Seventy Years Of Lucy

The groundbreaking television show I Love Lucy premiered on this day in 1951. Seventy years ago. It was the first tv show to air in ten million homes and has aired in over seventy countries since then.

I visited Lucille Ball’s hometown this spring and have written about things to see and do there as well as how the show changed television history. Their influence during these early years of television is remarkable. Lucy’s on-screen parter was also her real life husband and business partner Desi Arnaz. Together, they built an empire that gave us the studio audience, multiple cameras, syndication and even shows like Star Trek and Andy Griffith.

You can read about the impact that Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz had on television history here.

My Jamestown visit was loads of fun. The National Comedy Museum is located here and there’s a wonderful local history museum in addition to the Lucy attractions. Lake Chautauqua provides great opportunities for outdoor recreation and you’re close to Lake Erie.

I highly recommend staying at the Doubletree in downtown Jamestown because that puts you within walking distance of most attractions. You get free parking and it’s a good neighborhood. The Lucytown Tour takes you past Lucy murals, statues and landmarks including her childhood home. For me, the best part was seeing the recreated TV sets and watching their old home videos at the Lucy- Desi Museum.

Before you go, be sure to spend some time watching a few episodes of the show! I watched the entire series this winter and had a great connection to the sets, props and other artifacts on display at the Lucy Desi Museum.

Two Faces Of Lucy

Lucy Ricardo is personified in two statues in Lucille Ball’s hometown. One is delightful. The other made international news for being so terrible.

Meet Scary Lucy.

This statue was unveiled in 2009. The creation of sculptor David Poulin, it depicts Lucy while she famously becomes intoxicated while pitching for Vitameatavegamin.

The statue is terrible. It looks nothing like Lucy and has become known as Scary Lucy.

In 2016, the community rallied and had a new statue made – this one created by artist Caroline Palmer.

Meet Lovely Lucy.

She really is lovely. This one depicts a truer to life Lucy, animated and full of movement. She’s quite realistic.

Both can be found in Lucille Ball Memorial Park in Celeron, New York on the shore of Lake Chautauqua. Lucille was born in neighboring Jamestown but spent her teenage years in a house down the street here in Celeron.

Want to see the statues? Take the Lucytown Tour!