November 28, 2012

Dann Cahn, I Love Lucy Editor, Dies

Using a newly developed editing machine that he dubbed the "three-headed monster," Dann Cahn pioneered multi-camera editing on sitcoms in the 1950s while helping to craft a classic, "I Love Lucy."

"Lucy" broke ground in television by employing three cameras instead of one for filming, a then-novel system that allowed an episode to be filmed as though it were a stage play, continuously and in sequence.

Cahn died on November 21st at age 89 of natural causes at his West Los Angeles home. Cahn was the last surviving member of the original creative team behind "I Love Lucy". Cahn, whose father was Philip Cahn, the cofounder of the Motion Picture Editors Guild, actually started out in the business as a child actor in the 1938 Jackie Cooper movie Newsboys’ Home, according to his Los Angeles Times obituary.

When we remember the 1950s sitcom I Love Lucy, we usually think of all the hilarious jams that Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) got herself into, and that exasperated look that her husband Ricky (Desi Arnaz) would get. But it wasn’t just the stars’ comedic virtuosity that made I love Lucy a classic. It was the first show to be filmed in front of a live audience in a Hollywood studio, rather than broadcast live from New York, as other early TV comedies did. But Lucy’s most revolutionary innovation was its use of multiple camera angles, which conveyed Ball’s frenetic style and humorous nuances in a way that a single viewpoint couldn’t.

But to get all that to work technically — and to do it rapidly enough that I Love Lucy could air 35 episodes in a season — was a daunting task. The first half-hour episode of I Love Lucy actually was shot with four cameras, according to Michael Karol’s Lucy A to Z: The Lucille Ball Encyclopedia. But after that, director William Asher and his team decided that three cameras — one for the full scene, a second for medium “over the shoulder” shots, and a third for close-ups — were enough.

Cahn’s favorite episode of I Love Lucy reportedly was an October 1956 segment in which Lucy is recruited as an assistant in a magic act (featuring Orson Welles as the magician) at Ricky’s nightclub. Cahn, who’d been an assistant editor on Welles’ 1948 film Macbeth, relished a chance to work again with the illustrious actor/director.

Cahn spent years searching for a print of an unreleased 1954 I Love Lucy movie produced by Desi Arnaz, which had been fashioned from three Lucy episodes and 12 minutes of additional footage shot by director Edward Sedgewick. MGM deep-sixed the project, fearing it would compete with another Ball-Arnaz film, The Long, Long Trailer. Eventually, though, Cahn found bits and pieces of the film in a studio vault and painstakingly reassembled it, and it finally was released as part of a Lucy DVD box set in 2007.

In addition to I Love Lucy, Cahn worked on a wide array of other productions, ranging from such classic TV series as The Beverly Hillbillies and The Untouchables to the exploitation auteur Russ Meyer’s 1970 flick Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, which was written by another notable name in the movie biz — critic Roger Ebert.

Following is a video interview in which Cahn talks about the first completed (fourth aired) episode of I Love Lucy:

November 09, 2012

Lucy headed to Hulu for Streaming Over Internet

The classic "I Love Lucy" TV Show will be headed to Hulu and available for streaming over the internet and on connected devices. Newer series such as 'CSI: Miami' and 'Numbers' will also appear as well as classic 'Twilight Zone', all on the subscription Hulu Plus service.

The online streaming site has signed a non-exclusive deal with CBS that includes rights to stream 2,600 episodes of those and other shows from the network's production library starting in January. They will be available to paid subscribers of the Hulu Plus service.

Also included are episodes of more recent (but no longer airing) series such as Medium, CSI: Miami and Numb3rs, the companies said. Hulu already carries episodes of CW programming produced by CBS as part of a separate agreement.

October 18, 2012

Largest Lucille Ball-Themed Mural Completed

A new Lucille Ball mural on the Mayflower building in Jamestown has recently been completed. The mural, which is the largest Lucy-themed mural ever is also the first one done in full color and the first to show Fred Mertz. It is being funded by the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Center for Comedy.

This one-of-a-kind mural was painted by local artist Gary Peters, Jr. and is based on the classic episode "California, Here We Come". This "California Here We Come" mural is the largest mural ever painted in Jamestown NY. Peters, has painted four other "I Love Lucy" murals that grace the buildings of Jamestown, NY. Not only is this the largest mural yet, but it is also the very first to be done in color and the first with all four of the iconic I Love Lucy friends. Also, as an added treat there are three hidden messages in it.

On Monday, October 15th which coincided with the 61st anniversary of the first air date of I Love Lucy, the final red brush stroke of the remaining unpainted white heart on Lucy's coat button was completed. This small heart shape was left undone on purpose for this event. A group photo was taken with all in attendance at the corner of Main and Harrison Street. Community members and about 50 Lucille Ball Museum visitors gathered to be a part of this Jamestown history.

Over 500 man hours were put in by both Gary Peters Jr. and Gary Peters Sr. to paint the 1,800 square foot portrait over Brooklyn Square in downtown Jamestown. Almost 30 gallons of paint were required (some of which were donated by the local Sherwin Williams store) and there are various hidden 'I Love Lucy' messages in the mural, including the mural scene's episode number, 110.

Artist Gary Peters, Jr. appeared in the Tropicana Room the previous day where he talked about what it had been like painting all five of the famous Jamestown "Lucy" murals. He also was there to sign prints of all five murals, as well as his additional "Lucy" artwork, including the 100th birthday 2011 commemorative seal and downtown festival light post banners. The Tropicana Room is a re-creation of Ricky Ricardo's famous Manhattan night club located at 2 West Third Street in Jamestown, NY.

This was the fifth 'Lucy'-related mural completed by Gary Peters Sr. and Gary Peters Jr. in Ball's hometown of Jamestown, New York. The first 'Lucy' mural in Jamestown was completed 12 years ago, and this most recent mural is being completed on the heels of I Love Lucy being voted as Greatest TV Show and Greatest TV Comedy of all-time in the nationally-televised Barbara Walters' special, 'The Best in TV - The Greatest Shows of Our Time.' The previous 4 Murals that Peters completed in Jamestown are "The Lucy Stamp", on the Jamestown Post Office, "Vitameatavegamin" on a Parking Garage, "Candy Factory" on the Jones Tasty Baking building, and "Lucy/Desi" done in November 2007 and located at the corner of Spring and Fourth Street on the Spring Street Parking Garage.

Pictured below are the previous 4 Murals:

Now for the first time ever you can take home prints of all five I Love Lucy murals that decorate the hometown of Lucille Ball and are visited by over 30,000 people from around the world each year. These breath-taking prints are design by the mural artist himself, Gary Peters Jr. and if ordered by Saturday, October 20 Gary will sign your print of his artwork for you. Prints can be ordered online at Lucy-Desi.com or by calling them at 716-484-0800.

October 16, 2012

Bridge named for "I Love Lucy" stars


The Interstate-86 bridge over North Main Street in Ellicott has a new name: the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Memorial Bridge.

State Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andy Goodell were on hand to officially dedicate the bridge. The sign honors the first couple of TV comedy and Lucy's ties to Jamestown, her hometown.

The sign was unveiled Thursday at the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center for Comedy. The sign dedicated the bridge over North Main Street in the Town of Ellicott as the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Memorial Bridge. A dedication ceremony was held at the Lucy-Desi center to celebrate.

According to State Sen. Catharine Young, R-C-I-Olean, the idea to rename the bridge came from Lee Harkness, DJDC executive director. Three years ago, Harkness suggested to Young a way to promote the assets Jamestown has to offer.

"So, this is about celebrating one of our native people, who went on to do great things in the field of comedy and entertainment. But, also, it's a way to show the world that we have great attractions, right here in Jamestown, N.Y.," Sen. Young said.

Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, R-Chautauqua County, took the reins in getting a bill passed to rename not only the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Memorial Bridge, but to rename other bridges as well.

"Our strategy is to have every bridge along I-86 named for one of the best attractions we have here in Jamestown. So, we have one for Lucille Ball, we have one for Roger Tory Peterson and we have one for the Jackson Center," Goodell said.

Goodell's bill passed the Senate in early May, and went on to pass the Assembly in June. On July 18, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law.

"Jamestown is very fortunate to have all of the attractions that it has," Harkness said. "We have Roger Tory Peterson, the Jackson Center, Fenton, Audubon, the ice arena, and then if you put the Lucy-Desi Center on top of all that, we've got a real unbeatable package here."

Journey Gunderson, executive director of the Lucy-Desi center, offered Sen. Young and Goodell copies of Lucille Ball's autobiography, which were signed by her entire staff. Additionally, she thanked the pair for all of their help in getting the bridge renamed.

"The renamed bridge gives apt distinction to the city that is not just the hometown to the legacy, but the perpetuator of the legacy in the form of this museum attraction and annual comedic programming," Gunderson said. "The Lucy-Desi Center and the legacy of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, and the entire Arnaz family is forever grateful."

Renaming the bridge is a way to promote tourism in Jamestown, as well as a way to celebrate the legacy of Lucille Ball. Sen. Young and Goodell each emphasized the impact that the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Memorial Bridge will have in Jamestown.

Additionally, Harkness spoke about the impact tourism has on Jamestown, as well as the entirety of Chautauqua County.

"Tourism is becoming more and more important not only to Jamestown, but to Chautauqua County. An attraction like this in Jamestown is an extremely important economic factor to the people that live here, the people that work here and the people that want to be here," Harkness said.

The New York State Department of Transportation is working to put the finishing touches on the sign that will actually hang on the bridge. The new sign should be up within the next several weeks.

October 12, 2012

"Here's Lucy" 6th and Final Season DVD to be Released

MPI Home Video revealed that Here's Lucy - Season 6, the final season of the show, will be available on DVD starting December 18th. The 4-disc set is priced at $29.98, but you can pre-order it at a discount right away. MPI says that the set will come with a "wealth of new and never-before-seen special features," but hasn't announced what those will be yet. So once they list the Bonus Features, I'll post to let everyone know!

At the end of Season 5 of Here's Lucy, Lucy made the decision to end the series when for the first time ever one of her shows fell out of the top ten ratings. At the last minute, CBS' President Fred Silverman convinced Lucy to change her mind and return for a 6th Season in 1973, as he felt being #15 was not too far out of the top ten. Lucy agreed, even though she also made a prior commitment to do the musical Mame that year.

To get in shape for the musical Mame, after her fractured leg kept her from doing her famous physical comedy from the last season 5 of Here's Lucy, Lucy worked out with a trainer daily. Lucy kept up with such a grueling schedule on getting her leg back in dancing shape, filming Mame and doing yet another Season 6 of Here's Lucy, that all this could not be believed from a woman 62 years old. Even though a young person couldn't keep up with Lucy's non stop schedule, Lucy's age and everyone else's age around her was beginning to show.

By the time Season 6 started filming, Lucy was in incredible shape from her workouts with her trainer. In Episode 5 of the Season, The Bow Wow Boutique, Lucy's physical comedy is on top of her game again. In the next episode with Eddie Albert, she dances and sings Makin' Whoopie with Eddie, as if she is a girl in her twenties. Lucy also sings and dances with Phil Harris near the end of the season. How a 62 year old can film a musical and a television show at the same time after breaking her leg in 4 places just a year earlier, is beyond me. That is the true Lucy- a woman who could and did do anything with such a never ending abundance of energy. Sadly as you watch Lucy, you see an aging woman in her 60's who physically just doesn't know it.

As always, Here's Lucy Season 6 had loads of great guest stars. In the first show, Danny Thomas plays a painter Danny Galupe, who Lucy talks into playing dead, so his paintings will bring top dollar- the most expensive one being a painting of Lucy in the buff! A note on Danny Thomas- he was the only big star to attend Desi's funeral in 1986 and at the end of this first episode when he says to Lucy- I REALLY Like You - you can feel it's for real. Danny was a grateful friend to the end. You'll also see O.J. Simpson, Steve Lawrence and Edie Gourmet, Ed McMahon, Bob Williams' Dog Act, Eddie Albert, Reta Shaw, Jackie Coogan (Uncle Fester), Andy Griffith, Joan Rivers, Foster Brooks, Frankie Avalon who does a Sonny and Cher imitation with Lucie Arnaz that is really great!, Chuck Connors, Dick Sargent, Al Lewis, Arte Johnson, Don Porter (Gidget's dad), Milton Berle, Phil Harris, Mary Winters and more.

Of course, Lucy's wonderful sidekicks Gale Gordon and Mary Jane Croft are in almost every episode, along with appearances from daughter Lucie Arnaz, Mary Wickes, Gary Morton, Carole Cook and Doris Singleton. A note on Doris Singleton, who most of you remember as Carolyn Appleby on I Love Lucy. Who can't forget Lucy's friend Carolyn who constantly compared her perfect son Stevie to the inferior Little Ricky! Doris was one of only two women who Lucy trusted completely, because Desi never hit on her due to his respect for her husband. The other woman who Desi never bothered was Mary Jane Croft, also due to his respect for her husband. Lucy trusted and kept these 2 women in her shows for her entire life. Doris Singleton recently passed away on June 28th, 2012 at the age of 92.

Lucy also used this Season 6 to promote her movie Mame. Near the end in episode 22, Lucy Carter Meets Lucille Ball, the real Lucille Ball's perfume sponsor Mais Oui, holds a look alike contest. Kim tells mother Lucy she is a dead ringer for Miss Ball and should enter, which she does. The funniest scene is when real life hubby Gary Morton kisses Lucy Carter, thinking she is Lucille! There is lots of fun this season, with the Mame promotion and great talented guest stars that you won't want to miss. Sadly, with everyone aging now into their 60's, it will be the last Season of Here's Lucy, which Lucy already saw coming last season 5, when CBS convinced her to try just one more season. When CBS saw the ratings plummet down to #29, they knew the series was over, and chose not to renew Lucy's contract for a seventh year.

Here's Lucy's last 1973-74 season ended Lucy's being on television for a straight 23 years. The truth being, that everyone on Lucy's shows were from television's age of innocence of a past that was a much simpler time. They had aged and could not compete with the number one more realistic shows of All In The Family, Mary Tyler Moore, Mash and others.

In September of this year, the greatest Television Show of All Time was selected and it was I LOVE LUCY. Since television's first shows began after WWII, to entertain the new families in the privacy of their own homes, with the thousands and thousands of shows we've watched over 6 decades, Lucy is our favorite, most trusted entertainer, who we just can never get enough of. Lucy's spirit had a hard time aging, because maybe she knew that she would entertain us forever and remain forever young with us in the privacy of our own homes. Even after 6 decades of television, Lucy remains our favorite of all time, which shows that what remains close to our hearts are the innocent, much simpler times of the past- which Lucy always brought to us for 23 years straight.

The era of innocent television in 1974 was over, but thanks to MPI Home Video under license from Desilu,Too and Lucille Ball Productions, we can enjoy the simple wonderful television of Here's Lucy whenever we want on DVD!

