Saturday, 6 August 2011

Still Love Lucy But Why

I grew up watching Lucille Ball on our black and white TV, and later her non-comic acting skills playing femme fatale roles and others in black and white film to admire. Its a Broadway musical, "Wildcat" showed that, like Angela Lansbury, she excelled in many artistic venues.

The 1950s, a decade dominated by the will of Lucy, Milton Berle, Steve Allen, Red Skelton and so many other nice people, performers restricted from engaging in what was then called "blue humor." In other words, you had really funny and not rely on bathroom humor for cheap laughs. In addition, these TV shows made for live audiences. There was no such thing as a laugh track. If you're not funny, you do not laugh and you died on stage.

People identify with Lucy. Although she desperately wanted a career in show business (a joke in itself because they have a star in real life) she could not. Her TV and real life husband, Desi Arnaz (aka Ricky Ricardo), tried to discourage her, but she never gave up. Lucy had a work ethic, we can use more of today.

Even in the re-runs, her humor still works: the Vita Meta Vegimin supplement, soaked in alcohol, made her drunk, but her drunkenness, far from crude oil or a turn-off, was hilarious and still laugh. The same goes for the scene where they crush grapes with her feet in an Italian village, and the time when she and Ethel Mertz were the closest pick out a candy assembly line that suddenly accelerates. Lucy begins to push chocolates in front of her shirt. I defy anyone not to crack up, regardless of age.

It does not seem possible that Lucille Ball would have been 100 years old today. Her work will be preserved her forever young and forever in the hearts of those of us who grew up with her. Future generations will love Lucy because she is timeles


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