August 30, 2007

I Love Lucy: The Movie

STORY BEING UPDATED....

Lucille Ball and I Love Lucy together in one movie. When I Love Lucy began in 1951 and continued for the next 6 years followed by its' hour-long version, The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show, who knew that a movie was produced from the popular hit series.

Paramount is including the forgotten film as a bonus disc with the I Love Lucy: The Complete Series Boxset, being released on October 23rd.

Currently the movie is not being sold separately and it's unknown whether it will eventually be sold as a separate DVD.

August 22, 2007

Nickelodean Steals Scene from I Love Lucy?

The scene below from the show "Drake and Josh" on Nickelodean is taken directly from the comic "I Love Lucy" episode, "Job Switching" where Lucy and Ethel try their hand at packing candies in a factory. The difference then and now is that Drake and Josh are packing sushi. I'd say they have a long, long way before they match the likes of Lucy and Vivian in their classic scene.



August 15, 2007

August TV Schedule for Lucille Ball Movies

For the remainder of the month, there are some upcoming movies on Lucille Ball on Tuner Classic Movies.

Without Love - Sat Aug 18 04:15P
Directed by Harold S Bucquet. Starring Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Lucille Ball, Keenan Wynn, Patricia Morison, Gloria Grahame, Carl Esmond, Felix Bressart, George Davis, George Chandler. A career-minded couple try a platonic marriage for business reasons. From Philip Barry's play. 120 minutes- NR, USA, 1945, (CC), BW

Stage Door - Wed Aug 22 08:00A
Directed by Gregory LaCava. Starring Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Adolphe Menjou, Andrea Leeds, Eve Arden, Ann Miller, Lucille Ball, Gail Patrick, Constance Collier, Samuel S Hinds. Depiction of life in the theater centering on young actresses in a rooming house. 120 minutes- NR, USA, 1937, (CC), BW, DVS

Room Service - Wed Aug 22 11:30AM
Directed by William A Seiter. Starring Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Lucille Ball, Ann Miller, Frank Albertson, Clifford Dunstan, Donald MacBride, Philip Loeb, Charles Halton. Penniless producers try to avoid hotel eviction. 90 minutes- NR, USA, 1938, (CC), BW

Too Many Girls - Wed Aug 22 01:00P
Directed by George Abbott. Starring Lucille Ball, Eddie Bracken, Richard Carlson, Desi Arnaz, Ann Miller, Frances Langford, Hal LeRoy, Iron Eyes Cody, Jay Silverheels, Van Johnson. Rodgers and Hart's tuneful stage hit about college life. 90 minutes- NR, USA, 1940, (CC), BW

Top Hat - Sun Sep 2 12:00P
Directed by Mark Sandrich. Starring Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edward Everett Horton, Helen Broderick, Erik Rhodes, Eric Blore, Lucille Ball, Donald Meek, Leonard Mudie, Florence Roberts. A stage star pursues a woman from London to Venice. 120 minutes- NR, USA, 1935, (CC), BW, DVS

Be sure to check all your listings at TV Now!

August 14, 2007

I Love Lucy - Special Box Set Extras


As all Lucy fans know and as reported here, the I Love Lucy Complete Series Box Set (DVD) will be released by CBS/Paramount October 23rd. They have some additional details that have not yet been released to the public. Click on the image above to view the back of the DVD Set.

The I Love Lucy Complete Series contains all 9 seasons (including The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour) with 194 episodes! There will be all new features that will be included in this Box Set that weren't apart of the individual DVD Series releases.

The all-new special features include the I Love Lucy: The Movie (1953), The First Colorized I Love Lucy episode ("Lucy Goes to Scotland"), I Love Lucy at the 6th Annual Emmy Awards (1954), Highlights of Lucy and Desi's First Joint TV Appearance (1949), and the lost pilot & all 35 first season episodes digitally restored! These extras are all in addition to the extras released in each individual season.

Stay tuned for more information as it's released!