Here are all the episodes from this final Season 6 that you won't want to miss:
  1. LUCY AND DANNY THOMAS, 09/10/1973 - Lucy helps an artist sell his paintings for top dollar- the most expensive being of Lucy in the buff! (Danny Thomas & Hans Conried guest)
  2. THE BIG GAME, 09/17/1973 - Harry scalps Buffalo Bills $6.50 tickets that were a gift for $50.00 a pair. (O.J. Simpson guests)
  3. LUCY, THE PEACEMAKER, 09/24/1973 - Lucy's job as a secretary for Steve Lawrence turns to a peacemaker for the fighting Steve and wife Edie Gourmet. (Steve Lawrence and Edie Gourmet guest)
  4. LUCY, THE WEALTHY WIDOW, 10/01/1973 - Lucy pretends to be wealthy in order to get an easy loan for Harry. (Ed McMahon guests)
  5. THE BOW WOW BOUTIQUE, 10/08/1973 - Lucy and daughter Kim take care of a pet shop for the weekend. (Bob Williams Dog Act guest)
  6. LUCIE GIVES EDDIE ALBERT THE OLD SONG AND DANCE, 10/15/1973 - Lucy and Eddie sing and dance Makin Whoopie for a charity for children. (Eddie Albert guests)
  7. LUCY'S TENANT, 10/22/1973 - Lucy rents a room to a used car salesman, who turns out to be in love with her. (Reta Shaw & Jackie Coogan guest)
  8. LUCY AND ANDY GRIFFITH, 10/29/1973 - Andy performs to make money for his Right Path Youth Camp. (Andy Griffith guests)
  9. LUCY AND JOAN RIVERS DO JURY DUTY, 11/05/1973 - Lucy never agrees with the jurors, so when they have to stay in a hotel and not speak overnight, she communicates through charades. (Joan Rivers guests)
  10. TIPSY THROUGH THE TULIPS, 11/12/1973 - Lucy is secretary for a writer with a drinking problem. ( Foster Brooks guests)
  11. THE CARTERS MEET FRANKIE AVALON, 11/19/1973 - Frankie includes Lucie Arnaz in his nightclub act doing Sonny and Cher. Watch Frankie's impressions of Jimmy Cagney and John Wayne! (Frankie Avalon & Jerry Fogel guest)
  12. HARRY CATCHES GOLD FEVER, 12/03/1973 - Lucy and Harry go gold panning and so does a bear.
  13. LUCY AND CHUCK CONNORS HAVE A SURPRISE SLUMBER, 12/17/1973 - Harry rents Lucy's living room to a film crew, where Chuck stays the night without Lucy knowing. (Chuck Connors guests)
  14. LUCY PLAYS COPS AND ROBBERS, 12/31/1973 - Forming a neighborhood watch, Lucy cries wolf so often, when a real burglar arrives, no one believes it. (Dick Sargent & Al Lewis guest)
  15. LUCY IS A BIRD SITTER, 01/07/1974 - Lucy loses a tropical rare we-walk bird that Harry entrusted to her care. (Arte Johnson guests)
  16. MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE OFFICE, 01/14/1974 - Harry wants to buy his Employment Agency back. (Don Porter guests)
  17. LUCY IS N.G. AS AN R.N., 01/21/1974 - Lucy cares for Mary Jane, Harry and daughter Kim all at the same time.
  18. LUCY, THE SHERIFF, 01/28/1974 - A pretend robbery in Carterville turns real.
  19. MILTON BERLE IS THE LIFE OF THE PARTY, 02/11/1974 - Milton auctions himself off for charity for entertaining a party for a day and Lucy's winning bid of $7.50 gets him. (Milton Berle guests)
  20. MARY JANE'S BOYFRIEND, 02/18/1974 - Mary Jane's new boyfriend who she got after going to charm school, Walter, chases after Lucy.
  21. LUCY AND PHIL HARRIS STRIKE UP THE BAND, 02/25/1974 - Phil needs musicians for his big band sound and Lucy dances and sings. (Phil Harris guests)
  22. LUCY CARTER MEETS LUCILLE BALL, 03/04/1974 - Lucille Ball's look alike contest winner promoting Mame, will win a car.
  23. WHERE IS MY WANDERING MOTHER TONIGHT?, 03/11/1974 - Lucy pretends to have a date when spending a weekend at daughter Kim's apartment, so she won't be a third wheel when Kim has a date. (watch Lucy's lotus yoga position with her legs- all that training for Mame!)
  24. LUCY FIGHTS THE SYSTEM, 03/18/1974 - When Mary Winters loses her waitress job due to age, Lucy fights back for her friend. (Mary Winters guests)
Be sure to visit Everything Lucy for more on Lucille Ball and visit the Everything Lucy Store to buy all your favorite Lucille Ball DVDs and more!

October 05, 2012

The Lucy Show, Season 6 DVD

CBS DVD and Paramount Home Entertainment will be releasing The Lucy Show - The Official 6th And Final Season DVD set on October 9th. The 24-episode, 4 disc collection also has bonus material.

It's The Lucy Show's sixth and final hilarious season, as Lucy continues to go on wacky misadventures with her reluctant best friend and her cantankerous boss. Own the FINAL SEASON of The Lucy Show on DVD for the first time! The 4-disc set contains all 24 uproarious episodes from the sixth and final season. Guest stars include: Milton Berle, Ruth Berle, Jacques Bergerac, Frankie Avalon, Jack Benny, Robert Goulet and Buddy Hackett! All episodes have brilliantly restored color picture and audio. Also features Cast Biographies, Production Notes, Photo Galleries, and much more!

Award winning final season: Emmy Winner: Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series (Lucille Ball). Emmy Nominations: Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding performance by an actor in a supporting role in a Comedy (Gale Gordon), Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy. Golden Globe Nomination: Best Actress in a Television Series - Female (Lucille Ball).

This is the Final Season of The Lucy Show!  The complete series is now complete and out on DVD!  Be sure not to miss out and order your copy TODAY from the Everything Lucy Store!  Or click on the link below to order your copy from Amazon!


The final season of "The Lucy Show" (1967-1968) showed how popular Lucille Ball continued to be with her legions of fans as she won her second Emmy that year for Outstanding Performance By an Actress in a Comedy Series and the show itself was a Top 10 mainstay finishing the year at a whopping #2 making this season the sitcom's most popular. At this time Paramount bought the rights to the "Lucy Show" so instead of renegotiating for another season Lucy decided to try her hand at another sitcom for the fall of 1968 with a whole new premise and alas "Here's Lucy" was born.

The final year consisted of some of the biggest names in Hollywood gracing "The Lucy Show" including Robert Goulet, Milton Berle, Jack Benny and most astonishing the wonderful and Oscar-winning actress Joan Crawford! In one of the last episodes entitled "Lucy and the Lost Star" both Lucy and Viv's (played by the wonderful Vivian Vance who continued to guest-star on the series) car breaks down a few miles from some Hollywood mansion. They walk to the house only to discover some woman who looks very familiar to them scrubbing the stairs with the house devoid of furniture. They soon realize it is none other than Joan Crawford. The episode is hilarious, funny and Joan proved she was as good at comedy as she was at drama. The dramatics wasn't so much on the screen as it was off in that Joan, terrified of performing in front of a live audience, starting drinking. Lucy, a severe perfectionist, noticed through rehersal Joan would forget her cues and lines and Lucy started to panick. On the side of the stage Joan heard Lucy exclaim "What are we going to do? Get Gloria Swanson!". Immediately, Joan went to her dressing room, studied her lines more, put the 100 proof vodka away and went to work. That night during the taping as soon as the camera panned on Joan she became the actress everyone knew and loved. Not only did she know her lines and stage direction without missing a beat she stole every scene she was in even from Lucy herself. After the taping was a smashing success Lucy went to Joan and stated "Joan...you were fantastic! Join me and Gary (Lucy's husband) for dinner and drinks. Unknown to Lucy Joan had reserved tables at a restaurant for all the members of the cast and crew leaving Lucy out of the invitation. Joan simply remarked to Lucy's request..."Sorry, but I have other engagements for this evening" and walked away and went into her limo leaving Lucy speechless. As much as I love Lucille Ball even she couldn't get one up on Joan Crawford!

