I love many of today’s sit-coms—even in re-runs; but when I tune in a modern comedy and realize I’ve seen an episode enough times to instantly remember the details, I turn to another channel rather than watch it again. Not so when it comes to that golden comedy of yesteryear, “I Love Lucy”. There is not one episode of this show that I wouldn’t want to watch again today even though I’ve seen all of them time and time again.
Even if you were watching Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel for the first time, I’m sure you would not find any episode unpredictable. In this show, you know what to expect—and yet you laugh. Perhaps this group hit upon the perfect formula for entertaining because of their background extending back into the years of vaudeville and because of their acting talent. Lucy did not simply play a screwball redhead; she became the role. Fred and Ethel were the kind of friends we always wanted and never had. Ricky was the foreign exotic element who nevertheless was the all-American (long-suffering) husband.
In the “I Love Lucy” show, the characters created by the actors were particular to the show. You did not get the idea that all women are screwballs. You did not believe that Ricky was a dunce who was manipulated by his wife. Those are things for today’s comedies. In this greatest comedy of all time, Lucy and Ricky were seemingly ordinary people, but they were individuals with their own quirks and their own charm. Even though we certainly would not get involved in Lucy’s hare-brained schemes, we believed she was like us but caught up in her antics because of exceptional courage to try what we would not.
Because I recently retired unexpectedly due to illness, I could be a little unhappy every morning when I wake up unemployed and still feeling a little under the weather. All that is dispelled when I tune into a couple of episodes of “I Love Lucy”. It’s “laugh out loud” comedy and we don’t see much of that anymore. What’s more, as a Christian, I feel no guilt in watching Lucy, while watching more recent comedies often turns my cheeks as red as Lucy’s hair.
Of course I still love Lucy! Don’t you?
Betty L. Killebrew