Inside U.S.A. With Chevrolet — and Lucille Ball!

Welcome to a new Wildcard Wednesday! This week, we’re honoring Lucille Ball, who was born 108 years ago as of August 6th. I have a couple of exciting rarities left to share here that could make even the most seasoned Lucy fan squeal with delight, but this year, I’m playing it safe and offering something that has to be offered right now: 70 years after its first (and only) telecast: the November 24, 1949 broadcast (December 08, 1949 for L.A. and the West Coast) of the musical-comedy variety show Inside U.S.A. With Chevrolet (1949-1950, CBS), which featured that week as its star, none other than the birthday girl herself, Lucille Ball!

Based on the 1948 Broadway revue by Dietz & Schwartz (see here), the latter of whom served as the TV show’s producer and chief composer, Inside U.S.A. starred Peter Lind Hayes and his wife Mary Healy, alongside Danny Daniels, Sheila Bond, and Mary Wickes, whose inclusion in this episode marked the first intersection of the famed character actress and our glamorous redhead, who was then starring on the radio sitcom that would inspire I Love Lucy, My Favorite Husband. (This is likely Ball’s oldest extant TV appearance, by the way.)

For subscribers who comment below to alert me of their interest, I’ll send you a digital copy of this rare 70-year-old program in honor of Ball, who, after a title card, only appears in the main sketch and the final musical number, “Louisiana Hayride.” (But Broadway fans should also take note of a sketch with Wickes and Hayes that dates back to 1931’s The Band Wagon, Sheila Bond’s rendition of “Two-Faced Woman,” and the little-known “Lucky Seven” from The Second Little Show…) In the meantime, here’s a clip from the broadcast, featuring Ball with both Wickes and Hayes. Enjoy — and happy heavenly birthday, dear Lucy!



Come back next week for another Wildcard post! And stay tuned Tuesday for more King Of Queens!

39 thoughts on “Inside U.S.A. With Chevrolet — and Lucille Ball!

  1. What a nugget of history, with Mary Wickes to boot! I’d love to see the epsiode, thank you for finding this.

    • Hi, Jon! Thanks for reading and commenting.

      I’m still not seeing you on my subscribers list. Please subscribe to this blog using your preferred email address, and I will send this show your way!

  2. I didn’t remember that heavenly Lucy’s and Lucie’s birthday were so close together! I’d long been intrigued by the album cover of this but had never heard it until you covered it in one of your posts. I’d love to see the entire program, Jackson.

  3. Okay, Jackson, I’m squealing over here! I am a Lucy collector, and have all her TV series, movies and am collecting her radio appearances. Just got a radio broadcast of “Fancy Pants’ last week with Lucy and Bob Hope! Please send Inside USA to add to my TV collection! Happy Birthday, Lucy, you are sorely missed in this crazy world!

  4. Thank you for this most enlightening post. I had heard of this show and Lucille Ball’s appearance in it, but had never seen it before. I have been a Lucy fan all my life (I am now 65) and would love to have a copy of this show, if possible. I wish you all the very best and thank you. Kind Regards, Ian Ellis-Jones, Sydney NSW Australia.

    • Hi, Dave! Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Of course! Please subscribe to this blog using your preferred email address and I will send it your way!

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