What does this remind you of?
That's the illustration on Google's home page for Saturday, August 6th.
Well you do get the I Love Lucy ref, right?
Lucille Ball would have been 100 years old today.
And, yes, the world still loves Lucy.
There were other funny people on TV in the fifties: Milton Berle, Jackie Gleason and many, many more. But the world loves Lucy.
She made us laugh and we embraced her.
We embraced her as Lucy. In I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy.
I Love Lucy was the champ but there are bits of magic in The Lucy Show and I think Here's Lucy is often laugh-out loud funny.
Sadly Life With Lucy, her final sitcom, wasn't funny at all. A lot of people said Lucy had lost it and it supposedly spiraled her into depression. That's a real shame because her acting and timing weren't the problem. She had a lousy cast that rivaled the first season of Newhart for worst cast in a big budget sitcom. Newhart got rid of the sad sacks dragging the show down (Leslie, among others) and added Julia Duffy as a regular at the start of the second season and began retooling. That's what Life With Lucy should have done. Comedy is funny. But in the 80s a lot of bad sitcoms went on the air and quickly vanished because they had awful casts around their star.
Lucy still is an American institution. And she is one of television's most enduring stars. She put a woman's face on television as something other than sidekick, as lead performer. Even now, check your TV Guides, that still rather revolutionary.
(And for fans of Lucy's films, my favorite Lucille Ball film of all time is The Fullerbrush Girl. You can stream that on Amazon. I enjoy her films with Desi and many others, but that's my favorite Lucy film.)
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"