I’m excited about New Year’s Eve! Tonight we’ll be discussing one of America’s most influential entertainers (and businesswoman!) Lucille Ball. And after that, I’m heading out for an early New Year’s Eve dinner with friends at my fave local restaurant where my buddy will be cooking (and his wife is one of the guests at our table!)

Tonight’s film is Lucy’s Really Lost Moments, featuring some rare bits, including a segment of the Bob Hope Chevy Show, where the cast of I Love Lucy first appears in color, and a promotional episode plugging Westinghouse’s sponsorship of Desilu-produced shows. And in a very weird TV moment, Lucy flirts with a young Johnny Carson as part of I’ve Got a Secret. Plus there’s a segment with a 1960′s Lucy’s character taking her first plane ride ever–suffice to say hilarity ensues, especially after some champagne gets sipped.

So let’s settle in before the the ball drops, watch Lucy online, and discuss some of our favorite I Love Lucy episodes, her business career, her alleged Communist sympathies (though Desi told both Hedda Hopper and the I Love Lucy studio audience:

The only thing red about Lucy is her hair, and even that is not legitimate.

Plus, I found this bonus episode of The Lucille Ball Show, where Lucy’s TV teenage daughter tries to kick her mom out of her New Years party, and Lucy ends up spending New Year’s Eve with her best friend Viv, played by Vivian Vance. Then we’ll lift a quick glass to Auld Lang Syne, and I’ll see you in 2013!

Happy New Year!