December 30, 2006

Lucille Ball and Groucho Marx

Lucille Ball has done various audio, movie and television work with the major comedy teams of the day, including The Three Stooges, Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy and The Marx Brothers. Here is an episode from a radio program called G.I. Journal, from 1945 where her and Groucho are guests on the show. You have to download the MP3 file to listen to the broadcast.

G.I. Journal with Lucille Ball and Groucho Marx.

December 29, 2006

Desi Arnaz Contributions to Hollywood

Most everyone knows Desi Arnaz. That is to say, everyone knows he was the star and executive producer of "I Love Lucy." And anyone who has ever watched the show knows that he was Cuban and a talented musician. But something that not many people know is that Arnaz played a vital part in the set up of the show at a time when the television sitcom was still being molded. Arnaz conceptualized the multi-cam setup used for filming the set, a format that would be used on virtually every sitcom from "Happy Days" to "Full House" to "Friends." Now folks, let's pause, take a breath and consider this fact: A Cuban is responsible for how American sitcoms have been filmed for more than 50 years!

Read the rest at in an article by Gabe Rodrigues, "From Lucy to Reba: A Look at Cuban and Hollywood Relations"!

December 20, 2006

20th Century Fox Auctions Off Stars' Contracts

Movie studio, 20th Century Fox, will auction off more than 200 documents signed by stars such as Lucille Ball, Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey Bogart, and Elvis Presley among many other celebrities!

Proceeds from the sale, which will take place in New York on January 25th through Swann Galleries, will benefit the Motion Picture and Television Fund's insurance fund, a charity for Hollywood actors and employees.

Among the items is a 1946 internal memo advising that Norma Jean Dougherty was changing her name to Marilyn Monroe; Judy Garland's contract in the 1967 film, "Valley of the Dolls" along with the termination letter drafted after she showed up for work inebriated!

Up for auction also is Lucille Ball's contract for the thriller "Dark Corner", which paid her $5,000 a week, or $60,000 for the film.

Read more about the Charity Auction at Variety!

Lucy Has Some Splannin To Do

As reported by the Houston Chronicle, every TV show had catchphrases! TV Land devoted a week of shows to the top TV catchphrases. Lucy's catchphrase in I Love Lucy came in at #5 with "Lucy, you got some 'splainin' to do."

Catch all the top 10 catchprases here!

December 19, 2006

Lucille Ball Exclusive DVD Released Today!

As first reported here back in May, Amazon held a vote for movies to be released on DVD and the film "Best Foot Forward" was chosen back in September to be released.

This 1943 MGM film starring Lucille Ball and Harry James is a fast paced, college musical, full of great music, lively dancing and just plain fun. The story is simple, a military college cadet wins a date with Hollywood actress Lucille Ball (in one of many performances where she plays herself). This ill conceived publicity stunt designed to re-start her faltering career, turns into a hilarious disaster when the cadet's girlfriend shows-up the night of the big date. You can imagine the fun that ensues with Lucy hiding out in the cadet's dorm room closet which continues to get more crowed by the minute.

The musical numbers are all classic, like Harry James' swing version of "Flight of the Bumble Bee," and the rollicking "Barrelhouse, Boogie, and The Blues," beautifully performed by Nancy Walker, June Allison, and Gloria DeHaven. This was their MGM debut film and they all went on to stardom.

You can order your DVD from Amazon for $13.98.

Lucy-Desi Center Receives Donation

As reported in The Celebrity Cafe, Ray Evans, who was the Lyrcist behind "Silver Bells", made a $20,000 donation to the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in Jamestown, New York.

Recently Evans met Ric Wyman, the director of the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in Lucy's hometown. They were introduced by Shirley Mitchell, Jay Livingston's widow, who had a recurring role in I Love Lucy. As a result of that encounter, Mr. Evans made a $20,000 donation to the Lucy-Desi Center’s expansion plans.

Asked about his gift, from his home in Beverly Hills Mr. Evans responded: "I’m glad to be part of the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in Jamestown, New York. I was born and grew up in Salamanca, right around the corner, and this is a real hometown kind of program. I knew Lucille Ball very well, and in addition to writing songs for several of the movies she did with Bob Hope, we talked about our common background. I get back to Salamanca once a year, and I’m planning to visit Jamestown on my next trip."

Lucy a Communist? TVLand Myths and Legends Explores

On January 31st at 10pm EST, TV Lands' Myths and Legends series, "Film Frights & Red Scares" will discuss among other things, whether Lucille Ball was ever a Communist.

TV Land takes a look at the most compelling and intriguing mysteries in Hollywood with the premiere of TV Land Myths and Legends on Wednesday's at 10pm EST in January. Produced by Gay Rosenthal Productions (Behind the Music and Little People, Big World), each 30-minute episode explores the truth behind these notorious stories.

"If there's one thing that people love to talk about, it's entertainment's most famous -- and infamous -- myths and legends," states Larry W. Jones, President, TV Land. "These mysteries are a part of the Boomer fabric, and this series examines the deepest, darkest and -- at times -- most unbelievable tales about Hollywood that have existed throughout the years."

TV Land Myths and Legends features original interviews, archival clips and appearances by celebrities -- many of whom had a direct connection to these legendary stories. Each episode explores extraordinary tales about Hollywood's most memorable stars, TV shows, films and music. The series examines the origin of these myths and rumors -- shedding light on some of pop culture's darkest mysteries.
For more information visit TV Lands News Release.

December 15, 2006

"I Love Lucy" Costume Donated to The Lucy-Desi Center

As reported by the Lucille Ball - Desi Arnaz Center in Jamestown, NY, the frog costume worn by William Frawley in the I Love Lucy episode, "Little Ricky’s School Pageant" has been donated to the center by Bill and Mary Rapaport of East Amherst, New York.

Fifty years ago this Sunday, on December 17, 1956, “Little Ricky’s School Pageant”, episode 163 of “I Love Lucy”, aired for the first time.

The script called for the four main characters to take on roles in Little Ricky’s kindergarten play, “The Enchanted Forest”. Desi Arnaz, in the role of Ricky Ricardo, played a talking tree, while Lucille Ball, as Lucy Ricardo, swung above the stage as the wicked old witch of the forest. Little Ricky’s godparents were also part of the ensemble: Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance) played the fairy princess while Fred (William Frawley) took on the role of the friendly frog, Hippity-Hoppity.

Bill and Mary Rapaport of East Amherst, New York, recently donated the frog costume William Frawley wore in this classic episode to the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in Jamestown, New York. It includes an oversized frog “head”, “hands” and “feet”. The costume had been part of the Estate of Pepito Perez and was offered at a Hollywood memorabilia auction in Beverly Hills in December, 2005. While the costume was missing the union suit that Bill Frawley wore, it fetched $17,000. The Rapaports subsequently purchased it from the auction’s high bidder and have made it available to be enjoyed by visitors to Lucy’s hometown.

This amazing costume is now on exhibit in the Desilu Playhouse, a museum devoted to the “I Love Lucy” television series. It was unveiled yesterday (Thursday, December 14) to members of the Lucy-Desi Center’s Acquisitions Society, a group that was created in the summer of 2005 to acquire and care for historically significant items related to the First Couple of Comedy. Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr. are among the Society’s founding members.

Following the unveiling, a special luncheon was held in the Tropicana Room on the second floor of the Rapaport Center. The Desilu Playhouse occupies the ground floor of the Rapaport Center at 2 W. Third Street in downtown Jamestown and was made possible primarily through private funding from the Rapaports.

December 13, 2006

Larry Anderson as Guest Speaker on Internet Radio

As reported by Tom Watson of the Internet Fan Magazine Site, "All About Lucy", Larry Anderson will be a Guest on the Internet Radio Show produced by Shokus Video. Shokus Internet Radio Show, produced by Stu Shokus, will be personally airing a weekly program on Wednesdays at 4:00 pm PST, 7:00 pm EST.

Larry Anderson, who played in Lucille Ball's last television sitcom, Life With Lucy, as her son-in-law Ted MacGibbon will appear on the Shokus Live Radio Series December 27th.

Larry, besides being a gameshow host, has been a professional magician since he was 14 and has followed this career all his life. He was ofen performing his magic in between set changes during the production of Life With Lucy. Larry's latest project, "JawDroppers", is a video collection of magic tricks that he has performed.

To listen to the show on December 27th, visit the Shokus Internet Radio Site. To view the complete schedule of shows hosted by Shokus, vist Live365 Broadcast Scheduler.

December 11, 2006

Lucie Arnaz to Host Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame Ceremony

As president of the board of directors of the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in her mother’s hometown, Jamestown, New York, Lucie Arnaz shared some personal reflections on being asked to host the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Beverly Hills this week.

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame honors individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to television: on-camera legends and pioneering talent that include directors, producers, costume designers, writers, animators, executives, reporters and explorers. Since the first ceremony in 1984, more than 100 of television’s notables have been inducted. Past honorees include Lucille Ball, Johnny Carson, David Sarnoff, Walter Cronkite, Milton Berle, Walt Disney, Bob Hope, Mary Tyler Moore, Barbara Walters, Angela Lansbury, Oprah Winfrey and Carl Reiner.