The bonuses for this final box set (that features 24 shows on 4 dics) include cast biographies, production notes and more to come.

Following is a complete list of all the episodes of season 6 along with their airdates:
  1. "Lucy Meets the Berles", Sept. 11, 1967
  2. "Lucy Gets Trapped", Sept. 18, 1967
  3. "Lucy and the French Movie Star", Sept. 25, 1967
  4. "Lucy, the Starmaker", Oct. 2, 1967
  5. "Lucy Gets Her Diploma", Oct. 9, 1967
  6. "Lucy and Jack Benny's Account", Oct. 16, 1967
  7. "Little Old Lucy", Oct. 23, 1967
  8. "Lucy and Robert Goulet", Oct. 30, 1967
  9. "Lucy Gets Mooney Fired", Nov. 6, 1967
  10. "Lucy's Mystery Guest", Nov. 13, 1967
  11. "Lucy, the Philanthropist", Nov. 20, 1967
  12. "Lucy Sues Mooney", Nov. 27, 1967
  13. "Lucy and the Pool Hustler", Dec. 4, 1967
  14. "Lucy and Carol Burnett-Part 1", Dec. 11, 1967
  15. "Lucy and Carol Burnett-Part 2", Dec. 18, 1967
  16. "Lucy and Viv Reminise", Jan. 1, 1968
  17. "Lucy Gets Involved", Jan. 15, 1968
  18. "Mooney's Other Wife", Jan. 22, 1968
  19. "Lucy and the Stolen Stole", Jan. 29, 1968
  20. "Lucy and Phil Harris", Feb. 5, 1968
  21. "Lucy Helps Ken Barry", Feb. 19, 1968
  22. "Lucy and the Lost Star" (with Joan Crawford), Feb. 26, 1968
  23. "Lucy and Sid Caesar", March 4, 1968
  24. "Lucy and the Boss of the Year"-the final episode, March 11, 1968
If you want to see complete episode descriptions, pictures and more, visit the Everything Lucy website for a complete run-down on The Lucy Show and more!

September 24, 2012

"I Love Lucy" Still Brings in Millions for CBS

Over 50 years after the classic sitcom "I Love Lucy," which starred Lucille Ball and real-life husband Desi Arnaz, went off the air, it's still a big income generator for studio CBS.

The show brings in around $20 million to the studio annually, according to CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves, speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference in New York recently. Reruns of the show still run on a regular basis on the cable channel TV Land.

"I Love Lucy" aired from 1951-57, and featured Ball and Arnaz as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo; the couple were married for 20 years and owned a production company, Desilu Productions, together.

Moonves stressed the value of CBS' new and old content, particularly as new platforms such as Netflix and Amazon are spending heavily for product.

While TV networks make a big portion of their revenue through advertising and current series, they also make ends meet by selling shows they own to other outlets in syndication and online. Moonves noted that series like "NCIS" and "CSI," which have episodes that are self-contained and don't rely on connecting story arcs, do well in syndication, while other series with soapier storytelling do well in places like Netflix.

"The world is a beautiful place, we're going to get paid more and more and more," Moonves said.

That said, CBS is still more conservative than other programmers when it comes to selling content to online streaming services and Moonves does not plan on changing that strategy.

For example, ABC parent Walt Disney Co. recently sold the first seasons of its dramas "Revenge," "Scandal" and "Once Upon a Time" to Netflix.

CBS does not sell episodes of any series currently on its air to a streaming service out of fear that it could hurt potential rerun sales down the road.

"Syndication is still the big dog here versus the online stuff," he said. Either way, the options for continuing to make money off of old classics seem endless. 

September 20, 2012

'I Love Lucy' Voted the Best TV Show of All Time

More than 60 years after it premiered, the iconic television sitcom "I Love Lucy" nabbed top honors with TV fans in a survey conducted by ABC News and People Magazine for "Best in TV," a special edition of "20/20" that aired Tuesday night, September 18th.


Watch More News Videos at ABC

"Lucy" was voted the best show of all time, beating out finalists "Seinfeld," "M*A*S*H," "All in the Family" and "Cheers." All five finalists were comedies.

"We were not surprised Americans chose comedies as their favorites of all time," said ABC News' Barbara Walters, who hosted the special. "We all like to laugh and these shows still make us laugh today.

During a rare interview in 1977, "I Love Lucy" star Lucille Ball told Barbara Walters that she didn't think she was funny.

In a recent interview with Barbara Walters, Ball's now-adult children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr. explained that their mother had a dry sense of humor.

She was witty, with "a Will Rogers kind of sense of humor...great humor, but not like Lucy (on the show)," Desi Arnaz Jr. said.

"My mother was a clown, and she could turn funny, brilliantly funny written things into magic...But she didn't think funny," Lucie Arnaz said.

"Best in TV" featured a countdown of winners in a number of other categories, from Favorite TV Reality Show to Favorite TV Drama to Favorite TV Mom. In addition to the categories featured on the TV Special, ABC News and People also polled Americans in several other categories like Favorite TV Soap Opera, Favorite TV Game Show, and Most Memorable TV Moment of All Time. See the finalists in these categories online at www.bestintelevision.com.

Nominees in all categories were determined by an all-star panel of television writers, producers, actors and directors. And from the list of nominees, Americans registered more than one million online votes earlier this summer at www.bestintelevision.com.

September 17, 2012

"Best of TV" Special to Air featuring Lucy Comedy Fest

JAMESTOWN, NY – September 14th, 2012 – The city of Jamestown, the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy, and the annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival will all be included in a segment of the two-hour Barbara Walters Special, “The Best in TV – The Greatest Shows of Our Time,” airing September 18th on ABC at 9pm EST.

The results of an online poll conducted by ABC News and People Magazine, which nearly one million people voted in, will be announced during Tuesday’s special. I Love Lucy is nominated in two different categories; Best Television Comedy of All Time and Best Television Show of All Time.

A team of producers and cameramen from ABC News and People Magazine visited Jamestown in August during this year’s Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy to record footage for the nationally televised special. A portion of the 2-hour special will feature Jamestown’s annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, the first-ever Lucy World Games, and footage from the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy’s dual museum attraction (Lucy Desi Museum and Desilu Studios).

“We’re excited to find out the results of the poll, and to share on national television what goes on here in Jamestown with the Queen of Comedy’s legacy,” said Journey Gunderson, executive director of the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy. “We hope it will bring even more visitors to our year-round museum attraction and to our annual comedy festival each August.”

About The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival

The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, or “Lucy Fest,” embodies Ball’s vision for her hometown legacy: a celebration of the comedic arts held annually on the weekend closest to her birth date, August 6th. This year’s festival ran from August 1st-5th and featured performances by Paula Poundstone, Lucie Arnaz, Tammy Pescatelli, Story Pirates, Billy Gardell from CBS’s Mike & Molly, the best “Lucy, Ricky, Fred & Ethel” impersonators in the world and much more. This year’s festival was brought to you in part by YNN, the TV media sponsor of Lucy Fest 2012. Lucy Fest 2013 will be August 1-4. Additional information on the festival can be found at www.LucyComedyFest.com.

According to an economic impact study conducted by Buffalo firm Paradigm Economics and commissioned by the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy and the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, the 2011 five-day festival saw 13,000 in attendance and had a direct impact of $3.6 million on Chautauqua County.

