Lucille Ball one of the first known women comedians, and the woman known as the redhead with the very annoying voice, was born August 6, 1911 in an average middle class American family. Ball’s ground breaking show “I Love Lucy”, gave insight into a middle class family in the 1950’s, the only difference was Ball’s costar and husband Desi Arnez was Cuban. When I picked my topic I thought it would be cool to dig inside of Ball’s personal life with her husband and family but as I discovered she was one of the first women to have her own television show and is looked at as one of the most inspirational women in time for her contributions to television and the progression of women. But is Ball the woman behind her laughs from her show? In doing research I found that a woman by the name of Madelyn Davis, was supposedly the woman who wrote Ball’s punch lines and jokes. How is this so, her jokes seemed so original and most of the time things seemed to ad lived. The I Love Lucy show warmed hearts and filled homes with love and laughter, so is it possible that Madelyn Davis is the cause of all this? Although this may be true Lucile Ball inspired women all around to do what they feel she changed the way women were looked at in the 1950’s. Her role as a mother, wife, comedian and actress were all portrayed in the show.
Lucy is most famous for her contributions to women’s progression in society and television. Lucille is known for being “In 1962, Lucy bought out former husband Desi, becoming the first (and only) female head of a studio – and once again rebranded herself as an industry powerhouse” states Deb Babbit.(p7) She also had her own personal battles and demons she faced, from being in an open inter-racial relationship to suffering miscarriages with her first two children. Most women in this time were home makers but Lucy switched up how society looked at women roles. It was not rare that you seen a woman being an actress but to have her own show as Lucy did was unheard of. The red head sometimes hardheaded wife gave an insight into some middle class families during the 1950’s. Although some families were structured like the “Ricardos” all were not. The television show gave the perception that women do have other roles in life besides sitting at home and having children but that women hold the fort together.
This was not any typical American sitcom. This show had all kinds of diversity and I think that’s what kind of trends Lucy set for generations to come. During this time women were looked down on, never really had a role in society, some did but not many. It’s like Lucy set her own trends and did not care what others thought about her. “Serious, guarded, literal-minded perfectionist”(p2), is what Tom Gilbert called her in his article. Ball’s works were phenomenal when it came to her acting skills. Her show was not the only thing she worked on it was more of her baby, but she did other television appearances as well and movies too. She shaped a culture that thought of women as so little and convinced people that women can really do other things besides be homemakers. She made it known that women actually had a voice and could stand up for themselves. She based her life on becoming the best and that’s what she did. She defined a nation for women. In doing my research I found that Lucille Ball was also an entrepreneur.
Now I would like to focus on the general outlook of the show. Lucille and her husband Desi had one of the first production companies. They produced their own TV. pilot that’s how they ended up founding their company Desilu. This is one way she helped change society and the roles of women she started her own company. Until now people have always thought that Lucy was the laughs behind her show. Upon doing research I found an article that suggested that Lucy was not the writer of her own jokes and was not as funny as she portrayed to be. Why is this the first time that people are now...
Cited: Babbit, Deb. “Ten Lessons of Lucy”. “The Savy Intern.p.1-10. Academic Search Complete. Web. 05 Nov. 2011
Gilbert, Tom. “The Woman Behind Lucy’s Laughs.” New York Times p.15. Academic Search Complete. Web. 07 Aug. 2011.
Higham, Charles. The Real Life of Lucille Ball. St. Martin’s Press. 1986, Print.
Landay, Lori. “Millions Love Lucy: Commodification and the Lucy Phenomenon.” NWSA Jornal. 11.2 25-47. Academic Search Complete. Web. 14 Nov. 2011.
McCumber, Kirsten. “Lucy Leaves ‘em Laughing”. Entertainment Weekly. p68. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Apr. 1995.
Monhollon, Rusty. Perspectives in American Social History: Baby Boom People and Perspectives. ABC-Clio, 2010. Print.
Raw, Lawrence. “Form and Functions in the 1950’s Anthology Series. Journal of Popular Film and Television. 37.2 (2009): 90-6. Academic Search Complete. Web. 14 Nov. 2011.
Stamberg, Susan. “Manipulation 101”. Electronic Media. 20.40 (2001): p18. Academic Search Complete. Web. 10 Oct. 2001.
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