In addition to hosting, Ms. Arnaz will also be the presenter for the induction of talk show host Regis Philbin. California’s First Lady, Maria Shriver, will induct Tom Brokaw; Viacom Chairman and CEO Sumner Redstone will induct television and film producer Leonard Goldberg (Charlie's Angels, Starsky and Hutch, Brian's Song); former Chairman and CEO of NBC and co-founder of MTM Enterprises, Grant Tinker, will induct award-winning producer/director, James Burrows (Will and Grace, Cheers, Frasier, Friends), and equestrian Elizabeth Shatner will induct Emmy-Award winning actor William Shatner (Boston Legal).

In sharing her anticipation of Thursday’s event, actress and producer Lucie Arnaz related that she was asked to host it by the ceremony’s producer, Sam Haskell, whom she described as “a great friend and mentor. I was thrilled to be invited. And, as a special favor to Sam, I will also be singing a little number towards the end of the show, just because he asked!”

Ms. Arnaz added, “I have appeared on the show twice, once in the early 80’s when my mother was inducted. I sang a wonderful touching piece of special material written by Larry Grossman, ‘My Mother, The Star’. Again, after my father passed away, both Desi (Jr.) and I were there to accept for him when he was inducted.”

December 07, 2006

Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour Artwork

As posted on TV Shows on DVD, CBS/Paramount has released the artwork for the upcoming, Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, which they're calling I Love Lucy, Seasons 7, 8 and 9. The set will be available on March 13, 2007!

To learn more about The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, visit the Everything Lucy web site, the first and foremost web site devoted exclusively to Lucille Ball since 1998!

December 06, 2006

Lucy's Grave Featured in New Book

Author, Chuck D'Imperio was inspired to write his book "Great Graves of Upstate New York" when he came across the grave of Samuel Clemens - better known as Mark Twain. He wanted to know after coming across Twain's gravesite in an Elmira, NY cemetery nearly 20 years ago why he was buried in upstate New York.

D'Imperio's curiosity led him to search out for other famous Americans buried in upstate New York, which led to his book.

In between hosting the morning show on a country music radio station in Oneonta, NY (WDOS), D'Imperio traveled across the state seeking the final resting places of notable Americans buried north of the Tappan Zee Bridge.

His book includes 70 entries, from film and TV sitcom star Lucille Ball in Jamestown to the man credited with inventing the potato chip - George Crum, who's buried outside Saratoga Springs.

As for Mark Twain, he's buried in Elmira because that's where his wife was from.

For more information or to order the book, visit D'Imperio's web site.

December 04, 2006

Remembering Desi

This past Saturday, December 2nd marked the 20th anniversary of the death of Desi Arnaz. He died just 3 years before Lucy of lung cancer.

Desi was born as Desidario Alberto Arnaz ye de Acha the Third in Santiago, Cuba on March 2, 1917. His father was the mayor of Santiago. The 1933 Batista revolution had landed his father in jail and as well stripped Desi's family of wealth, property and power. His father was released mostly because the U.S. officials believed him to be neutral during the revolt. The family fled to Miami, Florida.

One of Desi's first jobs in America consisted of cleaning canary cages. However, after forming his own small band of musicians, he was hired by Xavier Cugat, the "king of Latin music. Desi soon left Cugat, and formed his own Latin band and literally launched the conga craze in America.

Desi was cast in the Broadway play "Too Many Girls, " which as well brought Desi to Hollywood to make the film version of the play. It was on the set of "Too Many Girls" that Desi and Lucille Ball met. They were married on November 30th, 1940 and approximately ten years later they formed Desilu Productions and soon began I Love Lucy.

November 30, 2006

Happy Anniversary Lucy and Desi!

Today marks the wedding anniversary of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz! They were married 66 years ago today on November 30, 1940.

What people may not realize is that they filed for divorce only 4 years after they were married! The pressure of Desi being on the road with his band and Lucy doing her films almost broke them apart and we would have never had I Love Lucy! I wonder what would have happened in this scenario and what history would have been like without the Lucille Ball we know today.

They, of course, didn't divorce at that time and even reaffirmed their marriage vows eight and a half years later after they were married on June 19, 1949. But further pressures and hardships during their marriage finally broke them up permanently, and the two divorced on May 4, 1960 after almost 20 years of marriage.

Lucy's second marriage to Gary Morton in 1961 lasted until her death in 1989. But her heart always remained with Desi, even after they divorced.

November 29, 2006

Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour DVD Release

As first reported here back in May 2006 regarding the release of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour DVD Set, as well as this past September about the Lucy-Desi Show, the official release has been confirmed as March 13, 2007!

As reported by TVShowsonDVD Site:

It's no surprise that Paramount would release the successor to I Love Lucy, The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour; sales of Lucy have been strong. Paramount is calling this the "7th, 8th and 9th Seasons" of I Love Lucy, and it'll be a 4 disc set which runs 739 mins. The set will be available on March 13, 2007.

I'm sure this will be a hit!

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz Are Tops for TV Perfect Unions

According to the Indianapolis Star, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz are listed as #1 for TV's most perfect married couple! Their performance as a married couple, Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, in "I Love Lucy" earned their top honor.

Other TV couples included Jim and Margaret Anderson (Robert Young and Jane Wyatt) in Father Knows Best, Darrin and Smantha Stephens (Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York, as the first Darrin and Dick Sargent as the second Darrin) in Bewitched, Florida and James Evans (Esther Rolle and John Amos) in Good Times, Clair and Cliff Huxtable (Phylicia Rashad and Bill Cosby) in The Cosby Show, Peg and Al Bundy (Katey Sagal and Ed O'Neill) in Married With Children, Roseanne and Dan Conner (Roseanne Barr and John Goodman) in Roseanne, Homer and Marge Simpson (cartoon characters voiced by Julie Kavner and Dan Castellaneta) in The Simpsons, Carmela and Tony Soprano (Edie Falco and James Gandolfini) in HBO's The Sopranos, and finally Mackenzie Allen and Rod Calloway (Geena Davis and Kyle Secor) in the now defunct ABC Drama, Commander in Chief.

November 17, 2006

Lucille Ball Makes One of Barbara Walters Bloppers

ABC is featuring a two-part Barbara Walters special which featured Lucille Ball talking about Desi Arnaz during the first part of the special.

Barbara Walters is celebrating three decades of primetime interviews with a lighthearted, poignant, and often hystical in "The Barbara Walters Special: 30 Mistakes in 30 Years", which aired last night, Thursday, November 16th with the remaining showing tonight Friday, November 17th at 10pm.

The special includes classic candid moments with stars including Al Pacino, Will Ferrell, Eddie Murphy, Lucille Ball, Patrick Dempsey, Jamie Foxx, George Clooney, Teri Hatcher, Brad Pitt, Halle Berry, Jerry Seinfeld, President Ronald Reagan, and countless others.

In Mistake #21: Never talk about the ex-husband in front of the current husband. In an interview with Lucille Ball and new husband Gary Morton, Ball poignantly recalls her failed marriage to Desi Arnaz. Lucille Ball opens up about Desi Arnaz back in 1977 as she rarely had, calling him a "loser."

But as we all know, Lucy really loved Desi clean up until his death of cancer in December of 1986. Lucy last spoke to Desi only a month before his death in his hospital bed. It was evident that they still loved each other very much, as they continued to speak by telephone every single night until his death. Despite the divorce in 1961, he continued to send Lucy flowers every year on their wedding anniversary, which was November 19th.

The marriage of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz was more than just one of television’s greatest marriages. Theirs was a marriage you wanted to work, a romance that you wanted to last, a love story that you wanted to stay true. In spite of many obstacles they tried to stay together, seemed to need each other. Like millions of Americans, I would say “I love Lucy and Desi”.

November 16, 2006

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz Vaudeville

Check this one out: It's Lucy and Desi in a Vaudeville Act from 1953:

If you like this one, I'll post more! Let me know by contacting me!

November 08, 2006

Lucille Ball in "TV Land Legends" Book

A new coffee table book, "TV Land Legends", produced by TV Land includes photos of Lucille Ball and "I Love Lucy". Extraordinary images from Lucille Ball to the cast of Friends are showcased in this oversized collectable book which also features photographs by Annie Liebovitz, Mark Seliger, Herb Ritts, David LaChappelle, and more. Essays by Billy Crystal, Mary Tyler Moore and Toure are also featured!

What qualities define a television legend? Everything from the endlessly inventive physical comedy of Lucille Ball as “Lucy Ricardo” to the homespun warmth of Michael Landon as “Pa Ingalls” tugging at our heartstrings. A television legend captivates us, warms our hearts, and makes us tune in to see them again and again. Andy Griffith, Johnny Carson, Oprah Winfrey -- these icons have become our extended family as their quirks and expressions are part of our cultural vernacular.

TV Land Legends toasts these icons in a dazzling volume that will enchant fans of all ages. The images will surprise and delight television buffs. Whether its Carol Burnett channeling Norma Desmond, Carl Reiner caught dead serious (except for the pencil in his ear), Will Smith as a cowboy, or the cast of Friends mugging as a circus act, here are our most cherished stars seen in photographs that capture their essence. TV Land Legends brings them all together, making this collection one of unparalleled content and rarity.