August 13, 2007

Court TV Wants Feuding Neighbors in Your Neighborhood


Court TV is in pre-production on a fascinating new series, Neighbors 911, which will profile real life feuding neighbors. A team of casting directors has set its sights on the New York tri-state area for their initial search for real life neighbors willing to air their beefs about each other on national television.

Since New York and disputes between neighbors are I Love Lucy territory, the producers of Neighbors 911 are reaching out specifically to Lucy fans and offering incentives to anyone who can deliver a real life feud between neighbors that seems similar in any respect to one of the classic disputes between the Ricardo’s and the Mertz’s. Any dispute will be considered! The casting team is looking for feuding neighbors in New York suburban areas rather than east side apartments and they will pay a $200 finder’s fee for any story that gets submitted that is used on the show. In addition, each party to the actual dispute will receive $1,500 if selected to appear on the show, with the potential of receiving an additional $3,000 in damages if the Neighbors 911 mediator and host rules in their favor.

E-mail Your Story to: LizLewisCasting@Gmail.com or Call 212-645-1500, ext. 110 and leave a message. Tell them you heard about it here on "Everything Lucy Blog"

August 09, 2007

Interview with Amy Arnaz, Author of The Magic Tutu


Make Mine Pink did an interview with Army Arnaz as part of their "Interviews with Women Entrepreneur" series. Amy, wife of Desi Arnaz, Jr. is the executive director of the Boulder City Ballet Company where she also teaches Ballet and Folk Dancing. She is also author of her new book, The Magic Tutu.

I previously reported about Amy's venture on this blog in July.

All proceeds from Amy's new book The Magic Tutu go directly to help fund their non-profit ballet company.
All of the children's books I have written -- Little Haley Stories -- come from real life experiences. I see Haley go through something traumatic, or fun, or interesting and then I weave her experience into one of my stories. I have a lot of material written, but not all of it has been published yet.

Be sure to checkout the interview on Make Mine Pink!

August 07, 2007

Lucy-Desi Center Auctions Off Lucille Ball Memorabilia

As reported in The Post-Journal, If it had a connection to Lucille Ball, it was up for bid Saturday at the Reg Lenna Civic Center.

Everything from old cigarette ads to movie posters to a reel of Lucy's 1939 film, "Beauty For The Asking," was included in the annual Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Memorabilia Auction.

In addition to the vintage memorabilia, the auction featured contemporary pieces from artists based in New Jersey, Buffalo and Jamestown.

Bidding started as low as $1 for an I Love Lucy postcard, and ranged all the way to $800 for a rare Lucy rag doll.

Doors to the civic center opened at 12:45 p.m. for a viewing period, during which potential bidders could inspect the quality and condition of the items, with the auction scheduled to begin shortly after 1:30 p.m.

The auction was part of the festivities for Lucy's Birthday Celebration, which was organized by the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in Jamestown. The celebration began Friday and continues through Sunday.

Chuck Ludwig of Ludwig Auction Services, said he likes organizing the event because it draws so many people to the city. Ludwig puts on the auction at no cost to the center. "I've enjoyed doing these auctions, because about 98 percent of the people are from out of town," he said.

Jamestown has become a mecca for fans of the beloved redhead. Many of the people who attended the auction came clad in Lucy T-shirts; some held Lucy purses.

Sue Cushman of Salem, Ohio said she was a die-hard Lucy fan, and enjoyed the celebration. "We plan on coming back again because we had a great time," she said.
Sue and her husband, Jeff, planned to bid on some of the vintage movie posters and magazines.

Matthew Noith and Ashley Englend of Bangor, Maine said that they planned to bid on a red leather photo album with pictures from the television show and Lucy's signature.

Ludwig expected the vintage movie posters to fetch the biggest price at the auction.
"Last year, we had a painted storage trunk go for about $1,000, but this year I think it will be the movie posters," he said.

The auction featured 100 lots, and was expected to begin shortly after 1:30 p.m. and go on for about two hours.

August 06, 2007

Happy Birthday Lucy!


