Saturday, July 14, 2018
Saturday 9: I Love Lucy (1951)
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
1) Before today, did you know that the "I Love Lucy" theme had lyrics? Yes. I'm a fan of the episode the clip is lifted from. (Lucy is convinced Ricky, Ethel and Fred have forgotten her birthday, while in reality they have all been secretly collaborating on a big surprise party. As one who considers her own birthday a holiday, I relate to Lucy's desire to be fussed over.)
2) Since its premiere 1951, I Love Lucy has never been off the air. Are you a fan? Very much. To borrow a phrase, I love Lucy. Also, I'm fascinated by Lucille Ball. She was no comic, meaning you couldn't put her in front of a mic and expect her to tell jokes and make the audience laugh. She was, however, an amazingly gutsy actress. She threw herself into every part she played with total commitment. If you get a chance, check out her movies from the 1940s. Like The Big Street. She plays a trashy, hard-hearted showgirl who completely exploits the poor schmuck who loves her (Henry Fonda). She's beautiful and sexy and really rotten. It's hard to believe it's the same woman who played lovable, daffy Lucy.
3) On the show, Ricky Riccardo supports his family by performing in a nightclub. Do you know anyone in show business? Only peripherally. My coworker's ex-husband is an actor, which means he's available for temp office work. (That's just me being snarky. When they were still married I saw him onstage a couple times and he wasn't untalented.) A couple I know only slightly -- friends of friends -- lives rather well on what the husband makes as an actor and director on the Chicago theater scene. He is unarguably talented and well regarded.
4) Lucy and Ricky's best friends are Fred and Ethel, their landlord and his wife. Are you friendly with your neighbors? Nope. And I don't want to be. I want to be left alone in the evenings and i hate hearing that rap-rap-rap at my door.
5) One of the most popular episodes has Lucy and Ethel working on the conveyor belt at a chocolate factory. When did you last have chocolate? Today. I'm a huge fan of these mini ice cream cones from Trader Joe's.
6) Another famous episode has Lucy promoting Vitametavegimin. This tonic is made with vitamins, meat, vegetables -- and 23% alcohol. Do you read the ingredients statement before you take an over-the-counter medication? Or do you trust that it's safe because it's on the store shelf? I read labels. The older I get, the more likely it is that something I buy over-the-counter will interact with one of my prescriptions, so I'm more careful.
7) I Love Lucy was filmed before a live audience. Desi Arnaz (Ricky) always maintained he could identify the chuckle of his mother-in-law, who attended every taping. Do you know anyone who has a distinctive laugh? No one springs to mind.
8) The show ended when the Lucille Ball/Desi Arnaz marriage ended. Have you ever had to choose sides when a couple broke up? Not really. It's always turned out that I was decidedly in one camp or another before the breach.
9) Random question -- You must eat the same dinner, every day, between now and Labor Day. An identical menu, no deviation. What will you be having? I like what I had on the 4th of July: A grilled hot dog with no bun mixed with in with baked beans, Coke to drink, ice cream for dessert. It's cheap, offers the bonus of easy prep/easy clean up, it's high in fiber and I like each element of it well enough that I won't be suicidal by Labor Day.