With essays by Billy Crystal on Sid Caesar, Mary Tyler Moore on “Group Therapy” and the benefits of working within an ensemble, and Touré on Bill Cosby, plus quotes from one celebrity on another—including David Letterman on Johnny Carson, Jon Stewart on Bob Newhart, and Megan Mullally on Carol Burnett, and many, many more, TV Land Legends is the ultimate in living room reading!

The world’s top photographers meet television’s biggest stars when TV Land Legends hits bookstores on Wednesday, November 1. TV Land, America’s premier classic TV network, celebrates America’s greatest television characters -- and the performers who made them “legendary” -- with TV Land Legends (Pocket Books; November 2006; $35.00). TV Land Legends showcases the men and women who make us laugh, move us to tears, or simply captivate us with their mysterious charms, all gathered into one gorgeous hardcover volume and presented in full color by some of the world's top photographers. The unique and often surprising photos make TV Land Legends a true collector’s item.

A slideshow of images from TV Legends as well as other content surrounding a selection of the classic television performers honored in the book is available at Additionally, fans will be able to purchase the book through as well as major national and local book retailers and websites.

Now seen in over 87 million U.S. homes, TV Land’s program mix features popular dramas, sitcoms, westerns, Retromercials and a TV-referential interstitial environment, all programmed with a specific audience in mind – the first generation of Americans to grow up watching television and features all-time Classic hits like All in the Family, I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffith Show, and Bonanza.

Viacom is a leading global entertainment content company, with prominent and respected brands in focused demographics. Offering programming and content for television, motion pictures and digital platforms, Viacom’s world-class brands include MTV Networks (MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Comedy Central, CMT: Country Music Television, Spike TV, TV Land, Logo and more than 130 networks around the world), BET Networks, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Home Entertainment, DreamWorks and Famous Music.

November 06, 2006

Chautauqua Haunted

For those Halloween fans:

Chautauqua Haunted - blog post about the paranormal in Lucille Ball's hometown!

Helen Merill of the Lucille Ball Little Theatre believes a handful of such spirits abide in the theater building on East Second Street, once the run-down remnants of Allen’s Opera House from Jamestown’s earlier days.

The ghost of Lucille Ball's cat:

Gravesite Tourism: Dead Celebrities Still Draw Crowds:,2933,226300,00.html

Lucille Ball Reflections by Taylor Negron

Taylor Negron tells about meeting Lucille Ball in his comedic essay "The Pink Gorilla (Tuesdays with Lucy)." Lucy tells a room full of aspiring actors about how Ginger Roger's mother started the institution to protect all the lovelies from rapists, who would routinely pick them up at the train and bus stations.

For Lucille Ball fans - this is a must-read from his personal essay!

Desi Arnaz' Last Movie, The Escape Artist, Now on DVD

The last movie that Desi Arnaz appeared in is now available on DVD! The Escape Artist, featured Desi as a supporting character, Mayor Leon Quinones.

This 1982 drama has Danny Masters (played by Griffin O'Neal, son of Ryan O'Neal), the offspring of a famed magician. Determined to match his dad's accomplishment, Danny runs into nothing but trouble. His biggest mistake is picking the pocket of the son of a corrupt town mayor. When not running from adults, the boy is being exploited by them.

The film is slowly becoming a cult favorite due to the supporting cast!

Lucille Ball is November TCM Star of the Month

Lucille Ball is the Turner Classic Movies Star of the Month in November, and host Robert Osborne is expected to make references to his recent visit to her hometown, Jamestown, New York!

Many people don’t realize that in addition to her decades on television, Lucille Ball also had an extensive movie career, appearing in 79 films. Each Wednesday in November, TCM will focus on a different movie genre or role, featuring 41 films throughout the month.

On November 1, Turner will air the three films in which Lucy appeared with Desi Arnaz (Too Many Girls, The Long, Long Trailer, and Forever, Darling), as well as her early movies from the mid-1930s. November 8 will show her as a working girl in The Fuller Brush Girl, Miss Grant Takes Richmond, and others. On November 15 viewers will have the rare opportunity to see the Queen of Comedy in dramatic roles, from the late 1930s and early 1940s, plus two crime comedies. Domestic life is the theme of the November 22 films, including her later movies Yours, Mine and Ours (1968) and The Facts of Life (1960).

Fortunately there are five Wednesdays in November, so the “showbiz” films can be featured on November 29. From the late 1930s through the mid-1940s, these include Stage Door, Dance Girl, Dance, Ziegfeld Follies, and six others.

Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne was a personal friend of Lucille Ball. He shared many fond memories with an appreciative audience when he joined them at Lucy’s Birthday Celebration in Jamestown, New York in early August. Viewers can look forward to wonderful commentary as well as great entertainment during the month-long look as just one aspect of this talented woman’s life career.

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz Billboards

Travelers in Ohio and Pennsylvania can now see billboards inviting them to visit Lucille Ball’s hometown, Jamestown, New York!

A generous grant from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, combined with 2005 Chautauqua County Occupancy Tax funds, a donation from Marriott International (in appreciation for Lucie Arnaz’s performance last January for the Eden Roc Resort and Spa’s 50th anniversary gala in Miami Beach), and a grant from Lake Shore Savings Bank, has made these billboards possible.

Travelers heading east on I-90 near the SR 528 intersection in Madison, Ohio, can see a winking “Lucy” against a bright blue background, encouraging them to visit the museums and shops in her hometown. A second billboard is rotating in Erie, Pennsylvania locations, initially on I-79 near the airport exit and now at the busy intersection of West 12th and Liberty Streets.

“It’s long been a dream of ours to be able to put up billboards to welcome more of the world to our Lucy-Desi attractions in Lucille Ball’s hometown,” said Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center executive director Ric Wyman. “With the opening a year ago of the Desilu Playhouse added to the original Lucy-Desi Museum, we now have the capacity to accommodate many more visitors.” Named for the studio where “I Love Lucy” was filmed, the Desilu Playhouse features exact replicas of the most famous sets in television history, a “Vitameatavegamin” opportunity, vintage memorabilia from the series, and more. It opened in August of 2005.

Wyman noted, “We are especially grateful to the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation for stepping up with the initial funding to make these billboards a reality. The Community Foundation has been a strong partner with the Lucy-Desi Center since the Center’s incorporation nearly five years ago. The Foundation provided support for the three downtown Lucy-Desi murals, the creation of the video enjoyed by festival and motor coach visitors who take Lucytown Tours, and the acquisition of the historic cello that played a key role in the creation of ‘I Love Lucy’.”

This past summer Jamestown’s Advertising Advantage notified the Lucy-Desi Center that an anonymous donor was making possible another billboard, a new revolving style that Advertising Advantage was launching in Erie.

“It is our hope that these new billboards will inform many more potential visitors of the opportunities that Jamestown offers,” Wyman concluded.

October 27, 2006

Lucille Ball Lemons and Lemonade?

It seems that 4 little dried up lemons once owned by Lucille Ball was able to be sold on eBay for only $152.

As reported at the Daily Southtown, Sean Lindsay sold the dried up fruit on eBay but originally picked up the items from someone who purchased them at an estate sale.

I wonder if he had a COA for these? Doubt it. Now where did I put that old bolgne sandwich!!

October 25, 2006

I Love Lucy Scrapbook

Unlike the Lucy-Desi Scrapbook that chronicles the real life of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, The Official I Love Lucy Scrapbook by Elisabeth Edwards details the lifes of Lucy and Ricky Ricardo of "I Love Lucy" fame!

All 193 episodes are covered with hundreds of photos, facts and authentic personal notes! There are rare photos of never-before-seen Little Ricky's Birth Certificate from "Lucy Goes to the Hospital", a candy wrapper from "Job Switching," and Lucy and Ethel' sightseeing tour bus tickets from "The Tour" along with the label from Vitameatavegamin and Ricky's telegram to the Marriage License Bureau in "Hollywood Anniversary".

Written by the longtime author and friend of the Arnaz family, Edwards combines her experiences and historic materials to produce an unforgettable memento for all Lucy fans!

You can get this new book directly from for $23.10 or you can pay $35.00 at the Lucy-Desi Museum Store.

The I Love Lucy Scrapbook was based on her previous book, Lucy & Desi: A Real-Life Scrapbook of America's Favorite TV Couple. This book contains authentic memorabilia that provides a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at the lives of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Included were letters, contracts, documents, and news clippings as well as photos that Lucy and Desi had kept in their own private scrapbook! This is available from as well for $22.10.

The author, Elisabeth Edwards will be signing her book at the Desilu Playhouse in downtown Jamestown, NY (Lucy's hometown) this coming Saturday, October 28th! Her other books include, The "I Love Lucy Guide to Life" and "I Love Lucy: Fifty Years of Love & Laughter".

October 24, 2006

Could "The Lucy Show" Series Come Out On DVD

With the upcoming release of "The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour" on DVD in February of next year, could the release of Lucy's series, "The Lucy Show" be far behind?

