23 definition by P.redeckis

A balaclava, balaclava helmet or ski mask is a form of headgear covering the whole head, exposing only the face (and often only the eyes). The name "balaclava" comes from the town of Balaklava in Crimea. During the Crimean War, knitted balaclavas were sent over to the British troops to help protect them from the bitter cold weather. They are traditionally knitted from wool, and can be rolled up into a hat to cover just the crown of the head. Modern balaclavas can be made from a number of materials, such as silk, cotton, polypropylene, neoprene, wool or fleece. Modern balaclavas are also used in outdoor winter sports activities such as skiing or snowboarding to help protect the face from the cold wind and maintain warmth.

Additionally, balaclavas are often associated with special forces units such as the SAS, or alternately with muggers, terrorists, and activists, where they act as a form of disguise. In the UK the term IRA balaclava is often used to distinguish it from similar types of headwear.

Racing drivers may also wear balaclavas made of fire-retardant material underneath their crash helmets in order to improve protection in case of a fire following an accident, and commonly cover the nose and mouth to reduce inhalation of smoke and fumes. Dragster-racing drivers usually wear balaclavas which have just two separate eyeholes because of the increased fire risk.
Balaclava
AKA Ski Mask, Balaclava Helmet
by P.redeckis June 10, 2006

Mug icon
Buy a Balaclava mug!
A venerable if maverick Jedi Master, Qui-Gon Jinn is a student of the living Force. Unlike other Jedi Masters, who often lose themself in the meditation of the unifying Force, Qui-Gon Jinn lived for the moment, espousing a philosophy of "feel, don't think -- use your instincts." Were it not for Qui-Gon's unruly views, he would have undoubtedly been on the Jedi Council.
At the behest of Supreme Chancellor Valorum, Qui-Gon and his Padawan apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi journeyed to Naboo to settle the trade dispute that threatened the peaceful world. Aboard a Trade Federation battleship, the Jedi were ambushed, but they managed to escape to Naboo's surface.

In the swamplands of Naboo, Qui-Gon rescued a clumsy Gungan outcast, Jar Jar Binks, who swore a life-debt to the Jedi. Qui-Gon's compassionate nature was such that he took the strange alien under his protection. With his help, they journeyed to the city of Theed. There, they freed Queen Amidala and her retinue from the clutches of the Trade Federation, and set off to deliver her safely to Coruscant.

During the trip to the capital, damaged sustained to the Royal Starship forced an unscheduled stop on the Outer Rim world of Tatooine. There, Qui-Gon discovered a young slave boy named Anakin Skywalker, who was strong in the Force. Sensing the boy's potential, Qui-Gon liberated Anakin from slavery. During their departure from Tatooine, Qui-Gon was nearly killed by a dark warrior, whom he suspected to be a Sith Lord.

The Jedi Master then traveled to Coruscant to present Anakin to the Jedi Council. The Council, however, felt Anakin's future seemed clouded and uncertain, and deemed the boy too old to begin training and dangerously full of fear and anger. They refused to allow Qui-Gon to train Anakin, but the Jedi Master nevertheless kept the boy as his ward as he returned to Naboo.

On Naboo, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan confronted the Sith Lord Darth Maul, Qui-Gon's attacker from the desert. Maul proved a deadly and fearsome opponent. Together, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon fended off the Sith Lord's attacks, but as the battle progressed, Master and apprentice became separated. Maul pressed his advantage, wearing down Qui-Gon's defenses and ultimately killing the Jedi Master. Obi-Wan then defeated Maul, but nothing could save Qui-Gon. With his last breath, the Jedi Master asked Obi-Wan to train Anakin, a request Kenobi accepted.

A short time later, the Jedi Master's body was cremated at a funeral attended by numerous mourners, including Anakin, Obi-Wan, Jar Jar, and several Jedi Council members.
Qui-Gon Jinn, StarWars Episode I
www.starwars.com
by P.redeckis June 07, 2006

