Scary Lucy, Zombie Lucy, Monster Lucy. Whatever you call her, you won’t be calling her that for long. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Dave Poulin, the artist responsible for one of the most unintentionally terrifying and hilarious artistic gaffs since Beast Jesus, has apologized and agreed to “fix” his bronze statue of comedy legend Lucille Ball for free.
In case you’re not familiar with the story, Poulin created the statue for Mark and Jetta Wilson, who donated it in 2009 to the town of Celeron in western New York, where Ball grew up. ”We wanted her in the pose from Vitametavegamin – everyone has a picture of that in their minds – and it’s just perfect,” said Mrs. Wilson at the time. Just because everyone may have an image of something in their minds doesn’t necessarily mean it should be immortalized in bronze, however. (Besides, everyone knows “Chocolate Factory” is the most memorable Lucy episode.) When you watch the episode this becomes all too clear, as Lucy struggles through spoonfulls of a foul-tasting health elixir, attempting to force a smile through pained grimace. It’s classic Lucy, and perhaps in more capable hands the comedy of the scene could have been conveyed, but as it stands, the statue resembles some sort of malevolent ghoul, tempting the area’s youth with a questionable potion. With her wild eyes and toothy grin, she’s somewhere between an angry R. Crumb character and the Coney Island Clown.
Faced with, well, that face, Poulin told Celeron mayor Scott Schrecengost about five years ago that he would be willing to rework the statue for a fee of between $8000- $10,000. In 2012, a Facebook page was created calling for the statue’s removal, which has become home to a growing collection of awesome photoshopped memes. The matter seemed to be at a standstill until various online media outlets picked up the story last week. Amidst growing outrage, Poulin sent a letter to THR earlier this week, taking “full responsibility for ‘Scary Lucy’” and offering to redo the sculpture for free.
It’s unclear if Poulin will actually get that chance, as both the facebook campaign and mayor Schrecengost have expressed interest in commissioning a new artist altogether. According to the anonymous founder of the facebook page, however, the mayor wants a new artist to simply fix the existing statue, “cut off at the shoulders and redone,” instead of creating a whole new work. “That would only make a statue that looks like a monster now into a real Frankenstein,” he writes.
Meanwhile Chris Hardwick, host of the Comedy Central show @midnight has offered the statue a permanent home on the show’s stage. Apparently it is the exact same stage where “I Love Lucy” was filmed, so Hardwick is proposing a homecoming of sorts, and is encouraging viewers to use the hashtag #BringLucyHome. While this option would provide some comedic context for the statue, Celoron would be missing out on a great opportunity to capitalize on their misfortune. After all, if Beast Jesus taught us anything, it’s that sometimes being known for a hilariously hideous work of art can have a lucrative silver lining.