“Redhead Radio” broadcasting from “Lucy Fest,” the annual celebration held in her hometown of Jamestown, NY
Two days of non-stop classic Lucille Ball radio programs and coverage of the comedienne’s influence and birthday celebrations
Redhead Radio: 100 Years of Lucille Ball, a limited-run channel celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of the comedy legend with non-stop broadcasts of classic radio shows featuring the comedienne at key moments in her storied career, as well as interviews with her fans, devotees and fellow comedians—launched at 12:00 am ET today, August 6, 2011—the day Lucy would have celebrated her 100th birthday—on SiriusXM channel 82, taking over SiriusXM’s RadioClassics for two days. SiriusXM’s Greg Bell will host Redhead Radio from The Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy, aka “Lucy Fest,” the annual community-organized birthday celebration held in her hometown of Jamestown, NY. This year’s headliner is comedy icon Joan Rivers.
The wide-range of perspectives and recordings on Redhead Radio offers SiriusXM listeners an extraordinary look into Lucy’s life and legacy. Redhead Radio features: dozens of episodes of her classic 1940s radio comedy series My Favorite Husband, which inspired l Love Lucy; an interview with stand-up comedian Paula Poundstone—a featured performer at this year’s fest— about the influence Lucy has had on her career; and interviews with Lucy impersonators, experts, historians, event organizers and fans at Lucy Fest. The channel will chronicle fan participation in “Be a Lucy,” the attempt set the world’s record for the most people dressed as Lucy Ricardo in one place at one time. Additional content includes Lucy’s guest-starring role on the classic radio dramatic series Suspense; radio versions of her films Fancy Pants (with Bob Hope) and Dark Corner and interviews Lucy did with legendary personalities Abbott & Costello and Bob Hope on their classic radio shows.
I remember watching “Call me Bwana” as a Sunday afternoon movie in my local TV market as a kid. It was the early 1980s and I was just becoming a big fan of the “Road to” movies that featured Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, so I thought this movie, which did not have Crosby, but did have Hope and exotic locals, would be right up my alley. I was very disappointed. It did not have the chemistry or zing of a “Road” film, nor was particularly well written. I noticed that the film got a re-released recently and I thought this would be a good opportunity to revisit the title and see if an older me could appreciate it more.
I am happy to say that yes, I can definitely appreciate the movie more now, but appreciate and enjoy are two different things sadly. Yes, I get a lot of the references that went over my head as a kid, but at the same time, the movie lacks the zing, the zazz, that would make other Hope films such classics.
The movie is cold war based and revolves around Hope trying to find a moon capsule that went off course in Africa before the Russians do. Not a bad idea, and add to that the film was put together by the people who did the Bond films and you should have a recipe for something, but the laughs are weak and Hope never really looked like he was all that into the film. I think the closing credits give you a good example of what you can expect from “Call Me Bwana”. If you can enjoy and site through these, this might be the film for you.
That doesn’t mean the film is without redemption, it does have a young Arnold Palmer in the film and it does capture that early 1960s cold war zeitgest. Still I cannot give the film a recommendation based on the merits of its quality, only on the basis of it being an oddity. An interesting one, but sadly just that.