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Monday, July 4, 2016

I Don't Love Lucy

I Don’t Love Lucy

Just as there are people alive today who can’t name the Queen of England, there are a significant number of people today who have no idea who Lucille Ball was.
I wish I was one of them.
I never got it – in any of its forms, I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show, Here’s Lucy – they were all a study in bad comedy writing – just waiting for the big redhead to cry at the end.
I Love Lucy was the best of the three because Fred was actually funny, though William Frawley was funnier on My Three Sons, where they bothered to write real scripts. Sometimes Ricky was funny too, but I’m not sure it his humor was always intentional.

Even so, each episode involved a hair-brained plot by Lucy to do something without Ricky knowing. Ethel always had her doubts, but went along with the scheme. Things went predictably bad, and Ricky would eventually say, “Lucy, you’ve got some ‘splaining to do.” (Usually followed by the biggest laugh in that episode’s laugh track.)
Then the big finish with Lucy crying.
By the time her third show, Here’s Lucy, came around – they’d lost all the funny elements of I Love Lucy and depended on guest stars to prop up the ratings. For some reason, she could always get A-list people.

It was like some comic con-game.
One thing I noticed about each of the series was that the intros and closings were always instrumentals. I think that's a little odd, so I’ve written words to go with each theme.

I Love Lucy theme

Lucy’s bawling out Wah Wah-wha
Sound track laughs out Ha Ha-ha
While Ricky’s congas go Bom Ba-bah
And that
Is all there is
To Amer-i-ca’s-Num-ber-One show!

The Lucy Show theme

Lucy, Lucy, Lucy Show
Why we, watch it, I don’t know
Grandpa controls the clicker
He says she is a honey
Even though
She’s not funny
Oh yes we know
She’s not funny!

Here’s Lucy theme

Here’s Lucy
Isn’t it strange?
We watch it
Are we deranged?
Lame set up and then a gaff
Is that enough to make us laugh?

Sorry – I can’t continue.

From the mid-fifties to the end of her life, Lucille Ball was hailed as the Queen of Comedy. It makes me wonder what Gracie Allen,
Lily Tomlin,
Gilda Radner,
Carol Burnett
and Madeline Kahn
thought when they heard that.

Not to mention our laugh-a-minute Queen Elizabeth.
Who sent us a special greeting yesterday for July 4.
Maybe royalty is an over-rated institution.

I admit it - Lucy had one good scene.