Flame-haired Lucille Ball was TV magic. Her timing: spot-on (those wide-eyed reaction takes!). Her physical comedy: impeccable (an early start as a chorus girl helped). Her fearlessness: unending (she never shied away from looking clumsy, frumpy, selfish, or deceitful — as long as it got a giggle). Decades offers up three Lucy series Saturday, August 7, and Sunday, August 8. Which one busts your gut?
I Love Lucy
(Sunday, August 8, 10am/9c to 10/9c)
This is the one… we know and love. The sitcom ran from 1951 to 1957 with Ball as zany NYC housewife Lucy Ricardo, wed to hotheaded Cuban band-leader Ricky (Ball’s real-life husband, Desi Arnaz). Their BFFs/landlords: Fred and Ethel Mertz (William Frawley and Vivian Vance). The quartet’s hijinks were pure gold.
OUR PICK: “Job Switching” (Sunday, 5/4c), from 1952. Lucy and Ethel get jobs wrapping chocolates on a production line, but a suspiciously speedy conveyor belt forces them to improvise.
The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour
(Saturday, August 7 noon/11am c, to Sunday, August 8 6am/5c)
This is the one… that sent the Ricardos on the road. These 13 hourlong specials, broadcast from 1957 to 1960, often dropped in on the TV couple during travel adventures. The main storyline always involved Lucy interacting with a celebrity guest of the day — Tallulah Bankhead, Milton Berle, Red Skelton—playing themselves.
OUR PICK: “Lucy Goes to Mexico” (Saturday, 5/4c), from 1958. Lucy accompanies Ricky south of the border for his show with French performer Maurice Chevalier — but ends up in a bullfight!
The Lucy Show
(Sunday, August 8, 6am/5c to 10am/9c, then 10/9c to Monday, August 9, 6am/5c)
This is the one… that reunited Ball and Vance. In the 1962–68 comedy, widowed mom Lucy Carmichael shared a suburban home with divorced Vivian Bagley and her son. Season 4 moved Lucy to California, where her bank job (and daily life) put big stars from Carol Burnett to Mickey Rooney in her path.
OUR PICK: “Lucy and John Wayne” (Sunday, 1:30am/12:30c), from 1966. While delivering paperwork, Lucy somehow finagles lunch with the Duke, then trails him to set and unleashes chaos.
Lucy Weekend Binge, Begins Saturday, August 7, Noon/11am c, Decades