This was a question posed to Tom Watson of The Lucy Fan website. His answer:

To answer the big question: at this time no one (but the fans) is actively discussing whether or not to release the series on DVD. Normally, a distributor waits until one volume is on the market before it commits itself to the next. This has been true of CBS throughout the six years it has been issuing "I Love Lucy." Add to that the fact that "The Lucy Show" is an entirely different series -- and one can see it will be a while before anyone has an announcement to make, one way or the other. If "The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour" set sells as well as we all expect, it will bode very well for the argument to start "The Lucy Show."

October 16, 2006

I Love Lucy Cast Spats Not Uncommon

An article from CBS News reports that not everything was rosy on the set of "I Love Lucy". For one, it is believed Lucille Ball made Vivian Vance (left) wear dresses two sizes too small to make her look frumpy.

The recent spat between two actors on Grey's Anatomy attests to this fact. It goes on to report:

It turns out there was even conflict on "I Love Lucy," where the cast seemed to be getting along so well. But it was not the case.

"Going back to the 50's, there were reports that Lucille Ball made Vivian Vance wear dresses that were two sizes too small to make her look frumpy by comparison. Vance was also very dissatisfied with her co-star, her husband played William Frawley, who was 22 years her senior. She felt very insulted by the fact that she was playing the wife of a man in her words "that was old enough to be her father.

October 13, 2006

Book Confirms Mertzes Hatred

A book by Brian Thomsen, "The Awful Truths: Famous Myths, Hilariously Debunked" reveals celebrity misconceptions to set the record straight. Amoung them is that The Mertzes hated each other. Ethel and Fred Mertz, played by Vivian Vance and William Frawley, were the landlords and best friends of the Ricardos on TV’s "I Love Lucy." Although the Mertzes’ disagreements were usually limited to occasional bickering, off screen, Vance and Frawley "simply loathed each other."

Among other is Johnny Cash was never a prison inmate. St. Patrick was not born in Ireland. John Wayne never served in the armed forces and The "Birdman of Alcatraz" never kept birds at Alcatraz.

October 10, 2006

From I Love Lucy to YouTube

The impact of YouTube is undeniable on our culture and our ability to create and view video. But as reported from The Atlantic Monthly, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz pioneered our way to watch syndicated television many times over.

When Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were bringing I Love Lucy to the airwaves in 1951, videotape didn’t exist yet. The only way to create a permanent record of a televised moment was to use a technique called kinescoping, in which a movie camera recorded off a television monitor. Since the country had yet to be linked for live broadcast, viewers in the western half of the country generally had to make do with kinescoped copies of the live productions coming out of New York. Lucy and Desi wanted to make their show in Los Angeles, where they lived, but corporate sponsors insisted that New York audiences—then the country’s largest advertising market—see higher-quality productions than kinescoping offered. The solution: have three movie cameras simultaneously record the performance on a stage in front of a studio audience, with a director stitching together the feeds into a cohesive whole. So was born the three-camera sitcom, television’s most dominant and enduring format.

October 09, 2006

Lucie Arnaz missed out in a part in Grease

Seems like Lucie Arnaz missed out on the part played by Stockard Channing in the 1978 movie "Grease".

In an article from the San Francisco Chronicle, Lucie's mother, Lucille Ball, would not allow her to do a test for the character in the movie, so she was passed on!

How many other celebrities missed what would become movie legends!

Paper Dolls Could Be Worth More Than Their Weight

Paper Dolls of celebrities, such as Marilyn Monroe, Debbie Reynolds, Lucille Ball and Roy Rogers and Dale Evans are favorites and could be worth more than their weight according to an article in the Tuscan Citizen.

But it warns, what is popular now might not be desirable in the future, so only collect what you like. I'd say this goes for any collectable, don't buy cause you think it would fetch you a retirement in the future!

October 05, 2006

I Love Lucy: The Movie

As reported on the Museum of TV and Radio, The Lucy Movie will be included in the upcoming release of The Lucy Desi Comedy Hour, due out in February 2007.

The movie was actually three episodes of the sitcom, "The Ballet," "The Benefit" and "Breaking the Lease," which were linked together with 12 minutes of specially shot footage featuring Ball, Arnaz, Vivian Vance and William Frawley — who made up the classic quartet of Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel.

The movie was a behind-the-scenes look at "I Love Lucy," which began with two audience members waiting in line for the show and then shows Arnaz warming up the studio audience and introducing the cast.

As part of Friday's program, Oppenheimer will also screen the unfinished opening credits featuring stick figures of Lucy and Desi as well as some never-before-seen color footage of the "I Love Lucy" set and cast that was secretly taken by an audience member.

"Lucille Ball was so close to the museum and did quite a few seminars for us before she died," Simon said. "We always wanted to have as complete a "Lucy" collection as possible."

That footage as well as "I Love Lucy: The Movie" will be included in a DVD boxed set of 13 one-hour episodes of the show that aired from 1957-60. They will be released as seasons seven, eight and nine, but in a single DVD package. It is set to be released in early 2007.

Read the whole story on the MTR Website.

September 29, 2006

The Last Days of Lucille Ball

In his book, The Last Days of Dead Celebrities, Mitchell Fink describes Lucille Ball among 15 other celebrities in their final hours. In her last years, the zany and outgoing Lucille Ball turned into a bitter, depressed recluse who was sick of herself and resentful of the star-stoking machinery that had made her a household name and a wealthy woman. Fink quotes an expiring Lucille Ball remarking, "I'm so tired of myself".

Mitchell appeared on The O'Reilly Factor back on June 2nd for an interview and discussed Lucy. Now, I'm not a fan of O'Reilly and consider him one of the right-wing problems in this nation propagating the lies of this administration and serving as a tool to further it's propaganda and the GOP crimes against Americans.

Following is a transcript of that show:

O'REILLY: In the "Back of the Book" segment tonight, many of us grew up with Lucy, Lucille Ball, perhaps the most successful comedic actress in American history. Ms. Ball died in 1989. Not much was known about her last days, until now.

A new book called "The Last Days of Dead Celebrities" chronicles Lucy's final weeks and the author, Mitchell Fink, joins us now.

You know, 10 or 12 people that everybody knows.


O'REILLY: And the Lucille Ball chapter, I thought, was the most interesting. Because I didn't know, after she disappeared from TV in the '80s. Her last show was a bomb. Right?

FINK: A bomb that was really driven by her husband, Gary Morton, the failed comic.

O'REILLY: Right.

FINK: He wanted her to do it because he really wanted the money.

O'REILLY: But nobody remembers that last show. Everybody remembers "I Love Lucy", which is still in reruns today. And this woman was loved by the American public. Why, then, couldn't she have enjoyed her retirement for her last years?

FINK: What happened, when Desi Arnaz died in December of 1986, that was the beginning of the end for Lucy. And for the next 2 1/2 years was a very slow and sad decline. She was very sad. I was taken by that sadness, too. And her last days were really those kind of days that she didn't want to be around anymore.

O'REILLY: But she was divorced from Arnaz for so many years.

FINK: And married to someone else.

O'REILLY: Why -- why would his demise...

FINK: She never stopped loving him

O'REILLY: Is that right?

FINK: She was in love with him until the day she died.

O'REILLY: Why did she get divorced then?

FINK: Because he was a very difficult man to live with. It was acrimonious. There was a lot of drinking. There was a lot of womanizing and -- but he never stopped calling her. And she never stopped taking those calls, and she loved him.

O'REILLY: All right. Now even so, a woman like this, who all America loves. She's in retirement, she has enough money, she's living up in the Hollywood Hills. And you have a great story in the book about how they wanted to honor her along with Bob Hope at the Academy Awards. She couldn't even enjoy that.

FINK: She couldn't enjoy it so much that when Hope called her and he said, "They want us to do something," 1989. It was the year that "Rainman" won. And Hope said, "You've got to so this." She didn't want to put on the wig. She didn't want to put on the dress, but she went. She went because Bob hope asked her to.

Afterwards, she didn't want to -- she wanted to go right home. She wanted -- instead of going to Swifty Lazar's party. She wound up going to Swifty's party at Spago. Every famous person was there. They all went and kissed her ring, and she couldn't have cared less.

O'REILLY: Why? Why couldn't she enjoy her fame, take the acknowledgments, take the accolades from the younger performers?

FINK: Because she -- I think she expected that everyone wanted her to be the Lucy of old, and she wasn't that Lucy anymore. Because when you have to put on a red wig and when you have to go out and you have to smile. She had had a stroke the year before. And so she slurred her words a little bit. She was embarrassed.

O'REILLY: Really? So you think the pressure of the old Lucy that we're looking at right now in her older days, she didn't want to have people disappointed?

FINK: Here's the truth of what happened, because I was standing there that night in 1989. She comes out of Spago, expecting to see her car. There's no car there, only hundreds of fans across the street. She walks out to the middle of the street. She tilts her head back. She pulls up her dress, hikes it up and she starts to dance. You know, she was a show girl, and that's how she started out.

O'REILLY: Right.

FINK: The crowd went wild. They went crazy. "Lucy, Lucy, they're yelling. She gets into the car. She goes home and she never tells a soul about that, soaking up that adulation. And yet, it mattered not at all to her.

O'REILLY: Nothing?

