The sixty (!) posts I’ve made thus far have focused on artistic moments, largely in music, that I find meaningful in some way: they’re beautiful, inspiring, comforting, thrilling. But moments of laughter, of outright hilarity, are no less important in life; indeed, sometimes they’re most important. So today I thought I’d post one of my all-time favorite laugh-out-loud moments. As with music, I know the experience of comedy is subjective: what one person finds truly funny may lead to head scratching, eye rolling, or utter indifference in others.
But I share nevertheless.
This is from an episode of I Love Lucy called “Lucy Does A Commercial”; it was broadcast for the first time on 5 May 1952. Lucy, as was her wont, has finagled her way into a show business tryout; in this case, it’s doing a commercial during a television special that Ricky is hosting. The product being hawked is a nutritional elixir called Vitameatavegamin, which contains vitamins, meat, vegetables and minerals….in a base of 23% alcohol (the latter fact of which Lucy is blissfully unaware). This entire clip is priceless (ignore the Cyrillic subtitles!) but for me, the very best moments begin at 1:49, when Lucy tastes the product for the first time, and then a second and a third. Ball was a genius at physical comedy, which you generally think of in terms of body movements and pratfalls, but in this case her facial contortions are hilarious, as are her attempts to deliver the sales pitch as she gets increasingly sozzled. It never gets old.
Trivia tidbit: The viscous liquid in the bottle is apple pectin.