Friday, March 5, 2010
Another Circus Israel exclusive: Israel Channel 1 will roll out a new comedy series remaking the legendary American sitcom “I Love Lucy.” The original “Lucy” premiered in the 1950’s and has delighted succeeding generations in re-run. The title roles, inaugurated by Lucille Ball (“Lucy Ricardo”) and Desi Arnaz (“Ricky Ricardo”), will be assumed by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and his Israeli-American spouse, Anne. Evgeny Afineevsky of New Generation Films will produce and direct. Afineevsky’s previous work includes “Oy Vey, My Son is Gay” and “Booty and the Beast.” The new “Lucy” will be called "I Love Lucy the Christian Zionist" and will be set in contemporary Israel, retaining the flavor and characters of the original. “Listen, I’m so thrilled with this project!” said Afineevsky. "Danny and Anne are perfect, and I’ve got Menahem Golan, who loved ‘Lucy’ forever, backing me up again. And I’ll tell you something else. I worked with Carmen Electra in 'Oy Vey,’ and you just might see her as a wacky neighbor who’s into Kabbalah.” Circus Israel obtained a rough-cut of the first episode of the new “Lucy” by telling Danny Ayalon he looked “youthful.” Here’s what we saw on the screen…
The Ricardos' living room in Hod Hasharon. RICKY RICARDO enters, humming. Applause. He stumbles on a toy - a dinosaur with a skullcap and payot. He picks it up, sighs.
RICKY: And they say the Jews haven’t been here since time immemorial?
As Ricky puts the toy on the sofa, LUCY RICARDO enters. Applause.
LUCY: What’d you say, honey?...(Seeing the toy) Oof! Nim'as li! (Firing the toy at a frightened MAID) Are you retarded? Clean this room! (To Ricky, suddenly smiling) Sweetheart, I was just thinking… (straightens his tie) how ever since we met 33 years ago when I was an Ohio schoolgirl with fresh, all-American looks, red hair, unexpectedly fulsome breasts and oral skills tailor-made to hook a handsome, ambitious, high-strung but essentially insecure Mizrahi bandleader-politician hunting for a trophy wife men would lust for…(pauses for breath), you’ve made me almost the happiest gal in Israel.
RICKY: “Almost.” Wait a second. You’re up to something, Lucy. Another one of your hare-brained schemes?
LUCY: Oh, Ricky, how could you say such a thing?
RICKY: C’mon, what is it this time?
LUCY: Well, nothing really. Just Ethel and I are working on a cabaret act …
LUCY: And we’d really like to perform in your show -
RICKY: Absolutely not.
LUCY: Please, honey -
RICKY: I said no. That’s it. Now let’s get ready for the Turkish ambassador. He’ll be here any minute. With plenty of news cameras.
RICKY: Lucy, no bright ideas.
LUCY: Of course not, dear.
Lucy’s in the family garden, arranging chairs. She continuously rearranges, trying for perfection. After several changes, she returns to the original arrangement, triggering the laugh track. ESTHER “ETHEL” MERTZ enters in a cabaret dress. Applause. She looks around furtively.
ETHEL: Ricky around?
LUCY: He’s flirting with the hall mirror. The big lug says it completes him.
ETHEL: Where’s your cabaret dress, Lucy?
LUCY: Ready to go.
ETHEL: I just don’t think this’ll work.
LUCY: Stop worrying, Ethel. It’s foolproof. We put on those dreadful veils and tell the security detail we’re with the Turkish ambassador. Once we get in front of the cameras, we ditch the veils and start singing. Ricky has to go along - he can’t admit we crashed his meeting. Uh-oh, here he comes! Hide behind that Shoah memorial fountain.
Ethel does. Ricky enters.
RICKY: Lucy, what’re you doing? Are you crazy?
LUCY: What’s wrong? Everything’s equal.
RICKY: That’s what’s wrong! Ahabla! Don’t you understand - we’re humiliating Turkey for criticizing Operation Cast Lead and making the Mossad look violent on TV. (Pulling down the Turkish flag) Throw this rag away. (Tossing chair) And no seat. Inflate that little wading pool and fill it with warm water. The ambassador can sit in it like a baby. I’ll stand on the lifeguard tower and look down at him.
LUCY: I thought Turkey was our ally.
