Some splainin’ about Lucy and Ricky

The other day I used a line in a comment on lilrant’s blog that seemed second nature to me. She had some splainin’ to do about something or other.

Huh? was the basic response, and so I went on to explain to my friend LR, the 24-year-old from India who of course shouldn’t have an idea about what Ricky Ricardo said to his wife Lucy in a sitcom here in the United State in the 1950s that I watched in reruns as a kid a decade later.

Nicely, she responded, oh, yeah, her uncle loved Lucille Ball.

I wondered if my own 25-year-old daughter or anybody from that generation would catch such a reference from such an old TV show.

Then last night deep down on my DVR I came across the “I Love Lucy Superstar Special” recorded a few Sundays ago when broadcast on CBS, the network that first aired the two half-hour shows in 1956, with Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel first in Los Angeles and then back home hosting the original Superman, George Reeves, for Little Ricky’s birthday party.

While watching with my dear wife Karen, I took out my iPhone 6 for some shots of Lucy and Ricky because this show was colorized, and Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz looked so darn good.

Lucy ...

Lucy … (From my flat screen)

... Ricky, (From my flat screen)

… Ricky, (From my flat screen)

Of course, after these little encounters of ‘splainin’, sometimes poor Lucy was left to ponder just what went wrong with buddy Ethel.

Thank goodness for the Mertzes. (From my flat screen)

Thank goodness for the Mertzes. (From my flat screen)

During this hour, I did not find one instance of that famous line to shoot on video.

So I had to settle for this lame-ish clip already out there.

Did you watch the latest Lucy and Ricky special, and what do you think about the colorization? Do you remember the original shows, and what are your favorite episodes if you do? What are your favorite older sitcoms, and why?

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100 thoughts on “Some splainin’ about Lucy and Ricky

  1. I Love Lucy! No…I mean…I as in ME, I Love Lucy and Ricky. My favorite episode is when she tells Ricky she’s pregnant during his show and he sings We’re having a baby, my baby and me. It’s just sweet. πŸ™‚

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  2. Shoot I remember when these were first run. I still watch them as reruns. I think the candy episode and the Vitametavegeman one are two of my favorites as a kid. As I got older I learned to appreciate more what they did as real folks and not just actors.

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    • The candy episode is another great one, reminding me of the conveyor belt of life, Benson. You were lucky to enjoy first runs, reruns and the way they conducted themselves in real life as well, my friend.

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  3. Oh, Mark, this perked me up just now! I highly recommend a trip to the Lucy Museum in Jamestown–lots of fun, and you can record or photograph yourself on the Vitametavegemen set. Lucy and Ricky were brilliant visionaries as I learned when I visited. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go stomp on some grapes! πŸ™‚

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  4. I missed the colorized bit!
    I recorded 20 episodes of an I Love Lucy marathon a few years ago, because I love it, and #2 liked it quite a bit, even though she was probably only 9.
    As a kid, I loved The Munsters, Leave it to Beaver, I Love Lucy, and Perry Mason πŸ™‚ (all in syndication, but love, nonetheless!)

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  5. So many favorites…I still laugh. But I could relate to the candy factory; worked 3 summers at a Pepperidge Farm assembly line. People forget about the other half of this episode that is equally funny…when Ricky and Fred take over the household chores. So much rice !! ☺ Van

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  6. Oh, come on Mark, do you even have to ask me?? The chocolate episode of course!! Yeah, the colorization is kind of cool. I’ve seen a few episodes of different shows that were colorized and it never looked quite natural but the ones you photographed look pretty good. Maybe they got it down by now.

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    • I’d say my favorite old sitcoms are cartoons, ‘The Flintstones’ and ‘The Jetsons.’ Real life I’d say ‘Gilligan’s Island’ for my little kid, ‘The Brady Bunch’ for my junior high and then ‘Happy Days’ for my high school days. I can’t make a call on my favorite colorization, though. πŸ™‚

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      • Oh yeah, those are some goodies. I’ll take Happy Days for sure! Do you know that I had friends in a punk rock band who did a song about Gilligan the started with the line “I wear a white hat, I wear a red shirt,” and ended with the singer screaming “I’m Gilligan, I’ll kill again,” over and over?? Well, you do now.

