American Icons: I Love Lucy
Originally aired: October 8, 2010
Friday, March 28, 2014
This is where television invented itself.
It set the model for the hit family sitcom. Lucy was a bad girl trapped in the life of a ‘50s housewife; her slapstick quest for fame and fortune ended in abject failure weekly. Both the antics and the humiliation entered the DNA of TV comedy, from Desperate Housewives to 30 Rock — writers can’t live without Lucy. Rapper Mellow Man Ace celebrates the breaking of an ethnic taboo; a drag performer celebrates Lucy as a freak. With novelist Oscar Hijuelos, producer Chuck Lorre, The Office’s Mindy Kaling, and a marriage counselor who has some advice for the bickering couple.
Bonus Track: Mindy Hearts Ricky
Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project, The Office) grew up thinking I Love Lucy was “one of the many black and white things that people keep telling you is so great ... and you’re just sort of bored and annoyed by it.” Then her Office boss Greg Daniels ordered her to watch it. She came away with a pretty serious crush on Ricky Ricardo. And she says she's not bothered by jokes about his accent.
Bonus Track: Deconstructing Lucy
Although Lucy's on-screen antics may have looked improvised, every gesture, glance, and step was written into the script. Gregg Oppenheimer — son of creator, producer, and head writer Jess Oppenheimer — reads a bit of telling stage direction from “Lucy is Enceinte.” Jess and Gregg Oppenheimer are the authors of Laughs, Luck ... and Lucy.
Bonus Track: Notes on a Scandal
In 1955 Confidential Magazine, a Hollywood scandal rag, reported on Desi Arnaz’s supposed philandering. Dartmouth film and television professor Mary Desjardins explores the less desirable side effect of being a celebrity couple.
Slideshow: Behind the scenes of I Love Lucy
"I Love Lucy" theme and various interstitialsArtist: CBS OrchestraAlbum: I Love Lucy: The Complete SeriesLabel: Paramont
Mambo Jambo (Que Rico El Mambo)Artist: Dave BarbourAlbum: Mambo Fever: Ultra Lounge 2Label: Capitol
Mambo GarnerArtist: Erroll GarnerAlbum: Mambo Moves GarnerLabel: Verve Records
Variation on "Lucy"Artist: Alex GallafentAlbum: Unreleased
Rhumba at the WaldorfArtist: Xavier CugatAlbum: Xavier Cugat: 16 Most Requested SongsLabel: Sony Music Entertainment Inc.
Hooray For Hollywood (Cha-Cha)Artist: Don Swan & His OrchestraAlbum: Mambo Fever: Ultra Lounge 2Label: Capitol
WhyArtist: Kiki & HerbAlbum: Will Die For YouLabel: Evolver Entertainment
Peanut VendorArtist: Desi ArnazAlbum: The Best of Desi Arnaz - The Mambo KingLabel: RCA
Cielito LindoArtist: The Spanish GuitarAlbum: The Spanish GuitarLabel: Clifton Bishop
Rumba MatumbaArtist: Desi ArnazAlbum: The Best of Desi Arnaz - The Mambo KingLabel: RCA
Theme from: "I Want to Live"Artist: The Gerry Mulligan Jazz ComboAlbum: I Want To Live: Original MGM Motion Picture SoundtrackLabel: Rykodisc
I Love LucyArtist: Barry HarrisAlbum: For the MomentLabel: Uptown Jazz
I Love Lucy: I Love Lucy (in the style of Purcell)Artist: Burnette DillonAlbum: Mozart TV - Favorite TV Tunes in the Style of Great Classical ComposersLabel: Delos
Totally Hot Nashville Steel GuitarArtist: CMH SteelAlbum: I Love Lucy Theme