Mug icon
Buy a Qui-Gon Jinn mug!
Phil Hartman (September 24, 1948 – May 28, 1998) was a Canadian-born American graphic artist, writer, actor, voice artist and comedian.
Early life
Philip Edward Hartmann was born in Brantford, Ontario, Canada to Rupert and Doris Hartmann; the family was of German Catholic descent.
Hartman's family migrated to the United States in the 1950s, and Hartman attended Westchester High School and Cal State Northridge in Los Angeles, California, becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen in the early-1990s.
The exact timing of his switch from "Hartmann" to "Hartman" is unknown, but all of his acting credits after 1986 were billed under the surname "Hartman".
Hartman and his wife Brynn had two children, Sean Edward Hartman (born 1989) and Birgen Hartman (born 1992).
Early career
Looking for what he described as "a psychological release valve", he joined the California-based comedy group The Groundlings in 1975. Hartman met comedian Paul Reubens while working with the group and the two became friends, often writing and working on material together.
One such collaboration was the character of Pee-wee Herman and the script of the feature film Pee-wee's Big Adventure. Hartman also met Jon Lovitz while with The Groundlings.
Hartman worked part time as a graphic artist, including designing album covers for popular rock bands. Hartman's covers include:
Poco's 1978 album Legend (photo)
Firesign Theatre's 1980 album Fighting Clowns (photo)
Three album covers for the band America
History: Greatest Hits in 1975 (photo)
Harbor in 1977 (photo)
Silent Letter in 1979 (photo).
He was also the designer for the logo of Crosby, Stills & Nash.
Television career
In 1986, Hartman joined the cast of NBC's popular variety show Saturday Night Live and stayed for eight seasons, which was a record at the time. Hartman was known for his impressions, which included Ronald Reagan, Charlton Heston, Frank Sinatra, Telly Savalas, Ed McMahon, Michael Caine, Jack Nicholson, Barbara Bush, Burt Reynolds, Phil Donahue, and former president Bill Clinton, which was perhaps his best-known impression. His other Saturday Night Live characters included Frankenstein and Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer. He returned twice to host the show following his 1994 departure and was honored at the show's 25th anniversary special in 1999 by the members of the cast who had started their careers on the show the same year: Jan Hooks, Mike Myers, Nora Dunn, Dennis Miller, Kevin Nealon, Jon Lovitz, and Victoria Jackson.
Also in 1986, Hartman was chosen to play the role of Captain Carl, one of Pee-Wee Herman's close friends and famed sea captain in the first season of Pee-Wee's Playhouse.
From 1991 to 1998, Hartman also provided the voices for a number of characters on the popular animated series, The Simpsons, including dubious attorney Lionel Hutz, B-movie actor Troy McClure, and slippery monorail shyster Lyle Lanley; Hartman expressed interest in making a live action version of this character, but the film was never made. In the episode "Selma's Choice", he lent his voice to three different characters, one of which being the aforementioned Hutz.
In 1994, Hartman left SNL. His last scene on Saturday Night Live consisted of him consoling Chris Farley.
In 1995, he became one of the stars of the NBC sitcom NewsRadio, where he portrayed fatuous radio news anchor Bill McNeal. Many have credited the cancellation of the show with Hartman's passing, citing that the humor was thrown off balance despite the casting of Lovitz (who replaced Hartman).
Movies
Hartman's filmography includes often secondary or supporting roles in such feature films as Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Greed, Houseguest, Coneheads, Stuart Saves His Family (voice only), Sgt. Bilko, So I Married an Axe Murderer, CB4, Jingle All the Way and Small Soldiers, the last of which would become his final silver screen appearance and was thus dedicated to him.
His last role was in the English version of Hayao Miyazaki's Kiki's Delivery Service, where he provided the voice of Jiji the cat. The movie was dedicated to his memory.
Video games
Hartman provided the voice of Captain Blasto in the PlayStation video game Blasto. Although there were plans for a sequel to the game, the sequel was immediately cancelled when Hartman died.
Murder
Hartman was murdered on May 28, 1998, in his Encino, California home, at the age of 49. As he slept, Hartman was shot twice in the head by his wife, Brynn, who, hours later, turned the gun on herself with a shot to the head. The reasons for the murder-suicide are unknown, although friends of the Hartmans speculated in the press that the combination of their marriage problems and Brynn's drug addictions probably contributed.
Hartman's murder caused considerable mourning in Hollywood. NewsRadio produced a special episode where the cast sincerely and tearfully mourned the death of Hartman's on-screen counterpart. Jon Lovitz joined the show in his place and stayed with it until its ultimate cancellation. Lovitz had been a Saturday Night Live cast member alongside Hartman for four seasons, and had also worked with Hartman when the both had cameos in the 1986 comedy Three Amigos.
Out of respect, The Simpsons retired Hartman's characters, rather than finding another voice actor. The episode "Bart the Mother" marked his final appearance on the show, and was dedicated to him.
At the time of his death, Hartman was preparing to voice several characters on Simpsons creator Matt Groening's other animated series Futurama, among them Zapp Brannigan. Groening wrote the character specifically for him, but Hartman had nonetheless insisted on auditioning. After he died, the lead character, Philip J. Fry, was named in his honor. Billy West (the voice of Fry, among many other Futurama characters) took his place. West's original audition formed the basis of Brannigan's final voice. By coincidence, however, his portrayal bears many similarities to Hartman's own vocal stylings.
Hartman was posthumously nominated for an Emmy Award for his portrayal of Bill McNeal in NewsRadio, but lost out to actor David Hyde Pierce. Upon learning Hartman did not win the award, NewsRadio co-star Dave Foley joked: "What's this guy gotta do to win an Emmy?"
RIP Phil Hartman 1948-1998
by P.redeckis June 06, 2006

Mug icon
Buy a Phil Hartman mug!
Nicholas Hoult
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Nicholas Hoult born 7 December 1989 is the British actor best known for playing Marcus in the hit British film About a Boy.

