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Confessions of a TV-holic: We Still Love Lucy

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Even if you've seen each episode 1,762 times, I Love Lucy fans still delight in "I didn't know that!" and "Did you notice that"¦?" moments. Here are a few of my favorite behind-the-scenes tidbits.

I Love LucyTVLand currently shows I Love Lucy with an edited version of the original opening credits, but the introduction most fans associate with the show is the elaborate script credits over a satin heart that was used when the show first went into syndication. Why were the original animated openings altered? Because they featured the Lucy and Ricky stick figures popping out of a pack of Philip Morris cigarettes, the show's sponsor. This is also why the word "lucky" was rarely included in a script "“ Lucky Strike was a major competitor of Philip Morris.

More Lucy trivia after the jump...

Job SwitchingLucille Ball's favorite episode is also a fan favorite: Job Switching, better known as the "Candy Factory" episode. The stone-faced silent woman working next to Lucy in this scene is Amanda Milligan, who wasn't an actress but an actual candy dipper whose full-time job was putting swirls on top of chocolates at See's Candy Factory. At one point during a break in filming, Lucille asked Amanda if she was enjoying her stint in "show business." Ms. Milligan replied, "To be honest, I've never been so bored in my life." She also admitted that she'd never seen I Love Lucy; she watched wrestling on Monday nights.

Thanks to a technique pioneered by Desi Arnaz and cinematographer Karl Freund, I Love Lucy was filmed in front of a live studio audience using a three-camera setup. As a result, each episode was filmed in sequence, much like a play (unlike other sitcoms of that era). Retakes were done only when necessary, so many "bloopers" made it to the final edit:

In Redecorating the Mertz's Apartment, Lucy fluffs her line while talking to Ricky during breakfast. Instead of saying "We'll paint the apartment," she says "We'll paint the furniture and reupholster the old furniture." (Desi ad-libs beautifully and rescues the scene.)

In The Dancing Star, Lucy is supposed to say "I danced with Van [Johnson]," but instead it came out "I vanced with Dan." Desi again covered the slip-up by muttering, "Vanced with Dan? She's gone." Later in this same episode, Lucy addresses co-star Vivian Vance as Viv instead of Ethel.

Lucy, Marco & DesiIn Ricky Loses His Voice, Desi asks piano player Marco Rizo to phone Lucy at home at tell her that he's coming home early. Despite it being his only line of dialogue in the episode, Marco forgets that he's dealing with Mr. Ricardo instead of Mr. Arnaz, and replies "Okay, Des" instead of "Okay, Ricky."

The closing credits of several episodes of the show misspell Desi's name, crediting the music to "The Dezi Arnaz Orchestra."

DeDe Ball, far leftLoyal viewers may recall having heard an audible "Uh-oh" or "Oh no!" from the studio audience during precarious situations in I Love Lucy. Those exclamations were uttered by DeDe Ball, Lucille's mother, who attended every taping of the show and whose proximity to the set made her voice easy to hear.

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Art
Artist Makes Colorful Prints From 1990s VHS Tapes

A collection of old VHS tapes offers endless crafting possibilities. You can use them to make bird houses, shelving units, or, if you’re London-based artist Dieter Ashton, screen prints from the physical tape itself.

As Co.Design reports, the recent London College of Communication graduate was originally intrigued by the art on the cover of old VHS and cassette tapes. He planned to digitally edit them as part of a new art project, but later realized that working with the ribbons of tape inside was much more interesting.

To make a print, Ashton unravels the film from cassettes and VHS tapes collected from his parents' home. He lets the strips fall randomly then presses them into tight, tangled arrangements with the screen. The piece is then brought to life with vibrant patterns and colors.

