Happy Belated Birthday, Lucille Ball

Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri speaks to journalists as he arrives at the Imam Khomini Airport in Tehran

On Lucy’s birthday the “Scary Lucy” statue of her in her hometown of Celeron, New York was finally replaced with one that actually looks like her.

Carolyn Palmer

In this Wednesday, July 20, 2016 photo, artist Carolyn Palmer prepares to apply a cold patina to her bronze statue of Lucille Ball in Saddle River, N.J. The sculptor was chosen to create a replacement statue for one dubbed “Scary Lucy,” in the late actress Ball’s hometown. The much-maligned statue of Ball will be replaced after it drew worldwide attention as “Scary Lucy,” according to the mayor of the western New York village where the 1950s sitcom actress and comedian grew up and her life-size bronze has stood since 2009. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

On Saturday, August 6th, Lucille Ball turned 105.  While it is true that she has also been dead since 1989, we never-the-less must acknowledge the fact that this comedienne and her singular body of work have been influencing life on Earth for over a century.  Perhaps we could even use more like her.

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She has been subtly guiding my own life since the days of black-and-white television and the genre-establishing sitcom, “I Love Lucy”, where she has been advocating for a woman’s right to work and have a career of her own by making us laugh at the situation over and over until it becomes a mirth-filled, easy-to-swallow fact-of-life.  She was the first female film producer to run her own production company, Desilu Productions.  She is the producer behind such television milestones as Star Trek and Mission: Impossible.  Being a child of the 60’s, raised by television almost as much as by my parents, she is a big part of who I am as a person.  To this day she still influences how I feel about things.  She is one of the primary reasons I can laugh at life’s troubles and, by laughing, overcome them.

So, I want to wish Lucy a happy 105th birthday.  And I find it amusing and ironic that “Scary Lucy”, the bronze golem of Celeron, New York, has finally been replaced on her birthday with a statue that pictures her more accurately.  We all need to see Lucy more accurately.  We all need to laugh more and love more and live better lives.  It was the “Golden Age” of television not because of the technology and the craft, but because of the essential goodness we can still get from it, that has stood the test of time for a century.

And I don’t think that I am merely looking at the whole thing through the colored lenses of my own affection for things in the past.  I think more modern and definitely younger people than I can benefit from getting to know Lucy too.  Lasting  105 years is a pretty big thing, even if you are dead when you do it.

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7 Comments

Filed under artists I admire, clowns, comedians, goofy thoughts, humor, review of television, sharing from YouTube, TV as literature, TV review

7 responses to “Happy Belated Birthday, Lucille Ball

  1. Lucy was a great gift to the world. As a little boy, I would get annoyed sometimes with her as I did with Barney Fife. I had to get older to realize their genius and that they were the talented ones. What also surprised me in looking back is how beautiful she was as her comedy overshadowed that.

  2. Myself, I tended to identify with Lucy when she was in a goofy-tough situation, like the time she was locked in the shower and it was filling up with water. But I identified with Don Knotts even more because he was a skinny male like me. They really taught me to deal with life’s problems with a sense of humor.

    • The writing for both shows was superb. To limit Barney Fife to one bullet, that he had to keep in his buttoned top pocket, is priceless.

      Lucy selling Vita-meta-vegamin is my favorite. Whoever came up with that name and skit was terrific and she carried it off beautifully.

  3. That new statue is so much better. I wonder why that first one ever got approved. Just watched that clip with my girls. They were cracking up. Thanks for introducing them to I Love Lucy.

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