He trained at the Sylvia Young Theatre School in London and made his film debut as Bobby in the Boxer Films/Fox Searchlight picture Intimate Relations. Although About A Boy marked his first leading role in a feature film, he had worked since the age of eight in film, television and theatre.

Hoult has also appeared with the English National Opera at the London Coliseum, firstly in their production of The Nutcracker and more recently in Swan Lake.

edit
Television
For the BBC:

Silent Witness
Mr. White Goes to Westminster
World of Pub
Waking The Dead
Murder In Mind
Holby City
Doctors
Casualty
Judge John Deed
For ITV

The Bill
Ruth Rendall's The Fallen Curtain
The Caucasian Chalk Circle
edit
Filmography
The Weather Man (2005) - Mike
Wah-Wah (2005) - Ralph Compton
Kidulthood (2005) - Blake
About a Boy (2002) - Marcus Brewer
Intimate Relations (1996) - Bobby
Nicholas Hoult
About a Boy (2002)
by P.redeckis June 09, 2006

Mug icon
Buy a Nicholas Hoult mug!
One of the most deadly and tragic opponents to emerge from the battlefields of the Clone Wars was Asajj Ventress, a disciple of the dark side and sworn enemy of the Jedi. A lifetime of enduring cruel hardships had purged any compassion from her cold heart, and a fierce survival instinct forged in the ceaseless dangers of her bloody homeworld kept her on the dark path.
Much of her past remains shrouded in mystery. Ventress hails from Rattatak, a barbaric world where violent bloodshed is a daily occurrence. The primitive planet is far from the Republic borders, and is ruled by brutal warlords who constantly battle for domination. A warlord named Osika Kirske murdered Asajj's parents when she was very young. Somehow, a young Jedi named Ky Narec came to be stranded on this forsaken world. Cut off from the Jedi Council, Narec discovered Asajj and took it upon himself to train the Force-strong orphan. The two quickly became heroes, vanquishing many warlords, ending wars, and uniting armies until Kirske conspired with the remaining warlords to retaliate. They succeeded in killing Narec before he could complete Asajj's training.

As a result, she had the skills of the Jedi combined with a raw, unfocused talent in the Force. She never controlled her instinctual fury, and when her master died, she developed a hatred for the Republic that had abandoned her mentor, and had ignored the atrocities of Rattatak.

Asajj's rage fueled her power, and she clawed her way up to a position of authority on the lawless world of Rattatak. She conquered and imprisoned most of the remaining warlords, including Osika Kirske, whom she would eventually kill. She could best any of the monstrous combatants in the gladiatorial games held regularly on the world. Shortly after the outbreak of the Clone Wars, Count Dooku came to Rattatak, looking for another world to add to the Separatist fold. What he found instead was far more promising.

Ventress' raw talent and fierce determination impressed Dooku. The charismatic leader of the Confederacy was able to recruit the young warrior by appealing to her disgust with the Jedi and the Republic. Dooku confirmed Ventress' bitter ideas that the Jedi had abandoned their ethics and convictions. Ventress proved her skills by challenging Dooku to a duel. Though Dooku won the sparring contest, he invited Ventress to accompany him back into the Confederacy as a personal protégé.

Though Ventress longed to identify herself as a Sith, she did not receive Sith training. While Dooku helped hone her talents, he taught her none of the knowledge unique to the Sith. Her skills were a combination of incomplete Jedi training coupled with her own techniques. Her raw talents and bottomless well of anger and pain bolstered her dark side abilities. Giving into her rage granted her further powers.

Ventress proved to be a cunning military mastermind, and Dooku made her a commander within the Separatist army. One of her first assignments was disrupting a meeting between Jedi Master Mace Windu and a group of dissident Jedi. Dooku had no compunctions about exploiting and lying to Asajj to meet his ends. He told her that Windu was responsible for the abandonment of her former Jedi mentor. Asajj did battle with Windu on the moon of Ruul, and though Asajj was forced to flee the fight, Windu came to realize that a new and dark menace to the Jedi was at large.

Asajj was in command of a Separatist plot to unleash a deadly chemical weapon on the Gungan colony moon of Ohma-D'un. This was an early test of a chemical warfare program against the clone troopers of the Republic. Though Asajj and Durge had to flee the Naboo moon, they had proven to be formidable opponents against the Jedi.

General Obi-Wan Kenobi followed Asajj to the chemical weapon development plants on Queyta. Asajj was tasked by Count Dooku to once again offer Kenobi a chance to join the Separatists, but the Jedi refused. Asajj again escaped to plague the Republic on other battlefronts.

Four months after the Battle of Geonosis, Asajj joined the fighting on Muunilinst, where Republic clone troopers attacked droid factories on the InterGalactic Banking Clan homeworld. Though the bounty hunter Durge handled the ground campaign, Asajj soared into battle aboard one of her fanblade starfighters. Her incredible piloting skills drew the attention of Anakin Skywalker, the Padawan who was leading the space forces. Despite orders not to pursue, Anakin gave chase, and Asajj lured the young Jedi-in-training into a trap.