The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival is the first pillar in a four-pillar Legacy of Laughter vision for the organization, including a comedic arts education program, comedy film festival and the establishment of the first national comedy center and hall of fame.

The mission of the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is to preserve the legacy of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz and enrich the world through the healing powers of love and laughter through its commitment to the development of the comedic arts.

September 14, 2012

‘I Love Lucy’ in live musical comedy tribute on stage


As written by Hedy Weiss for the Chicago Sun Times:

Sirena Irwin stars as Lucy and Bill Mendieta plays
Ricky Ricardo in "I Love Lucy Live on Stage", 
Photo by Ed Krieger
No doubt many still remember watching the original 181 black-and-white episodes of “I Love Lucy” that were broadcast in the ’50s on CBS-TV via television sets equipped with rabbit-ear antennas.

Most of us discovered the shows somewhat later, either in reruns, DVD box sets or through YouTube snippets. Whatever the format, they retain their crazy spark of genius, generating giddy laughter and delight decade after decade. Classics of the Golden Age of television, “I Love Lucy” episodes are in many ways America’s most masterful example of the mid-20th century comedy of manners.

The truth is, there has never been a couple more antic, tempestuous and irresistible than Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball), that beautiful redhead with the irrepressible sense of mischief and thwarted ambition, and her husband, Ricky (Desi Arnaz), the dashing, heavily accented, hopelessly macho Cuban emigre and singer-bandleader.

And of course, if your dreams were invariably geared toward breaking into show business, as Lucy’s were, what better landlords could you have for your New York brownstone than a couple of droll vaudevillians like Ethel and Fred Mertz, who were played so winningly by Vivian Vance and William Frawley?

“I Love Lucy Live On Stage,” which receives its Midwest premiere Sept. 19 at the Broadway Playhouse, is a theatrical “reinvention” and musical comedy tribute to those classic shows. A hit when it opened at the Greenway Court Theatre in Los Angeles last year, it is set in 1952, in Hollywood’s Desilu Studios, and reenacts (“in full color”) the live “filming” of two episodes of the sitcom. (“I Love Lucy” was the first scripted television program to be shot on 35mm film in front of a studio audience.) And yes, you guessed it, YOU are the studio audience.

“I was born in 1957, so I grew up on the morning reruns, flipping stations between ‘Lucy’ and ‘I Married Joan’,” said Rick Sparks, the show’s director and co-adapter, with Kim Flagg. “I quickly realized how much better ‘Lucy’ was.”

The stage show grew out of Sparks’ involvement with a CBS-generated tribute tour about “Lucy” that re-created the show’s set. It contained several interactive setups, including one with the big vat from the episode in which Lucy stomped on grapes to make wine.

“It was a huge success at conventions,” said Sparks. “And I kept thinking: If only we could put real actors in this thing. Then I found out about plans for this project, I got in touch with the producers and made my pitch. Of course there was a certain audacity about trying to represent these beloved characters on stage. But the idea was never to impersonate them. We just wanted to create a love letter — a Valentine to the essence of the show, and to the whole era of television, along with the advertising that was such a part of it.” (The show features the Crystaltone Singers performing live advertising jingles in 1950s harmony style.)

As Sparks explained: “The idea for the original television show grew out of the effort of Ball and Arnaz to stay together geographically and keep their marriage intact. The powers that be at CBS initially thought the notion of this sitcom about the marriage of a dizzy redhead and her Cuban husband would challenge belief, so the two went out on a vaudeville circuit tour to test-market it, got brilliant reviews and took the idea back to CBS.”

Sparks selected two relatively unknown episodes to recreate for the live show, complete with “The Ricky Ricardo Orchestra” of the Tropicana Nightclub. In one, from 1952, Lucy, always hellbent on getting into showbiz, tries to become part of a Fine Arts Benefit and does a number called “Bamboo Tree.” In another, from 1953, she does a jitterbug.

“Lucille Ball was not only gorgeous, but she was a brilliant actress who played the totally honest intention behind the most ridiculous situations,” said Sparks. “She even brought Buster Keaton and Harpo Marx onto the set to serve as physical comedy coaches. Desi had an easy, instinctive comedic style that he picked up from people like Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin.”

Sirena Irwin, who portrays Lucy in the show, confessed that she did not grow up with “Lucy” reruns.

“For a long time my family didn’t have a TV,” she said, explaining that her dad was a physicist who “dropped out” and traveled in a VW bus for awhile, and her mom was a classical pianist who toured Europe.

“So it wasn’t until I was in college that I first saw episodes of the show, and I’d never seen the iconic ‘Vitameatavegamin’ episode when I was asked to do it for my audition. What I’ve discovered since then is that the key to Lucy was her playfulness — her willingness to go anywhere with the material, doing zany, outrageous things that were nevertheless grounded in truth. And she was so free physically, so unafraid of making ugly faces at a time when female comedians were very rare. Of course playing her is still hugely intimidating to me.”

Bill Mendieta, who portrays Desi (and whose heritage is a mix of Basque, Mexican, Guatamalan and French), grew up in San Francisco — part of a large family of musical artists who loved watching classic TV and movies together. He spoke Spanish with his grandmother and has learned more Spanish from playing various roles that involved the language.

“My musical background has helped me pick up accents pretty quickly,” he said. “For Desi I listened to videos online, and to other Cubans, all of whom speak very quickly and with a particular rhythm. I also watched how Ricky delivered his songs in the show. Of course we have to make things work theatrically, and we also have to make them come from us. But with Desi, here is this musician so at home in the Cuban lifestyle, who is married to an American woman who is a little wacky. And often he’s just trying to catch up with what she’ll do next.”

It is Irwin who thinks she has the true secret to “I Love Lucy.”

“I think it’s the absolutely undying love and adoration these two people had for each other,” she said. “There may have been tension in their real-life marriage, but in their show, despite the playful antagonism, it was all about love.”


‘I LOVE LUCY LIVE ON STAGE’
  • In previews; opens Sept. 19 and runs through Nov. 11
  • Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 17 E. Chestnut, Chicago, IL
  • Tickets, $23-$65
  • (800) 775-2000; www.broadwayinchicago.com

August 06, 2012

WCA Donates Original Lucy Costume To Comedy Center


Throughout Lucille Ball's career, she donated a number of costumes to WCA Hospital as keepsakes, and during a special dinner presentation on Thursday at the Tropicana Room, one of those costumes was presented to the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Center for Comedy.
The dedication ceremony for Lucille Ball's ringmaster costume included a formal presentation by Betsy T. Wright, WCA Hospital president and CEO, an acceptance speech by Journey Gunderson, executive director at the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center and a catered dinner for fans of Lucy to enjoy while the original 1977 television episode of "Circus of the Stars" that Ball wore the costume in was shown.
"The Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy brings many people to the Jamestown area," said Wright. "So, we at WCA are so pleased to be able to contribute to this event.
"We are pleased that Lucille Ball, during her lifetime, was very generous to the community and to WCA Hospital," she continued. "She donated many of her costumes to WCA for our fundraising at Country Capers. This one (the ringmaster costume) we've had at the hospital and we think this (the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Center for Comedy) is the appropriate home for this 'Circus of the Stars' costume."
According to Gunderson, the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center is an attraction that brings in more than 20,000 visitors a year from all over the world.
"We are committed to giving you all a reason to keep coming back," said Gunderson. "The people that make things like that possible now include WCA hospital. So, we are extremely appreciative of WCA Hospital for this donation.
"It is my understanding that WCA Hospital held an annual fundraiser and that Lucille Ball never forgot about her hometown, even though she didn't live in Jamestown at the time, so she would donate an outfit almost every year to the fundraiser," she continued. "This particular outfit was really fitting because it's a ringmaster outfit that she wore when she was the master of ceremonies for the television special 'Circus of the Stars.'"
The dedication ceremony at the Tropicana Room sold to capacity with a total of 90 seats being filled. According to Gunderson, that speaks volumes to the importance of a donation of this kind.
"We have costumes in our collection, but few that are as spectacular as this one," said Gunderson. "So, when I got the call from WCA Hospital in early 2012 I was curious as to what this costume was, and together we researched it to pinpoint exactly what it was. Then when I saw it I just hit the roof. It's so beautiful, unique and literally dazzling."
The costume will likely be displayed on the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum side of the attraction among the other outfits that have been donated, according to Gunderson.
According to a WCA Hospital press release, "Circus of the Stars" was an annual television special, broadcast by the CBS network in the U.S., in which celebrities performed circus-type acts. There were 19 shows in total, the first being broadcast in 1977 and the last in 1994.
The Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Center for Comedy is located at 2 W. Third St. in Jamestown. For more information call 484-0800 or visit lucy-desi.com. To find out more about Lucy Fest visit lucycomedyfest.com.

