Welcome to another Wildcard Wednesday! The strange celebration to which the title refers is coming up this Saturday — the 26th of April. What exactly are we celebrating? The 25th anniversary of Lucille Ball’s death. Despite the morbidity of this notion, let us remember that when we honor the date of someone’s passing we’re really celebrating a life. I wasn’t around 25 years ago when Lucy passed away, but I’ve seen news coverage — and it’s such a strange phenomenon. What do you say when an icon, a legend that you’ve laughed and grown up with for decades, unexpectedly dies? It’s a lot like losing a loved one. It IS like a losing a loved one. It’s the sort of thing that can unite an entire country — we all love Lucy. (Okay, I know there may be some fools out there who dislike her just to be outre, having never given her work the opportunity to make a fair impression on them. But they’re insignificant.) So, in celebration of her life, I thought I’d share a few Lucy treats today. Followers of my blog will know she’s a recurring player on That’s Entertainment!, and she’ll return to a regular position for a few Tuesdays in May/June, but this should hit the spot for now. (And, really, there can never be too much Lucy!)
This first clip comes from a November 15th, 1952 CBS program entitled Stars In The Eye, which starred Jack Benny and featured all the CBS talent in honor of the brand new CBS Television Studios in Hollywood. In this clip, Jack makes himself a pest during the shooting of I Love Lucy. Note that Lucille Ball is pregnant here.
Here we have Lucille Ball’s February 19th, 1961 appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. She performs “Hey, Look Me Over!” with Paula Stewart, her costar in the wonderful 1960 musical, Wildcat! (This show features a great Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh score!)
Last, but not least, here’s a clip from one of the special features on the DVD release of Lucy Calls The President, a 1977 TV special that, in addition to Lucy, features Vivian Vance, Gale Gordon, Mary Jane Croft, Mary Wickes, Steve Allen, and Ed McMahon. This is the funniest and BEST of Lucy’s ’70s specials, and also marks the last time that Lucy and Viv would work together. Below is a snippet of the dress rehearsal, as included on the DVD — which you should BUY here.
Come back next Wednesday for another Wildcard post! And tune in tomorrow for more Xena!