Welcome to a new Wildcard Wednesday! Every year we pay tribute to Lucille Ball as we near the anniversary of her birth (August 06, 1911), and this time, I’ve got a special rarity to share with you — an I Love Lucy scene that hasn’t been seen since its first airing in November 1956. It’s one of those “flashback” opens meant to set-up a primetime rerun — but this one hasn’t (yet) been released on Blu-Ray or DVD, so it’s making its post-1956 premiere here…
The broadcast in question ran nationally on November 05, 1956, in between the debuts of “Visitor From Italy” the week before, and “Off To Florida,” the week after. It was a rerun of a classic Season Four entry called “The Business Manager,” which had first aired on October 04, 1954. As usual, this repeat came with a new scene meant to set up the show as a flashback. We’ve since seen a lot of these from Season Two, during Lucille Ball’s pregnancy, when episodes from the first year were re-shown. (And, no, contrary to myth, Desi Arnaz did NOT invent the primetime rerun; Trouble With Father and Amos ‘n Andy were two sitcoms that had already rebroadcast episodes by 1951, and shows in other genres had done the same.) This new scene featured only Ball and Arnaz as Lucy and Ricky, and it sounds like it was filmed without a live audience. It’s nothing great, but Lucy is Lucy, and it’s exciting to find even just a second of material that’s “new” to us — not shown, again, since its original 1956 premiere. Enjoy!
Happy heavenly birthday to Lucille Ball!
Come back next week for a new Wildcard! And stay tuned Tuesday for our own sitcom rerun!