September 26, 2008

Jenny Lewis of "Life With Lucy" Fame, Digs into Her Past

A former child star from a broken home, Jenny Lewis is the voice of Rilo Kiley who had a cult hit with the Watson Twins. Her new solo album sees her dig ever deeper into the dark side of her past. Nick Hasted meets her in LA.

Jenny Lewis, who played Becky McGibbon with Lucille Ball in "Life With Lucy" when she was young provided an inside look into her life in an interview with The Independent. Excerpts of that interview below:

Put out to work by her mother as a child-actress in Hollywood, aged four, she worked alongside Lucille Ball, and Angelina Jolie.

"You know I've felt how I feel today since I was eight years old. I've always felt lonely, even if I'm in a great relationship, or surrounded by my friends and family. I don't know what happened prior to that that made me feel that way. But I've been the same person since 1982."

That was when she became a full-time television actress, five years after her parents divorced. They were a double act in showbiz's twilight zone. After divorce, dad disappeared. Mum, unemployed in LA, put her toddler to work on TV.

The cameras that stared at Lewis through her adolescence perhaps explain her shyness since. It took more than a decade as a musician for her to release a record under her own name. It's as if some vital emotional growth was held back, in her Hollywood childhood. "I feel like I never got a chance to be a child," she agrees. "I wouldn't change it for the world. But when you're a kid supporting your family, you're forced to keep your eye on the prize. I have a great work ethic, from watching Lucille Ball, not necessarily my own family."

"I've lived a good and strange life. I'm a late bloomer, in every aspect. I'm a slow-moving train. But I'll get there eventually. I like people, that's the thing. I'm the most negative optimist you'll ever meet."

For the complete interview, please read "Jenny Lewis - My private traumas" from The Independent.

September 24, 2008

The Lucy Show on DVD Coming in 2009?

This just in from TV Shows on DVD: Fans of The Lucy Show Getting Told by CBS DVD to Expect a Release. However, the studio hasn't gone "on the record" with press to confirm these 'rumors'.

For months now, we've been getting the occasional reader e-mail saying that fans of The Lucy Show that managed to talk to somebody at CBS DVD about it, were told to expect an upcoming home video release of the show. Some have even mentioned that, according the responses they got (usually by phone!), restoration and music licensing have been in the process of being worked on, and that we would see DVDs in the first part of next year. For example, our most recent note on the topic comes from reader William Bennett (Ben) Warfield, who provides us this rather exact timeframe info:

CBS telephoned me back yesterday and said they are looking at a late spring 2009 release date for the first (black and white) season of "The Lucy Show."

We've personally tried contacting CBS DVD to confirm this, as well as trying to ask around at their distributor, Paramount Home Entertainment. We had even reached out to I Love Lucy DVD Producer Gregg Oppenheimer, on the off chance that he might know something about Lucy Show releases. We realize that the last one is a bit of a stretch, though, since Gregg's involvement on I Love Lucy DVDs had mainly been due to his father's Producer and Writer work on the original series' broadcasts. However, Jess Oppenheimer was never involved on any other of Lucille Ball's later programs, so there's no real reason yet to expect Gregg to be involved with DVDs of those shows. As a result, we mainly concentrated on asking at the studio(s).

The result of our "pounding the pavement"? As you would expect, we've had a number of unreturned phone calls and e-mails, but we did manage to get someone from the studio on the phone here and there. However, nobody was willing to go on the record with the press at this time, to publicly confirm the second-quarter 2009 release that fans have apparently been informed of. We also asked our retail industry contacts, naturally, but they had no information about any possible release. However, they noted that a timeline of "late spring" logically means that retailers would not get their solicitations from the studio until sometime in the general "January/February" timeframe, which is still a ways off.

So as you can see, this word of an upcoming Lucy Show DVD release, although it feels pretty promising, officially remains at the "RUMOR" stage for least as far as we're concerned. We're still waiting on one or two return calls that we had been promised, though, and if they bear any fruit then we'll post an update. In the meantime, we wanted to let all of you excited fans who've been e-mailing us know that we are indeed looking into it. And please, bear in mind that even if the info does turn out to be accurate, remember that it's still early planning information, and could be subject to change. We'll post more as further developments occur, so stay tuned!

