Lucy isn’t begging Ricky’s permission to be in his show anymore — she is the show, honey!
Lucille Ball, the dearly departed doyenne of American sitcom television, who died in 1989 at age 77, is bouncing onto the audio streaming scene this week with a revealing new SiriusXM comedy show, “Let’s Talk to Lucy.”
“Ancient tapes” from the “I Love Lucy” icon’s short-lived 1960s CBS Radio show feature newly resurrected rare — and raw — interviews between the revered redhead and old Hollywood legends like Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, Carol Burnett and Bob Hope, to name just a few.
“It’s a treasure trove of personal information from some of the greatest talents of American entertainment,” said Lucie Arnaz, 70, Ball’s daughter with her late television and real-life husband, Desi Arnaz — who died in 1986 of lung cancer at 69.
The recordings — unheard for more than 50 years — originally aired on the CBS radio network between 1964 and 1965. They have remained archived in the family’s private collection for decades.
“My family and I can’t wait to share them with the rest of the planet,” Arnaz added.
The limited three-week series is set to debut Thursday and will air on SXM Channel 104, as well as on Pandora and Stitcher.
Using her own portable recording device, Ball would chronicle meaningful conversations with the legends during the cracks in her own full schedule — which included starring in a multitude of TV shows and movies, raising her two children (Lucie and her brother, Desi Arnaz Jr., 68) and serving as the chief executive of independent television company Desilu Productions.
“Although I have been care-taking these ancient tapes for over 30 years, I had never really listened to them all,” the five-time Emmy winner’s daughter explained. “I had no idea how many remarkable people Mom had talked to on these radio shows.”
Ball’s SiriusXM series will also feature special tributes to the celebrated comedian from famous fans, such as Ron Howard, 67, Amy Poehler, 49, and Tiffany Haddish, 41.
The laudable A-listers will even answer some of the original questions asked by Ball during her radio hostess run.
“Few stars reach a level of worldwide fame that they need only be known by one name. Lucy is one such star,” said Jack Vaughn, SiriusXM’s senior VP of Comedy Programming. “Always a trailblazer, Lucy can arguably add ‘one of America’s first podcasters to her vast repertoire. Hearing her conversations with some of the world’s biggest names, full of her signature wit, charm, and intelligence, is truly a surreal experience, and I can’t wait for listeners to tune in.”
Meanwhile, “Let’s Talk to Lucy” is the latest modern nod to the Vitameatavegamin-guzzling jokester of the 1950s.
Poehler is directing a documentary centered around Ball and Arnaz’s “complicated and loving” relationship for Howard’s Imagine Entertainment production company.
And a forthcoming biographical film, “Being the Ricardos”— starring Nicole Kidman, 54, and Javier Bardem, 52 — is also poised to give “I Love Lucy” fans a behind-the-scenes look into the soured love of TV’s favorite sweethearts.
Both films are being made with the cooperation of Ball’s estate.