The new Lucille Ball statue is finally in place in Celoron, New York. Yes, it’s out with the old Scary Lucy statue and in with… the Even More Scary Lucy Statue. Even more scary because this one depicts the true frightening visage of the ghastly queen of “comedy.”
If you’ve been following along at home, you know that the original 2009 statue by sculptor Dave Poulin was widely despised by Lucy fans and “elicited comparisons to a Walking Dead zombie.” Poulin offered to “fix” the sculpture for an extra $10,000, but the city chose instead to commission a new statue from sculptor Carolyn Palmer.
“I’ve lived and breathed every second of Lucy for the last nine months,” Palmer tells The Hollywood Reporter ahead of the unveiling Saturday (Aug. 6), which would have been Ball’s 105th birthday… Palmer’s version Ball stands proudly on her Hollywood star, clad in a polka-dot dress, pearls and heels with her hair curly and coiffed. The sculptor said the statue is a total of 7 feet tall in its entirety. She said she contemplated making the statue even taller, but she “didn’t want [Ball] so unaccessible to the public.”
Great Scott! The only thing more frightening than Lucy is a seven foot high Lucy. I, for one, am not prepared to deal with a Lucille Ball the size of Shaquille O’Neal. This thing is getting worse by the minute.
You feel for Ms. Palmer, because she’s bumping up against the ugly reality of trying to depict Lucille Ball. If you show Lucy as she actually appeared in her moments of “entertainment,” you’d have to show her braying like a donkey or howling like a colicky infant. Nobody wants to see that.
That’s why they started trying to sell us the “glam Lucy,” which was even more absurd. Whatever Lucille Ball was, she wasn’t a vision of elegance. (I notice the original Scary Lucy statue had the same double strand of pearls seen here, while the new sculpture goes with a single string. Talk about rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic!)
Even Lucy herself seemed to understand the truth. In photos like these you can see she didn’t really know what to do with her face when she wasn’t bawling, howling or cajoling Ricky. You can practically hear her saying out of the corner of her mouth, “Like this? Is this what a normal human pose looks like?”
Well, love her or hate her (and we’re on the record as haters), surely we must be stuck with this version of Lucy. It’s still not quite accurate — is it the chin that’s a little off? — but surely the long-suffering citizens of Celoron aren’t willing to commission yet another version.
And what about the original Scary Lucy statue? “The current plan is to relocate ‘Scary Lucy’ to a different part of Lucille Ball Memorial Park.” Twice the fright!