After a week of watching Jessie on the Disney Channel (to entertain my son), I have begun to notice a pattern reminiscent of I Love Lucy. The first and most obvious similarity is the red hair. Albeit, I prefer Debby Ryan’s contemporary soft curls. More importantly they share a marvelous comedic timing.
While both actresses have amazing comedic timing, Lucille Ball set the standards for all of the red heads to come. Who can forgot her job in the chocolate factory on the assembly line, stuffing chocolates in her mouth, hat and dress to hide the fact that she couldn’t keep up? Another iconic moment from the I Love Lucy Show was the scene in the vineyard when she was stomping grapes. We can’t forget “Lucy Goes to the Hospital,” the first big baby delivering scene on TV that was later imitated on shows like Murphy Brown, Mad About You and Bones.
Jessie, like Lucy, makes us laugh as she tries to make it in the big city. Well meaning, she plans a birthday party for a little girl with military themed games from her childhood, making the children think that they were being punished. At the end of the party, she is caught trying to talk our First Lady Michelle Obama into hanging her head shot in the White House to get an acting job.
As funny as the party was, I know my son will never forgot her trying to help Luke by pulling a thread on his suit, causing his pants to fall down at the end of the runway in the middle of a fashion show. He keeps playing that scene over and over laughing harder each time.
Finally, our favorite nanny, Jessie, tries to fix Zuri’s relationship with her teacher by using her teacher’s pet tricks of gifts and compliments. To her surprise, she ends up in the naughty corner. Showing a Lucy like resolve, she volunteers to play Quidditch with Mrs. Falkenberg. In true Lucy fashion of physical comedy, she is knocked down as she tries to pretend like she knows how to play Quidditch, reminding me of the chocolate factory scene.
Watching Jessie, I am struck with the thought that every generation seems to need their Lucy to make them laugh. Our problems don’t seem quite so big when Lucy was always in a jam. For all the laughs in the past with our original Lucy, we will always love Lucy. And, for my son and his friends, Debby Ryan has become their Lucy. Now, we also love Debby Ryan for carrying on this tradition.