress in a number of comedy television specials up to about 1980….which included Lucy Calls the President….which featured Vivian Vance, Gale Gordon, and Mary Jane Croft….as well as Lucy Moves to NBC…. which was a special depicting a fictionalization of her move to the NBC  television network.  During the 1980’s, Ball attempted to resurrect her television career. In 1982, she hosted a two-part Three’s Company retrospective….while showing clips from the show’s first five seasons and summarizing memorable plotlines….plus commenting on her love of the show.

 

 

Comedy – 1952 – “I Love Lucy” Special – Favorite Lines From Season Two – Part 1

 

 

Comedy – 1952 – “I Love Lucy” Special – Favorite Lines From Season Two – Part 2

 

Ball starred in 1985 dramatic made-for-TV film about an elderly homeless woman, Stone Pillow….which received mixed reviews….but had strong viewership.  Her 1986 sitcom comeback Life with Lucy, costarring her longtime foil Gale Gordon and co-produced by Ball, Gary Morton, and prolific producer Aaron Spelling, was cancelled less than two months into its run by ABC.  In May 1988, Ball was hospitalized after suffering a mild heart attack.  Her last public appearance, just one month before her death, was at the 1989 Oscars telecast, in which fellow presenter Bob Hope and she were given a standing ovation.

 

 

TV Drama – 1985 – Clip From TV Drama “Stone Pillow” – Starring Lucille Ball

 

On April 18, 1989, Ball complained of chest pain at her home in Beverly Hills, and was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where she was diagnosed with a dissecting aortic aneurysm and underwent surgery to repair her aorta and a successful seven-hour aortic valve replacement.  Shortly after dawn on April 26, Ball awoke with severe back pain then lost consciousness; she died at 5:47 am PDT at the age of 77. Doctors determined that Ball had succumbed to a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm not directly related to her surgery.

 

 

News & Comedy – April 26, 1989 –  News Of The Death Of Lucille Ball Across America  – With Dan Rather + John Tesh

 

Ball was the recipient of tributes, honors, and many prestigious awards throughout her career and posthumously…..when on February 8, 1960, she was given two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame…..with one at 6436 Hollywood Boulevard for contributions to motion pictures…..and one at 6100 Hollywood Boulevard for her contribution to the arts and sciences of television.  In 1976, CBS paid tribute to Ball with the two-hour special CBS Salutes Lucy: The First 25 Years.

 

 

Comedy – 1969 – “Here’s Lucy” Show Skit – Lucy With Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor – Part 1

 

 

Comedy – 1969 – “Here’s Lucy” Show Skit – Lucy With Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor – Part 2

 

On December 7, 1986, Ball received recognition as a Kennedy Center Honors recipient. The portion of the honors event focused on Ball was particularly poignant, as Desi Arnaz, who was scheduled to introduce Lucy at the event, had died from cancer just five days earlier. Friend and former Desilu star Robert Stack delivered the emotional introduction in the place of Arnaz.  Posthumously, Ball received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George H. W. Bush on July 6, 1989….as well as The Women’s International Center’s ‘Living Legacy Award‘.  The Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum & Center for Comedy is in Ball’s hometown of Jamestown, New York. The Little Theatre was renamed the Lucille Ball Little Theatre in her honor.  The street she was born on was renamed “Lucy Street.” Ball was among Time magazine’s “100 Most Important People of the Century”.

 

 

Comedy & Entertainment – 1986 – Special – The Kennedy Center Honors –  Lucille Ball Tribute – With Walter Matthau + Robert Stack + Bea Arthur + Valerie Harper + Pam Dawber

 

 

Comedy – 1991 – Special – “Funny Women of Television” – Carol Burnett Pays Tribute To Lucille Ball

 

On June 7, 1990, Universal Studios Florida opened a walk-through attraction dedicated to Ball, Lucy – A Tribute, which featured clips of shows, and various pieces of trivia about her, along with items owned by or associated with Lucille, and an interactive quiz for guests. The attraction was permanently closed on August 17, 2015.  On August 6, 2001, the United States Postal Service honored what would have been her 90th birthday with a commemorative postage stamp as part of its Legends of Hollywood series.

 

 

Comedy – 1951 To 1957 – Special – “Reasons Why We Love Lucy – Ricky’s English”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

 

Comedy – 1951 To 1957 – Special – “Reasons Why We Love Lucy – Lucy’s Antics”                                                                                                                          

 

Ball appeared on 39 covers of TV Guide….which was more than any other person….while including its first cover in 1953 with her baby son, Desi Arnaz Jr…..as TV Guide voted Lucille Ball as the ‘Greatest TV Star of All Time’….and it later commemorated the 50th anniversary of I Love Lucy with eight collector covers celebrating memorable scenes from the show.  In 2008, it named I Love Lucy the 2nd-best television program in American history, after Seinfeld.  For her contributions to the Women’s Movement, Ball was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2001.  The Friars Club named a room in its New York clubhouse for Lucille Ball (the Lucille Ball Room)…..as she was posthumously awarded the ‘Legacy of Laughter’ award at the 5th Annual TV Land Awards in 2007…..and in November 2007, Lucille Ball was chosen as # 2 on a list of the ’50 Greatest TV Icons….however, a public poll, chose her as # 1.  On August 6, 2011, Google’s homepage displayed an interactive doodle of six classic moments from I Love Lucy to commemorate what would have been Ball’s 100th birthday…..and on the same day, a total of 915 Ball look-alikes converged on Jamestown to celebrate the birthday and set a new world record for such a gathering.

 

 

Comedy – 1989 – Bob Hope TV Special – “Bob Hope’s Love Affair With Lucy” – A Compilation Of Clips With Bob And Lucille Ball

 

 

Comedy & Talk Shows – 1991 – The Joan Rivers Show – “I Love Lucy” 40th Anniversary Tribute To Lucille Ball

 

I would like to concluded this story with a comment that Lucille Ball made about herself in 1984, just five years before her death which pretty well sums up her life…..saying “I don’t think I’m too versatile, but that’s sort of beside the point. If millions like (Lucy), it would be pretty silly of me to go astray. I’ve learned a lot about my trade over the years.  I have a knowledge of physical comedy, my timing is reliable, and I’m believable. People laugh where they should, and they don’t think I’m unbelievable because I believe it all the way. I do what I do with all my strength and heart.” It can honestly be said of Lucille Ball that for nearly two decades, she was an actress in search of a medium…..when she reached for television in the early years of the medium’s history, she not only found her niche…..but she changed the course of an industry.  When you consider the fact that in 2021, Lucille Ball has been on television every day since 1951 when “I Love Lucy” first aired on CBS….then there is no doubt that she was and still is the Queen of Comedy…. as she simply set the gold standard for women in comedy….and it has never been surpassed….as evidenced by the videos showcased in this story.  It has been the better part of 33 years since Lucille Ball left this world….but her star has not diminished one little bit in all those years….cuz her humor and comedy is as relevant today as it was back in the 1951….when Lucille Ball burst onto the television screen….and that in and of itself is a testament to her true comedic genius…..cuz funny is funny….and it never gets old….so, thanks for all the memories….as simply put here at ImaSportsphile….“We Love Lucy”. 

 

 

Comedy – 1951 To 1974 – Special – A Tribute To Lucille Ball

 

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