While I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, I can still appreciate the humor in I Love Lucy. A couple of years ago Forbes discussed why, 70 years later, the classic sitcom "still resonates":
At a time when television was in its infancy, when four networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and the long defunct DuMont) were trying to find their way, along came the universally beloved I Love Lucy on CBS on this day in 1951. Seven decades later and nothing else still compares to the comedic antics of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, and the ultimate "second bananas": Vivian Vance and William Frawley as Ethel and Fred Mertz.
Minus competition from cable and digital, I Love Lucy was an immediate sensation, finishing the first of its six seasons as the third highest rated program in all of primetime (behind Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, which it immediately followed on Monday nights, and Texaco Star Theater with Milton Berle). The situations were relatable, as the middle class Ricardos experienced the typical trials and tribulations of married life. The humor came from the ordinary situations often exaggerated by Lucy's ability to get herself into trouble and then proceed to untangle herself from the situation. And the end result were four characters who, 70 years later, we still enjoy spending time with.
Known as the first TV sitcom to be filmed with three cameras on 35-mm film in front of a live audience, I Love Lucy defined the genre. It introduced the off-network syndication formula, recognizing the value of episode repeats. And, at a time when diversity on screen was reduced to seeing any rare character of color in a subservient capacity, I Love Lucy was the first television series to feature an interracial couple. Desi Arnaz, of course, was of Cuban descent (which was an initial concern by CBS).
While I'm not old enough to have seen I Love Lucy when it first aired, I've seen plenty of reruns, and one scene that I still find particularly funny is from the episode "Pioneer Women" which aired March 31, 1952. AARP describes the episode:
In the Season 1 episode "Pioneer Women," Lucy and Ethel compete against Ricky and Fred to see who can last longer without modern conveniences. In the most memorable scene, the gals try their hands at baking, and their toddler-size wad of dough explodes into an 8-foot-long loaf of bread that shoots across the kitchen and pins Lucy to the cabinets; she has to be saved by Ethel with a saw!
Turns out that 8-foot-long loaf of bread was real—it was baked for the show by Union Made Bakery in Los Angeles. The Ultimate I Love Lucy Wiki explains:
Originally, the script said to use a piece of fake bread, but Lucy insisted on it being real to make the humor more authentic and believable. So, the real monster loaf was baked, and at the end of the show, all of the audience and cast/crew members were invited to eat the bread.
Now, that's dedication to one's craft—I'm impressed. If you haven't watched the scene in a while, enjoy the clip, below, posted by I Love Lucy superfan KJ Ricardo—who began watching the show when she was two—to celebrate National Homemade Bread Day (November 17).