HomeEntertainment‘The Lucy Show’: Lucille Ball’s Co-Star Gale Gordon Was Known For His Cartwheel Ability

‘The Lucy Show’: Lucille Ball’s Co-Star Gale Gordon Was Known For His Cartwheel Ability

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

Lucille Ball had one of television’s greatest foils on “The Lucy Show” in Gale Gordon. But he could do a cartwheel?

Outsiders, we will get to the bottom of this news. In case some of you don’t remember, Gordon played bank president Theodore Mooney, Lucy’s boss, on “The Lucy Show.” He also would play Uncle Harry on Ball’s third sitcom, “Here’s Lucy.”

Now, about this cartwheel business. Gordon, acknowledged as the master of the “slow-burn” temper explosion as a character, did a cartwheel on “The Lucy Show” and as a guest on “The Dean Martin Show.”

This is definitely out of character for Gordon on the Ball shows. But it’s true. Just for you, Outsiders, here is a montage of Gordon cartwheels for you to see.

Even as Gordon was a bit older in these clips, you can see that he cleanly and adeptly did cartwheels across the floor.

‘The Lucy Show’ Paired Longtime Friends Ball, Gordon On Classic Comedy Show

Gale Gordon actually was Ball’s first choice for two incredible roles. Ball and Gordon had worked together on a movie years before “I Love Lucy” came along. But the funny redhead didn’t forget about him.

He was the first choice of Ball to play Fred Mertz on “I Love Lucy.” But Gordon could not get out of a contract for the show “Our Miss Brooks.” That led to William Frawley getting the role.

Again, years later, Ball asked Gordon to be on “The Lucy Show” in 1962. At the time, Gordon had another contractual obligation. Actor Joseph Kearns, who played Mr. Wilson in the TV show “Dennis the Menace,” had died and Gordon was taking his place.

But that show ended in 1963, and Gordon joined in the 1963-64 season.

When “Here’s Lucy” finished its run on CBS, Gordon pretty much retired from show business. The actor, though, came out of retirement for Ball’s short-lived final series, “Life with Lucy.” That series really did not catch on with viewers in the 1980s, so Ball ended her career as did Gordon.

Lucille Ball Said She Dyed Hair Red Because She Was Not Totally Hung Up on Beauty

That hair of Lucy. It still brings fans happiness and joy when seeing pictures of Ball.

But she apparently didn’t mind having red hair. Podcaster Ben Mankiewicz discussed both her image and hair.

He said Ball had strong control over her image. “Du Barry Was a Lady [1943] is the first time we see her in color — the first time we get a look at the red hair — and it works,” Mankiewicz said. He also points out that Ball was not hung up being beautiful.