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Lucille Ball's 100th birthday: Blow out the candles with these classic clips

I Love Lucy

(Everett Collection)

Lucille Ball would’ve turned 100 today, almost sixty years after I Love Lucy started cracking up TV viewers and never stopped. There isn’t much new to be said about Ball’s legacy: How she defined the modern sitcom, how she paved the way for every female comedy legend — from Mary Tyler Moore to Roseanne to Tina Fey — who came after her, how her show’s popularity has outlasted all its 1950s rivals (Gunsmoke, The Honeymooners) and is still a daytime TV staple around the world.

Instead, let’s let Lucy do the talking.

Here’s a clip (below) from 1953’s “Lucy’s Last Birthday,” in which Lucy thinks everyone has forgotten all about her special day when, in reality, they were just planning a surprise. It’s a classic I Love Lucy reversal that leads to a classic comic set piece: Lucy interrupts Ricky’s show with a full “Friends of the Friendless” marching band to let the world know she’s been abandoned and forgotten on her birthday, delivering a hysterical woe-is-me speech addressed to the crowd — but aimed straight at her husband. Friendless, Lucy? Never.

And, because I just can't resist, here's my favorite Lucy moment: the legendary Vitameatavegamin scene from 1952's "Lucy Does a TV Commercial." I know, I know, it's everyone's favorite. But it still gets me every time.

After you watch these clips, head to the comments to let us know what I Love Lucy moment you’ll be thinking about on Lucy’s 100th birthday!

More I Love Lucy on EW.com
Who’s the new Lucy? Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus top our list
I Love Lucy: The Very First Show Review | News Reviews and News
I Love Lucy/Here’s Lucy | EW.com
Good Timing, Good Delivery | EW.com
Holding the ”I Love Lucy” reins - Entertainment Weekly
I Love Lucy, Vivian Vance, … | 28 Wacky TV/Movie Neighbors
I Love Lucy, Desi Arnaz | 25 Biggest Emmy Nomination Snubs | Photo

Originally posted August 6 2011 — 9:09 AM EDT

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