FINK: Nothing.

O'REILLY: It's amazing. And then a few weeks after that she died from a heart aneurysm.

FINK: That's right.

O'REILLY: And still today, though, I believe the woman is by far and away the most beloved performer of our generation.

FINK: There's no question. If you could have been there at Spago, they all came up to her.

O'REILLY: "The Last Days of Dead Celebrities". Mitchell Fink, thanks for coming on. We thank you.

September 26, 2006

Life With Lucy co-Star to Appear on Internet TV

Larry Anderson, co-star of Lucille Ball's last series, Life With Lucy, which premiered 20 years ago on September 20th, 1986, will appear as a special guest on an internet TV Show from Cocola Broadcasting Company.

The show is scheduled to play this coming Saturday, September 30th. The show, which mixes in-studio talk with screenings of classic television programs, runs 8PM-12 Midnight Pacific Time and can be seen over the internet.

Besides reminiscing about Lucille Ball, Larry will discuss his latest project, "JawDroppers", which is a video collection of magic tricks that are performed by Larry Anderson. Larry has been a professional magician since he was 14 and has followed this career all his life.

Also appearing on the show will be Lucy's film archivist Stuart Shostak.

September 25, 2006

Emmy Nominee Recollects Why He Loves Lucy

An article by Billy Van Zandt appears in the Hall of Fame Magazine as an exclusive and reminices why he loves Lucy and why we all should honor both she and Desi for their pioneering stance in the world of TV.

Billy Van Zandt is a writer/producer of more than 300 hours of television comedy and one of the most often-produced playwrights in the world. He received an Emmy nomination for his TV special "I Love Lucy: The Very First Show." Pictured here is the author along with Lucy on the set of his special.

As excerpted from the article:
The success of I Love Lucy is unparalleled in the history of television. The show never ranked less than third in popularity in the six years it was on the air. Stores across the nation closed on Monday nights when the show aired, posting signs that read, "We're closed. We love Lucy, too." The episode with the birth of their TV child "Little Ricky" bumped President Dwight D. Eisenhower's inauguration off the front pages. Some estimate that more people know the face of Lucille Ball than any human being that ever lived in the history of the planet.

Be sure to read the rest of the article from Billy.

DVD Decision 2006!

I may be a little late on this one, but it's always better late then never! As reported here earlier this past May, and Warner Brothers Home Video teamed up for your votes on what you wanted to be released in DVD.

The winners were announced the end of August and the classic film starring Lucille Ball, Best Foot Forward has won the exclusive. It will be released December 19th along with the other top winners.

The films are from Warner Brothers, RKO and MGM, and range from critical classics to more popular fare.

In addition to Best Foot Forward, other releases for December 19th include the film version of Ray Bradbury's The Illustrated Man with Rod Steiger in the title role, the World War II adventure Operation Crossbow starring Sophia Loren and George Peppard, the vintage Judy Garland title Presenting Lily Mars, and another war film, Up Periscope starring James Garner. The sixth title, There was a Crooked Man is a combination Western-prison film written by the guys who wrote Bonnie and Clyde.

The second half dozen DVDs are scheduled for January 30th release. The Amazon exclusive of this bunch is Angels in the Outfield, the original from 1951 starring Janet Leigh and Paul Douglas, a name that is virtually forgotten now, but was a top actor fifty years ago. The other titles are The Arrangement, Elia Kazan's film from his novel, starring Kirk Douglas and Faye Dunaway, Looker, a film directed by Jurrasic Park author Michael Crichton with Albert Finney and James Coburn, the classic bio-pic Madame Curie starring Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon, and Gymkata starring Kurt Thomas.

The two exclusives can be preordered directly from Amazon online!

September 22, 2006

Laurence Luckinbill, Sybok in Star-Trek V

Laurence Luckinbill, husband to Lucie Arnaz, daughter of Lucille Ball recently had an extensive write-up in The Lewisboro Ledger by J.D. Piro. It provided an interesting read for Lucy Fans.

Mr. Luckinbill provides an adversary to Captain Kirk, played by William Shatner, in the movie Star-Trek V as Sybok, the renegade Vulcan who hijacks the Enterprise and takes it on an interstellar quest to the end of the galaxy. His goal — a planet where God himself is rumored to reside.

Below are excerpts from the story:

On a Friday evening last month {July 2006}, the audience in the Ridgefield Playhouse discovered that Lewisboro has a local connection to the long-running Star Trek series. The Ridgefield Playhouse’s Lost and Found Film Series provided a forum for acknowledging the many contributions to stage, screen and television of Lewisboro’s Laurence Luckinbill — actor, writer, producer, and star of that evening’s feature presentation, the 1989 movie Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

Mr. Luckinbill’s résumé suggests a lifetime of creativity. He is the author and star of four one-man plays on the lives of such diverse figures as Ernest Hemingway, Theodore Roosevelt, Clarence Darrow, and Lyndon Johnson.

Mr. Luckinbill can trace his Star Trek roots back to the show’s inception. He is married to Lucie Arnaz, daughter of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. Ms. Ball’s production company, Desilu Studios, produced the original Star Trek TV series in the 1960s. Mr. Luckinbill recounted his mother-in-law’s story of the sale of Star Trek to the brass at Desilu Studios: “Gene Roddenberry came into Desilu and gave one of the shortest and greatest sales pitches ever. He stood up and said, ‘It’s Wagon Train to the stars,’ and sat down. They bought it!” Wagon Train was an enormously popular TV western in the 1960s. But it was Mr. Luckinbill’s work as Lyndon Johnson that convinced the film’s director, William Shatner, to cast Mr. Luckinbill.

For more, read the story!

Lucille Ball look-alike contest

As reported in The Sun News, Jo Ann Mathews reports on the Lucille Ball look-alike contest.

The event, held at The Meadow at Silver Coast Winery in Ocean Isle Beach, NC was the fifth annual Purple Feet Festival, this past Saturday, September 16th.

The contestants who resembled Lucy, stomped grapes at the Winery while being asked questions from the Judges!

September 20, 2006

Lucy Carmichael had four TV children

Although most famous as the partner of then-husband Desi Arnaz in the 1950s classic TV series "I Love Lucy," Lucille Ball returned the next decade to star in "The Lucille Ball Show." It debuted in 1962 with Ball as Lucy Carmichael, a widow with two children living in Danfield, Connecticut, and sharing her house with her best friend, Vivian Bagley, played by Vivian Vance (Ethel on "I Love Lucy"). After one month, the title was switched to "The Lucy Show."

The foil was her boss, a banker named Theodore J. Mooney, played by Gale Gordon. In 1962, Candy Moore and Jimmy Garrett played Lucille Ball's TV children Chris and Jerry on the series "The Lucy Show."

The series got a huge makeover for the fall of 1968 as Lucy moved to Los Angeles and now was a widow with kids named Kim and Craig. They were portrayed by Lucille Ball's real-life children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr. By this time, Lucy's best friend was Mary Jane Lewis, played by Mary Jane Croft. Gordon was now her brother-in-law Uncle Harry Carter, whom she worked for. This version was titled "Here's Lucy" and continued until 1974.

Seen here in 1965, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr., Lucille Ball's real-life children, played her TV kiddos in the 1968 TV series "Here's Lucy."

November is LUCY Month on TCM

Get those VCRs dusted off and get your Tapes ready - or for those more up-to-date, tune in your TIVOs! Below is a complete listing of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz films scheduled to air Wednesdays in November on Turner Classic Movies. Because many of these films are not currently available on home video, Wednesdays in November will be a special treat for all of us.

Wednesday, November 1
8:00 PM The Long, Long Trailer ('54)
10:00 PM Forever Darling ('56)
11:45 PM Too Many Girls ('40)
.... and Early Roles
1:15 AM I Dream Too Much ('35)
3:00 AM Bunker Bean ('36)
4:15 AM Chatterbox ('36)
5:30 AM That Girl From Paris ('36)
7:30 AM Don't Tell The Wife ('37)
8:45 AM Follow the Fleet ('36)
10:45 AM Top Hat ('35)

Wednesday, November 8

8:00 PM The Fuller Brush Girl ('50)
9:30 PM Miss Grant Takes Richmond ('49)
11:00 PM A Girl, a Guy and a Gob ('41)
12:45 AM Beauty for the Asking ('39)
2:00 AM Look Who's Laughing ('41)
3:30 AM Easy Living ('49)
.... and More Lucy
5:00 AM Valley of the Sun ('42)
6:30 AM Next Time I Marry ('38)
7:45 AM Seven Days Leave ('42)
9:15 AM Having Wonderful Time ('38)
10:30 AM Easy To Wed ('46)
12:30 PM Without Love ('45)
2:30 PM Joy of Living ('38)

Wednesday, November 15

8:00 PM The Big Street ('42)
10:00 PM Five Came Back ('39)
11:30 PM Twelve Crowded Hours ('39)
12:45 AM Panama Lady ('39)
2:00 AM Marines Fly High ('40)
... and Crime Comedies
3:15 AM Go Chase Yourself ('38)
4:45 AM Two Smart People ('46)

Wednesday, November 22

8:00 PM Yours, Mine and Ours ('68)
10:00 PM The Facts of Life ('60)
12:00 AM Her Husband's Affairs ('47)
1:30 AM You Can't Fool Your Wife ('40)
..and More Lucy
2:45 AM Du Barry Was a Lady ('43)
4:30 AM The Magic Carpet ('51)

Wednesday, November 29

8:00 PM Meet the People ('44)
10:00 PM Stage Door ('37)
11:45 PM Best Foot Forward ('43)
1:30 AM The Affairs of Annabel ('38)
2:45 AM Annabel Takes a Tour ('38)
4:00 AM That's Right - You're Wrong ('40)
5:45 AM Dance Girl, Dance ('40)
7:30 AM Room Service ('38)
9:00 AM Ziegfeld Follies ('46)

September 19, 2006

Lucy still a Hit and Lucy-Desi Show coming to DVD!

