Fans of the I Love Lucy show have something special to look forward to in regard to one of the most iconic sitcoms ever produced. For the first time, two classic episodes will air in color and without commercial interruption. The Washington Post shared that the “Christmas Episode” and “Lucy Does a TV Commercial,” which includes the hilarious “Vitameatavegamin” segment, have been colorized with an added “vintage flair” that is reminiscent of how many shows looked in the 1950s.
According to Country Living, “Lucy Does a TV Commercial” first aired in 1952, and “The Christmas Episode” debuted in December of 1965 on CBS. The “Christmas Episode” was thought to be lost until CBS re-broadcast it in 1989. I Love Lucy was broadcast on CBS from 1951 to 1957, but a modified version continued for three more seasons, with 13 one-hour specials. The first was known as The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show, and later the sitcom was shown in reruns as The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour.
Good Housekeeping noted that Desilu Productions, which was named after Lucille and Desi, was formed in 1950 and from the beginning was responsible for producing the show. Besides I Love Lucy, until it reincorporated into Paramount Television in 1967, it brought to the small screen many fan favorites such as Star Trek, Mission: Impossible and The Untouchables. Lucille Ball was 40-years-old when she first appeared on I Love Lucy, and she was the first woman to run a major Hollywood studio.
For those unfamiliar with the show, the I Love Lucy story line is set in New York City. Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) and her singer/bandleader Cuban husband, Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz), live in a small apartment. Their best friends just happen to be the landlords of the building, Fred Mertz (William Frawley) and his wife, Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance). Hilarity often ensues around Lucy, and she has a knack for getting herself, Ricky, and Ethel into various forms of trouble.
She desperately wants to be a performer like her husband and the Mertz’s, who were once vaudeville performers. Unfortunately for Lucy, she can’t even carry a tune, but she never gives up, which makes for a lot of laughable moments. During I Love Lucy’s second season, Lucy and Ricky have a son, named Ricky Ricardo, Jr. that they call Little Ricky. Lucy was the first pregnant actress to portray a pregnant woman on television, and the baby’s birth was perfectly timed to coincide with the arrival of her second child, Desi Arnaz, Jr. Their daughter, Lucie Désirée Arnaz, was born when Lucille Ball was 40. The I Love Lucy Christmas Special will include several flashback scenes that have been colorized as well.
The website Lucy-Desi shared that I Love Lucy was voted as Greatest TV Comedy via an online poll conducted by ABC News and People Magazine. I Love Lucy won both categories it was nominated for, which were Best Television Comedy of All Time and Best Television Show of All Time. Clearly, I Love Lucy was one of the most beloved and influential television shows in history.
“The announcement of ‘I Love Lucy’ being the best television show of all-time really shows why Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz are called the ‘First Couple of Comedy’,” said Journey Gunderson, executive director of the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy.
” ‘Lucy’ revolutionized TV as we know it, and to be recognized by fans from across the world as the greatest television show of all-time is a true testament to the lasting impact of Lucille Ball’s legacy.”
Will you be watching the one-hour special? Leave your comments, thoughts and opinions below. The I Love Lucy Christmas Special airs on Wednesday, December 23, at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
[Image via I Love Lucy/Facebook, cropped and resized]