August 01, 2012

Lucy Fest to be featured on ABC News 20/20

ABC News 20/20 will be sending producers to cover the Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy on Aug. 3-4 as part of a Barbara Walters two-hour special, "The Best in TV - The Greatest Shows of Our Time."

"To have ABC News and People Magazine come to town really proves how global the audience and brand is," said Journey Gunderson, executive director of the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy.

ABC News 20/20 and People Magazine are currently running a poll on www.bestintelevision.com, where "I Love Lucy" is a strong contender to win two awards, Best Television Comedy of All Time and Best Television Show of All Time. Nearly a million people have voted already, and the online poll will take place until the end of the month.

The two-hour Barbara Walters special, which will run later in the summer, will feature Jamestown's annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, the Lucy World Games on Tracy Plaza, and footage from both museum attractions.

The first chance to be a part of ABC's coverage will be at the World Games opening ceremony at Tracy Plaza on Friday, Aug. 3 at 5:30 p.m. In addition to the World Games events, the Party on the Plaza will return to Jamestown. Food, drinks, free live music, and fun for all will all be available on both days. Two of the "I Love Lucy"-inspired events at the Party on the Plaza during the Lucy World Games which anyone can participate in, grape stomping and conveyor belt candy wrapping, are featured in ABC's online poll as some of the greatest moments in television history. Other events that fans can compete in include a 1.5K walk/run, Lucy trivia, a costume contest, and an Amazing Race-Lucy Style.

After the World Games, the festivities will move towards the Reg Lenna Civic Center, where ABC will be covering the Stand-Up Showcase, featuring some of the hottest rising talent like Tammy Pescatelli, Tony Deyo and more. Lucie Arnaz, daughter or Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, will be the musical guest and host. Lucy Fest has featured performances by then-rising stars Ray Romano, Lewis Black and Ellen DeGeneres, and aims to catch comics on a similar rise to the top with the 2012 showcase. Tickets are now available at LucyComedyFest.com.

The Lucy World Games

Grape stomping and candy wrapping are two of the Lucy moments from the ABC News online poll that are featured during the Lucy World Games. Businesses, sports teams, local celebrities, and Lucy fans alike will all have the opportunity to be a part of these moments, and more, when people from across the area and around the United States gather at Tracy Plaza Jamestown on Aug. 3-4.

Businesses that register for the games will receive personalized participant T-shirts, six tickets to the Stand-Up Showcase on Friday, Aug. 3, and the chance to be named a Lucy World Games champion! Team registration for businesses costs $300 for up to 20 participants. Teammates may participate in multiple events and all events are not mandatory. Additionally, registration for local sports teams is $10 per person. Participant T-shirts and entry into all World Games events is included in the registration cost.

For more information or to register your team, contact Edward Sundquist at 664-7429 or visit www.lucycomedyfest.com. This event is hosted by the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy located in Jamestown and sponsored by Allied Alarm Services.

July 31, 2012

Rare Lucille Ball doll tops $10,000 at Amesbury MA Auction

A rare 1955 Madame Alexander Lucille Ball bride doll sold for more than $10,000 at a recent John McInnis Auction in Amesbury, Massachuesettes.

"It was a quite a successful sale," said Dan Meader, an appraiser for John McInnis Auctioneers, of the 700-plus doll collection of Kathy Hipp of Amesbury, who began amassing her collection in the 1950s.

The collection was sold at auction on July 14 at the McInnis Auction Gallery. It took in $300,000.

"We had 300 bidders registered online and another 140 to 150 people that came to the auction. We had buyers from other countries, including Japan and Australia and a strong concentration in this country," McInnis said.

"The mid-century (1950s) dolls did so well," McInnis said. The top lot was a very rare 1955 Madame Alexander Lucille Ball as a bride that sold for $10,062.50. An 18-inch Kathe Kruse swivel-head doll estimated at $500 to $750 sold for $2,950 and a Jumeau doll sold for $6,037."

Hipp started with a passion for Madame Alexander dolls and then branched out to fine French and German bisque dolls. Included in her collection was her vast array of 1930s to 1960s era dolls including Nancy Ann Storybook, Vogue, and Terry Lee. Her entire Madame Alexander Collection, including many rare examples, was sold. The collection included dolls from the 1860s to the 1980s, from rare French and German bisque dolls to Barbie, Kewpie, and GI Joe dolls.

"Some rare individual dolls sold in the thousands of dollars," Meader said, "some hundreds. Many of the Madame Alexander dolls are in mint condition and most are in their original boxes."

Other important examples of dolls in the collection included Jumeau, Steiner, Bru, K*R, Heubach, Simon & Halbig, Armand Marseille, SFBJ, F.Gaultier, J.D. Kestner, Schoenhut, Franz Schmidt, Effanbee, Gibson, Jerri, Pauline, Heidi Ott, Sasha, Nisbit, Lenci, Kathe Kruse, Corelle, and Grace Putnam.

The collection also included boxes and boxes and boxes of doll shoes, clothing, wigs, furniture, tea sets, and miniatures.

"It was a big undertaking," McInnis said, "a lot of work went into it, but it was a total success."

July 25, 2012

"The Lucy Show, The Official 6th And Final Season" DVD Coming in October

CBS DVD and Paramount Home Entertainment have now announced that The Lucy Show - The Official 6th And Final Season will be on DVD and in stores this coming October 9th. The 24-episode, 4 disc collection also has bonus material.

It's The Lucy Show's sixth and final hilarious season, as Lucy continues to go on wacky misadventures with her reluctant best friend and her cantankerous boss. Own the FINAL SEASON of The Lucy Show on DVD for the first time! The 4-disc set contains all 24 uproarious episodes from the sixth and final season. Guest stars include: Milton Berle, Ruth Berle, Jacques Bergerac, Frankie Avalon, Jack Benny, Robert Goulet and Buddy Hackett! All episodes have brilliantly restored color picture and audio. Also features Cast Biographies, Production Notes, Photo Galleries, and much more!

Award winning final season: Emmy Winner: Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series (Lucille Ball). Emmy Nominations: Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding performance by an actor in a supporting role in a Comedy (Gale Gordon), Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy. Golden Globe Nomination: Best Actress in a Television Series - Female (Lucille Ball).

Stay tuned on how to order this Final Season of The Lucy Show!

