Guest Author - Robin Rounds Whittemore
The city of Jamestown, NY has a favorite daughter. She was born on August 6, 1911. Little did anyone know she would grow up to be the first woman to head up a major studio. Lucille Ball also grew up to be a woman that influenced many comedic women after her.
Some of the sitcom shows that Desilu Studios helped produce include: Our Miss Brooks, My Favorite Martian, Make Room for Daddy, and The Dick Van Dyke Show. Believe it or not, other shows that came out of Desilu studios include: Star Trek, Mission Impossible, and The Untouchables.
Now, in Jamestown, NY where it all started, there is a museum dedicated to the city’s favorite daughter. The Lucy-Desi Museum is located at 212 Pine Street in Jamestown. The Desilu Playhouse is an attraction that opened in August of 2005. It features replicas of some of the sets shown on the “I Love Lucy” show. That is located at 2 West 3rd Street. The Lucy-Desi Center Gift Shop is situated at 300 North Main Street. This is where you can purchase your Lucy memorabilia.
I Love Lucy and The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour saw many noted guest stars. Remember the episode with William Holden? That was the one where Lucy got her plastic nose set on fire. They saw Alaska with Red Skelton; and the girls spied on Tallulah Bankhead when she became their neighbor in the country. Who will ever forget the Lucy and Harpo mirror duet?
Guest stars also came in couples. Howard Duff and Ida Lupino paid a visit to the show, as did Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams. Danny Thomas and Marjorie Lord made guest appearances in an episode titled, Make Room for Danny. In this episode, Lucy and Ricky rent out their house to Danny Thomas and his "wife", Marjorie Lord, in a spoof of the show "Make Room for Daddy".
When Lucy was searching for uranium behind Ricky’s back, Fred MacMurray was the guest star. He was wearing a titanium watch. His shoes were untied and every time he reached down to tie his shoes, his watch set off the searching apparatus. For those that love slapstick, you’ll love it when Lucy slaps his hands as Fred goes to tie his shoes. The look on his face was priceless!
Even without guest stars, Lucy (Lucille Ball), Ricky (Desi Arnaz), Ethel (Vivian Vance), and Fred (William Frawley) were hilarious and talented all by themselves or as a team. They gave us many years of laughter, and through the magic of television, they will be making generations laugh for a long time to come.