Saturday, August 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Lucille Ball

A hideously un-original title post, but perhaps we'll get some traffic from the people clicking on google today?

Don't get to excited to see this blog post up, because no, I have not been planning a "Lucy's Birthday Blog Bash" for a week. Actually, I just clicked on my Google and saw it there. Very sad, I know. I brag about knowing the names of Humphrey Bogart's parents, Peter Lorre's wives, and Marx Brother's elementary school, but I don't even remember Lucille Ball's birthday. I hang my head in shame.

So what can I tell you? That Lucille Ball is amazing? Certainly. But you probably already knew it. I often call "I Love Lucy" my "connection point" when I want to talk to people about classic television/movies, the subject I'm most versed in besides Volkswagen. Because, obviously, everyone loves Lucy. I'll give you a few facts about it first off; Lucy and Ricky were really married. They tied the knot in 1940, when Ricky was an up-and-coming bandleader. At the time Lucy was already the popular star of "My Favorite Husband", basically the I Love Lucy of radio days but without Ricky, Ethel and Fred to round out the cast. Preparing to bring the popular show to television, Lucy asked if the part could be played by her real life husband. The producers refused, saying that the television audience would never except a "Latino-type" like him. Irked, Lucy quit the show, and with their own out-of-pocket money they started I Love Lucy, predicted to end within one season, it has been on the air now for 61 years.

Why do people love Lucy? Easy. Slightly homely, dizzy, cocky, but well meaning and hilarious, and most of all behind that act of vanity it's easy to spot a very real, down-to-earth woman. Having worked hard to prove herself a good actress (Her drama coach at the academy told her she had absolutely no future as a performer) Her natural comedic talents managed to make the standard 1950's dumb-housewife formula an unforgettable icon for the often-lost patience and unconditional love of American marriage.

And did I read any of that on some other blog or tribute site? Absolutely not. No sarcasm intended.

So I sign off. If I had known today was her birthday I might have looked extra hard for her biography yesterday at the library, but instead I picked up Child Star by Shirley Temple Black, Gracie; A Love Story by George Burns and Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit by Sean Hepburn Ferrer. I'll keep you posted how they are.

So in conclusion, if you wanna make yourself happy, find some I Love Lucy on T.V. and watch it. It's still on, and if the Lord be willing, it'll be on for my kid's to watch too.

P.S. I love her for all the above mentioned reason, but she also appeared with some of my favorite people;

P.S.S. I, sadly, cannot watch I Love Lucy as we have no cable. Actually now, when I realize that the last thing I saw Lucy in was "Room Service", is the only time I've ever regretted that fact. Go figure.

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