14 Oct National Comedy Center & Lucy Desi Museum to Mark The 70th Anniversary of “I Love Lucy” With Screenings, Enhanced Exhibits and Interactive Experiences
Photos and logos:
Jamestown, NY – October 14, 2021 – The National Comedy Center, the nation’s official cultural institution dedicated to comedy, and the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum, which celebrates the lives, careers and legacy of the “First Couple of Comedy,” will mark the 70th anniversary of the debut of “I Love Lucy” on Friday, October 15 with special episode screenings throughout the weekend, enhanced Lucy Desi exhibits and new interactive experiences for fans of the beloved TV series.
“I Love Lucy” premiered on the CBS television network on October 15, 1951 and quickly became a cultural phenomenon – and one of the most popular television shows of all time. The series revolutionized television with its groundbreaking production techniques and influenced TV comedy for generations to come.
“70 years since its television premiere, I Love Lucy is still loved by millions of fans worldwide,” stated Journey Gunderson, Executive Director of the National Comedy Center and Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum. “With the extraordinary talent of Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance and William Frawley, and the creativity of the Desilu production team, I Love Lucy essentially invented television comedy as we know it today. We invite fans to visit our museums throughout this 70th anniversary year as we celebrate the legacy of this remarkable TV show.”
Visitors to Jamestown, NY, Lucille Ball’s hometown, can celebrate the 70th anniversary in a number of ways:
- The award-winning National Comedy Center – which is the realization of Lucille Ball’s vision for her hometown to become the home of the nation’s official museum for the celebration of comedy – will celebrate the anniversary by presenting 70 of the best episodes of “I Love Lucy” in its theater over four days beginning this Friday, including the very first episode to be broadcast, “The Girls Want to Go to a Nightclub,” and fan favorites like “Lucy Does a TV Commercial” (Vitameatavegamin episode), “Job Switching (chocolate factory episode) and “Lucy’s Italian Movie” (grape stomping episode).
- National Comedy Center visitors can put themselves into an “I Love Lucy” episode using green screen technology as they recreate the classic chocolate factory scene, which was named the funniest scene in TV history in 2013. The National Comedy Center exhibit galleries feature iconic Lucy wardrobe and artifacts including Lucille Ball’s blue polka dot dress. These exhibit experiences are available to National Comedy Center visitors year-round.
- At the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum, new photo experiences will officially debut this Friday, including the unique opportunity to walk on to the most famous TV living room in TV history – an exact replica of Lucy and Ricky Ricardo’s New York apartment set – for a photo op. Six Emmy Awards won by Lucille Ball are newly presented within the museum for another photo opportunity. Throughout the museum, new audiovisual presentations and upgraded artifact displays enhance the visitor experience as the remarkable stories of Lucy, Desi and “I Love Lucy” are told. These new photo ops and exhibit enhancements will be available to visitors year-round.
Fans worldwide can celebrate the “I Love Lucy” 70th anniversary virtually by taking part in the Lucy Desi Museum’s new Picture Mosaic experience. Fans are invited to submit photos of themselves to help create a Lucy Desi 70th anniversary mural mosaic, which will take shape in real time as fan photos are received. The mural will be displayed within the museum gallery and online, and become a permanent part of the museum archives. For details and to submit photos for free, visit LucyMosaic.com.
The Lucy Desi Museum Official Shop is presenting a 70th anniversary auction of rare and vintage Lucy, Desi and “I Love Lucy,” treasures and collectibles from its retail warehouse. The online auction runs from October 15 through October 29 with proceeds supporting the museum’s non-profit mission. For details and to start bidding, visit LucyDesi.com/auction.
The Lucy Desi Museum Official Shop and the National Comedy Center’s Comedy Shop are also celebrating the 70th anniversary with a four-day flash sale, now through October 18, with 15% off all merchandise storewide for purchases of $70 or more, including exclusive “I Love Lucy” 70th anniversary products. Shop now at ShopLucyDesi.com and ComedyShop.com, or visit the museums stores in Jamestown.
More celebration activities will take place throughout 2021 and 2022 as both the National Comedy Center and Lucy Desi Museum celebrate the 70th anniversary year of the debut season “I Love Lucy.” Plan your visit at ComedyCenter.org.