Anakin followed Asajj through hyperspace to the ancient Sith temples of Yavin 4. Anakin continued his pursuit on foot, aided by clone troopers. Using the Force, Asajj whittled away the clone trooper guards, and then began a stunning lightsaber duel with Anakin. So skilled was she, Asajj even proved to be a challenge to the fabled Chosen One of Jedi legend. To defeat her, Anakin needed the edge granted by giving into anger. In a furious counter-attack, young Skywalker repulsed Ventress, who nevertheless survived.

After being captured on Jabiim, Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi and the ARC trooper known as Alpha were transported to Ventress' private fortress on Rattatak. There, she tortured the prisoners in hopes of breaking Obi-Wan's spirit and presenting the defeated Jedi as a trophy to Count Dooku. Kenobi foiled her plans, though, and escaped along with Alpha. Adding insult to injury, Kenobi stole Ky Narec's lightsaber, which Ventress kept as a memento of her past, and left Rattatak by absconding with one of her fanblade fighters.

Asajj has perfected a lightsaber combat form that uses paired blades to strike and parry. She carried twin weapons given to her by Count Dooku, and each bears a similar archaic curved handle design favored by the former Jedi Master. Ventress' lightsaber handles are especially modified so that they can connect into a joined, S-shaped handle, becoming a double-bladed lightsaber.
Asajj Ventress, Star Wars
by P.redeckis June 06, 2006

Mug icon
Buy a Asajj Ventress mug!
An apartment (or flat in Britain and most other Commonwealth countries) is a self-contained housing unit that occupies only part of a building. Apartments may be owned (by an owner-occupier) or rented (by tenants).

Some apartment-dwellers own their apartments, either as co-ops, in which the residents own shares of a corporation that owns the building or development; or in condominiums, whose residents own their apartments and share ownership of the public spaces. Most apartments are in buildings designed for the purpose, but large older houses are sometimes divided into apartments. The word apartment connotes a residential unit or section in a building. Apartment building owners, lessors, or managers often use the more general word units to refer to apartments. Units can be used to refer to rental business suites as well as residential apartments. When there is no tenant occupying an apartment, the lessor is said to have a vacancy. For apartment lessors, each vacancy represents a loss of income from rent-paying tenants for the time the apartment is vacant (i. e., unoccupied). Lessors' objectives are often to minimize the vacancy rate for their units. The owner of the apartment typically transfers possession to the occupant(s) by giving him/her the key to the apartment entrance door(s) and any other keys need to live there, such as a common key to the building or any other common areas, and an individual unit mailbox key. When the occupant(s) move out, these keys should typically be returned to the owner.

Apartment types and characteristics

Luxury apartment buildings in Gurgaon, Delhi metropolitan areaApartments can be classified into several types. Studio or efficiency or bachelor apartments tend to be the smallest apartments with the cheapest rents in a given area. These kinds of apartment usually consist mainly of a large room which is the living, dining, and bedroom combined. There are usually kitchen facilities as part of this central room, but the bathroom is its own smaller separate room. In the UK and Ireland, a roughly equivalent term is bed-sit (bedroom and sitting-room combined). Moving up from the efficiencies are one-bedroom apartments where one bedroom is a separate room from the rest of the apartment. Then there are two-bedroom, three-bedroom, etc. apartments. Small apartments often have only one entrance/exit. Large apartments often have two entrances/exits, perhaps a door in the front and another in the back. Depending on the building design, the entrance/exit doors may be directly to the outside or to a common area inside, such as a hallway. Depending on location, apartments may be available for rent furnished with furniture or unfurnished into which a tenant usually moves in with his/her own furniture. Permanent carpeting is often included in an apartment.

Laundry facilities are usually kept in a separate area accessible to all the tenants in the building. Depending on when the building was built and the design of the building, utilities such as water, heating, and electric may be common for all the apartments in the building or separate for each apartment and billed separately to each tenant. Outlets for connection to telephones are typically included in apartments. Telephone service is optional and is practically always billed separately from the rent payments. Cable television and similar amenities are extra also. Parking space(s), air conditioner, and extra storage space may or may not be included with an apartment. Rental leases often limit the maximum number of people who can reside in each apartment. On or around the ground floor of the apartment building, a series of mailboxes are typically kept in a location accessible to the public and, thus, to the mailman too. Every unit typically gets its own mailbox with individual keys to it. Some very large apartment buildings with a full-time staff may take mail from the mailman and provide mail-sorting service. Near the mailboxes or some other location accessible by outsiders, there may be a buzzer (equivalent to a doorbell) for each individual unit. In smaller apartment buildings such as two- or three-flats, or even four-flats, garbage is often disposed of in trash containers similar to those used at houses. In larger buildings, garbage is often collected in a common trash bin or dumpster. For cleanliness or minimizing noise, many lessors will place restrictions on tenants regarding keeping pets in an apartment.

In some parts of the world, the word apartment is used generally to refer to a new purpose-built self-contained residential unit in a building, whereas the word flat means a converted self-contained unit in an older building. An industrial, warehouse, or commercial space converted to an apartment is commonly called a loft.

