Photo by CBS
In October 15 1951, was released one of the most iconic tv shows of all time, ‘I Love Lucy’. The show talks about the cuban bandleader Ricky Ricardo, who would be happy if his wife Lucy would just be a housewife. Instead she tries constantly to perform at the Tropicana where he works, and make life comically frantic in the apartment building they share with landlords Fred and Ethel Mertz. The first major show to be put on film rather than kinescope.
Stars: Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance
Creators: Desi Arnaz, Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
To celebrate the 65th anniversary, here are some of the curiosities about this show.
- Lucille Ball decided to go ahead with the series after having a dream in which Carole Lombard – the screwball comedy actress that died in a plane crash and who was a close friend of Lucy – recommended she take a shot at the risky idea of entering television, and to get off of radio.
- William Frawley and Vivian Vance in reality, deeply hated each other. On the show, displays of affection were forced to be. The main reason that the series lasted for six seasons, was the cash bonus each one received, immediately, as both signed their name, to an additional CBS contract.
- When Lucy was pregnant with Little Ricky, (Desi Arnaz Jr. in reality), CBS network censors did not allow her to say the word, [pregnant]. She had to say [expecting] instead.
- Sometimes, Desi Arnaz’s distinctive laugh can be heard on the laugh track, especially when he could not control his humor, or laughed extremely quick, just after a deep breath of inhaling air.
- I Love Lucy (1951) was voted number two in TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. Only NBC’s program, Seinfeld (1989) topped the 1950 decade series of all programs, as it was rated number one.
- In 1990, a 16mm print of the original pilot episode was found. The opening titles and first few seconds of the opening narration were damaged beyond repair. This scene was reconstructed for DVD in 2002 with a re-recorded narration by Bob LeMond, 51 years after he originally recorded it.
- This was one of the first TV shows to be filmed in Hollywood, at a time when many shows were done live in New York. It pioneered the use of three cameras simultaneously, and the results were high-quality prints of a classic comedy series preserved for future TV audiences.
- Many people still think that ‘Little Ricky’ (acted by Richard Keith) the last season of the series), was their actual son in real life. He wasn’t. However, Desi Arnaz was very fond of him, and the likeness was very well done. Especially due to the fact that Richard Keith, playing Little Ricky, started learning how to play the drums rhythmically as a three year old.
- The Ricardos’ address was 623 E. 68th Street. However, E. 68th Street in Manhattan only goes up to 600 – which means that the Ricardos’ building was in the middle of the East River.
- The program began as a radio program in 1948 called, “My Favorite Husband”. And during the program, it was Richard Denning who played Lucy’s husband, on the radio. When CBS decided to take the show to television, it was Lucille Ball’s personal idea to bring her real life husband, as of then, Desi Arnaz, so she could act more natural and be easier.