July 21, 2012

Julia Louis-Dreyfus ties Lucille Ball in Emmy Awards nominations


Julia Louis-Dreyfus made Emmy history on July 19th, with her nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for "Veep."
The actress has now tied Lucille Ball's record of 13 nominations, the most earned by a comedic actress in Emmy history, the Hollywood Reporter notes.
Louis-Dreyfus told TVLine.com she was "stunned" to learn of her new connection to the "I Love Lucy" star.
I just learned that this morning; I had no idea beforehand and I'm stunned by it," she said. "I'm really actually made speechless by it and don't even know what to say."
Louis-Dreyfus' 12 other Emmy nods came from her tenures on "Seinfeld" (seven nominations from 1992-1998, she won in 1995) and  "The New Adventures of Old Christine" (five consecutive nominations from 2006, which she won, through 2010).
"Veep" finished its first season last month. In April, HBO announced it was renewing the half-hour comedy for a second season.

July 19, 2012

William Asher, Director of Classic TV Comedies, Dies at 90

Reported from The NY Times by Denise Grady:
William Asher and Elizabeth Montgomery
on the set of "Bewitched,"a television
favorite that ran from 1964 to 1972.

William Asher, a producer, director and screenwriter in the early days of television who directed some two dozen shows — most notably “Bewitched,” which starred his wife, Elizabeth Montgomery, and more than 100 episodes of “I Love Lucy” — died on Monday, July 16th in Palm Desert, Calif. He was 90 and lived in Indian Wells, Calif.

The cause was complications of Alzheimer’s disease, his wife, Meredith Asher, said.
Mr. Asher won an Emmy for “Bewitched” in 1966. He also directed episodes of “Our Miss Brooks,” “The Danny Thomas Show,” “The Thin Man,” “The Twilight Zone,” “The Donna Reed Show,” “Gidget” and “The Patty Duke Show.”

In the 1960s he wrote and directed a string of girls-in-bikinis movies with Frankie Avalon and the former “Mickey Mouse Club” star Annette Funicello — “Beach Party,” “Muscle Beach Party,” “Bikini Beach,” “Beach Blanket Bingo” and “How to Stuff a Wild Bikini” — all of which were hits with teenagers despite being scorned by reviewers. Each was shot in about 15 days. Along with the nubile young bodies, Mr. Asher tossed in oddball cameos with his old-time actor friends, including Buster Keaton, Boris Karloff and Mickey Rooney. “Muscle Beach Party” was the screen debut of a singer then known as Little Stevie Wonder.

Mr. Asher loved making those movies, he told interviewers. Silly as they were, they were happy fantasies, what he wished his own youth had been like, instead of what it was: a grim existence with an alcoholic and abusive mother after his parents’ divorce.
William Milton Asher was born in Manhattan on Aug. 8, 1921. His mother, Lillian Bonner, was an actress, and his father, Ephraim M. Asher, was a movie producer. His sister, Betty, became a publicist for Judy Garland.

The family moved to Los Angeles when he was about 10 so that his father could work in the studios, and as a boy he became fascinated with the movie business. But his parents soon divorced, and he moved back to New York with his mother. Miserable at home, he lost interest in school and dropped out; he never finished high school or attended college. He joined the Army in 1941 and served in the Signal Corps for four years, stationed in Astoria, Queens, as a unit photographer.

He loved literature and had always wanted to be a writer, and began writing short stories while he was in the Army, his son Bill said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. After being discharged he went to California and landed work, at first in the mailroom at Universal Studios. But he was soon adapting his own short stories for a television series, “Invitation Playhouse,” and directing them. In 1952, he was directing “Our Miss Brooks.” Desi Arnaz knew of his work and asked him to try directing “I Love Lucy,” which became one of the most successful sitcoms of all time. The show was shot before a live audience and was the first to be filmed using three cameras.

Mr. Asher met Elizabeth Mongomery in the late 1950s, and they married in 1963. His first marriage had ended in divorce. He and Ms. Montgomery had three children, and she wanted to stop working to take care of them, but Mr. Asher persuaded her to keep acting by creating a project they could work on together: “Bewitched,” a sitcom about a suburban housewife who is actually a witch (cheerful and mischievous, not wicked).

The show made its debut in 1964 and lasted for eight years. The nose twitch — one of the show’s hallmarks — that signaled Ms. Montgomery’s character, Samantha, was about to perform a feat of witchcraft was something Ms. Montgomery did naturally, without being fully aware of it. Mr. Asher, charmed by it, pointed it out to her and urged her to put it to good use.

When “Bewitched” ended, in 1972, Ms. Montgomery again wanted to stop working to spend time with her children, and she wanted Mr. Asher to take some time off, too. His ambition would not allow it, his son said, and their differences led to divorce. Ms. Montgomery died of cancer in 1995, at 57.

Mr. Asher’s third marriage, to the actress Joyce Bulifant, also ended in divorce. He married Meredith Coffin McMachen in 1996.

In addition to his wife and his son Bill, he is survived by two daughters, Liane Sears and Rebecca Asher; three other sons, Brian, John and Robert; two stepsons, Charles MacArthur and David Jarmon; two stepdaughters, Mary McClure and Merritt Cook; 10 grandchildren; and 7 step-grandchildren.

Mr. Asher counted Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford and Sammy Davis Jr. among his friends, his son Bill said, and on occasion would fly with them from Hollywood to Las Vegas on Sinatra’s plane for a night on the town and be flown back in time to arrive on the set by 5 the next morning.

It was “such a rich artistic and flamboyant time,” Bill Asher said. “Those guys were living life big.”

July 18, 2012

The First Ever Lucy World Games, Jamestown NY, 2012

The first ever LUCY WORLD GAMES will be taking place in JAMESTOWN, NY on August 3rd-4th, 2012

The Lucy World Games is a series of fun events in which LUCY FANS from across the world can compete against each other to truly see who is the best! LUCY WORLD GAMES  promotes the legacy of love, laughter, and camaraderie among all fans through several events meant to show your love for LUCILLE BALL!

Some competitions at the World Games include GRAPE STOMPING, CHOCOLATE WRAPPING, and a LUCY COSTUME CONTEST. All participants will receive aFREE PARTICIPANT SHIRT and the chance to win LUCY MEMORABILIA or other prizes.

All of this will take place during our PARTY ON THE PLAZA at City Hall, which includes food, drinks, and FREE live bands.

Registration to participate in all Lucy World Games events is $20.

Sign Up Today at LUCYCOMEDYFEST.COM!

EVENTS
 Lucy World Games: Chocolate Wrapping 

Think you can wrap chocolates better than Lucy or Ethel?

Each participant will have 1 minute and 30 seconds to see how many chocolates they can wrap. The participants who wrap the most chocolates will be declared the winner.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 3RD: 11 AM - 8 PM
SATURDAY, AUGUST 4TH: 11 AM - 8 PM 
Lucy World Games: Lucy Trivia 

In this event, individuals answer Lucy-related trivia questions. The Trivia game is scored by rounds with successful individuals advancing. The individual with the most correct answers at the end of the game will be named the gold medalist in trivia of the Lucy World Games.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 4TH: 2 PM - 3:30 PM 
Lucy World Games: Lucy Loop 

Participate in the 1.5K Run/Walk in the City of Jamestown. Fastest times for the 1.5K Run/Walk wins. Individuals are given additional points if they participate in in Lucy-related costumes.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 4TH: 11 AM - 12 PM 
Lucy World Games: Costume Contest 

Individuals may dress as one of the following categories of characters from "I Love Lucy": Lucy or Ricky, Fred or Ethel, or any other show character. A panel of judges chooses the top three costumes.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 4TH: 12:30 AM - 2 PM  
Lucy World Games: Cornhole Tournament 

This individual event will be run with each participant throwing a series of bean bags. The highest aggregate totals will named the bronze, silver, and gold medalists.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 3RD: 11 AM - 8 PM
SATURDAY, AUGUST 4TH: 11 AM - 8 PM  
Lucy World Games: Grape Stomping

Each participant will have 2 minutes to stomp as much juice as possible. The individual that produces the highest volume of juice wins.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 3RD: 11 AM - 8 PM
SATURDAY, AUGUST 4TH: 11 AM - 8 PM  

Sign Up Today at LUCYCOMEDYFEST.COM!