When part of a house is converted for the ostensible use of a landlord's family member, the unit may be known as an in-law apartment or granny flat, though these (sometimes illegally) created units are often occupied by ordinary renters rather than family members.

Staying in privately owned apartments rather than in a hotel is quickly becoming popular with travellers.

Apartment aka Flat, Suite
(Residence)
by P.redeckis June 06, 2006

Mug icon
Buy a Apartment mug!
I Love Lucy is a television sitcom that aired in the 1950s. During that time, it was the most popular American sitcom. It starred comedienne Lucille Ball, her husband Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance and William Frawley. The series ran from October 15, 1951 to May 6, 1957 on CBS (180 episodes, including the "lost" Christmas episode). This show was ranked #2 on TV Guide's top 50 greatest shows of all time in 2002, behind Seinfeld and ahead of The Honeymooners. The program was filmed at Desilu, the production studio jointly owned by Ball and Arnaz.
The sitcom was based on a radio show starring Lucille Ball and Richard Denning called My Favorite Husband. Denning was enthusiastic to continue his role as Ball's husband, but Ball wanted her real-life husband, Cuban-born musician Desi Arnaz, to play her onscreen spouse. Studio heads were worried that American audiences would not find such a "mixed marriage" to be believable, and were concerned about Arnaz's heavy Cuban accent. But Ball was adamant, and they were eager to have her in the part. To help sway their decision, Ball and Arnaz put together a vaudeville act featuring his music and her comedy, which was well received in several cities. In the end, CBS agreed, but refused to let Desi Arnaz's role be part of the show's title (as in "Lucy and Ricky"). After lengthy negotiations, Arnaz relented and agreed to "I Love Lucy", reasoning that the "I" would be his part.
Arnaz persuaded Karl Freund, cinematographer of Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927) and Tod Browning's Dracula (1931) as well as director of The Mummy (1932), to be the series' cinematographer, which many critics believe accounts for the show's lustrous black and white cinematography.
Lucille Ball was the last main cast member still living when she died on April 26, 1989. The only living cast member is Keith Thibodeaux (credited as "Richard Keith") who played Lucy and Ricky's young son "Little Ricky" in the last two seasons.
Contents hide
1 The show
2 Innovative techniques
3 Episodes
4 Themes and Highlights
5 Cast
6 Emmy Awards
6.1 I Love Lucy (The Show)
6.2 Lucille Ball
6.3 Desi Arnaz
6.4 Vivian Vance
6.5 William Frawley
7 DVD Releases
8 Trivia
9 References
10 External links
edit
The show
"Oh Ricky, you're wonderful!"Set in New York City, I Love Lucy is centered around Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball), a housewife, her husband Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz), who is a singer and bandleader, and their friends and landlords Fred and Ethel Mertz (William Frawley and Vivian Vance). Most episodes take place in the Ricardos' modest brownstone apartment at 623 East 68th Street — which in reality would be in the middle of the East River — or at the downtown "Tropicana" nightclub where Ricky is employed, and sometimes elsewhere in the city. Later episodes took the Ricardos and the Mertzes to Hollywood for Ricky to shoot a movie, and then they all accompanied Ricky while he and his band toured Europe. Eventually the Ricardos and the Mertzes moved to a house in the rural town of Westport, Connecticut.
Lucy Ricardo is a loving if somewhat naïve housewife with an ambitious character who has a knack for getting herself into trouble. In particular, she is obsessed with joining her husband in show business. Fred and Ethel are themselves former vaudevillians, which strengthens Lucy's resolve to prove herself as a performer. Unfortunately, Lucy Ricardo cannot carry a tune or play anything other than an off-key rendition of "Glow Worm" (or "Sweet Sue") on the saxophone and evidently has no other artistic or managerial talent. Yet Lucy is determined to show everyone around her that she is much more than an ordinary housewife. A typical I Love Lucy episode involves one of Lucy's ambitious but hare-brained schemes, whether it be to sneak into Ricky's nightclub act, find a way to associate with celebrities, show up her fellow women's club members, or simply try to better her life. Usually she ends up in some comedic mess, often dragging in Ethel as her reluctant companion. Legend says that Ricky often cried: "Lucy! You got some 'splainin' to do!" However, like other supposed "famous quotes" (Cary Grant saying "Judy, Judy, Judy", or "Peetah, give me the lettah" by Bette Davis), this line was never actually spoken by Desi Arnaz. Perhaps the closest he came to this line was his admonition to Lucy, "That's no 'scuse!" to which she mockingly answered, "That's plenty 'scuse!"
edit
Innovative techniques
"It's so tasty, too!"At the time, most television shows were broadcast live from New York City, and a low-quality 35mm or 16mm kinescope print was made of the show to broadcast it in other time zones. But Ball was pregnant at the time, and she and Arnaz therefore insisted on filming the show in Hollywood. The duo, along with co-creator Jess Oppenheimer, then decided to shoot the show on 35 mm film in front of a live studio audience, with three cameras, a technique standard among present-day sitcoms. The result was a much sharper image than other shows of the time, and the audience reactions were far more authentic than the "canned laughter" used on most filmed sitcoms of the time. The technique was not completely new — another CBS comedy series, Amos 'n' Andy, which debuted four months earlier, was already being filmed at Hal Roach Studios with three 35mm cameras to save time and money. But I Love Lucy was the first show to use this technique with a studio audience.
Scenes were often performed like a play, from start to finish, without interruption. As retakes were rare, dialogue mistakes were often played off as intentional as the actors continued. For example, in her last run-through of the famous Vitameatavegamin commercial, Lucy skips to the end of the speech (unscripted), realizes her mistake, and returns to the midpoint without missing her comic timing. This technique allowed the show to remain fresh for years and appear as a "live" performance.
On January 19, 1953 68% of all United States television sets were tuned in to I Love Lucy to watch Lucy give birth. The next month on February 18 Ball and Arnaz signed an $8,000,000 contract to continue I Love Lucy through 1955. After the end of the weekly series, the actors reunited for monthly one-hour specials under the title The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour.
edit
Episodes
Main article: List of I Love Lucy episodes
edit
Themes and Highlights
In the course of the show, numerous comic ideas were introduced, and often reappeared in subsequent episodes. Several bits remain famous and beloved, often listed amongst television's best. The following list reviews some of the high points.
The clown
Considered by professional clowns to be one of their own, Lucille Ball's 'clown character' was "Lucy Ricardo." (nee "Lucille McGillicuddy" — an instantly recognizable clown moniker). Lucy Ricardo was a friendly, ambitious and somewhat naïve housewife, constantly getting into trouble of one kind or another.
The setup of the show provided ample opportunities for Ball to display her skills at clowning and physical comedy. She is regarded as one of the best in the history of film and television at physical 'schtick'.

