Desilu Cahuenga Studio Commissary, Hollywood 1960s
This tongue-in-cheek dictionary of basic Yiddish comes from a 1960s menu from the Desilu commissary on Cahuenga Boulevard in north Hollywood, California.
Desilu was the name of the television production company formed by husband-and-wife team Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, famous for the I Love Lucy television series which aired from 1951 to 1957. Modified one-hour specials continued until 1960.
The series followed the life of Lucy Ricardo (Ball), a young, middle-class housewife living in New York City who yearns to be in showbusiness alongside her bandleader husband Ricky Ricardo (Arnaz.) Her exploits, along with her friends and landlords Ethel and Fred (Vivian Vance and William Frawley), kept audiences in stitches. I Love Lucy still has re-runs worldwide and in 2012 was voted ‘Best TV show of all Time’ by a survey conducted by ABC News and People magazine.
The couple bought the Cahuenga studio and other lots in Hollywood and Culver City in the 1950s at the height of I Love Lucy fame, but Ball and Arnaz divorced in 1960. Ball bought out her ex-husband and ran the company herself for several years, becoming the first woman to head a major studio.
During her time as sole owner, she developed popular television series such as Mission: Impossible and Star Trek (both in 1966). The following year, Ball sold her company to Gulf &Western which had recently acquired Paramount Pictures and it was renamed Paramount Television.
Neither Ball or Arnaz were Jewish, and we assume this Yiddish dictionary was the work of Hal, who ran the studio’s commissary. We think this may have been Hal March, a comedian and businessman who was a character on Ball’s radio show My Favorite Husband and who hosted the quiz show The $64,000 Question in the 1950s.
Each order includes a print of the interior menu.
All printed in USA.