Some news on the horizon that I want to report here. I've been out the last several weeks as I just got married to my partner of 12 years!! So, in the next few days, hope to catch up everyone on all that is being seen on the net about our favorite Red-Head!

One great article from the Los Angeles Times, Zany Redhead Has Stirred 55 Years of Laughter, by Greg Hernandez, reports:

"People have been asking about the 'Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour' a lot," said Gord Lacy, editor of the Web site TVShows, where fans vote for which shows they want most to see released on DVD. "The 'I Love Lucy' seasons have been released at a steady pace, and people are happy with the sets and want more."

The episodes will be released as seasons 7, 8 and 9, but in a single DVD package. They will have some rare gems, including color home movies secretly taken by an audience member during the show's first season. It is the only color film of the Ricardos in their apartment, according to Oppenheimer.

This is great news for us Lucy fans, and one that I suspected would occur that has been rumored for some time. This new DVD Box Set is scheduled to be released in early 2007! It will contain all 13 of the one-hour episodes!

Stay tuned here for more upcoming news as it's reported.

September 08, 2006

Desi Arnaz Jr. to Speak at HRC Inaugural Dinner

As reported: The Human Rights Campaign Las Vegas Community will host its inaugural dinner at the MGM Grand Conference Center on Saturday, September 9, 2006. Keynote speaker and recipient of the National Equality Award will be the actress/dancer/singer Liza Minnelli.

Also being honored at the dinner will be United States Senator Harry Reid, Democratic Leader, and local HIV/AIDS physician Dr. Jerry Cade. Senator Reid will be presented with the Constitutionality Award and Dr. Cade will be honored with a Life Time Achievement Award for his pioneering work in the research, care, and treatment of HIV/AIDS patients.

This inaugural dinner will also feature a silent auction, a live auction and live entertainment, including performers from Cirque du Soleil and local impersonator extraordinaire, Frank Marino. Also featured will be vocalist Laura Taylor and performers from KRAVE nightclub.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

HRC seeks to improve the lives of GLBT Americans by advocating for equal rights and benefits in the workplace, ensuring families are treated equally under the law and increasing public support among all Americans through innovative advocacy, education and outreach programs. HRC works to secure equal rights for GLBT individuals and families at the federal and state levels by lobbying elected officials, mobilizing grassroots supporters, educating Americans, investing strategically to elect fair-minded officials and partnering with other GLBT organizations.

Tickets for this exciting and extravagant evening may be reserved on line at Box Office Tickets or by visiting the HRC Web Site.

September 07, 2006

Lucie Arnaz to be featured at the Crest Theatre

Lucie Arnaz will appear at the Crest Theatre at the Old School Square Arts Center in Delray Beach, Florida on January 15th and 16th as part of the Merrill Lynch Broadway Cabaret series, which Lucie will be opening.

Individual tickets go on sale to the general public on Oct. 18. All performance tickets are $38 for matinee and $40 for evening, with the exception of "Man 1 Bank 0," which is priced at a flat $35. Old School Square members receive a discount. Lecture tickets are $25 general admission and $40 reserved; reserved tickets include valet parking and a post-lecture reception. For information, call 561-243-7922, ext. 1, or visit

Wine Tasting the "I Love Lucy" Way!

Recently a vineyard from Hollister, California - Pietra Santa Winery, held it's Third Annual Grape Stomp as part of several contests that also included live music, dancing, food and of course, wine.

Although people flock to the winery for the Grape Stomp event, the stars are the wine produced which include Merlot, Dolcetto, Sangiovese, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio and Zinfandel. The winery also produces olive oil from it's own olive trees.

For more information on the event, visit their web site and see how they did it, just the way they did it on "I Love Lucy."

August 30, 2006

Classic Emmy Clips of Lucy

NBC has posted, along with this year's Emmy Awards, some classic Emmy moments. One of these is a video clip of Lucille Ball winning an Emmy for "The Lucy Show" in 1968. The clip is mislabeled as it reads "Lucille Ball Wins for I Love Lucy" but Frank Sinatra introduces Lucy and presents the award for "The Lucy Show". Also, as Lucy gets up from the audience, her husband, Gary Morton, gives her a kiss. Gary and Lucy were not married until 4 years after I Love Lucy was last aired.

Click here to view this Great Lucy moment from history!

August 29, 2006

I Love Lucy stays on TV and Here's Lucy in Canada

TV Land had orginally removed "I Love Lucy" from their programming schedule. This would have been the first time that the famous redhead's Comedy series would not be aired since it first came to television in 1951. They have confirmed that the series, "I Love Lucy" will continue as part of the weekly programming for the upcoming season.

With the newly revamped web site, they will feature clips, retromercials, celebrity interviews and much more in their video player. Many clips of the most famous and popular scenes from "I Love Lucy" are being shown.

As for our neighbors to the north, Canada, they get a special bonus! The Sun-TV Network will be airing in sydication order, Lucille Ball's third TV Series, Here's Lucy. The scheduled episodes will begin to air at 1pm EST throughout the work-week on Monday, September 4th.

All I can say to my family in Canada - get your VCRs ready as I will be waiting for those tapes!

August 17, 2006

Lucille Ball Fur Coat Fetches Hefty Pricetag

Apparently, a fur coat that was once made exclusively for Lucille Ball went up for auction on eBay by an unknown seller. The asking opening bid was for $120,000 but there were no takers and the auction closed August 16th unsuccessfully. The seller's ID had no history and was only created this past July. Possibly, this is the reason there were no bids made on the apparent item.

The coat supposedly featured a gold lining and had the embroidered initials LB. Lucille Ball was to have owned the coat for many years and it was purported to be one of her most treasured possessions (and I thought it was the Backgammon Game). She then gave the coat as a gift to her long time friend Betty Grable so she would always have something special to remember her by. The Coat was then purchased at a Betty Grable Estate Sale. The coat was to have only been worn by Lucille and Betty.

According to the seller, a private collector contacted him/her about the fur coat and was willing to pay $150,000.

I'm always leary of items such as this that are supposed to have been of the personal collection of Lucille Ball. Although, I do own a fur hat and a vial of her Henna but both have been authenticated and have a COA. Now if I could find one of her wigs for sale ....

August 16, 2006

Lucille Ball Holiday Barbie - The Surprise May Not End

As many Lucy fans already know, Mattel's Barbie sneaked in another Celebrity Barbie edition of Lucille Ball. The "I Love Lucy" Holiday Barbie is based on a special Christmas episode, sometimes knows as "The Christmas Show".

This episode is also known as "The Lost Episode" or "Jingle Bells" because this was a special and employed so many long flashback sequences of various "I Love Lucy" shows, this episode was not included in the eventual syndication package. The last time even a portion of it was telecast was December 1981 on Rona Barrett's short-lived NBC series, "Television: Inside and Out." Desuli featured a special Christmas tag to "Drafted." It featured the Ricardos and Mertzes around a Christmas tree and five Santas.

Apparently Mattel released this "I Love Lucy" Holiday Barbie in June as a Walmart exclusive. It was released along with the the standard Lucille Ball Barbie collection edition of "Lucy Gets in Pictures" from the "I Love Lucy" episode 116 as mentioned here on this blog back in February.

Ever since it's release, collectors have scrambled to find it at their local Walmarts, Walmart Online and on eBay. There have been spottings at various Walmarts throughout the country but it seems like the majority of the dolls have been snatched up already. Even the Lucy Desi Museum Store received only a few and is selling the doll at more then the retail price of $34.97. They offer mint condition at $69.95 and worn box at $49.95.

This is sure to be a hit and one that a collector does not want to miss!

August 08, 2006

Everyone Loves Lucy

This past weekend, Jamestown celebrated the birthday of one of the city's most famous citizens and the city was full of celebrities, come to join in the celebrations.

Diane VincentAmong them was one who looked very familiar. This is because she looks and dresses like Lucy Ricardo, the fictional character who made Lucille Ball a star. Her name is Diane Vincent.

Ms. Vincent is a resident of Los Angeles. She is one of only two women in the world who have been officially licensed to imitate the famous redhead. She has been coming to Jamestown celebrations since 1999.

"I am a singer, dancer and actor in my own right," Diane laughed when asked if she wore the red wig under the wimple. "When I was growing up, people didn't used to run over and tell me I looked like Lucy."

Joining Diane was Rhonda Medina, who imitates Ethel Mertz, Lucy's partner in chaos and sidekick.

