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I Love Lucy: We Have Some 'Splainin To Do...


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#3121

drmka9

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Posted Nov 6, 2012 @ 7:08 PM

It's my understanding that apart of that thinking was you didn't allow your wife to learn of these infidelities, you didn't bring home any STD's or other children and you did not disrespect your wife by flirting with other women in front of her or her friends. Your wife was your wife deserving of attention and respect.


While that's generally true, things were a bit more brazen in Hollywood, particularly under the studio system. As an example: One starlet - and I'm unfortunately blanking on the name - had a child out of wedlock, kept said child in an orphanage (in Europe, I think) for about a year until she decided to 'adopt' a child. And wasn't it such a great coincidence that this baby looked so much like her!

I'm not saying that Desi's behavior approached anything like that, but there was a definite "as long as my behavior doesn't get into the press, I can do whatever I want" feeling with the vast majority of stars at that time. The media wasn't there to knock them down, as it is today.
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#3122

dustylil

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Posted Nov 6, 2012 @ 7:57 PM

As an example: One starlet - and I'm unfortunately blanking on the name - had a child out of wedlock, kept said child in an orphanage (in Europe, I think) for about a year until she decided to 'adopt' a child. And wasn't it such a great coincidence that this baby looked so much like her!


Are you thinking of Loretta Young - not a starlet, but a prominent movie actress - who became pregnant during her affair with the married Clark Gable? Frankly, I always thought that was a wonderfully clever way for Ms Young to get to have and raise her own child without having her career destroyed - as it surely would have been had the facts become public knowledge. No downside at all for Mr. Gable of course.

Apologies for the off-topic post.
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#3123

scarlett45

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Posted Nov 6, 2012 @ 9:06 PM

Yes yes that was Loretta Young. Things were different back then, regarding the media and actors' personal lives.
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#3124

discorules

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Posted Nov 7, 2012 @ 8:38 AM

Do any of you believe Cesar Romero's claim that he "took care" of Desi on occasion? I can never watch Lucy Takes a Cruise to Havana in the same way....


Also one of the queens on RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars (Shannel) did an OK Lucy impersonation on the show last week.

Edited by discorules, Nov 7, 2012 @ 8:42 AM.

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#3125

dustylil

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Posted Nov 7, 2012 @ 12:09 PM

Do any of you believe Cesar Romero's claim that he "took care" of Desi on occasion? I can never watch Lucy Takes a Cruise to Havana in the same way....


Ack! What do you mean by "took care"?
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#3126

JCScantling

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Posted Nov 7, 2012 @ 4:28 PM

I'm assuming that taking care of Desi meant giving him a blow job.
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#3127

scarlett45

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Posted Nov 7, 2012 @ 4:46 PM

I'm assuming that taking care of Desi meant giving him a blow job.

No I don't think Desi was engaging in same sex sexual activity.(nor do I think a star of that time would admit to it)

I think that meant "finding him prostitutes". But I could be wrong.

Edited by scarlett45, Nov 7, 2012 @ 4:47 PM.

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#3128

oceanblue

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Posted Nov 7, 2012 @ 8:27 PM

I'd assume the same. I always wonder if Desi's flagrancy in his cheating was due to resentment for Lucy being perceived as the success? He was the man from a culture that did not celebrate women working, in a time that did not. We all know now how much of their success was him, but I don't think that was the case then. Maybe he was finding a way to stick it to her?
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#3129

scarlett45

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Posted Nov 7, 2012 @ 9:16 PM

I'd assume the same. I always wonder if Desi's flagrancy in his cheating was due to resentment for Lucy being perceived as the success? He was the man from a culture that did not celebrate women working, in a time that did not. We all know now how much of their success was him, but I don't think that was the case then. Maybe he was finding a way to stick it to her?


That's a possibility. Desi also encountered racism in his career. Certain parts weren't open to him and he was often type casted as "the Latin lover"- one of the reasons he enjoyed his band so much compared to acting. Certain golf clubs wouldn't allow him entry etc. Desi was also proud to be an American Citizen but Lucille was the one they viewed as "America's Sweetheart". All of those feelings combined with general sexist attitudes and entitlement issues could lead to flagrant cheating. To me the shocking thing isn't that Desi cheated, but that he was so flamboyant about it despite Lucille being deeply angry and depressed about it. To me that's being cruel for cruelties sake, not a married man having some fun on the side.
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#3130

SiameseCatLady

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Posted Nov 9, 2012 @ 3:35 PM

I'd assume the same. I always wonder if Desi's flagrancy in his cheating was due to resentment for Lucy being perceived as the success? He was the man from a culture that did not celebrate women working, in a time that did not. We all know now how much of their success was him, but I don't think that was the case then. Maybe he was finding a way to stick it to her?

