January 25, 1920

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His first of very few on-camera appearances was as the announcer for the radio show“Mr. and Mrs. Quiz,” part of the plot of“Lucy Gets Ricky on the Radio”(S1;E32) first aired on May 19, 1952. He was such a hit, he became a regular part of the Desilu family.

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On “The Lucy Show” he was heard announcing the TV football game in “Lucy is a Referee” (TLS S1;E3)…

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When there was a voice coming from a TV, radio, or loudspeaker, it generally belonged to Rowan.

Rowan eventually became part-owner of radio stations in Las Vegas, Stockton and San Jose. In 1968 he joined the media brokerage firm Blackburn & Co. and headed its Beverly Hills office for 22 years, handling the sales of TV stations and hundreds of radio stations.When Blackburn closed its West Coast offices, Rowan formed Rowan Media Brokers in Encino.

Roy Rowan died in 1998 at age 78. He was survived by his wife, Marilyn, and two daughters.


Roy Rowan Lucille Ball I Love Lucy The Lucy Show The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour Desilu CBS Radio TV Announcer
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Only about half of the country got to see this episode when it debuted November 1, 1954. CBS affiliates chose to air a filmed political commercial from the Republican Party. The 1954 United States Senate elections was a midterm election in the first term of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s presidency. Non-affiliate stations still showed “I Love Lucy.” CBS affiliates aired the episode five months later on April 11, 1955. Since the characters were already in California, a flashback opening had Lucy mentioning the Mr. and Mrs. TV Show as a way to try and get into Ricky’s next gig. On that date non-affiliate stations saw a rerun of “Ricky Loses His Voice” (S2;E9) with the flashback dialogue changed. Instead of Lucy talking about the Mr. and Mrs. TV Show, she mentioned the Flapper Follies.

This episode was filmed on June 24, 1954, one of four episodes completed at the end of season three but held over till the start of season four, so with the delay it was actually ten months between filming and broadcast, the longest of any episode.

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LUCY: “Empress Josephine, Dolley Madison, Mamie Eisenhower… We’re all behind our husbands, guiding their destinies. We’re puppeteers behind the scenes, pulling the strings.”(Ricky enters)ETHEL: “Well, here’s Howdy Doody now.”

Howdy Doody was a cowboy marionette that starred with his creator ‘Buffalo’ Bob Smith on an extremely popular children’s television show on NBC from 1947 until 1960. Next to “I Love Lucy,” “The Howdy Doody Show” best epitomizes 1950s television.
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Lee Millar (Mr. Taylor, Mr. Cromwell’s Assistant) was first seen as the announcer in “The Quiz Show” (S1;E5) and then played the photographer in “Changing the Boys’ Wardrobe” (S3;E10). He will go on to play Chip Jackson, host of the MGM executive’s show, introducing “Lucy and the Dummy” (S5;E3) as well as appearing on a 1964 episode of "The Lucy Show.” Millar is the son of actress Verna Felton, who appeared on “I Love Lucy” twice in 1953, most famously as Mrs. Porter, Lucy’s belligerent maid.

Later, Mr. Taylor is also the stage manager for the broadcast! Bennett Green, Desi’s camera and lighting stand-in, plays the camera man.

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Although “I Love Lucy” mentioned Macy’s and Gimbels and used Saks Fifth Avenue gift boxes for props,Phipps Department Store was supposed to be a fictional business for reasons that become clear when Lucy’s plan goes into action. Perhaps unbeknownst to CBS or Desilu, there actually was a Phipps Department Store, located in Batavia, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. This real-life Phipps was open from 1948 to 1990.

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“Breakfast with Ricky and Lucy” was inspired by “Breakfast with Dorothy and Dick.”This daily radio chat show aired from 1945 through 1963, and starred Dorothy Kilgallen, journalist and reporter, and her husband Richard Kollmar, a Broadway actor and producer.

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Ricky asks Lucy to sing “Sweet Sue” for him as a way to trick her into doing the Mr. and Mrs. show. This is the first time we’ve heard “Sweet Sue” since “Breaking the Lease” (S1;E18). It will be heard again in “Ragtime Band” (S6;E21). “Sweet Sue, Just You” was written in 1928 by Victor Young and Will J. Harris. The song was written for (or about) silent film star Sue Carol (1906-1982).When she’s done with her off-key rendition, Ricky applauds. Perhaps unsure of how to respond, the “I Love Lucy” studio audience follows suit.

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ETHEL: “Is Mr. Taylor gone? I wanted to ask him if this dress would look alright on television. What do you think?”LUCY: “It’s just perfect. You’ll look like a test pattern.”

Used since the early days of television but seldom seen today, a test pattern was typically broadcast at times when the transmitter is active but no program was being broadcast such as at sign-on and sign-off. They were originally physical cards at which a camera was pointed, and used for calibration, alignment, and matching, of cameras.

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Lucy looks quite glamorous in her white floor-length nightgown with matching bow. This moment gives Lucy and Desi a chance to break the fourth wall and talk directly to the camera, something they only did once - at the end of the“Christmas Show”.

Oops! While singing the Phipps Department Store jingle, William Frawley messes up the lyrics “first on your list of shopping tips.” He probably blamed Vivian!

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Lucy’s sets her breakfast table with a Quaker lace cloth. In the late 19th century, the Quaker Lace Company made it possible for middle class households to afford the opulence of lace by producing beautiful machine-crafted lace. The company continued to offer all manner of lace items throughout the 20th century, and in the process became a household name.

We get a look at an RCA Television camera. This was not an “I Love Lucy” camera. The RCA logo (which should be located in a red circle next to the word ‘television’) appears to have been removed. NBC was a subsidiary of RCA and competed with CBS in the race to create color television.

