UNSEEN LUCY AND DESI, THE: TREASURES FROM THE VAULT: THE EARLY TELEVISION YEARS {PACKAGE 1}

Summary

"I Love Lucy" is perhaps the best-known and most influential television situation comedy of all timeÑscholar David Marc calls it Òa watershed in the history of television, and specifically in the development of television comedy.Ó While generations of fans enjoy watching reruns of "I Love Lucy" with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in their roles as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, rarely are there opportunities to see the pairÕs guest appearancesÑboth in and out of characterÑon other television shows.

The Museum has unearthed a range of programs and rare footage that offer viewers a unique opportunity to see televisionÕs favorite redhead and her partner in new ways.

The three screening packages include material from different eras of Lucy and DesiÕs reign as televisionÕs star couple, including their first television appearance together on "The Ed Wynn Show" and one of their last guest appearances as Lucy and Ricky on "The Milton Berle Show." Highlights of the rarely seen footage include special animated openings with stick-figure versions of Lucy and Desi that predate the familiar satin heart opening; Lucy and Desi doing commercials for the showÕs chief sponsor, Philip Morris; and alternate "I Love Lucy" opening sequences, located by the Museum.

Special thanks to Lucie Arnaz and Gregg Oppenheimer for providing material.

The Early Television Years

Before "I Love Lucy" premiered on October 15, 1951, Lucy and Desi had been perfecting their comedy in guest appearances on such programs as "The Ed Wynn Show" in 1949. "I Love Lucy" was an instant success in its initial season (1951Ð1952), becoming the first series filmed in Hollywood (rather than shown live from New York) to top the Nielsen ratings.

This episode of "The Ed Wynn Show" marks the first time Lucy and Desi appeared on the same television show. Desi clowns with Wynn and sings, and Lucy does a sketch in which she plays a sexy spy trying to steal secrets from Wynn.(1949; 30 minutes)

This televised CBS special, celebrating the networkÕs new Hollywood studios, features appearances by Hollywood stars, including Jack Benny, Desi Arnaz, and Lucille Ball. In this clip, Benny keeps popping up on the "I Love Lucy" set, trying to convince Lucy and Desi to appear in the special. This was Lucille BallÕs last television appearance before she took a four-month maternity leave. (1952; excerpt)

This is the first episode of "I Love Lucy" that aired, and it has the showÕs original opening animation and commercials. Lucy and Ethel want to spend an evening at a nightclub, while their husbands would rather watch the fights. (1951; 30 minutes)

Details

  • NETWORK:
  • DATE: 2000
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:04:20
  • COLOR/B&W: Color and B&W
  • CATALOG ID: B:59261
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  • COMMERCIALS:

CREDITS

    • Lucille Ball
    • Desi Arnaz
    • William Frawley
    • Vivian Vance