Monday, August 07, 2006

Hometown Celebrates 'I Love Lucy'

By Casey J. Bortnick
Published Aug 06, 2006

Jamestown, the birthplace of Lucille Ball, celebrated her birthday in style Sunday afternoon with guests visiting from near and far. Like millions of other Lucy fans, Danielle Gross has seen just about every episode of the world's most popular television show. "No matter how old the episodes get, everyone can always relate to them. There are always stories about friendship and families and those stories will never get old," said Gross, Pittsburgh. Danielle saw her first episode at age six and was hooked ever since. Now only 19, she represents a new generation of fans discovering a television classic. Bob Schiller was brought onto the "I Love Lucy" writing staff for the final two seasons. He said bringing new ideas to an established hit was a challenge. “We would get what we thought was a funny scene at the end then work towards it. To make it work. To make it realistic. When I just got tired, I go to sleep in the office because I didn't want to waste time driving home. So, we were around the clock for the most part," said Schiller. Schiller said while the staff of five writers was brilliant, but the comedic genius of Lucille Ball is the secret to the show’s continued success. Schiller said writing material for the person he considers the world's greatest comedian was certainly a rewarding experience. "You would write something and visualize it as being funny. Give it to her and it would be funnier. What more could a comedy writer ask for," said Schiller. After the show went off the air in 1956, Schiller went on to have great success as a writer for television hits like "Maude" and "All in the Family" but Schiller said being associated with "I Love Lucy" is one of his crowning achievements. It is an achievement that has passed the test of time inspiring a new crop of fans with a happy ending. "I always like at the end no matter how much trouble Lucy's gotten herself into, Ricky takes care of everything," said Gross.

Thanks again to Sharon (gidgetgrape)!