So how does a singer, dancer and actor who was born after I Love Lucy was no longer being produced, come to be an imitator of a fictional character?

"I was appearing in a production of the musical Pal Joey, back in the late 1980s. My costume included a red wig, big eyelashes and a big red lipstick mouth. Someone took a photo of the cast and when it was printed, people often commented that it appeared Lucy was in the show." Diane said.

Struck by the similarity, not long afterwards, she saw an advertisement for people to audition for the Universal Studios Theme Park as a number of celebrities, including Lucy. She auditioned by standing on a stage and answering a battery of questions in character as Lucy. It took nine months for the studio to make the selection, but she’s been doing Lucy ever since.

"I work at the park, 40 hours per week, plus I appear in shows when I can and it's not infrequent that people in Hollywood want impersonators of various stars to come to parties, openings of new facilities and so on. I do as many as I can," she said.

Is there a particular costume that she always wears when portraying Lucy? She said she is gradually acquiring a wardrobe of Lucy costumes.

"At first I just had the blue and white, polka dot dress, which is the one she wore most frequently in the series — in 25 different episodes, in fact," she said.

As time goes by, she has worked with a dress maker to watch episodes of the series, identify costumes which the actress wore, and produce them in real life.

One of the problems in creating her growing wardrobe turns out to be color.

"Since the series was filmed in black and white, people made up their minds what color everything was, but different people might have assigned different colors," she said. "Our best guide has been the paper doll books, for which the authors researched the colors and shades of everything as closely as possible."

August 02, 2006

Lucille Balls' 95th Birthday Celebration!

This Sunday, August 6th would have marked Lucille Ball's 95th birthday. This weekend in Jamestown, N.Y. - where Lucy was born and has since been buried and where a major Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz museum now exists - they'll be having a Lucy birthday blowout, with Lucy-Desi fans expected from all over the globe.

The organizers, led by Ric Wyman, executive director of the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in Jamestown, have scheduled three days of events starting on Friday the 4th, including such special guests as "Lucy" film editor Dann Cahn, "Lucy" co-writer Bob Schiller, former Desilu contractee Carole Cook and a "Lucy" semi-regular, the amazing 101-year-old actor
Charles Lane. Lane's hundreds of television appearances included roles in at least a half-dozen classic episodes of "I Love Lucy”, and he was a first-season regular on The Lucy Show.

There also will be a large-scale Lucy-Desi memorabilia collectors' show, seminars, picnics, a boat cruise, town tour of Lucy sights, book signings by authors of Lucy-Desi tomes and screenings of various Desilu TV episodes, including one from Lucy's last TV series that never aired.

Guests also will be able to see two rarely seen RKO features that the comedy genius made before her days as a major star: 1938's "Affairs of Annabel" and "Annabel Takes a Tour" (Lucy as a saucy starlet who'll stop at nothing to get publicity, aided by a indefatigable publicist, played in both by the comical Jack Oakie).

For more information or to order tickets for any events, please visit the Lucy-Desi Museum's web site.

July 28, 2006

Birdland Birthday Bash Packed

Lucie Arnaz Birthday Bash at Birdland

Pictured above are Valarie Pettiford, Lucie Arnaz, Phoebe Snow, and Michele Lee in the dressing room after "Lucie's Birthday Bash at Birdland," on July 17, 2006.

Lucie Arnaz celebrated her, as she put it, murmur-th birthday, at a packed-to-the-gills Birdland on July 17. "See what a little blackmail and emails can do?" she gleefully announced before launching into a lengthy set which showed off her rangy voice in standards, country and her own Broadway hit "They’re Playing Our Song." She paid constant tribute to her dad, Desi Arnaz, whose music inspired her from childhood and, indeed, was at her best in a couple of fiery Latin songs, accompanied by her son Simon on congas. A lineup of pals joined her onstage, including Julie Budd, Phoebe Snow who brought down the house with "Time After Time," and a wild Michele Lee, who kept salaciously appraising Lucie’s bod to the point where she had to explain herself: "Well, after that [lesbian] part I played in 'Tale of the Allergist’s Wife'…"

Arnaz somewhat mysteriously didn't mention her mother, Lucille Ball until the final moments, when she laughingly said, "It was hard picking from the many songs she made famous," and then sang an affecting, slowed-down version of the rousing "Hey, Look Me Over," from Lucille Ball's Broadway musical, "Wildcat," which was Cy Coleman’s first big hit.

July 24, 2006

Lucy's Birthday Celebration Features Noted Interior Designer

Eric CohlerTickets are selling fast to the limited admission Tropicana Luncheon during Lucille Ball’s Birthday Celebration, and Eric Cohler is undoubtedly the reason!

The nationally acclaimed interior designer is not only a board member of Jamestown, New York’s Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center, he is also working on a book Learning from Lucy: Lessons in Interior Design to be published in 2007. At the 1:00 p.m. Friday, August 4 Tropicana Luncheon, Cohler will share the same sneak preview of his book concept that he presented at the Decoration & Design Building’s Designer Seminar Series in New York City.

Opened just last August, the new Tropicana Room is a reproduction of the most popular nightclub in television history, Ricky Ricardo’s Tropicana Club from “I Love Lucy”. Cohler was very involved in the décor for this exciting space that is located above the new Desilu Playhouse and only open to the public for occasions such as this special festival event. Participants will enjoy the atmosphere of the Tropicana Room, Desi Arnaz’s favorite meal, and a unique seminar documenting the influence of “I Love Lucy” on interior design from the perspective of a man inspired by Lucy.

A graduate of Hobart College with a Masters Degree in Historic Preservation from the Columbia University School of Architecture and a certificate in design from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Eric Cohler is considered to be one of the country’s leading designers. House Beautiful has described him as one of the 14 “best of the best” in the “next wave of designers in America,” and he is included annually in their “Top 100” issue. He has received Traditional Home’s “Designer of the Year” award and has been recognized by his peers as “one of the 26 leading designers in the U.S.” In 2004, the International Furnishings and Design Association awarded Cohler with their Circle of Excellence Award.

Cohler’s work often appears in leading domestic and international periodicals and books, and is featured on television on a wide variety of programs including PBS’s Find! , CBS Morning News, CBS Evening News, and Sheila Bridges’s Fine Living. He is a featured designer on the Home & Garden TV network and a contributing writer for a number of publications including House Beautiful, Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication, and The New York Times.

For tickets to this limited admission event, call or visit the Lucy-Desi Center Gift Shop, 300 North Main Street in downtown Jamestown, New York, (716) 484-0800 (toll-free: 1-877-LUCY-FAN) or online at their website.

July 21, 2006

Long Long Trailer Review (Part of Collection on DVD)

The quintessential television couple, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, met on the 1940 RKO musical "Too Many Girls," an overscaled adaptation of Rodgers and Hart uncertainly brought to the screen by the Broadway director George Abbott. Though that curious film ends with Arnaz hammering away at a conga drum in a howling frenzy, while Ball is swept away by Richard Carlson, the film's ostensible leading man, the volatile Ball and Arnaz continued their off-screen relationship.

Switching to the small screen in 1951, the couple started "I Love Lucy," a pioneering situation comedy so immediately and immensely successful that when RKO ceased production in the late 1950's, they were able to buy the studio where they had first worked together.

The three-disc "Lucy and Desi Collection" from Warner Home Video unites "Too Many Girls" with the two MGM features Ball and Arnaz made after television stardom had made them box office attractions again. Alexander Hall's "Forever Darling" (1956) is a dull, unfocused romantic fantasy in which a guardian angel (a palpably uncomfortable James Mason) instructs Ball, a spoiled heiress, in the art of caring for her overworked husband.

But "The Long, Long Trailer," filmed in 1954 by Vincente Minnelli, remains one of the sharpest if least-known satires of the decade, a caustic deconstruction of the Ball-Arnaz relationship that turns into a nightmare vision of 1950's materialism and middle-class domesticity.

Hectored by his childlike bride into buying a 40-foot house trailer, Arnaz bravely sets out on a cross-country drive to their new home in a Colorado trailer park; this comes at a time when trailers were seen as space-age contraptions that allowed the average American to enjoy the freedom of open highways and an open society. But Minnelli, working from a script by the difficult-couples specialists Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich ("The Thin Man," Minnelli's "Father of the Bride"), films the comedy as if it were a film noir, opening in a pounding rainstorm and moving into moody flashbacks, narrated by Arnaz in a trench coat ensemble on loan from Dick Powell.

The freedom promised by the trailer soon turns out to be a cruel illusion as Minnelli films the gigantic lemon-colored contraption as the materialization of all the decade's consumerist pressures: a sort of Tupperware Moby-Dick.

As the trip continues, the trailer gathers more and more emotional and physical baggage. Ball has picked up a large rock from each of the scenic spots they've visited and hidden them around the trailer so Arnaz won't be worried about the excess weight; her sentimental gesture leads to a sequence only slightly less suspenseful than the driving scenes in "The Wages of Fear," as Arnaz tries to pilot the vehicle up and over the Rockies.

"The Long, Long Trailer" is a comedy with a very contemporary feel. The box retails at $29.98; individual titles are $14.98.

