Saturday, August 6, 2011

Lucy Meets Superman!

It's Lucille Ball's 100th Birthday... we thought we'd look at the most comic tv episode she ever did!
Lucy Meets Superman!
Lucy competes with her friend Carolyn Appleby over invitations and scheduling for Little Ricky's birthday party.
When Ricky mentions that Superman is in town, Lucy tries to get Superman to come to Little Ricky's party, sure that this will make it a much bigger draw than the one Carolyn is hosting.
Ricky tries, but Superman can't make the party. So Lucy disguises herself as "Superman", and much hilarity ensues.
Fortunately Superman does show up to save the day...

Though the episode was filmed and broadcast in black and white, George Reeves wore the "color" red/blue/yellow costume which looks almost monochromatic in b/w (as you can see)!
This was because the show was recorded in front of a live audience, and the high-contrast gray (for blue) and brown (for red) costume used in Adventures of Superman's b/w episodes wouldn't have looked "right" to the audience (or the kids on set)!
The promotional photo at left was shot in b/w and meant for b/w newspaper and magazine reproduction, so George wore the gray/brown costume to provide contrast between the "blue" and "red" costume elements.

Deliberately, George Reeves appears only in costume and everyone refers to him only as "Superman", not as "George Reeves" or "the man who plays Superman" or somesuch!

In one scene, a woman sees Lucy in her improvised Superman costume outside a window and screams!  When her husband asks her what she saw...
Man: Was it a bird?
Woman: No!
Man: Was it a plane?
Woman: No!
Man: Then what was it?
Woman: It was Superman!
The woman was played by Madge Blake, who several years later, was Aunt Harriet on the Batman TV series!

Now a special treat...the COMPLETE EPISODE "Lucy Meets Superman"!

For the record, besides this episode of her tv series, Lucille Ball has several genre credits including Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back, Blood Money, Five Came Back, and The Dark Corner,
In addition, the studio she owned with Desi Arnaz, Desilu Studios, produced the first two years of the original Star Trek before Paramount Pictures acquired the studio in 1967, forever placing her in the upper echelon of Fantastic Femmes!

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