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Behind the scenes she was all business, running a large entertainment empire and finally casting off Desi Arnaz when his drinking and infidelities became too blatant (and too damaging to the ‘family’ image Ball wanted Desilu to project).Onscreen she donned an apron to make a meal at the least provocation, and looked to a man to guide her domestic life and her career.
From him she learned the proper way to do a double-take, where the comedian looks at something but it doesn’t register, and then snaps back to gawk in consternation, fear or anger at whatever it is that he missed the first time.
He taught her to do the spit take – calmly drinking coffee or beer or some other refreshment, only to geyser it out when something untoward occurs.
You can see this bizarre act in their audition tape for the “I Love Lucy” Show.
It was considered so outrageous by TV executives that the tape was never used during the run of the show.
Sorkin last wrote the screenplay for “Steve Jobs” and is the writer and director on Jessica Chastain’s “Molly’s Game,” which is looking at a release in November. No director has been announced as of yet for the project.
I joined Ringling Brothers Circus as a clown, in part, because of the crazy shenanigans of Lucille Ball on her sitcom 'I Love Lucy.' She was a gutsy lady who wasn't afraid to get sprayed with seltzer while doing the 'Niagra Falls' routine, or get chocolate goo smeared all over her face on an assembly line reminiscent of the one in Chaplin's 'Modern Times.' The canned laugh track that functioned as her Greek Chorus didn't distract me from the fact that Lucy knew her slapstick.
This was the same period when Lucille Ball was spinning her wheels at MGM, playing everything from dizzy blondes to conniving blondes to wholesome blondes to an occasional Technicolor redhead who didn’t do much but look good in an Edith Head dress.
Wandering the back lot of MGM between movie takes, she struck up a deep and abiding friendship with Keaton, who saw her as something of a protégé, and taught her all he could about the subtleties of physical comedy.
Lucille Ball should have quite a shindig going on for her upcoming birthday this coming August.
Her hometown of Jamestown, New York, is planning a celebration, and you can see a Lucy look-alike on the main page of the city’s website at Ball was an outstanding physical comedy actress in her day; highly acclaimed and publicized.