Lucille Ball's legacy of laughter is kept alive by the comedians who come from far and wide to perform in her hometown. Although this year's Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy has come and gone, the laughter is not finished.
Martin Short, a man who was recently called "Hollywood's Most Beloved Comedian" by Vanity Fair, will perform in Jamestown in October. Short's performance is set for Saturday, Oct. 12, at 7:30 p.m. at the Reg Lenna Civic Center, 116 E. Third St.
According to Short, who is 63, he knows a lot about Lucy, because he grew up with her. She was at the height of her career when he was a kid, he said. And, he grew up in an era when there was one television in the living room, and whatever the family watched, he watched, and his family watched "I Love Lucy," "The Lucy Show" and "Here's Lucy."
"I love Lucy - I think she's an absolute genius," Short said. "My daughter was talking about an 'I Love Lucy' episode she saw two weeks ago, and she's 27. I think the reason you can still watch 'I Love Lucy' is because Lucille Ball was such a good actress. If she was playing tired, in the morning, she would look tired, and her voice would be down - she was playing what a morning voice sounds like. Of course it was comedically exaggerated, but very subtly. That's why her stuff isn't dated, and it just stays up, because she adds this tremendous reality to her comedy."
Although he has many, one of Short's favorite "I Love Lucy" episodes is "Little Ricky Learns to Play the Drums." The episode portrays Lucy making breakfast for Ricky in the kitchen while Little Ricky practices the drums.
"Little Ricky keeps drumming and she has to make breakfast to the timing of the drums - brilliant," Short said.
Unfortunately Short won't be able to participate in either the Lucy Town Half Marathon or 5K that are also scheduled that weekend, as he'll be getting on a red-eye to head back to California for a benefit at University of Southern California, he said. But, he's got a lot in store for those who attend his performance.
"My show is basically a party with Marty - it's a celebration of improv, looseness and variety," Short said. "It's like I'm the host of 'SNL' and I am also the entire cast."
Tickets to Short's Saturday, Oct. 12, performance start at $37.50. For more information, call 484-0800 or visit www.lucyrace.com
In addition to Short's performance, area residents will have the opportunity to participate in the inaugural Lucy Town Half Marathon and 5K, which is set for Oct. 12-13, as well as a health and fitness expo at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena.
The 5K run will be held on Saturday, Oct. 12, and the 13.1-mile half-marathon is set for Sunday, Oct. 13. Both will be held in Jamestown. The course, which will begin in Jamestown and take participants through Lakewood and Celoron, is USA Track and Field sanctioned. Located near the course are Lucille Ball's childhood home and the Lucille Ball Memorial Park.
Medals, designed by Jamestown's Gary Peters Jr., will be presented exclusively to the finishers of the inaugural event, effectively creating a new Lucy artifact, Peters said in a previous interview.
Sponsors for the event include: Univera Healthcare, WCA Hospital, Jamestown Pediatrics, The Legend Group, Jamestown Area Medical Associates, Chautauqua Striders, the JSBA, the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy and others.
For more information, call David Reinhart at 488-2203 or visit www.lucyrace.com.