In the course of the television series, Lucy shared the screen with numerous famous clowns. Prominent among these were Red Skelton and Harpo Marx.

Lucy tries to get into the act — a recurring and almost omnipresent theme on the show, was that "talentless" plain old Lucy the Housewife dearly desired a chance to perform, as anything: a dancer, showgirl, clown, singing cowboy — or in any role. The real joke here is that Lucille Ball, aside from being regarded as beautiful, was also quite talented in a variety of performance arts, as well as being a ground-breaking television producer.

Perhaps the best example of this gag is when Lucy shows up unannounced at Ricky's club, toting a clown-modified cello and pretending to be a musician, asking to speak with "Risky Riskerdoo" (Ricky Ricardo) this classic includes Lucy winding the cello's tuning peg as if it were a watch (to the accompaniment of ratcheting sounds) and shooting the cello's bow at Ricky's backside.

Lucy in the Candy Factory — ("Speeeeeeed it up a little!!") Lucy and Ethel attempt to get jobs — for which they are demonstrably unprepared — the classic candy-gobbling scene in this episode is an American cultural icon. This bit was a variation on an old vaudeville routine. Jackie Gleason also did a variation, involving decorating and boxing cakes as they came off an assembly line.

The Mirror Gag — now a classic improvisational acting exercise (with Harpo Marx), in which Lucy, dressed as Harpo Marx encounters the real Harpo while hiding in the kitchen doorway. Perplexed at what he sees he confronts his reflection and Lucy is forced to mimick his every move. This bit was a tribute to Harpo and Groucho's famous mirror scene in the Marx Brothers comedy classic, Duck Soup.

The Stranger with a Kind Face (aka Slowly I Turned) in which a veteran clown introduces Lucy Ricardo to some basics of the clown art, and is schooled in this classic (and at that time quite familiar) vaudevillian routine, complete with 'seltzer bottles' (a familiar clown prop) and slapstick. The Three Stooges are among many others who performed variations on this classic.

Vita-meata-vege-min — One of the most memorable episodes was titled "Lucy Does a Commercial", filmed during the first season (episode 30 of 35) on March 28, 1952, and first aired on May 5 of that year. In this episode Lucy manages to get a role as the "Vitameatavegamin girl" and is tasked with trying to sell the public a tonic that has healthy amounts of vitamins, meat, vegetables, minerals — and the less than healthy dose of 23% alcohol. "And it's so tasty too - grimacing - just like candy!" During rehearsal, Lucy becomes progressively more inebriated, with the inevitable hilarious result, made only the more funny by the alliterative, tongue twisting product name and pitch. "Do you pop out at parties? Are you unpoopular? Well, the answer to all your troubles is in this bittle lottle!"

In November of 2001, fans voted this episode as their all-time favorite during a 50th anniversary I Love Lucy television special.

Lucy Tries to Meet the Famous Star — another recurring theme, many popular stars were eager to appear on the show, and hilarity ensued in countless episodes as a result of the character, Lucy's obsession with fame and the famous.