Even though Lucille never was what I'd consider a movie STAR, she had a much more active movie career than Desi and was more widely known from that and her radio work. I think even now unless you're a musical STAR actors are more well known. I think Lucille was probably always considered more well known/a bigger star. That combined with the Latin machismo made Desi think cheating was okay and she should just accept it as something men do. I don't even know that Desi had this clear in his head, why he felt the need to cheat, but if it was what he was used to seeing around him as a boy he may not have really known anything else.
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#3131

davout1806

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Posted Nov 10, 2012 @ 11:43 AM

I Love Lucy is such a wonderful study of human nature. For example, The Gossip was on the other day (on Hallmark Channel) and every time my sister and I watch that episode, we always start a discussion on what constitutes gossip. How many other shows from the 1950's can provoke conversation about a variety of details such as what these wonderful characters revealed for all of us and have kept us interested in the decades that have followed?
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#3132

grayhairmom

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Posted Nov 11, 2012 @ 11:25 AM

My public radio station (WNYC) is rerunning a neat program about "I Love Lucy" on a show called Studio 360. I hope the link works.

http://www.studio360.org/2012/nov/09/

Not new stuff for die-hard fans but lots of great audio from many who were involved in the show.
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#3133

davout1806

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Posted Nov 12, 2012 @ 11:31 AM

grayhairmom Thanks for the info. I wish I got public radio like that. I wonder if they ever thought when they started I Love Lucy that it would be discussed on radio and shown on TV over 50 years later. That's what is amazing about some of the present day shows that they allow to run for over 100 episodes, etc. and, except for one, I don't think I've watched any of the contemporary shows for more than an episode or two.
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#3134

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Posted Nov 16, 2012 @ 12:06 PM

Today's episode was Ricky Thinks He's Getting Bald. This is a wonderful example of Lucy and Desi's willingness to do slapstick comedy. Every time I see Ricky getting the "baldness" treatment, or Lucy dancing the tango with the shirt full of eggs, or Lucy singing on the Freddie Fillmore show, knowing she's going to get honey, etc. dumped on her, I am amazed at what they were willing to endure to create laughs. It would have been so great to see some of those scenes in person. I don't watch sit coms anymore, but I wouldn't think there would be as many scenes like this as there used to be. Kudos to Lucy and Desi's endurance and fortitude in the face of mustard plaster, honey, crushed eggs, etc.
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#3135

Runningwild

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Posted Nov 16, 2012 @ 12:40 PM

I do think that Desi truly loved Lucy and Lucy loved him. Let's not forget he was also an alcoholic. Being intoxicated can certainly lead you to do stupid, hurtful things to the people you love. I also think his wandering eye was due to things already mentioned- his upbringing (his father and I think his grandfather also had a mistress), maybe a little (or a lot of) resentment due to the fact that Desi came up with all these ideas and Lucy was the star of the show and the one adored, and the racism against Cubans/Latinos. Plus, maybe Desi felt he wasn't cheating on Lucy because he was only cheating physically, not emotionally. From what I understand, he had prostitutes or one night stands, not a mistress like his father and/or grandfather (can't remember who it was).

Edited by Runningwild, Nov 16, 2012 @ 12:42 PM.

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#3136

davout1806

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Posted Nov 22, 2012 @ 5:07 PM

This is a general question. We have seen so many episodes in which Lucy knows from a few words of Spanish to nothing. Does anyone know how much Spanish Lucille Ball knew and understood after all those years of marriage? I would think that almost anyone living with a person that long would have picked up some of the most basic phrases.
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#3137

discorules

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Posted Nov 22, 2012 @ 5:27 PM

I've often wondered if Lucie and Desi Jr speak Spanish. I've never heard then speak more than a few simple words, so I would guess if they don't know any, probably Lucille didn't know much as well. Did Desi Jr speak any Spanish in The Mambo Kings? Although that doesn't mean he's fluent in real life...Lines can be learned phonetically....
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#3138

legaleagle44

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Posted Nov 23, 2012 @ 8:30 AM

They may not have picked up any, since the prevailing mindset among immigrants of Desi's generation (and the two or three generations that preceded it) was "You're in America now, so you learn and speak English -- and nothing else!" The concepts of multiculturalism and ethnic pride didn't start emerging until about 25 years after I Love Lucy went off the air.

Edited by legaleagle44, Nov 23, 2012 @ 8:30 AM.

