Lucille Ball Taught Her Daughter the Secret To Good Comedy


It is safe to say that Lucille Ball knew a few things about comedy. Lucy Ricardo goes down as one of the funniest characters to ever find grace on our TV screens. Ball’s daughter, Lucie Arnaz, says she learned everything she knows about humor from her mother. And the tricks of the trade are simpler than you might think.

Ball Lucille In 'I Love Lucy'
Lucille member as Lucy Ricardo | CBS Photo Archive / Getty Images

Lucie Arnaz worked with her mother ‘The Lucy Show’ and ‘This is Lucy’

Arnaz not only watched her mother perform, she played with her Lucy’s show and This is Lucy. But the Jazz singer actor states that she did not receive special treatment from Ball when they worked together.

“She never helped me learn lines, God forbid,” Arnaz told the Television Academy Foundation. “That was my job. You had to do that. She knew I could do that. I was good at that. That wasn’t the hard part. When you’re on the set and you don’t speak or you’re not marked, God forbid if you’re late – I was good about those things. ”

“I was afraid of being bad,” she said. “I didn’t want to stand out, be her daughter and come in and not be good. Dia. So I worked really hard. ”

Lucille Ball reveals the secret to comedy

In her interview with the Television Academy Foundation, Arnaz was asked what she learned about comedy from her mother. She said: “Whatever I know, I’m pretty sure it came from her” and the other actors who worked with her mother “who completely believed in what they were doing. ”

Arnaz says that’s one of the great secrets of comedy: Believe in what your character does, no matter how zany the setting may be.

“[Ball] he was very quick to make sure that the writers created a situation that is, ‘If they’re going to make me feel something awful, you better get me there in a completely believable way. ‘But then when they got you there, you had to believe it and you couldn’t do it like it was funny, like,’ This is the joke, ” Arnaz said.

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Ball’s daughter said television actors were “lucky” back then because they only played in front of a live audience once.

“They only had a live audience once, so you just had to hear where they laugh once,” she said. “And a lot of people are getting used to having the audience and they have a right-wing audience and they have a tap audience and they have another audience or you’re in the theater and you’re on your way. make a show for several months and you are. you heard the laughter and start reading the material as you know it is funny. And then you lose the horrible thing. ”

Arnaz also learned the importance of phonics and not stepping on the lines of her constellations from her mother.

“One of the things I really learned is how to play the setting and sound so you don’t miss the joke,” she said. “Don’t talk over someone else’s end line so they don’t hear the situation, you know, that’s comedy. That’s what you learn from great actors and it has never changed all this time. “

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