Today is Lucille Ball's Birthday, born August 6, 1911. She would have been 96 years old today. This picture is from the time when Lucy was known as "Queen of the Bs" during her motion picture days and was used as a promo by the film studios.

Happy Birthday Lucy - we STILL love you.

August 04, 2007

Senator Cathy Young (R,I,C-Olean) Makes Lucy-Desi Announcement

The crowd was gathered on the plaza of Jamestown, New York’s City Hall for music, birthday cake, and an exciting announcement -- and New York State Senator Cathy Young delivered the news!

During the opening ceremonies for Lucille Ball’s Birthday Celebration, Senator Young announced that New York State is awarding $100,000 to the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center for its future development. Executive Director Ric Wyman followed up with the news that the Center will be using this grant to purchase a property in downtown Jamestown that will be the expanded and relocated home of the Lucy-Desi Museum.

“When visitors come to Jamestown next year,” Wyman said, “they will enjoy a brand-new experience in the hometown of the Queen of Comedy!”

Wyman revealed that the location of the new Lucy-Desi Museum will be 10 W. 3rd Street, in a building adjacent to the Desilu Playhouse, the “I Love Lucy” museum. He noted that the original museum on Pine Street, while a wonderful presentation, does not have the capacity to comfortably accommodate the increasing number of visitors.

A major new attraction for visitors will be the exhibit of Lucy’s 1972 gold Mercedes-Benz. The expanded offerings will also feature never-before-displayed items from Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s wardrobe, costumes, and personal memorabilia.

August 03, 2007

Lucy's Birthday Celebration Weekend

Two festival favorites will be part of Lucille Ball’s Birthday Celebration, August 3-5 in Jamestown, New York, Lucille Ball’s hometown.

Fans love to demonstrate their knowledge of the 179 “I Love Lucy” episodes, so no festival would be complete without a Trivia Contest. Host John Schillner says the Saturday morning event will have a new and fun twist. “All the questions will be related to images that will be on the big screen in the Reg Lenna Civic Center,” Schillner revealed. “Since these are ‘behind the scenes’ pictures from the show, it will be a lot of fun!”

Prizes worth more than $500 are provided by Vandor, the giftware company whose “I Love Lucy” products include cookie jars, salt and pepper shakers, kitchenware, stationery products, purses, collectible tins, holiday ornaments, and more.

First-time festival visitors will want to be sure to be on one of the Lucytown Tours that depart from in front of the Lucy-Desi Museum on Pine Street at 10 am, 1 and 4 pm each day. Popular guide Lucy Studd will point out more than two dozen locations in Jamestown and neighboring Celoron that were significant in the early life of The Queen of Comedy. A special video, made possible through the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, will give passengers a look back to Lucy’s time. The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is providing samples for all, plus a door prize for every tour.

As a different celebrity Mystery Guest will be part of each trip, riders could find themselves traveling with Lucy’s personal secretary or driver, the author of the newest “Lucy” book, an actor from “I Love Lucy”, a famous costume designer, or even Jerry Maren, an original munchkin from The Wizard of Oz! The tours conclude with a stop at Lake View Cemetery, where Lucille Ball is buried with her family.

WIZARD OF OZ GUEST CELEBRITY

Of the more than 30 events planned for Lucy’s Birthday Celebration weekend, the highlight will be Jerry Maren, the munchkin who handed the giant lollipop to Dorothy after her house was whisked away by a tornado and landed somewhere “over the rainbow” in The Wizard of Oz. The 1939 film is number six on the American Film Institute’s list of America’s 100 greatest movies.

The Junior Guilders of the Lucille Ball Little Theatre of Jamestown are preparing a very special opening for “I Remember Lucy: An Evening with Jerry Maren” at 8 pm on Saturday, August 4, in the Reg Lenna Civic Center in Lucille Ball’s hometown.