RICKY: I told you a thousand times, Israel doesn’t have allies. We have mutual interests. Turkey’s no different than you Christian Zionists.
LUCY: We’re selling Heron drones to the Christian Zionists, too? About time.
RICKY: Stop being silly and go find some handcuffs. We’ll strip the ambassador naked and let our dog lunge at him. And no funny business with the cabaret stuff.
Lucy leaves to find handcuffs. Ricky shakes his head. EFRAIM “FRED” MERTZ enters. Applause.
FRED: Hey, Rick. You won’t believe what happened to me. They used my passport.
FRED: The Mossad. When they hit al-Mabhouh in Dubai. Hell, I never left the country. I’ve been constipated for a month.
RICKY: Maybe it wasn’t the Mossad.
FRED: And maybe the Pals don’t miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
RICKY: That line never gets old, Fred.
FRED: Wish I could say the same about Ethel. Hey, listen, I got that Congressman Delahunt coming to your little shindig. And his J Street puppetmasters.
RICKY: Nice work! We’re going to have quite a humiliation party. Speaking of which, Lucy and Ethel are cooking something up.
FRED: Not Ethel’s eggplant salad.
RICKY: Worse. Cabaret. And I’ve got a little surprise for them. I figure they’ll try to sneak in with the Turkish ambassador. So I told the security boys to pick ‘em up and interrogate ’em. Let’s see if an hour with their heads in a vomit-filled bag improves their behavior.
FRED: Heck, Ethel’s already a vomit-filled bag.
RICKY. Fred. Be nice.
FRED: Easy for you to say. Your wife’s got all-American looks, red hair and unexpectedly fulsome breasts
RICKY: (indicating the corner of his mouth) Fred…
FRED: Huh? Oh…(he wipes food from his face) Ethel’s eggplant salad. Hey, a man’s gotta eat.
RICKY: C’mon, it’s almost show time. Call Avigdor, tell him we’re set.
Ricky and Fred leave. Ethel comes out of hiding, furious. Lucy enters.
LUCY: Thought they’d never leave.
ETHEL: Vomit-filled bag, huh?
LUCY: What’s wrong, Ethel.
ETHEL: Nothing a targeted assassination wouldn’t cure. By the way, they‘ve already figured out your plan.
LUCY: Then we’ll just go to Plan B.
In front of the Ricardo home. The Turkish AMBASSADOR (Ahmet Oguz Celikkol) and his entourage alight from several cars. The usual klan of ultra-nationalist, ultra-orthodox and ultra-nationalist/ultra-orthodox protesters, premature burnouts and Aryeh Eldad scream and spit at them. Security personnel and police from various agencies watch indifferently. Ricky and Fred are sunbathing on recliners.
RICKY: Hey, what’s this, a Qassam squad?
FRED: Or just car thieves?
AMBASSADOR: Please, Deputy Minister Ricardo, help us.
RICKY: And you are…?
AMBASSADOR: Ambassador Celikkol, of course. You know this.
RICKY: Hamas? No, wait. From that empire that used to occupy our land. Ottoman.
FRED: The kind you put your feet on.
RICKY: (passing sunscreen to the Ambassador) Here, get my legs. Then go back to our pool. My wife has your place ready.
AMBASSADOR: This is an outrage!
RICKY: (to security) Escort the ambassador and his henchmen to the pool. And question those two.
As the Ambassador and his entourage are hustled away, two women with veiled faces are separated and taken toward a security vehicle. Ricky and Fred cackle.
RICKY: Question them thoroughly!
FRED: Watch out for the fat one! She kicks like a mule!
Ricky and Fred stroll toward the rear of the house. Nearby, two bearded RABBIS stride past other security officers.
OFFICER: Stop. Show me an invitation.
1ST RABBI: We just want to throw these bricks at the Turk.
OFFICER: (waving them in) Stay away from the buffet.
The Ambassador sits handcuffed in a child’s wading pool, where Fred’s hosing him down. Ricky’s talking to the news cameras.
RICKY: Look how puny he is! Like his backward, anti-semitic country. Yet we’re offering him a cool drink of water.
AMBASSADOR: You must stop!
FRED: Water too Jewish for ya?
Security escorts US. CONGRESSMAN BILL DELAHUNT toward the pool.