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  7. Oh my goodness. I watched that show from the beginning to end a multitude of time.
    I loved the show and the dynamic b/t the mertz’ and the Ricardo’s
    Awesome post
    Took me bank a long back too.

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  8. OH MBM!!!! I love love love love love this show!!!! I was not even a thought in anyone’s world when this show first aired. But the ruruns have rerunned in my life and hope to continue. Fabulous show. I love these peeps. πŸ™‚ I don’t know if I have a favorite ‘one’ show. I can’t think of one I didn’t like….if that helps narrow it down. πŸ™‚

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      • Great point MBM. We need a little bit of this brought back to our main stream media now. That’s what I like about the ‘good’ old fashioned sitcoms of tv. Family and neighbor/friend based. Solid stuff we can all relate to.

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      • Agreed. It’s what I loved about the NBC show ‘Parenthood,’ which was a project from THE Ron Howard, who lived through several of those great old shows as an actor. I shed a tear at the series finale earlier this spring, MBC.

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      • I never did get to see that MBM, but thank goodness for syndication and reruns. Since we “did away” with cable and have just been using the internet for our TV, when I do watch TV I don’t even look for the new stuff, I go right to the old stuff. All In THe Family is a current favorite. I think ILL may be revisited again now. πŸ™‚

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  9. That makes me sad that you have to explain that quote, but we’ll blame it on youth and India. My grandfather was a contemporary of Desi’s and also born in Cuba, but he never used the word ‘splain. Last night on TV, a talk show guest said he looked like “Grizzly Adams” and I wondered if anyone under 40 would understand that reference (although much more recent) as well. Next, you should reference the “peanut gallery” and see who goes blank.

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  10. I did watch the original shows. A fact about Fred and Ethel Merz. In real life they despised each other. “Fred” was a real monster a very cruel and abusive person and made things miserable on the set in particularly “Ethel.”

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  11. I absolutely adore ‘I Love Lucy’ – and will often annoy friends and family with my take on Ricky Ricardo’s funny accent. I love the specials (in color) that have lately been popping up. My sister and I began this year’s theater season by seeing a production of ‘I Love Lucy’ on stage at the Hippodrome. It was great!

    I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for Lucy and Ricky, and Fred and Ethel. πŸ™‚

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    • Wow, that must have been interesting seeing others portray your favorites Ricky and Lucy and Fred and Ethel live on stage, Kate. I’m mulling over how I’d feel about it. Sort of like a remake of a favorite movie … No, better than that. πŸ™‚

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  12. The show was already 30 years old when I was watching it on reruns as a kid, and now it’s (gulp!) sixty years old! Wow… I wonder how many stations still air Lucy reruns. Seems like all the good, classic TV shows from the 50’s and 60’s have been banished to late late nights on the high-numbered digital TV channels…

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  13. i used to love this show, but didn’t see the special. i like the colorization as a novelty, but also loved the bw format. so funny, i’ve used phrases with younger people that clearly make no sense to them and then think about how they have no frame of reference for what i’ve said. my fav episodes are the chocolate factory, the summer camp cooks and the italian wine making ones. so many fun memories )

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    • I guess we feel young be can look otherwise, Beth. We can’t help what sticks in our head as special, and we love to share it! I like your favorite episodes, too, my dear friend. πŸ™‚

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  14. When I first moved out to L.A., I was in one of my diabetic phases the lupus could throw me into, so I had to buy all sugar-free. Way back then, finding SF stuff was tougher than now. The only SF chocolate store in the city was “way up” in Los Feliz–this little tiny store. I’m standing in it, and it looks familiar…

    The actual store. I ask. Yup. And they were getting ready to CLOSE it–PERMANENTLY. I could see the tiny assembly line and everything. In another week or two, it would be no more. I’m glad I got to see it, but sad it went away. (I forget the company name, but it started with an A.)

    Favorite old show? Golly. Dick Van Dyke?

