Today’s Follies honor “I Love Lucy,” the quintessential fan favorite which last episode was taped in April of 1957, but aired on May 6 of that year. That episode, “The Ricardos Dedicate a Statue” is the 27th of the show’s 6th season and (expectedly) features the hijinks of Lucy Ricardo who is the chairman of the Yankee Doodle Day commemorative event to honor the anniversary of the 1777 Battle of Compo Hill in Westport. Lucy has a beautiful statue made of one of the Revolutionary War soldiers, and Ricky is going to give a speech to dedicate the statue. But true to the show’s 6-year premise, little goes as planned when Lucy backs up into the statue, crumbling it to pieces. Since there’s no time to make another statue our star must pose as the soldier herself. Her cover is blown when little Ricky’s dog, Fred, starts licking her during the dedication ceremony.
The “I Love Lucy” cast, Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance and William Frawley returned for “The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour” the following fall with the first five episodes broadcast as specials during the 1957-1958 season with the following eight episodes (13 in all) broadcast as part of the Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse from October 6, 1958, to April 1, 1960. Now living in Connecticut the Ricardos and Mertzes were regularly visited by celebrity guests who were in some way connected through Ricky’s show business career. “The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour” was slated for a longer run than its final 13 episodes, but the show was cancelled due to the divorce of Ball and Arnaz. But it’s “I Love Lucy” we honor today with the following gallery, a show that only lasted six seasons, received 25 EMMY nominations and 8 wins, but lives in our hearts forever.
Desi Arnaz (1917-1986), Lucille Ball (1911-1989), Keith Thibodeaux (as Little Ricky), Vivian Vance (1909-1979), William Frawley (1887-1966), Elizabeth Patterson (Mrs. Trumbull), Doris Singleton (Caroline Appleby), Mary Jane Croft (Betty Ramsey), plus a few other actors who played Little Ricky and a host of recurring characters and guest stars.
Great piece and so true. I am watching the show every day on Hallmark. Desi was a genius and I marvel at his and Lucy’s talent. One thing I have always wondered: Did Vivian Vance have a great singing voice and actually sing when we see her singing on the show? It doesn’t look like lip-syncing.
I think the best tribute that I heard to the show as a kid was hearing people ask one another “Did you see the show last night?”. No one even had to say the show’s name, as it was “THE” show.
Now I’m going to have Weird Al in my head all day…
What a pity
Don’t you understand?
That everyday’s a rerun
And the laughter’s always canned?”
Youza! If I had any money I’d advise you to sue me!