Lucille Ball: ''I am not funny.''

Here's what the legend had to say about her legacy.

If there was a Mount Rushmore of 20th-century comedic actors, Lucille Ball wouldn't just be featured on it, she'd be the architect. Her influence is unmistakable. If she's not the greatest, then the greatest absolutely learned from her. Lucy is the funniest. But not according to her.

If you clicked this article, infuriated at what was assuredly some misquote, please do read on. It appears as though, like always, Lucy has some 'splaining to do.

"I am not funny," Lucille Ball told Rolling Stone in 1983. "My writers were funny. My direction was funny. The situations were funny. But I am not funny. What I am is brave. I have never been scared. And there was a lot to be scared about. We were innovators."

While whether she's funny or not can be discussed and debated by comedy scholars, her innovation is inarguable.

Ball was quick to give credit to her collaborators, who deserve to be recognized alongside her. But, her statements weren't false modesty. Throughout her later career, Lucille Balls' skillset as an actor was frequently overlooked in favor of some comedic schtick. She'd honed her craft first onstage and in the movies, learning how to be believable as a performer. It was that foundation that allowed her to bring realism to comedic situations as her most famous character.

There's no doubt that I Love Lucy and The Lucy Show were endlessly funny. But without Balls' impressive acting assets, the shows would've been a series of wacky situations. Instead, it was her trained theatrical background that allowed Lucy to enter those situations and exaggerate authentic reactions to create classic comedy gold. 


Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close

5 Comments

Pacificsun 9 months ago
In addition to the truth of the article, and very informative. Probably from a TV Guide story, the writers explained that LB rehearsed every aspect of her pratfall. None of it was impromptu or spontaneous. But she insisted that Madeline Carroll (writer) choreograph every detail. And she practiced over and over, time permitting. I believe there was one lapse though, when the characters visited Hollywood. And she performed the bit with Harpo. In fact, that she was so well practiced, it was Harpo who slipped up. You can see it at the end, when they faintly break character, slightly.
Runeshaper 9 months ago
Lucille Ball was a fabulous actress. I always enjoyed watching her in whatever production she was in.
LoveMETV22 9 months ago
Lucille Ball was brilliant in every aspect of her career from the acting side to the business end of it as well.
Pacificsun LoveMETV22 9 months ago
So much of an extraordinary personality and creative genius.

Really good stories lately, thanks MeTV!!!
LoveMETV22 Pacificsun 9 months ago
" Really good stories lately, thanks MeTV!!! "
----------------------------------------
And Quizzes too ( well....some anyhoo ) Ditto on the thanks MeTV!!!
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?