RICKY: Ah, Congressman, welcome to the Land of Israel! You see how I welcome you when you’re not with the Israel-haters from J Street?
DELAHUNT: I’m very puzzled by all this. And, frankly, offended.
RICKY: Offended? You question Israel’s right to exist? (To cameras) Do you hear this incitement to terror?
DELAHUNT: I’m a United States Congressman, sir.
FRED: Not for long. When the campaign cash rains on your Republican opponent, they’ll Scott Brown your butt right outta Massachusetts.
RICKY: Israel’s legitimacy will not be undermined by the international community. It comes directly from God, channeled through implacable future Prime Ministers like myself. (Climbing up to the diving board of his swimming pool) Witness our power! Behold! I part the waters!! (He gestures down to the pool. Nothing happens.) Behold! (to Fred, sotto voce) Psst – Fred, drain the pool!
FRED: Sorry, Rick. I got caught up with the Turkish bath. I’ll get right on it.
As Fred runs to open the pool drain, the two Rabbis dash in front of the cameras.
1ST RABBI: Mordechai, did you hear the one about the Arab that didn’t blame all his problems on Israel?
2ND RABBI: Sure didn’t, Meir.
1ST RABBI: Neither did I.
2ND RABBI: Then we might as well enjoy some cabaret.
The Rabbis toss off their disguises and long coats, revealing Lucy and Ethel in their cabaret dresses.
RICKY: Lucy! What’re you doing? This is MY show!
Lucy and Ethel sing “Willkommen” from the musical “Cabaret.” These lyrics flow and repeat as the action continues:
Willkommen! Bienvenue! Welcome!
Fremder, etranger, stranger
Glcklich zu sehen,
Je suis enchant,
Happy to see you,
Bleibe, reste, stay.
FRED: (returning) OK, Rick, the pool's draining.
RICKY: Lucy! Are you crazy?! (He curses to the heavens in Hebrew, then) Lucy, you’ve got some explaining to do!
Foreign Minister AVIGDOR LIEBERMAN marches in, leading a line of ambassadors from several nations, tied together. His Star of David, Chai and other Jewish bling cover his powder-blue jogging suit.
LIEBERMAN: Yo, Ricky! I got all they asses, baby. All them goy-ass countries. Y’all wanna disrespect Israel? We gon’ show you what time it is!...Hey, whassup with your bitch?
RICKY: She gets some crazy ideas in that head of hers.
AVIGDOR: But all them cameras on her now! That's wrong, man. I got to do everything myself?
RICKY: Just waiting for the pool to drain so I can finish my Red Sea -
AVIGDOR: I know what you fixin' to do, man! Don't need no explanation. I need action - before all them media leave out. (Climbing up to Ricky) So what you gon' do - get your ho on “A Star is Born” or represent for Israel?... Best be makin’ up your mind, dog. Y’all won’t be gettin’ no better shit than this here.
FRED: Go for it, Rick!
RICKY: You’re right. It’s our destiny, Avigdor. (To cameras and ambassadors) Heed me, you ambassadors of Jew-hatred! The important thing is that you’re lower and we’re up high and there’s only one flag, and you see we’re not smiling!
AVIGDOR: Hell no! Ain’t no smilin’!
RICKY: Criticize Israel at your peril!
AVIGDOR: Damn right!
RICKY: Israel will do as it pleases – and you will be silent! We will attack all who unsettle us! Strength lies not in defense but in attack!
RICKY: We are fighting for our very lives -
LUCY: Ricky -
RICKY: - armed only with a slingshot -
RICKY: What?! Can’t you see I’m surging?
LUCY: Can Ethel and I be in your show?
RICKY: Let’s discuss this later, sweetheart.
LUCY: Listen, Moses, I know you too well. It’s now or never.
RICKY: OK, honey, you win. (As Lucy & Ethel hug in delight) As soon as the Palestinians disarm, renounce refugee return, sign away East Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley and move obediently into their urban reservations linked only by vehicle tunnels deep underground, you’re in the show.
As Lucy’s lips purse in her trademark “I’ve-been-punked” grimace and she makes her familiar “eeehhh” sound, the “I Love Lucy the Christian Zionist” theme song comes up and everyone resumes what they were doing.
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