I Love Lucy went off the air more than 55 years ago, but no one has come close to duplicating Lucille Ball (who would have turned 101 today) since then.
Known as "The First Lady of Television," Lucille's mastery of physical comedy and pin-up girl looks paved the way not only for female comics, but women on television in general. With more ladies in the comedy game than ever before though, there are a few contenders to take the title of the "new Lucy." Here are our top 8 picks for the modern Lucille Ball!
1. Tina Fey
Just like Lucille, Tina is also a groundbreaker for women in Hollywood. While Lucille was the first woman in TV to be the head of a production company (Desilu), Tina became the first female head writer for Saturday Night Live in 1999. And her working-girl adventures on 30 Rock are very similar to that of the ones shown on I Love Lucy. Plus, they both carry the same self-deprecating charm.
2. Kristen Wiig
Kristen has the same universal appeal that Lucille did in her prime. In addition to also performing in front a live audience on Saturday Night Live, both ladies mastered the art of physical comedy and Kristen even carries some of the same facial expressions as Lucy.
3. Zooey Deschanel
Zooey has also built her comedic reputation around being quirky and putting herself in physically awkward situations. And like Lucille, she also had model-esque good looks and an old-school fashion sense.
4. Emma Stone
Emma gained a few comparisons to Lucy for her role in Easy A, but the similarities don't stop there. Both of them share the same signature smoky voice and deadpan sarcasm, while both of them are also natural blonds (Lucille's hair on I Love Lucy was a dye job).
5. Amy Poehler
In the same way that Lucille worked with husband Desi Arnaz, Amy frequently teams up for projects with her husband Will Arnett. Amy is also a pioneer among female comics by starting the Upright Citizens Brigade comedy team, which has theaters in both NY and LA. Both of them also possess an incredibly quick wit, as Amy demonstrated during her time as a cast member on SNL from 2001-2009.
6. Lena Dunham
Like Lucille possessed in her prime, Lena has a quirky beauty and an awkward, yet likeable personality. And she also has some producer creds for the HBO hit mega-series Girls, which she also writes, directs and created.
7. Mindy Kaling
In addition to her funny on-camera personality, Mindy's business savvy definitely rivals that of Lucille's. She was the Executive Producer and writer for 21 episodes of The Office. And the similarities may get downright scary when she stars, executive produces and writes her own show The Mindy Project, which is slated to premiere on FOX.
8. Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen is probably the closest thing to a modern day Lucille that we have at this point. Like her, Ellen is also the head of her own production company that producers her award-winning talk show. Both of them performed in front of live audiences on a daily basis and their star power translated over into becoming pop culture icons, in addition to the quirky charm and attractiveness they both possess.
And just to remember why Lucille was so hysterical, check out one of her classic skits from I Love Lucy below!
Who do you think is the modern day Lucille Ball?
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