June 11, 2007
Lucy loves Indians
Playing "Indian," The Week in Review
this week ... the Bureau of Brady Braves spotted a quick instance of redface in a rerun of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour (1957-1960, CBS). the usual characters of lucy, ricky, ethel, and fred performed a skit set in the wild west. fred played a bartender; lucy played an "indian." with tomahawk in hand, she tackled fred behind the bar. they reappear in a few moments with fred's bald head now covered with lucy's hair, and lucy wears a bald skincap. so, playing "indian" means here: scalp or be scalped? of all american sitcom characters (and that includes thousands since the 1940s), lucille ball (the actress) may have played "indian" more than any other non-native character: in I Love Lucy episodes "the adagio" (as an "apache" dancin' 'round foolishly) and "the indian show" (as a hiawatha-wannabe) and in The Lucy Show (as the "wife" of an "indian chief" who gives her the state of utah for a wedding gift).