Have you heard the one about Cher and Lucille Ball hanging out?
What happens when you put two powerhouse women together in one room? Magic happens, that’s what. And that’s exactly what happened when Cher met Lucille Ball for the first time during an election watch party in 1968.
Cher and her husband Sonny Bono were invited to a party at Jack Benny’s house. Other guests included Johnny Carson and Lucille Ball. Cher had already known of Lucille because Cher’s mother made several appearances on the show I Love Lucy. However, this was the first time Cher was actually spending time with the sitcom icon.
As we all know, Richard Nixon won the election and, apparently, guests had mixed feelings about Nixon’s acceptance speech. During an interview, Cher talked about her first impression of Lucille Ball.
“She started making these great, rude jokes and noises while he was speaking. You could tell that Johnny Carson wasn’t happy – actually, he was pissed off – but he wasn’t going to say anything to her, right? I didn’t like Nixon, either, and I couldn’t stop laughing, especially because I knew I wasn’t supposed to,” said Cher.
Cher and Lucille Got Kicked Out of the Party
Cher said that someone must have complained to Benny about her and Ball because Benny suggested that the two leave the room.
“Jack was trying to be a good host and make everyone happy, so he said to Lucy, ‘You know how they are. Go sit in the den with Rosalind (Russell) and take Cher with you, then you can make jokes to your hearts’ content,'” said Cher.
She said that as the two of them left the room, Lucille Ball whispered, “‘Old windbags. Come on, Cher, we don’t want to be in there with those old tight-*sses anyway.'”
Lucille Ball Helped Cher Through Her Divorce From Sonny
Although Cher hasn’t mentioned it herself, reports say that Cher stayed in contact with Lucille Ball after election night. They even did a scene together in Cher’s television special, Cher…and Other Fantasies. Stephanie J. Block, who played the Cher in The Cher Show, said that Ball helped Cher through her divorce from Sonny Bono.
“She was friends with Lucille Ball and she thought, ‘Who better to speak to than [one half of] Desilu Productions. Who else do you just pick up the phone and say, ‘I’m a megastar and I’m breaking up with my megastar husband? We’re not going to have a TV show anymore, and the public view — it’s going to be all this upheaval because they think we’re perfect together.’ You can’t just call anybody!” said Block.