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#3139

Runningwild

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Posted Nov 23, 2012 @ 7:27 PM

I don't think they knew any. I saw a home movie of Lucy and Desi in a swimming pool with one of the grand kids. He says something in Spanish and she teases him that she begged him to speak Spanish to their kids when they were younger.
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#3140

discorules

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Posted Nov 24, 2012 @ 11:24 AM

The Rachel York Lucy biopic (2003) was on the TV Guide channel yesterday. I liked it better than the Frances Fisher film.
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#3141

HelloPatti

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Posted Nov 24, 2012 @ 3:09 PM

They may not have picked up any, since the prevailing mindset among immigrants of Desi's generation (and the two or three generations that preceded it) was "You're in America now, so you learn and speak English -- and nothing else!" The concepts of multiculturalism and ethnic pride didn't start emerging until about 25 years after I Love Lucy went off the air.


My mother's entire side of the family was from Cuba. I grew up in California and my mother refused to teach any of us Spanish for the very same reason. She never spoke Spanish to anybody except occasionally to my aunt on the phone (who lived in Miami which at that time, had more Cubans as opposed to Mexicans in my hometown in Southern California). Ironically, any minimal Spanish I learned was slang from my Mexican classmates which I find embarrassing in today's world (i.e. being half Hispanic and not being able to speak the language)

Back when the show was popular, it seems as if they lumped all Hispanics together (Lucy making tacos and tamales for Ricky when the only time Cubans eat those things is when they go to Taco Bell).
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#3142

discorules

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Posted Nov 24, 2012 @ 3:38 PM

Not trying to argue, but did Lucy really make tacos and tamales for Ricky? I don't remember it. In fact, I don't remember their mentioning ANY Latin dishes other than arroz con pollo, but I could be wrong. Do you know which episode had Lucy preparing tacos and tamales for Ricky's dinner? Thanks.
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#3143

andyllina

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Posted Nov 24, 2012 @ 5:12 PM

In "Be a Pal" she served Ricky tacos, tamales, frijoles, enchiladas and guacamole.
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#3144

legaleagle44

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Posted Nov 24, 2012 @ 5:34 PM

Wow, wrong culture, wrong cuisine, and wrong country altogether. Desi must have been mortified!
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#3145

TudorQueen

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Posted Nov 24, 2012 @ 7:37 PM

Fun fact: Arroz con pollo was actually Desi Arnaz's favorite meal and, unlike Ricky's slapstick failure with it, Desi could cook it expertly and often did so for family and friends.
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#3146

vera charles

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Posted Nov 24, 2012 @ 7:42 PM

"Be A Pal" is the same episode where Lucy dressed up as Carmen Miranda, who was Portugese and was first popular in Brazil. Talk about wrong culture, wrong country!
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#3147

smiley13

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Posted Nov 25, 2012 @ 11:43 AM

In "Be a Pal" she served Ricky tacos, tamales, frijoles, enchiladas and guacamole.


Did she state that this was supposed to be a Cuban meal? If not, I see nothing wrong with it. I make spaghetti and I am not Italian.
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#3148

legaleagle44

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Posted Nov 25, 2012 @ 12:45 PM

But you're not trying to identify with an Italian's native culture when you do that -- and even if you were, that could easily backfire because Italian culture and cuisine actually vary greatly from region to region in Italy, and Italians are known for thinking of themselves as Neapolitans or Sicilians or Romans or Venetians first and Italians second. Thus, for example, spaghetti and pizza are more closely identified with southern Italy and Sicily than they are with the region around Venice, where seafood is dominant, so serving spaghetti, lasagna, and pizza to a Venetian would be as culturally ignorant as serving tacos, tamales, enchiladas, frijoles, and guacamole to a Cuban (while doing an impersonation of a Portuguese singer singing Brazilian songs in Portuguese) would be.

The whole point of what Lucy was doing was to show that she could -- and did -- identify with Ricky's native cultural background. That she got it wrong on every level shows that the writers had no clue as to what Ricky's true cultural heritage was; they simply applied a generic, borderline-racist "Latin" stereotype and figured that nobody would know the difference.

Edited by legaleagle44, Nov 25, 2012 @ 12:47 PM.

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#3149

smiley13

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Posted Nov 25, 2012 @ 2:27 PM

The Harpo episode is on. I had forgotten how annoying he is. That is about my least favorite of the Hollywood episodes.
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#3150

legaleagle44

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Posted Nov 25, 2012 @ 2:41 PM

You have to admit, though, that the iconic "mirror" sketch (which, from what I understand, is one of the hardest sketches to pull off successfully) makes the rest of the episode worth sitting through.
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