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Lucy’s burlap sack is from the Pasco Packing Company of Dade City, Florida. Founded in 1951, they shipped citrus products nationwide. The company is still in business today as Lykes Pasco Inc. The sack has been turned inside out and upside down so that the Pasco name is nearly undetectable to viewers. This is not the last time Lucy Ricardo would wear burlap for a gag. But as fans, you are way ahead of me!


I Love Lucy Mr. and Mrs. TV Show 1954 Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Lucy Ricardo Lucy Ricky Ricardo William Frawley Fred Mertz Ethel Mertz Vivian Vance Lee Millar John Litel TV CBS Sweet Sue Sue Carol 21 Club Here's Lucy Empress Josephine Gale Gordon Dorothy Kilgallen Richard Kollmar
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The “I Love Lucy” Christmas Special Returns

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Every holiday season since 2013, CBS has presented a colorized“I Love Lucy” special centered around the 1956 Christmas Special, which was first aired in 1989 and 1990.

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On December 16, 1989, Lucille Ball was featured on the cover of TV Guide on a side bar story about the long-lost “I Love Lucy Christmas Special”. The main cover story profiled Neil Patrick Harris star of “Doogie Howser M.D.” a series about a young prodigy doctor.

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The article states that the show was first discovered and partly aired after Ball’s death and gradually was restored to completion for this December 18, 1989 broadcast.

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In addition to the article about the special, there is an ad from the CBS affiliate and a TV Guide Close-Up talking about the special and its 33 year absence from the airwaves.

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Michael Hill of the Baltimore Evening Sun dedicated his syndicated column to the special, although it appeared in papers on various dates. On December 16th it was printed in The Owensboro (KY) Messenger-Inquirer, among others.

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Even Canada got excited about the special when Mike Boone of the Montreal Gazette included it in his Channels column.

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Perhaps not coincidentally (since the he is a central part of the Christmas episode), December 16, 1989 also saw a spate of articles about Keith Thibodeaux, who played Little Ricky. Many concentrated on his drumming career, but some talked of him being the last surviving cast member. The Christmas Special, however, was not the central topic of the various articles, which were from AP and Gannett sources.


The I Love Lucy Christmas Show I Love Lucy Christmas Special TV 1989 CBS Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Vivian Vance Keith Thibodeaux Little Ricky William Frawley TV Guide Newspapers Doogie Howser
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Over the last thirty years, there have been colorized versions of the most popular episodes of“I Love Lucy” usually aired at the holidays. Most agree that the original black and white films are best, but these candy-coated treats do have holiday appeal and are a curiosityto those who can’t imagine the 1950s in color!

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On December 20, 2013, CBS rebroadcast the Christmas episode with“Lucy’s Italian Movie” (S5;E23)aka Grape Stomping in which both episodes were fully colorized. This broadcast drew an astonishing 8.65 million viewers!

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In May 2015 (an Easter special this time) CBS aired “The I Love Lucy Superstar Special” featuring “Hollywood at Last!” (S4;E16).A lost scene, not seen since its original airing, was reinserted in which we hear that Bobby the bellhop had a bit part in the film Julius Caesar.

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The colorized “Christmas Show” was shown again in December 2015 this time teamed with a newly colorized version of“Lucy Does a TV Commercial” (S1;E30)aka Vitameatavegamin.

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In December 2016, now a CBS holiday tradition, the “Christmas Show” was aired with a colorized version of“Lucy Gets Into Pictures” (S4;E18).

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“Lucy Meets Harpo Marx” (S4;E28).The episode was edited, removing Lucy masquerading as Gary Cooper, Ethel walking like Marilyn Monroe, and much of Harpo’s harp solo.

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In December 2017 CBS again broadcast “The I Love Lucy Superstar Special” with a colorized version of“The Fashion Show” (S4;E19).The episode was edited resulting in the total absence of Mrs. Dean Martin from the fashion show.

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In April 2019 CBS presented the“Funny Money Special” - two colorized episodes themed around money. The hour consisted of“Bonus Bucks” (S3;E21) and “The Million Dollar Idea” (S3;E13). Instead of Easter, this spring special was themed around Tax Day (April 15).

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On August 6, 2019, timed to coincide with Lucille Ball’s birthday, Fathom Events released five fully colorized episodes in cinemas:

“Lucy Does a TV Commercial”“Job Switching”“Hollywood at Last!”“The Million Dollar Idea”“Pioneer Women”

The five episodes restored colorized footage edited out for time in their original network broadcasts. A short feature on their colorization“Redhead Tales” was also premiered.

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A colorized montage opens each of the“I Love Lucy” collector’s edition videos created by Columbia House. Although all 180 episodes are included, no complete episodes are colorized.

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Although there were hints that“I Love Lucy” would be filmed in color (as in the above ad) - it never came to pass.

See more: How Many Cigarettes Does A 16 Oz Bag Of Tobacco Make ? How Much Does A Bag Of Cigarette Tobacco Cost

The first season of“The Lucy Show” (1962-63) was filmed and aired in black and white.

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The first time television viewers saw Lucille Ball in color was on“The Danny Kaye Show” in 1962. On her own show, however, she was still in glorious black and white!


I Love Lucy Colorized TV Lucille Ball black and white color CBS Desi Arnaz Vivian Vance Don Loper Doris Singleton Harpo Marx Van Johnson Hollywood Marco Rizzo John Wayn Grauman's Chinese Theatre vitameatavegamin Superman Christmas Little Ricky Richard Keith Keith Thibodeux Theresa Tirelli Chocolate Factory Grape Stomping Danny Kaye The Lucy Show Dubarry Was a Lady Max Factor
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