To Stay Current and Up-To-Date on any TV Show that appears on DVD, visit TV Shows on DVD. And Stay Tuned here on "Everything Lucy" blog for all the Lucille Ball News on the Internet Today!

September 17, 2008

Doris Singlton from I Love Lucy fame on Shokus Radio

Veteran character actress Doris Singleton, known to fans everywhere as Lucy Ricardo's arch rival Caroline Appleby, will be Stu Shostak's in-studio guest live this coming Wednesday, September 17 at 4:00 p.m. PDT, 7:00 p.m. EDT on "Stu's Show", the signature program on Shokus Internet Radio.

In addition to discussing her episodes on "I Love Lucy" (including such classics as "Baby Pictures", "Harpo Marx", and "Lucy Meets Superman"), Doris will talk about her guest roles on such hit shows as "The Dick Van Dyke Show", "The Danny Thomas Show", "Gomer Pyle, USMC", "The Twilight Zone", "All in the Family", "Perry Mason", and many others. The two will also pay tribute to Doris' late husband Charles Isaacs, a gifted TV comedy writer. Listeners to the program can call in and participate by calling the station's toll-free telephone number.

"Stu's Show" airs live each Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. PDT on Shokus Internet Radio, with rebroadcasts at the same time daily. Access to the station's feed is free, with no registration required, and is available either by clicking on the ENTER SITE button on the home page (, by choosing one of the audio player links on the main.html page or via Itunes by selecting Radio/Eclectic and then locating the station's name alphabetically in the list.

Shokus Internet Radio is a service of Shokus Video, and is "TV on the radio for baby boomers", with live call-in talk shows featuring TV celebrities, classic stand-up comedy from the great comedians, and big band, easy listening, and 50s/60s golden hits during the morning and afternoon drive times.

September 13, 2008

Lucy-Desi Center Executive Director and Assistant Fired

As alot of Lucy Fans already know, a scandal had been brewing for quite some time at the Lucy-Desi Center. Last Fall even Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr. left along with others from the board of the Lucy-Desi Center. This alone sparked interest and alot of questions followed. I first reported their departure on this site last year.

Now, this past Friday Ric Wyman and Pat Brininger have been fired! Alot of speculation and rumors abound of the two who brought nothing but grief and misery to the center. During their reign, no laughter was at the Lucy-Desi Center. Through the mishandling of the center and the loss of major donors and support, enough voices were brought together that a separate site was setup to gather testimonials and support from other Lucy fans who also worked at the Center, the Save Lucy Desi Center website.

During this last year, the Center lost two very generous donors to the Center as well as true Lucy fans, Bill and Mary Rapaport. The number of people who voiced discontent were minor to the number of voices of outrage at how the site was managed. Last fall, even Lucie Arnaz tried to resolve the issues constraining the Center but it was met with resistance and deaf ears. As of this past July, even Melody Thomas Scott left leaving no Founding Board Members in place for the Lucy-Desi Center.

In a small town such as Jamestown, it only takes a few to bind together and cause mischief and mahem but in the end, it was Lucy and Desi that won out. But unfortunately it isn't over yet, one remaining supporter of the ousted duo, Patricia Smith is now serving as the interim director responsible for the day-to-day operations. But that is only a matter of time before everything catches up and she too will be gone. Karma is a funny thing.

Now hopefully, with this firing will come hope and joy and laughter once again to the Lucy-Desi Center.

For more information, visit Save Lucy Desi Center. Be sure to read the forums for the latest up-to-date news as well as the historical background of the misdeeds that ended the rein of Ric Wyman.

September 09, 2008

Keith Thibodeaux, "Little Ricky" on Shokus Radio

Keith Thibodeaux, aka Richard Keith, who played Little Ricky on "I Love Lucy" and Johnny Paul Jason on "The Andy Griffith Show" will be Stu Shostak's guest on "Stu's Show" live this Wednesday, September 10 at 4:00 p.m. PDT (7:00 p.m. EDT).

