Desilu's Christmas Rush...
"Christmas coming... Things are humming!
Busy, busy, in a tizzy...
Hurry, hurry, hurry, 'til we're done!"*
Normal people spend the week before Christmas rushing around, trying to buy that last special present... wrapping gifts... ordering food for Christmas dinner... attending that very special holiday party... Not Desilu -- at least not in 1951. Instead, Lucy, Desi, Viv, Bill, Jess, Bob, Madelyn, Marc and the gang spent the week before Christmas producing not one but two episodes of I Love Lucy. So close were their production dates to airtime that the choice was either do two shows in one week -- or work Christmas week! The two programs were "Lucy Fakes Illness" and "Lucy Writes a Play."
"Lucy Fakes Illness," (photos above) was filmed by Desilu 51 years ago this week, on Tuesday, December 18, 1951. It was the 16th episode of I Love Lucy to go before the cameras. Joining the cast for this one -- in which Lucy pretends to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown unless Ricky puts her in his show -- was comedian Hal March. Ricky hires March to masquerade as a doctor to treat his wife. His diagnosis: Lucy's got the goe-bloots, which came into the country "on the hind legs of the boo-shoo bird."
"Lucy Writes a Play," (photos below) filmed four days later, on Saturday, December 22, and found Lucy entering a playwrighting contest. She hopes Ricky and the Mertzes will help her stage it. Fred and Ethel agree, but Ricky refuses -- until he learns a Hollywood producer will be the judge. Character actress Myra Marsh appeared as one of Lucy's club women, and script supervisor Maury Thompson appeared as the stage manager.
Christmas lyric from "Workshop Song,"from Walt Disney's "Babes in Toyland,"
by George Bruns and Mel Leven, music adapted from Victor Herbert melody.
(c)Walt Disney Productions. All Rights Reserved.
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