Today, somewhere in the weird world of holidays, October 15th is I Love Lucy Day. People dress up, test their knowledge of the show, or cook from the I Love Lucy cookbook.
I never really reflected about how this TV show, well into syndications by the time my sister and I discovered it, really impacted my life. I spent countless hours in awe of Lucy’s incredible sense of comedic timing, played out through the crazy antics and situations that she often found herself in, or more realistically, got herself into. I learned what a deep belly laugh was from her. I tried to share her sense of humor with my kids but it was somehow lost on them.
But the real story here is the woman herself. Not only was it incredibly rare for a female comedian to exist in the 1950’s, but one who was so incredibly influential and broke so many barriers for women in entertainment. Lucy was the one who created the show, and produced it as well. In addition to producing her own show, she started a production company that also created Star Trek. She went on to lead that company independently, the first woman ever to own a major studio.
I never knew any of the history behind Lucille Ball, and the incredible impact she had on an industry until much later in life. I am even more in awe now of all of the barriers she pushed through repeatedly in life.
What I know is that I could not wait to turn on the TV after school, take a pause before the impending deluge of homework, and grab a laugh. I am forever grateful for the sense of humor she gave to me. Maybe, just maybe, I will stuff a few bonbons in my mouth in honor of her today. And if that was not clear, watch Episode 36.