Lucille Ball Centennial and the Sixtieth Anniversary of I Love Lucy

The first week of last month marked the hundredth anniversary of comedy legend Lucille Ball’s birth. Ms. Ball was born on August 6th, 1911. She died April 26th 1989.

Lucille Ball or simply Lucy, as she has been known to television viewers for over half a century, is a towering figure in the history of entertainment, particularly in the areas of comedy and television. Her most famous TV programs include, I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show and Here’s Lucy.

Lucy was a leader and innovator in a number of ways. She starred in her own television sitcom, I Love Lucy. To the best of my knowledge, she was the first woman to do so. The show was produced by, Desilu Productions, which she co-owned with then husband, Desi Arnaz. Desilu went on to produce other highly rated television programs. Lucy went on to star in other sitcoms which served as vehicles for her masterful comedic abilities.

Her first television show, I Love Lucy, is widely rated as one of the top programs in television history. The show was remarkable for a number of reasons. Initially airing in October 1951, the program centered on a woman. Lucy was the star. Considering, the Women’s Liberation movement did not commence until the 1960s, Lucille Ball was a woman ahead of her time.

Additionally, Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz, Lucy’s real life spouse, played her husband on the show. The presentation of an American woman married to a Cuban man, on national, primetime television, during the 1950s, was a bold move for the times.

Ms. Ball was a television star – she had earlier been a B-movie actress – and a studio executive at a time when many women felt limited to the role of homemaker. No doubt, her presence on the small screen helped change attitudes about women in the field of entertainment.

Lucy was not simply someone who made a casual contribution to comedy. She was an individual who helped guide the course of the most transformative medium of the twentieth century, television.

I Love Lucy, Ms. Ball’s most iconic show – which today can still be found in reruns – turns 60 this October. It is a program that stands the test of time, even though society has undergone many profound changes since its first airing. This owing, in large measure, to Lucy’s comedic genius. Social themes may have changed, but people still love a good laugh. And Lucy continues to deliver.

Continue to rest in peace Ms. Ball. Know that your work brings us joy to this day.

Image: kangshutters / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

*Authors note: You might see this column pop up online in a newspaper, under the name Both Sides. I am publishing this column here first at CYInterview.com. For a bunch of years, I have been writing newspaper columns. Since my columns have received a good response on CYInterview, I thought I would share it with you. Hope you enjoy.

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