Directed by Helen Merrill, this troupe of young singers and dancers has performed at the White House, the Kennedy Center, Universal Studios Florida, Disney World, the Mel Tillis Stage in Branson, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, outside London, England, and at the Palace of Versailles near Paris. Mrs. Merrill reported that her more than 30 performers are “extremely excited to be part of Lucy’s Birthday Celebration and to be performing at the Reg!” In addition to selections from The Wizard of Oz, the Guilders will perform “Jamestown, New York”, written by Jamestown’s 10,000 Maniacs. This song, with The Guilders’ own unique “Lucy” words -- “birthplace of the world’s greatest comic star” – is a part of all their performances.

Featured guest Jerry Maren has been in 39 movies and numerous television shows, including the Our Gang series, Battle for the Planet of The Apes, Seinfeld, Bewitched, The Gong Show, and Lucille Ball’s third weekly television series, Here’s Lucy. The diminutive actor also appeared as Buster Brown, Little Oscar (Mayer), Mayor McCheese, and the Hamburglar. The Marx Brothers, Andy Williams and Buddy Ebsen are among the many stars with whom he has worked.

“An Evening with Jerry Maren” will include video clips of some of his appearances, and Maren will share memories of his varied experiences when he’s interviewed by popular Jamestown radio personality Jim Roselle. More than $500 in door prizes will be given away, courtesy of Mattel.

Tickets are still available for the limited admission reception sponsored by Elegant Edibles that will follow the theatre event.

LUCY ARTWORK DISPLAYED IN VISIONS OF LUCY

Lucille Ball’s Birthday Celebration is continuing an exciting tradition in her hometown this year! Original artwork on exhibit through August 1 at Thomas Mason Fine Arts, 318 N. Main Street in downtown Jamestown, New York, will be put up for bid in the Lucy-Desi Memorabilia Auction on Saturday, August 4.

Now in its eighth year, “Visions of Lucy” was the brainstorm of Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center Board President Lucie Arnaz and Executive Director Ric Wyman. This year’s submissions are paintings and sculptures by artists Brigitte Baldwin of Corning, New York; David Ciampichini of Summit, New Jersey; Fred Griese of Buffalo; and Susan Wolfe of Clymer, New York. All can be seen and -- for those who cannot be at the auction -- bid on at www.lucy-desi.com.

In addition to the artwork, the auction will offer over 100 vintage Lucy-Desi memorabilia items, plus special one-of-a-kind collectibles, including Vivian Vance memorabilia. The auction is sponsored and conducted by Ludwig Auction & Realty Co. and will be held at the Reg Lenna Civic Center, 116 E. Third Street in downtown Jamestown. The preview for ticket holders opens at 12:30 pm, with the bidding beginning at 1:37 pm.

Another opportunity for both collectors and just the curious throughout the August 3-5 weekend is the Lucy-Desi Memorabilia Collectors’ Show. Hours for the show at 217 N. Main Street are 10 am-4 pm Friday, 9 am-5 pm Saturday, and 10 am-4 pm Sunday. Among the vintage and out-of-production offerings will be movie posters, collector plates, dolls, comic books, magazines, and more. Admission to the Collectors’ Show is free.

The Lucy-Desi Photo Op at the Collectors’ Show will allow visitors to have their photograph taken professionally on Friday, 1-3 pm; Saturday, 11 am-3 pm; and Sunday, noon-4 pm. A different Lucy-Desi backdrop will be featured each day.

SHIRLEY MITCHELL TO HOST BOAT CRUISE

Ms. Mitchell will welcome passengers aboard the beautiful Summer Wind for a cruise on Chautauqua Lake, the same lake Lucy Ricardo talked about on “I Love Lucy”. The actress is coming from California to share personal memories, take questions from passengers, and relate some behind-the-scenes stories about the world’s most popular redhead.

Shirley Mitchell appeared on numerous classic TV series including Dragnet, Perry Mason, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Green Acres, Three’s Company, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and even lent her voice for the Scooby Doo cartoon series. Her film credits include Desk Set, Big Business, and The War of the Roses. But “I Love Lucy” fans know her best as Marion Strong, the cackling friend of Lucy Ricardo. Her character was named for The Queen of Comedy’s real life Jamestown friend, Marion Strong VanVlack.