July 19, 2006

Lucy's 'Ethel' came from Cherryvale

Vivian VanceVivian Vance became one of America's best-loved "best friends" during the 1950s.

Playing second fiddle to Lucille Ball in the "I Love Lucy" series, Vance was Ethel Mertz - a frumpy housewife and landlord to Ball's zany Lucy.

Together they would create some of television's most comic and memorable moments.

Take for instance the time Ethel and Lucy decide to work on an assembly line at Kramer's Kandy Kitchen - the chocolates keep coming and coming, and both of them end up stuffing chocolates in their hats, blouses and mouths.

So good was Vance as Ethel that in 1954 she was awarded an Emmy for best supporting actress.

It was a long way from the little Kansas girl born Vivian Roberta Jones in Cherryvale on July 26, 1909.

July 10, 2006

Lucille Ball Statue in Jamestown?

Could there be a statue of Lucille Ball in Jamestown or Ethel Mertz in Albuquerque? TV Land is asking for suggestions on where the next bronze TV Land character statue is to be placed. They have already erected statues of Jackie Gleason, Mary Tyler Moore among others.

It's time to honor TV's greatest female comedian by placing a statue of "Lucy Ricardo" in her hometown of Jamestown, New York.

To give TV Land your suggestion and make your voice heard, share your thoughts with them at their website!

July 06, 2006

Lucie Arnaz Celebrates Birthday Bash

Summer In The City, a series of concerts at Birdland, located at 315 W. 44th St., New York City, featuring top Broadway performers, will continue Monday, July 17th at 7pm, with Lucie Arnaz in "Lucie's Birthday Bash at Birdland."

"The show, a casual, birthday party/showbiz extravaganza, will include beloved standards, some new tunes, original material, a few Latin songs close to Lucie's heart!," state press notes. Ron Able will serve as musical director/accompanist and there will be some very special surprise guests.

Arnaz, who currently plays wealthy divorcee Muriel Eubanks in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, received the Theatre World Award for her performance in the Neil Simon/Marvin Hamlisch/Carole Bayer Sager musical, They're Playing Our Song. She returned to Broadway 13 years later to star in Simon's Pulitzer Prize/Tony Award-winning play Lost in Yonkers. She starred opposite Tommy Tune in the national tour of My One and Only, and in the national tours of Whose Life Is It Anyway?, and Social Security. She also appeared in the West End premiere of the musical The Witches of Eastwick. Film and TV credits include Down to You, The Jazz Singer, "Here's Lucy" and "The Lucie Arnaz Show".

There will be a $35 cover plus $10 food/drink minimum, and reservations may be made by calling 212-581-3080 or visiting

June 30, 2006

Lucy-Desi Center and Jamestown Community College Join Forces

The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center and Jamestown Community College are teaming up to provide three distinct learning adventures in Lucy’s hometown this summer.

The July 24-28 Kids College class “Have a ‘Ball’ with Lucy”, for children 8-12 years old, will be taught by Mary Jane Price, a Lucy-Desi Center associate who is a full-time teacher at Southwestern Central Middle School. Ms. Price will be combining her love of children and her love of the Queen of Comedy to explore the power of laughter and discover what tickles our funny bone and why. The class will include learning about famous comedians and will be topped off with tours of the Lucy-Desi Museum and the Desilu Playhouse.

In a July 5-August 15 Summer Arts Academy course, juniors and seniors in high school can learn improvisational comedy with instruction by Len Barry and Jane Fischer, members of The Unexpected Guests, the Center’s resident improv comedy troupe. The class’s Basic Technique section will explore stimulating warm-up exercises and activities to nurture creative expression and team-building skills. Performance Games will utilize Basic Technique while introducing games familiar to improv audiences. Preparing for and Performing a Live Show will teach students how to host a show, field suggestions from an audience, and transition between games.

A one-credit course on writing biographies offered August 1-7 is the final of these summer learning opportunities. Lucille Ball biographer Kathleen Brady is coming from New York City to teach this class and host an authors roundtable with four fellow Lucy-Desi authors as part of Lucy’s Birthday Celebration, August 4-6. The class will include the study of Lucy history at the Lucy-Desi Museum and Desilu Playhouse, the viewing of a Lucille Ball documentary in the Tropicana Room of the Rapaport Center, attending the authors roundtable, and a four-hour workshop with Ms. Brady.

For more information, call Jamestown Community College (716-665-5220) or The Lucy-Desi Center (716-484-0800, ext. 206) or go on-line to

June 29, 2006

Lucie Arnaz interviewed on Broadway

Lucie Arnaz in Dirty Rotten interviewed Lucie Arnaz after her performance in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Lucie plays Muriel Eubanks in the new musical comedy. Her appearance is scheduled through July 23rd. During the interview, Lucie spoke about her new role, her 26-year marriage, motherhood and more ....

Lucie's career spans over 40 years with stage, film and television as well as producing, directing, recording and live concert tours. Lucie hasn't been back in New York for 14 years and is thrilled to be welcomed back into the same stage door where her father, Desi Arnaz, made his Broadway debut in 1939 in Too Many Girls, and where she made hers, forty years later in They're Playing Our Song!

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is based on the popular 1988 film by the same name that starred Michael Caine and Steve Martin. It is about two con men in the French Riviera that agree to a contest to swindle money from a young heiress with the last man who loses the contest, leaving town.

The musical comedy is now playing at Broadway's Imperial Theatre on 45th Street in New York City with 6 performances a week. For more information on Dirty Rotten Scoundrels or to order tickets, visit their website!

June 28, 2006

Barbara Walters Gets e-Fied

Barbara WaltersBarbara Walters has become the latest high-profile media personality to snag a show with Sirius Satellite Radio, reports The Associated Press. In a deal announced yesterday, Sirius said it will air a weekly two-hour series, starting next year, that replays many interviews Walters has conducted since joining ABC in 1976. About four interviews will be featured in each program, with new introductions by Walters to place them into the context of the time. Walters said subjects range from Lucille Ball and John Wayne to Matthew McConaughey and Julia Roberts.

June 27, 2006

Aaron Spelling Dies at 83

Aaron SpellingThe man who brought so many hit TV shows to air, died at his Los Angeles estate this past Friday, June 23rd, five days after suffering a stroke. He was 83 years old.

Born April 22, 1923, in Dallas, Spelling was the fourth of five children in a family that lived "on the wrong side of the tracks," Spelling recalled in his 1996 autobiography, "A Prime Time Life." His father, David, worked as a tailor for Sears. As the lone Jew in his school, Spelling frequently was taunted and harassed by other students. He spent a year in bed at the age of eight after suffering a nervous breakdown from the constant pressure. The experience shaped his personality and spurred in him the creative storytelling impulse.

Among his many credits, he brought Lucille Ball's last series, Life With Lucy, to TV. Spelling's longtime friendship with Lucille Ball led to one of the few half-hour comedies he ever attempted, with the short-lived sitcom, Life With Lucy. The show was a high-profile flop for ABC in the fall of 1986. Spelling once said he knew the show would not make it during the first day of shooting for the pilot, when audience members gasped as Ball, then in her mid-70s, struggled to pull off the physical comedy that had been her trademark.

Funeral services will be private. Longtime Spelling publicist Kevin Sasaki said a memorial service is being planned for next month.

For a complete write-up on his career and his extraordinary life, visit E-online!

June 21, 2006

Lucy-Desi Center Receives Donations from Oppenheimer Family

The family of Jess Oppenheimer, "I Love Lucy" creator, producer and head writer of 153 episodes, recently made two significant donations to the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in Lucille Ball's hometown, Jamestown, New York.

When a movie projector was needed as a prop for "Home Movies", episode 86 that first aired on March 1, 1954, Jess Oppenheimer came to the rescue by bringing his personal projector from home. "I Love Lucy" fans can’t help but smile when they recall Ricky’s anger at Lucy and the Mertzes for their bored response when he shows his home movies of the baby - and all the hilarious repercussions that follow!

The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center is honored that Estelle Oppenheimer, Jess’s widow, has given this historic Bell & Howell film projector to the Center to be part of its permanent collection. It was presented by their son Gregg at “More ‘I Love Lucy’ Behind The Scenes,” a special event during the recent Lucy-Desi Days 2006 Memorial Day Weekend Festival.

It was a bittersweet farewell when Oppenheimer bid adieu to the show in the spring of 1956. Lucy and Desi opened their Beverly Hills home for a gala party in his honor, complete with a musical comedy review performed by the show’s four stars. For his contribution, Oppenheimer created special “Oppy Awards” that he presented to the cast and staff. In Laughs, Luck…and Lucy: How I Came to Create the Most Popular Sitcom of All Time, he described the bronze statuette as looking “a little bit like an Oscar but more like me – a little man with glasses, very little hair, and his hands discreetly positioned in front of his crotch.”

Gregg Oppenheimer, who completed Laughs, Luck…and Lucy after his father’s death, recently donated an original Oppy to the Lucy-Desi Center. It is on display in Jamestown’s new Desilu Playhouse, complete with a picture of Jess Oppenheimer presenting his Oppy to The Queen of Comedy.