The Cousin Ernie story arc. Lucy receives a letter informing her that her "Best Friend's Roommate's Cousin's Middle Boy" — of whom she has never heard — is coming to visit from "Bent Fork, Tennessee". 'Cousin Ernie' (immaculately played by "Tennessee" Ernie Ford) is a stereotypical Country Boy in the Big City, in awe of the sophistication (as he perceives it) of his new hosts. Cousin Ernie and the citizens of Bent Fork and its environs are encountered several times during the course of the show's life.

The Singing Jailbreak — This episode is part of the Hollywood story arc. Ricky, Lucy, Fred, and Ethel participate in a square dance called by Cousin Ernie to escape a Bent Fork, Tennessee jail in the course of which the sheriff and his two rotund daughters are tied up with a handy piece of rope. Then Ricky, Lucy, Fred and Ethel make their escape to continue their cross country venture.

Lucy does the tango - The Ricardos' and the Mertzes' chicken business is not going very well, so Lucy and Ethel come up with a plot to fool the boys into thinking the hens are laying by smuggling eggs in the henhouse, hidden underneath their clothes. However, Ricky insists that he and Lucy rehearse their tango number for a local benefit. Unbeknownst to Ricky, Lucy's blouse is filled with chicken eggs. When Lucy slams into Ricky in the final dance step, the eggs break, saturating Lucy's shirt with broken eggs. The skit resulted in the longest audience laughter in the show's history.

