There are some great sitcoms on television these day. But do you think people will still be watching Modern Family and the Big Bang Theory sixty years from now? Heck, will even Friends and Seinfeld hold up that long? Few shows can stand the test of time, but one has been going strong for well over 60 years now: I Love Lucy.
I don’t think there’s any place on earth, or space*, that is not familiar with I Love Lucy. Fiery redhead, Lucille Ball, gets herself into many zany situations, much to the dismay of her just as fiery Cuban husband, Ricky Ricardo (played by real Mambo Boy Desi Arnaz). Along with their best friends and neighbors, Fred & Ethel Mertz, the team made America laugh for six season.
*It’s believed that the signals from the original I Love Lucy episodes have bounced off the earth and have been traveling through space since 1951. Granted, it may be generations before aliens pick it up, but it’s awesome that this might be their first exposure to our little planet.
Since I Love Lucy went off the air (almost 60 years to the day I’m writing this) it has lived on in syndication. Of course, that’s where most of us discovered it. And I don’t know about you, but if I ever catch an old episode, it still makes me laugh. Lucy’s ridiculous physical comedy was ahead of its time (especially for a female to so often go against her husband’s rules). To capture Lucy’s funny side, the producers filmed it in front of a live studio audience and used three cameras. Something that seems old and boring to us now, but I Love Lucy was the first to do it.
And though it’s been often imitated (and ripped off), but there are many unforgettable episodes. My personal favorite is the Vitametavegimin. Watching Lucy’s transformation into a drunk commercial spokesperson is comedy gold.
Then there’s the working at the candy factory episode where she had to stuff her face with the chocolate rushing down the conveyor belt.
And because of her trip to Italy, I’ve always wanted to stomp on some grapes to make wine.
I Love Lucy is also a great history lesson is classic Hollywood. Lucy’s obsession with movie stars had her wind up in wacky situations with stars. And for many future vintage film buffs, it’s a great springboard into old movies. She went face to face with Harpo of the Marx Brothers. She’d had encounters with William Holden, John Wayne and Rock Hudson. She even went out on the ledge with Superman.
And though I love the adult, somewhat raunchy humor of television today, it’s good to know that something so wholesome continues to be so popular. I Love Lucy will always be in reruns, and re-released on whatever future viewing formats the world will see. And it will always make us laugh. Yes, I love Lucy and Lucy loves me.
As you look at the rest of these shirts, you are guaranteed a few “Oh my God, I remember that episode!” moments.