Born in Toledo, Ohio, Shirley Mitchell made four appearances on Lucille Ball’s popular radio program My Favorite Husband before taking on the role of Marion Strong in “I Love Lucy”. She appeared in “Lucy and Ethel Buy the Same Dress” (Episode #69), “Lucy’s Club Dance” (Episode #91), and “Lucy Tells the Truth” (Episode #72), in which her unforgettable laugh prompted Lucy to say, “Stop cackling, Marion, I've been waiting ten years for you to lay that egg!”

Lucy’s Birthday Party Boat Cruise will depart from Lucille Ball Memorial Park in the village of Celoron at 3:30 pm on Sunday afternoon, August 5. Admission is limited for this event, one of more than 30 planned for the weekend.

NEW LUCY BOOK BEING PREVIEWED DURING CELEBRATION

Lucy’s Birthday Celebration in Jamestown, New York, will feature the world debut of the newest book about Lucille Ball.

While Lucy at the Movies’ official publication date isn’t until later this fall, the Lucy-Desi Center has made special arrangements to have copies of it available for visitors to the August 3-5 festival!

Author Cindy De La Hoz will be coming from her home in Philadelphia to Lucy’s hometown to autograph and talk about her first book.

At 8 pm Friday evening, August 3, Ms. De La Hoz will host “Lucy at the Movies: A Tribute to Lucille Ball’s Film Career” at the Reg Lenna Civic Center in downtown Jamestown. Sponsored by Garden of Eden, this event will salute the Queen of Comedy through a collection of film clips that span more than 40 years. A Lucille Ball fan since the age of nine, Ms. De La Hoz will share fun trivia and behind-the-scenes facts between classic film clips of the Queen of Comedy’s big screen work. A book signing will follow the event.

Known primarily for her television work, Lucille Ball was also in 79 movies over the course of her extensive career. Most of these films were known as “B movies” in the 1930s and 1940s. The 368-page hardcover Lucy at the Movies features hundreds of photos of The Queen of the B’s”.

Lucie Arnaz acknowledged Ms. De La Hoz’s accomplishment with the observation, “This was an enormous undertaking. But it’s clear that it was also a labor of love. I know my mother would be very impressed and flattered by your dedication to her film work and chronicling her career in general.”

Cindy De La Hoz will speak with visitors and autograph her book throughout the weekend in the gift shop of the Desilu Playhouse, the museum that celebrates the “I Love Lucy” television show at 2 West Third Street in downtown Jamestown.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

All of the Schedule of Events for this August’s “Lucy’s Birthday Celebration” festival are now online.

For more information or to order tickets for Festival events, call (716) 484-0800 (toll-free: 1-877-LUCY-FAN) or visit online at www.lucy-desi.com. The Lucy-Desi Museum at 212 Pine Street, Lucy-Desi Gift Shop at 300 N. Main, and Desilu Playhouse at 2 W. 3rd – all in downtown Jamestown -- are open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sundays.

Films and Live Improv Highlight Lucy's Birthday Celebration

In addition to hosting Friday night’s “Lucy at the Movies: A Tribute to Lucille Ball’s Film Career” during Lucy’s Birthday Celebration, author Cindy De La Hoz will also introduce Sunday morning’s Panama Lady. Both events will be in the Reg Lenna Civic Center, the former Palace Theatre where a young Lucy watched vaudeville and movies and was inspired to go into show business.

Ms. De La Hoz will be in Jamestown, New York, for the debut of Lucy at the Movies, a 368-page hardcover volume featuring hundreds of pictures from The Queen of Comedy’s more than 80 feature films. Since her book will not be officially released until fall, she will be signing the limited number that the publisher has made available for the weekend festival.

The Garden of Eden is sponsoring “Lucy at the Movies,” and Sunday’s 10:30 am event will begin with refreshments provided by The Donut Connection. Ms. De La Hoz will introduce the 1939 RKO-Radio Picture Panama Lady, which finds heroine Lucille Ball broke and stranded in Panama after being fired from her job as a chorus girl. If old-fashioned fun is your cup of tea, this film, featuring a rare and intriguing performance by Lucille Ball, is for you!

