February 23, 2008

2008 Mattel Lucy and Ethel Doll Set

Mattel announced a new Lucy doll set for 2008 at the Toy Fair in New York City just this week. This doll set will feature both Lucy and Ethel from the candy factory episode, Job Switching.

Watch the video here on Everything Lucy.

This special Lucy Doll set will be available sometime this Summer 2008. Another Lucy doll is still scheduled to be released this year as well.

For those who have been collecting all the Lucy dolls this now makes the 3rd Lucy and Ethel doll set. The first was Lucy and Ethel Buy the Same Dress and the second, which was actually two different sets, was Lucy from The Christmas Show and the exclusive Platinum label edition of Ethel in The Christmas Show.

I was actually not impressed with the limited edition Ethel version of The Christmas Show. To me it looked like Mattel just took extra Lucy's and changed the head slightly and dressed her in the exact same outfit as the one used for Lucy. For marketing, this reduced costs for Mattel in production and for the limited amount of money they invested, they produced an exclusive Platinum label doll where they could command a higher price and made more money.

As collectors of the I Love Lucy series of Mattel Barbie Dolls, you'll also notice that a previous Lucy was released in 1998 of The Candy Factory. This one featured Lucy in a grey outfit with a pink bonet hat for the show. I guess they couldn't make up their mind which outfit was used, Pink or Grey and now they are coming out with another from the same episode featuring Ethel as well in Pink. Are they saving production costs by not producing more featured episodes from I Love Lucy?

I'm still waiting for the Harpo Marx Lucy myself!

This will be the 14th edition of the "I Love Lucy" dolls by Mattel. The complete lineup since they started in 1997 are:

1997: Vitameatavegamin Lucy ("Lucy Does A TV Commercial")
1998: The Candy Factory Lucy ("Job Switching")
1999: Grape Stomping Lucy ("Lucy's Italian Movie")
2000: Lucy & Ricky Boxed Set ("Lucy Is Enceinte")
2001: Carmen Miranda Lucy ("Be A Pal")
2002: Lucy's Paris Gown ("Paris At Last")
2003: Putty Nose Lucy ("L.A. At Last")
2004: Lucy's Polka Dot Dress ("Sales Resistance")
2005: Gypsy Queen Lucy ("The Operetta")
2006: Showgirl Lucy ("Lucy Gets In Pictures")
2006: Special Edition Santa Lucy ("'I Love Lucy' Christmas Special")
2007: Lucy & Ethel Boxed Set ("Lucy and Ethel Buy the Same Dress")
2007: Pilot Episode Lucy ("The Audition")
2007: Ethel Platinum Edition ("'I Love Lucy' Christmas Special")

You can view each of these previously released dolls on the Barbie Collector site!

February 14, 2008

The Friar Club Honors Lucille Ball With Her Own Room

For the first time in its 104-year history, the New York Friars Club, the comedians’ organization famous for its crass roasts, has named one of the chambers at its storied midtown clubhouse for a woman: Lucille Ball. At a commemorative event on Wednesday, Feb. 6, Lucie Arnaz, the daughter of the late comedienne and entertainer Desi Arnaz (who preceded his wife in death by three years), was surrounded by an intimate gathering of friends and family as she cut the ribbon on the Lucille Ball Room, a bar.

For more, read the story by David Foxley for The New York Observer.

Voices of America on Lucille Ball

Read or listen to the talk show Voices of America as they speak about Lucille Ball as the Funniest Woman on Television.

The program is given by Steve Ember in the VOA Special English Program PEOPLE IN AMERICA along with Mary Tillotson.

Pioneers of Television DVD Featuring Lucille Ball

Pioneers of Television DVD was released January 29th and features the PBS Documentary from Late Night TV, Sitcoms, Variety Shows and Game Shows. Although not as comprehensive on each of its subjects, you're going to see some TV footage, photos, and interviews you've never seen before.

For Late Night TV it features tons of rare footage from early talk shows such as Broadway Open House (which later became Tonight Show), Steve Allen's Tonight Show, Jack Paar, and even some early footage of Johnny Carson's first episode of The Tonight Show.

For Sitcoms it features The Dick Van Dyke Show, Honeymooners, The Andy Griffith Show, and of course, there's also lots of time spent on Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in I Love Lucy.

For Variety Shows, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Carol Burnett Show, The Smothers Brothers, Laugh-In, and Your Show of Shows are featured.

There's a ton of great footage of early game shows, including an odd low-budget late 40s show hosted by Dennis James called Okay, Mother, as well as Bob Barker's Truth or Consequences and The Price is Right. Also, 1950s shows like The $64,000 Challenge, Twenty-One, and Dotto as well as later shows, Password, Let's Make A Deal, and Hollywood Squares.

Many celebrity interviews are given and alot is packed into this PBS Documentary. For more information, read the review at TV Squad.

February 01, 2008

Robert Osborne Talks About His Association With Lucille Ball

Robert Osborne, the popular host of TCM's movie broadcasts is well known for his informative introductions and epilogues for the films that TCM broadcasts. In addition to being a columnist for the Hollywood Reporter, Osborne is by all accounts America's premiere film historian.

CinemaRetro inteviewed Osborne where he talks about his beginning career as an actor under contract to Lucille Ball at Desilu Studios.