July 16, 2012

Lucy-Desi Center director Gunderson makes case for comedy at Chautauqua Speaks

When Chautauqua County native Journey Gunderson began her tenure as director of the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center for Comedy in Jamestown, N.Y., in 2011, Jamestown Post-Journal reporter Stacy Stauffer described her as “a fresh breeze.”
Considering the success of the 2011 celebration of Lucille Ball’s 100th birthday and the plans for the August 2012 Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy, Gunderson is an imaginative and efficient breeze — perhaps a strong wind — blowing away cobwebs and generating new energy for the Center’s future.
On Thursday at the 9:15 a.m. Chautauqua Speaks program at the Chautauqua Women’s Club, Gunderson will be “Making A Case For Comedy.” She will not discuss the art of comedy, though that is the art the Center cultivates and preserves. Rather, she will describe the vision for the Center as it strives to become an incubator for comics, an entertainment venue and eventually the National Comedy Museum and Hall of Fame.
“We want to be the Cooperstown of Comedy,” she said referring to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Gunderson described Ball as a shrewd businesswoman. She said the Center’s goals are a translation of Ball’s perception that the Center would have to be more than a museum attraction.
Born and raised in Chautauqua County, Gunderson grew up in Bemus Point where she lives now with her husband, Jason Toczydlowski, director of marketing and guest services at the Athenaeum Hotel. She enjoys a long connection with Chautauqua Institution. Her grandmother Winnie Lewellen was for many years Wensley House housemother.
A graduate of Ithaca College, Gunderson majored in sports information and communications. She was editorial director and web producer for the Women’s Sports Foundation in New York.
In 2010, Gunderson received the Alumni Leadership & Service Award from the Ithaca College Department of Sport Management and Media. She is a two-time National Health Foundation Information Awards Gold Award-winner.
So often young women and men leave their smaller hometowns and bring their talent and potential to bigger cities. There is something reassuring about Gunderson’s return to the Jamestown area. Perhaps she is part of an avant-garde of young men and women who will bring their substantial ability home.

July 14, 2012

Lucy Desi Center To Unveil New Audio Tour

As printed from The Jamestown Post-Journal by Dusten Rader:
A new museum experience will be narrated by Lucie Arnaz, daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.
The Lucy Desi Center for Comedy has added an audio guide tour to the existing attractions at the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum. The project will launch during Lucy Fest, Aug. 1-5.
Spearheading the project is Journey Gunderson, executive director of the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy. Gunderson felt that the tour needed an update that would compliment the existing experience at the museum.
"I noticed that when I brought my friends, family or colleagues here that I ended up narrating the tour for them to make sure they got the highlights of the legacy," said Gunderson. "So, I figured that (an audio tour) would be a good way to invest in the attraction, and take it up a notch."
The project was made possible through a grant written by Gunderson to the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. The CRCF matched the $10,000 that the Lucy Desi Center put forward for a total of $20,000. Gunderson then commissioned renowned exhibit designer David Weiss to oversee the production and installation of the new audio tour. The project was a collaborative effort between the production efforts of Desilu, Too and Weiss.
Weiss' resume includes the world-touring "Harry Potter" and "Chronicles of Narnia" exhibitions, "Jurassic Park: Singapore," and NASA's "Space: A Journey to Our Future" among other educational, immersive and entertaining experiences in museums, theme parks and destinations worldwide. Weiss frequently works with Jack Rouse Associates, one of the most well-known exhibit design studios in the world.
"He came and toured the museum, took video of everything and layed out the plan for the guide," said Gunderson. "Then he said, 'It would be very cool if we could get Lucie Arnaz' (to narrate)."
Gunderson contacted Arnaz to ask if she'd be on board, and she quickly agreed to take part. Author Elisabeth Edwards also got involved, and according to Gunderson, she brought the story together in a way that made it exponentially more special and insightful.
"It ended up that she put it in her own words, which made it so much more valuable," said Gunderson. "She was telling us things in the script that we wouldn't have known otherwise. So, to have the ability to walk through the attraction narrated by the daughter of two of the most famous people ever to have lived is pretty cool."
According to Gunderson, the experience hasn't changed in a dramatic way, but is more of an addition to something that was already a gem of an attraction.
"It brings it to life," said Gunderson. "We get people in all the time who say they didn't even know they (Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz) were married in real life. Or, that Desilu Studios produced "Star Trek," "Mission Impossible," and "The Andy Griffith Show." Those are things we don't want people to miss, and now we can tell them in the story."
The audio tour also allows guests to engage at the level they want to based on how much time they have. Guests will be given a handheld device that holds a series of audio cues which flow through the whole attraction. Or, they can opt not to use it at all. But, for those who do, a total of 26 audio queues are available with a wealth of information to discover.
"When you're ready you can listen to the chunk of the recording that has information which otherwise is not here, or is five paragraphs deep on a panel that people don't read," said Gunderson. "I think it will connect the dots for people that are not already super aware of the legacy, and I'm excited about it."
In addition to narrating the audio tour guides, Arnaz will be the musical host at the comedy showcase which includes Tammy Pescatelli, on Friday, Aug. 3. Tickets are on sale at LucyComedyFest.com.
For a tax-deductible donation of $100, fans and supporters can enjoy the unique opportunity to attend a reception with Arnaz held in the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum immediately following the Friday show. The reception will begin at 10:30 p.m. at 10 W. Third St., and tickets are available at 484-0800 or LucyComedyFest.com.
The Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum and Desilu Studios are open seven days a week, Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

July 13, 2012

Lucy Desi Center to Unveil New Audio Guide Tour Narrated by Lucie Arnaz

The Lucy Desi Center for Comedy is excited to announce that it will debut a significant enhancement to its dual museum attraction at the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival this August 1-5.

Thanks to a grant from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, matching funds from the Lucy Desi Center, and the generous collaborative production efforts of Desilu, Too and exhibit designer David Weiss, the Lucy Desi Museum and Desilu Studios attractions will soon offer a narrated tour experience option in addition to the regular admission.

Now, visitors may opt to be guided through the exhibitry and incredible story of the Lucy and Desi legacy by the voice of none other than Lucie Arnaz, daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

"This gem of an attraction and the fans who visit it from all over the world were deserving of an update to the experience.  I wrote a grant to the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, matched it with an investment of our own, commissioned renowned exhibit producer David Weiss, and he visited and said, 'It's got to be Lucie.'  She [Arnaz] and author Elisabeth Edwards got involved and brought the story together in a way that made it exponentially more special and insightful.  It's exciting," said Executive Director Journey Gunderson.

Lucie Arnaz will be in Jamestown for the debut, as she is the host and musical guest of the Friday night showcase of rapidly-rising comedians including Tammy Pescatelli, 8:30 pm August 3 during this year's Lucy Fest. Tickets are now on sale at www.LucyComedyFest.com.  Coincidentally, Arnaz's father, Desi Arnaz, was the first-ever to be both host and musical guest of Saturday Night Live in 1976.

Production and installation of the new audio tour has been overseen by David Weiss, whose credits include the world-touring "Harry Potter" and "Chronicles of Narnia" exhibitions, "Jurassic Park: Singapore," and NASA's "Space: A Journey to Our Future" among other educational, immersive and entertaining experiences in museums, theme parks and destinations world-wide.

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