Other screening opportunities during the August 3-5 celebration in Lucille Ball’s hometown include The Lucy Show film fests on Friday and Saturday afternoons (3 pm and 4 pm respectively) in the Reg Lenna. Weather permitting, “Lucy Under the Stars” will offer free outdoor movies on the corner of Third and Pine Streets at 9:45 on Friday and Saturday nights. Popcorn and soda will be available.

For live comedy entertainment, you can’t beat The Unexpected Guests, Jamestown’s own comedy improv troupe. The Guests will give a “Lucy” flavor to their improvisational sketches at their 11 pm performance on Friday, August 3. Members of the troupe include Len Barry, Jane Fischer, Ian Thorsell, Kipp Reynolds, and Gary Peters, Jr. You can see them in the Tropicana Room of the Rapaport Center above the Desilu Playhouse at 2 W. 3rd Street in downtown Jamestown.

For additional information on these and the many other events during Lucy’s Birthday Celebration, call or visit the Lucy-Desi Museum Gift Shop, 300 North Main Street, Jamestown, NY 14701, (716) 484-0800 (toll-free: 1-877-LUCY-FAN) or online at www.lucy-desi.com. Hours for the Lucy-Desi Museum, Desilu Playhouse, and Lucy-Desi Center Gift Shop are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sundays.

Jamestown Loves Lucy

American Profile features a story about the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center.

As in this upcoming weekend, for the last 11 years Jamestown has welcomed thousands of fans from across the world to the Lucy-Desi Festival, celebrated every Memorial Day weekend, and Lucy’s Birthday Celebration, scheduled Aug. 3 to 5 this year to observe the 96th anniversary of her birth.

During both festivals, Lucy impersonators roam the streets and pose for photographs, and special guests such as Lucy’s longtime chauffeur, Frank Gorey, share memories of working with the queen of TV comedy. Writers and film editors of her various TV series discuss her work, and buses take visitors on tours of various Lucy-related sites, including the two-story home at 69 Stewart Ave. where she was born, and Lake View Cemetery, where the comedienne’s ashes are interred alongside her parents.

Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi, 47, thinks Lucy’s enduring popularity has a simple explanation: “Lucy always put a smile on people’s faces,” he says.

Underdog Movie Inspiration Interview

As previously mentioned on the "Everything Lucy" Blog, Underdog Cartoon Creator Joe Harris tell how the “I Love Lucy” “Superman” episode was the inspiration for Underdog, one of the highest rated television shows of its time and featuring the world’s first-ever canine superhero, now being released by Walt Disney Pictures in a live-action big screen version.

Read the exclusive interview from Joe Harris on Movie Web.

Lucy Ricardo in Top Ten Television Characters

In listing “The Top Ten Television Characters of All Time”, Blogcritics Magazine notes of Lucy Ricardo, “It’s hard to think of television without paying homage to Lucille Ball. A woman with an unrivaled talent for physical comedy, Ball gave Lucy Ricardo a permanent place in pop culture. A housewife with big ambitions and an ability to get into trouble, Lucy Ricardo was the meat of I Love Lucy; just watching her once led us all to agree with the show’s title.”

Lucille Ball and the Secrets of Show-Business Success

According to Britannica Blog: Lucille Ball was far less madcap and scatterbrained than I Love Lucy painted her to be. With Cuban costar and, for 20 years, spouse Desi Arnaz, she founded one of TV’s most powerful production companies, Desilu, which brought out 229 half-hour shows in 1954 alone—the equivalent, Arnaz reckoned at the time, of 80 feature films.

Lucille Ball was not just comic genius—and she was a born comedian of the rarest sort—but also a shrewd, tireless worker whose approach to career building and maintenance seldom failed her. “I don’t know anything about luck,” she said. “I’ve never banked on it, and I’m afraid of people who do. Luck to me is something else: hard work and realizing what is opportunity and what isn’t.”