edit
Cast
Lucille Ball .... Lucille 'Lucy' Esmeralda MacGillicuddy Ricardo
Desi Arnaz .... Enrique 'Ricky' Alberto Ricardo y de Acha III
Vivian Vance .... Ethel Mae Roberta Louise Potter Mertz
William Frawley .... Frederick 'Fred' Hobart Edie Mertz I
Kathryn Card .... Mrs. MacGillicuddy (1955-1956)
Mary Jane Croft .... Betty Ramsey (1957)
Jerry Hausner .... Jerry, Ricky's agent (1951-1954)
Bob Jellison .... Bobby, the Hollywood bellboy (1954-1955)
Keith Thibodeaux .... Ricky Ricardo, Jr. (1956-1957) (as Little Ricky)
Joseph A. & Michael Mayer .... Ricky Ricardo, Jr. (baby) (1953-1954)
Frank Nelson .... Ralph Ramsey (1957)
Elizabeth Patterson .... Mrs. Mathilda Trumbull (1953-1956)
Richard & Ronald Lee Simmons .... Ricky Ricardo, Jr. (baby) (1954-1955)
Doris Singleton .... Caroline Appleby (1953-1957)
edit
Emmy Awards
edit
I Love Lucy (The Show)
1952: Nominated - Best Comedy Show
1953: Won - Best Situation Comedy
1954: Won - Best Situation Comedy
1955: Nominated - Best Written Comedy Material: Madelyn Davis, Jess Oppenheimer, Robert G. Carroll
1955: Nominated - Best Situation Comedy
1956: Nominated - Best Comedy Writing: Bob Carroll Jr., Madelyn Davis, Jess Oppenheimer, Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf for episode: "L.A. At Last"
edit
Lucille Ball
1952: Nominated - Best Comedian or Comedienne
1953: Nominated - Most Outstanding Personality
1953: Won - Best Comedienne
1954: Nominated - Best Female Star of Regular Series
1955: Nominated - Best Actress Starring in a Regular Series
1956: Nominated - Best Comedienne
1956: Won - Best Actress - Continuing Performance
1957: Nominated - Best Continuing Performance by a Comedienne in a Series
1958: Nominated - Best Continuing Performance (Female) in a Series by a Comedienne, Singer, Hostess, Dancer, M.C., Announcer, Narrator, Panelist, or any Person who Essentially Plays Herself
edit
Desi Arnaz
Never nominated.
edit
Vivian Vance
1954: Won - Best Series Supporting Actress
1955: Nominated - Best Supporting Actress in a Regular Series
1957: Nominated - Best Supporting Performance by an Actress
1958: Nominated - Best Continuing Supporting Performance by an Actress in a Dramatic or Comedy Series
edit
William Frawley
1954: Nominated - Best Series Supporting Actor
1955: Nominated - Best Supporting Actor in a Regular Series
1956: Nominated - Best Actor in a Supporting Role
edit
DVD Releases
"I Love Lucy- Season 1" (9 Separate disks, sold separately)
"I Love Lucy- 50th Anniversary Special"
"I Love Lucy- The Complete First Season" (7 disks, sold together)
"I Love Lucy- The Complete Second Season"
"I Love Lucy- The Complete Third Season"
"I Love Lucy- The Complete Fourth Season"
"I Love Lucy- The Complete Fifth Season"
"I Love Lucy- Seasons 1-5"
"I Love Lucy- The Complete Sixth Season"
edit
Trivia
Gale Gordon and Bea Benaderet were originally approached for the roles of Fred and Ethel, but neither could accept due to previous commitments. Gordon did appear as a guest star in a few episodes, playing Ricky's boss, Mr. Littlefield. Gordon was a veteran from the classic radio days in which he perfected the role of the exasperated character, such as in Fibber McGee and Molly. He would go on to costar with Ball in most of her post-I Love Lucy series. Benaderet once guest starred playing the Ricardo's neighbor, the elderly Miss Lewis.
At various times, Ethel's middle name was Mae, Roberta, and Louise.
The Mertz's kitchen was never shown except in the episode, "Never Do Business With Friends".
Lucille Ball liked naming supporting characters after real-life people. Carolyn Appleby was one of her teachers, and Marion Strong was a friend in Jamestown, New York.
Kathryn Card, who played Lucy's scatterbrained mother, first appeared in the series as a slovenly housewife who mistakenly believes Ricky Ricardo has invited her to join him on a date at the Tropicana.
Barbara Pepper, later featured as Doris Ziffel on the series Green Acres, frequently had one or two lines in a crowd scene. Her friendship with Ball dated back to the film Roman Scandals, in which both appeared as Goldwyn Girls.
Many facts about Ball and Arnaz made it into the series. Like Ball, Lucy Ricardo attended high school in Celoron, New York, and the Ricardos were married at the Byram River Beagle Club in Greenwich, Connecticut, just as the Arnazes had been.
Reportedly, the longest laugh in any sitcom ever — 65 seconds — was heard in the episode Lucy Does the Tango, during which Lucy - her jacket filled with raw eggs — slams into Ricky and breaks them while rehearsing a tango routine for the PTA show.
The show was one of the first programmes made in the USA seen on British television which became more open to commerce with the launch of ITV in September 1955, a commercial network that aired this series.
Ball and Arnaz capitalized on the series' popularity by starring in Vincente Minnelli's 1953 film The Long, Long Trailer as Tacy and Nicky Collini, two characters very similar to Lucy and Ricky, named Tacy and Nicky.
I Love Lucy is commonly spoofed, including on an episode of The Fairly Oddparents, in which Cosmo and Wanda go into a TV and star in a fictional show called I Love Wanda.
Ethel Mertz née Potter is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Ethel Mertz and Betty Ramsey, the neighbor from the later seasons, were childhood friends.
I Love Lucy is the first of only three shows to end its run as the #1 TV show in America. The other two are The Andy Griffith Show in 1968 and Seinfeld in 1998.
It is now well-known that Vance and Frawley did not get along, a fact which seemingly added some humorous edge to their on-screen interaction. When the series ended, Vance and Frawley were said to have been offered a chance to take their Fred and Ethel characters to their own spin-off series. Frawley was willing to do so, but Vance refused to ever work with Frawley again.
Ball and Arnaz's eventual off-screen personal problems had a much more serious effect, contributing to the demise of the show.
The last episodes of the series had to be made, even though Ball and Arnaz were divorcing/divorced. A contract had been signed before the two began to have major problems, and it wasn't lifted. This is why in the last episodes of the series, one can see Ball looking as if she had just been crying, even in supposed-to-be funny skits.
The familiar opening featuring the credits superimposed over a "heart" image, known to most of the show's younger fans, was created specifically when I Love Lucy went into syndication. When originally broadcast on CBS, the episodes featured an opening with animated drawings of Ball and Arnaz, making reference to whomever the particular episode's sponsor was (usually Phillip Morris). Since the original sponsor references were no longer applicable when the shows went into syndication, the new opening was created. These openings (with the sponsor names edited out) are now used on TV Land showings.
"Weird Al" Yankovic parodied the TV show, as well as Toni Basil's song "Mickey", in the song "Ricky" on his 1983 debut album, working in many of the show's classic schticks and closing with a segment of the I Love Lucy theme. Yankovic also produced an album of the show's greatest musical moments entitled Babalu Music.
On Babylon 5, Ambassador Sinclair refers to himself and Captain Sheridan as "Lucy and Ethel." Sheridan responds, "Lucy and Ethel?"
In the movie Rat Race one of the characters pretends to be a coach driver and drives a group of women, dressed up as Lucy to the "Third annual I Love Lucy Convention"
It's been rumored that Arnaz had a photographic memory, able to remember the scripts perfectly after reading them just one time.
The series is as of April 2006 the longest running program to continue airing in the Los Angeles area almost 50 years after it ended. Ironically, the series is currently aired on KTTV, which had given up the CBS affiliation several months before I Love Lucy premiered.
edit
References
Joe Garner, Stay Tuned: Television's Unforgettable Moments (Andrews McMeel Publishing; 2002) ISBN 0-7407-2693-5
Bart Andrews, The 'I Love Lucy' Book (Doubleday & Company, Inc.; 1976)
Coyne Steven Sanders & Tom Gilbert, Desilu: The Story of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz (William Morrow & Company, Inc.; 1993)
I Love Lucy
1951-1957
CBS, USA
Desi Arnaz (RIP, 1917-1986)
Lucille Ball (RIP, 1911-1989)

by P.redeckis June 09, 2006

Mug icon
Buy a I Love Lucy mug!