Ashton has started playing with ways to incorporate themes and motifs from the films he's repurposing into his artwork. If the movie behind one of his creations isn’t immediately obvious, you can always refer to its title. His pieces are named after movies like Backdraft, Under Siege, and that direct-to-video Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen classic Passport to Paris.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

[h/t Co.Design]

All images courtesy of Dieter Ashton

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Pop Culture
5 Bizarre Comic-Con News Stories from Years Past
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At its best, Comic-Con is a friendly place where like-minded people can celebrate their pop culture obsessions, and each other. And no one can make fun of you, no matter how lazy your cosplaying might be. You might think that at its worst, it’s just a series of long lines of costumed fans and small stores crammed into a convention center. But sometimes, throwing together 100,000-plus people from around the world in what feels like a carnival-type atmosphere where anything goes can have less than stellar results. Here are some highlights from past Comic-Con-tastrophes.

1. MAN IN HARRY POTTER T-SHIRT STABS ANOTHER MAN IN THE FACE—WITH A PEN

In 2010, two men waiting for a Comic-Con screening of the Seth Rogen alien comedy Paul got into a very adult argument about whether one of them was sitting too close to the other. Unable to come to a satisfactory conclusion with words, one man stabbed the other in the face with a pen. According to CNN, the attacker was led away wearing handcuffs and a Harry Potter T-shirt. In the aftermath, some Comic-Con attendees dealt with the attack in an oddly fitting way: They cosplayed as the victim, with pens protruding from bloody eye sockets.

2. MEMORABILIA THIEVES INVADE NEW YORK

Since its founding in 2006, New York Comic Con has attracted a few sticky-fingered attendees. In 2010, a man stole several rare comics from vendor Matt Nelson, co-founder of Texas’ Worldwide Comics. Just one of those, Whiz Comics No. 1, was worth $11,000, according to the New York Post. A few years later, in 2014, someone stole a $2000 “Dunny” action figure, which artist Jon-Paul Kaiser had painted during the event for Clutter magazine. And those are just the incidents that involved police; lower-scale cases of toys and comics disappearing from booths are an increasingly frustrating epidemic, according to some. “Comic Con theft is an issue we all sort of ignore,” collector Tracy Isenhour wrote on the blog of his company, Needless Essentials, in 2015. “I am here to tell you no more. It’s time for this garbage to stop."

3. CATWOMAN SAVES THE DAY

John Sciulli/Getty Images for Xbox

Adrianne Curry, winner of the first cycle of America’s Next Top Model, has made a career of chasing viral fame. Ironically, it was at Comic-Con in 2014 that Curry did something truly worthy of attention—though there wasn’t a camera in sight. Dressed as Catwoman, she was posing with fans alongside her friend Alicia Marie, who was dressed as Tigra. According to a Facebook post Marie wrote at the time, a fan tried to shove his hands into her bikini bottoms. She screamed, the man ran off, and Curry jumped to action. She “literally took off after dude WITH her Catwoman whip and chased him down, beat his a**,” Marie wrote. “Punched him across the face with the butt of her whip—he had zombie blood on his face—got on her costume.”

4. MAN POSES AS FUGITIVE-SEEKING INVESTIGATOR TO GET INTO VIP ROOM

The lines at Comic-Con are legendary, so one Utah man came up with a novel way to try and skip them altogether. In 2015, Jonathon M. Wall tried to get into Salt Lake Comic Con’s exclusive VIP enclave (normally a $10,000 ticket) by claiming he was an agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, and needed to get into the VIP room “to catch a fugitive,” according to The San Diego Union Tribune. Not only does that story not even come close to making sense, it also adds up to impersonating a federal agent, a crime to which Wall pleaded guilty in April of this year and which carried a sentence of up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine. In June, prosecutors announced that they were planning to reduce his crime from a felony to a misdemeanor.

5. MAN WALKS 645 MILES TO COMIC-CON, DRESSED AS A STORMTROOPER, TO HONOR HIS LATE WIFE

Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Disney

In 2015, Kevin Doyle walked 645 miles along the California coast to honor his late wife, Eileen. Doyle had met Eileen relatively late in life, when he was in his 50s, and they bonded over their shared love of Star Wars (he even proposed to her while dressed as Darth Vader). However, she died of cancer barely a year after they were married. Adrift and lonely, Doyle decided to honor her memory and their love of Star Wars by walking to Comic-Con—from San Francisco. “I feel like I’m so much better in the healing process than if I’d stayed home,” he told The San Diego Union Tribune.

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