Lucy had to work hard. At the dawn of the television age, her star was setting in Hollywood. She had worked her way up from “Queen of the B’s,” as she was called, onto the A list by the end of the 1930s, but a decade later, even after fine turns in films such as Fancy Pants, was getting passed over even for parts that called for “a Lucille Ball type.”

She became a major star only on the small screen. Even then, I Love Lucy started off slowly. Its sponsor wanted to kill it after the pilot, and audiences took a while to warm up to the show. It survived only through doggedness, Machiavellian dealing, and sometimes brutal micromanagement on Ball’s part.

That and, of course, her ability to please a crowd. We love Lucy because she made sure we couldn’t overlook her. The proof is there, in black and white.

Underdog Cartoon Inspired from I Love Lucy

With the release of the movie, Underdog, based on the 1960 Cartoon of the same name, I thought it interesting to note that it's inspiration was from an episode of I Love Lucy.

Back in the early 1960s, Joe Harris (one of Underdog's original creators) worked at an ad agency. One of the agency's clients, General Mills, was trying to expand into sponsoring an animated children's TV show, a burgeoning field for the television industry. The idea for Underdog came after writer Chester "Chet" Stover saw an episode of I Love Lucy entitled "Lucy and Superman" in which Lucille Ball dressed as Superman and had a bumbling misadventure that left her stranded on a high ledge. The notion of a clumsy superhero stuck with Stover, and the next day he thought it was a great idea but the character should be a dog. From there he and Joe Harris created the cartoon character. They began working on the cartoon in 1963, and it first aired in 1964.

Underdog was actually Shoeshine Boy, a humble little pooch who transformed into a superheroic dog when trouble arose. He invariably did plenty of damage along the way. Almost a take-off from Superman's Clark Kent persona.

In the new film released today, Underdog is a beagle, but the creators originally avoided tying him down to any specific breed of dog. Jason Lee of "My Name is Earl" fame plays the voice of Underdog (which was orginally voiced by Wally Cox in the cartoon), Peter Dinklage plays Simon, with Patrick Warburton as his towering henchman Cad. Amy Adams (Junebug) provides the voice of Sweet Polly.

For more on this story, read Journal Now.

The Lucy Show Bloopers

Lucille Ball made her return to television in 1962 in The Lucy Show. It co-starred Gale Gordon who Lucy and Desi had originally wanted for I Love Lucy but he could not abandon his commitment to Our Miss Brooks. Lucy was divorced by this time and The Lucy Show was nowhere near the quality level of the original program. Fans didn't care much however, as the show received huge ratings. By the late sixties the program seemed out of place and corny. Most of the writing staff were still churning out scripts that seemed left over from 1940s radio (to be fair, most sitcoms from 1962 to 1968 were in the same boat). The shows were often peppered with impressive guest stars to hide this fact. The same material in somebody else's hands would have made it unbearable, but Lucy makes it worth watching.

Television producer Sheldon Leonard makes a cameo in the blooper reel. You'll also see Desi Jr. and Buddy Rich in bloopers from the next Ball sitcom, Here's Lucy.



-reposted from Classic Television Showbiz Blog.

We Love Lucy, but ...

With those words, that's how Warner Brothers promoted the 1974 musical "Mame" which starred Lucille Ball.

As we all know, Lucy couldn't sing and all her songs had to be "cobbled together note by note", according to Jerry Herman whose Broadway hit was taken to film.
"We all thought maybe she should be dubbed," he said by phone from his home in Beverly Hills. "But because it was Lucille Ball, and everybody knew what she sounds like, I knew it would be more honest not to."

Herman was disappointed in Lucy's performance and had originally wanted Angela Lansbury to play the part, but his ideal would have been Judy Garland. He said of Lucy:
"She was in pain. They pulled her hair up by the roots and put wigs on her and carried on," Herman said. 'She worked so hard and she wanted so much to be good in it that I became very fond of her. She said, "I'll do anything.' We spent hours together trying to get the notes right. I was disappointed for her more than I was for my own film."

For the rest of the story, read the article on Sun Journal.

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