So Much More than Lucy

Categories:  Film    Features
Wednesday, January 20th, 2016 at 2:00 PM
So Much More than Lucy by Sara Toth

While Lucille Ball may be best known for her starring role as Lucy Ricardo in “I Love Lucy,” she had a body of work that extended well beyond that show’s six-year run in the 1950s.

“She was 42 movies into her career by the time I Love Lucy came on the air, and many weren’t comedies,” Gunderson says.

But her legacy is more than her movies and her television shows; Ball was also a trailblazer for women and for comedy.

“She was among the first, honestly, to not care if she looked ridiculous in the process of getting a laugh,” Gunderson says. “At that point in time, most female roles, especially leading ladies, were love interests or sex symbols, kind of passive and thus attractive in a traditional sense. Lucille Ball changed all of that.”

Look at the main premise of I Love Lucy, Gunderson says – at every plot, every laugh. The common theme? “She was always trying for more; she wasn’t satisfied being in the house.”

Hijinks would ensue, of course, but that desire driving the laughs struck a chord.

“That resonated with women – and everyone – in the 1950s,” Gunderson says. “She broke barriers in that she wasn’t valuable for just being attractive. She was valuable in that she could really make people laugh.” – Sara Toth

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