Before Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Melissa McCarthy and Chelsea Handler, there was one comedian who helped paved the way for women: Lucille Ball. Considering tomorrow would have been her 100th birthday, one network is gearing up for an I Love Lucy marathon while her hometown is ready to break records with a look-alike extravaganza and comedic line-up! Although she died in 1989, from the looks of it, everybody still loves Lucy.
At 6 a.m. tomorrow through 6 a.m. Monday morning, the Hallmark channel will air back-to-back episodes of her legendary sitcom. Even her hometown in upstate New York is getting into the act, according to MSNBC. The Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Center for Comedy yearns to set a new world record for men, women and children to have the “most people dressed as Lucy Ricardo in one place, at one time.” The whole weekend will pay homage to the late star with performances by Joan Rivers, Paula Poundstone and even Lucy, Ricky, Ethel and Fred impersonators.
Although her classic show was adored by fans, surprisingly, it took almost two decades for her to make her mark in Hollywood. According to The Los Angeles Times, she began her career in the early 1930’s in musical comedies and then snagged small parts in Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers moives. Though at the studios she was labeled the B-list.
Kathleen Brady, author of Lucille: The Life of Lucille Ball, told the Times: “She was probably one of the hardest-working actresses in Hollywood. At one point, she was making 10 films at once. But somehow she never crossed over” to become a star.
Thanks to determination, Lucille pursued her dream. Kathleen mentioned she had “extraordinary perseverance, whether it was about getting pregnant or becoming a major star. Somehow it took a long time to come together for her.”
When it did finally come together, she made quite a splash! I Love Lucy became a smash CBS hit 60 years ago (count ’em, 60!) when her character, Lucy Ricardo, got into one zany antic after another.
What was your favorite episode? Sound off in the comments!