Keith has been a drummer since he was two years old, and was called a prodigy at age 4 by bandleader Horace Heidt. He won the role of Little Ricky at age 6 after an impromptu drum audition with Desi Arnaz, which spawned an acting career that lasted into the 1960s. Besides "Lucy" and "Griffith", Keith has appeared on "Route 66", "The Joey Bishop Show", and "Hazel", but the thrust of his career since those years has been split between drumming for various rock groups including the spiritual David and the Giants, and as Executive Director for Ballet Magnificat, a touring dance company that is co-owned by Keith's wife Kathy. The company has just returned from an engagement in South America.

Stu will ask Keith about his years with Lucy and Desi both on and off screen, as well as his other TV appearances, the turbulent period that followed when his life included dependencies on alcohol and drugs, and his success in overcoming them. In addition, listeners will be invited to participate with their questions by calling the toll-free number during the live broadcast.

"Stu's Show" airs live each Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. PDT on Shokus Internet Radio, with rebroadcasts at the same time daily. Access to the station's feed is free, with no registration required, and is available either by clicking on the "Enter Site" button on the home page and by choosing one of the audio player links on the main page or via iTunes by selecting Radio/Eclectic and then locating the station's name alphabetically in the list.

Shokus Internet Radio is a service of Shokus Video, and is "TV on the radio for baby boomers", with live call-in talk shows featuring TV celebrities, classic stand-up comedy from the great comedians, and big band, easy listening, and 50s/60s golden hits during the morning and afternoon drive times.

UPDATE: The show will rebroadcast through next Tuesday, September 23 in case anyone misses the live show!

September 08, 2008

New Mattel Lucille Ball and Ricky Ricardo Dolls

Mattel released pictures of the upcoming "I Love Lucy" series doll featuring Ricky Ricardo as Santa. Coming in October and available from WalMart stores, this is the 16th edition of the series for Mattel. This is the first to feature Ricky Ricardo as a solo doll dressed as Santa Claus from "The Christmas Show", also known as "Jingle Bells" or "The Lost Episode," which originally aired on television on December 24, 1956.

Another doll being released this month in a new series by Mattel, "Legendary Lady of Comedy" features Lucille Ball in a black dress. This doll is available in September at WalMart stores as well.

The complete list of Mattel dolls in the "I Love Lucy" series and their year of release 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")
2008: Lucy & Ethel Set ("Lucy & Ethel Candy Factory")

September 03, 2008

Vintage Lucille Ball Movie Posters Donated

The movie poster exhibit in Jamestown, New York’s new and expanded Lucy-Desi Museum was made possible by recent gifts to the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in Lucy’s hometown.

New Jersey collector Joe Genua donated three original 1940’s movie posters from Lucille Ball’s film career including a vintage 1944 poster for the MGM musical, Meet The People, co-starring William Powell. Two other posters provided to the Lucy-Desi Center by Genua include an original 1946 poster for the Universal Studios comedy, Lover Come Back and one for the 1947 film, Her Husband’s Affairs, Lucille Ball’s first film for Columbia Pictures.

“I’m happy to support Jamestown’s Lucy-Desi Center with this donation,” Genua said. “The Lucy-Desi Center is committed to celebrating the memory of two people that have brought so much joy, so much laughter and so many fond memories not only to me, but to millions of people throughout the world. Donating this poster is just a small token of my appreciation.”

Longtime Lucy-Desi fan Patti Oelrich also contributed two movie posters. An original poster promoting Yours, Mine, & Ours, the 1968 film co-starring Henry Fonda that inspired the creation of TV series, The Brady Bunch is now on display in the Lucy-Desi Museum. Oelrich’s second contribution is a poster documenting Lucille Ball’s last motion picture, the 1974 musical, Mame.

From her home in Illinois, Oelrich said, “I’m very familiar with all that Jamestown does to celebrate my favorite redhead. During my first visit to Jamestown in 1989, I never dreamed that one day I’d be able to contribute to a museum in Lucy’s honor. I’m happy to be a part of something that means so much to so many.”