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  15. Though some people love Lucy, I really DO LOVE LUCY, Mark! So, because of that love, no I didn’t watch the colorized specials. I prefer to remember them in their original black and white. And, yes, my kids know and love Lucy, too, though not as much as I. πŸ˜‰

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  16. I can see how LR’s response showed that she was seasoned – I do not know many folks under 30 that know the show!!
    I did not really know the show that well but because it was so popular while growing up – I did know the candy factory line scene and a few others. I also had the chance to watch bunch of I love Lucy’s one season – back to back – thanks to the DVR as you noted. I noticed a few things – first – the writing in the last season(s) was not as good – maybe like they were “jumping the shark” – and then second, it became annoying how they played up her stupidity and became a little too much near the end. I say that very carefully – for her comedic brilliance and for the wonderful gift of the show – but there beam that put down spirit and it almost modeled this belittling – make fun of – air head behavior that made my counselor side cringe. we also have an elderly family member who’s sometimes would pout very similar to Lucy – and I never knew it was similar to the show until I watched the show – and when I brought it up – other family members were like “yeah….” – because this particular lady – now in her 70’s – sometimes was the drama queen seriously Mark -= I know this sounds cheesy – but a few of us were talking about how that show could have impacted her – and sometimes there is a subtle modeling going on. we mention fit to her (it was more than 5 years ago) and she started thinking about it and she even said she could sort of see it – and she did watch the show a lot. anyhow, I love this extended family member and she is a great example of someone willing to grow and improve at any age. She comes from a much different generation and then her family of origin was not always about self-awareness and growth – so she was late working at that – but never too late…
    and your pics of the show are real nice- esp. for those who do not know the show. and whew- some episodes are truly fantastic –

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    • I can see how they pushed Lucy the character’s silliness too much toward the end of the show’s run, Y, because that’s what America’s collecdtive consciousness had ran with at that point. Unfortunate, because Lucillle Ball was so much more, from what I’ve read. And that is also very illustrative how your family member forever internalized one of these non-finer behaviors. So much for these arguments now in the role model debate: “It’s only the movies. It’s only a TV show. They’re only sports stars.” Thanks for bringing these thinking points to this page, my friend. ❀

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      • It’s an interesting time when we can on demand see anything we want, Y. I’ll throw this at you: Do you miss the time not so long ago when America sat around their TVs at the same time each night to watch shows and then actually, in person, talked about them around the proverbial water coolers of the country the next day?

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      • well I like how you put that Mark – Well I do recall watching some of the Christmas cartoons or specials – and if we missed them – that was it for the year – and I recall “Hee-haw” with my grandmother – and this may sound crazy – but I never really watched TV for much of my life – and really only started watching around 2008…. anyhow, did your family have a favorite show?

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      • yes, I remember the Brady Bunch = but I recall it more just being on and then later seemed like I knew so many episodes – oh another I remember – Gilligan’s Island! and Love Boat!!!

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      • about 6 or 7 years ago my hubs and I were telling our boys all about certain shows – and that is how we ended up recording the I Love Lucy one. It was hard to find Love Boat – but we did get some misc. shows so they could have a feel for it. Also, we “tried” to tell them what it was like to have 3 channels.

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      • NBC, CBS and ABC. Down in the New York City area we lucked out with a couple indies and PBS, When I started taking Spanish in high school, I started watching the Spanish-speaking channel to learn more, Y. But boy, the choices were slim.

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      • oh yeah – I forgot about pbs – and funny but this post has reminded me of so many other shows – just thinking about it as i went on my day – (isn’t this another sweet perk of blogging…)

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  17. I absolutely loved “I Love Lucy,” as did my parents and one of my brothers. My artist brother, fellow ’57 born guy, did not like how Lucy would cry. This meant he left the room at least a few times. I liked the movie, as I think you did, with Cameron Diaz, in “The Other Woman.” The episode where the character has a ‘melt down’ in an office building made my brother turn a fantastic comedy off. I could not get him to try it “a little longer.” I liked the episode where Lucy and Ethel make wine out of grapes and when they worked at the candy factory. I feel this was a great show, along with “Petticoat Junction,” “Andy of Mayberry,” and “Leave it to Beaver.” I have always liked, “Dennis the Menace” and used it to defend the modern version, “Bart,” in the show, “The Simpsons.” I also like the guests on the present show. This was FUN, Mark!

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    • I’m glad you liked going back with your memories, Robin. You have a great list of shows, too, my friend. Your brother missed a good one by not giving “The Other Woman” a chance.

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