I Love Lucy History & Trivia

I Love Lucy is an extremely popular situation comedy tv series, starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, William Frawley & Vivian Vance! The TV Show originally ran from October 15th, 1951 to May 6, 1957. A total of 193 episodes were produced and shown over six seasons on CBS. I Love Lucy is still syndicated in dozens of languages in nations around the world. The show also won 5 Emmy Awards

When Desi Arnaz was 33, CBS asked Lucy to take her hit radio show to tv, but Lucille insisted that the man playing the role of husband be her own husband, who had been on the road as a bandleader touring, and away from Lucille for months at a time. When CBS executives refused because he was foreign-born, Lucy decided to create a television series of her own to bring her husband back home, and "I Love Lucy" was brought to TV. Back in the day, most tv shows were broadcast live from New York City, and a low-quality 35mm or 16mm kinescope print was made of the show to broadcast it in other time zones. But Lucy was pregnant at the time, and she and Desi therefore insisted on filming the show in Hollywood, California. Desi, Lucy, and co-creator Jess Oppenheimer, then decided to shoot the show on 35mm film in front of a live studio audience, with three cameras, a technique now standard for most present day sitcoms!

The opening, the vast majority of viewers see, featuring the I Love Lucy Credits over a heart on satin image, was created specifically for syndication. As originally broadcast, the episodes opened with animated matchstick figures of Lucy and Desi making reference to whomever the particular episode's sponsor was. These sequences were created by the famous animation team of Hanna and Barbera, who declined screen credit, because they were legally under exclusive contract to MGM Studios at the time.

After the conclusion of the sixth season of I Love Lucy, Lucy and Desi decided to cut down on the number of episodes that were filmed. Instead, they extended I Love Lucy to 60 minutes, with a big guest star each episode. They renamed the show the The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show that was later changed, for syndication, to The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour. Thirteen hour-long episodes aired from 1957 to 1960.

I Love Lucy consistently ranked high in the Nielsen Ratings throughout its run.

1951-52: #3 1952-53: #1 1953-54: #1 1954-55: #1 1955-56: #2 1956-57: #1

FUN TRIVIA

The full names of Fred and Ethel are Fredrick Edie Hobart Mertz and Ethel Louise Roberta Mae Potter Mertz.

Because of limited space on the sound stage, the Ricardo's bedroom and the Mertz's living room are on the same set with different furniture.

The apartment building address was 623 E. 68th Street. However, E. 68th Street in Manhattan only goes up to 600 - which means that the I Love Lucy Show's building was in the middle of the East River!

When Lucille Ball was pregnant with Little Ricky, CBS network censors wouldn't permit her to say "pregnant." She had to say "expectant."

The backdoor used so much in both the Ricardo's and Mertz's apartments were in actuality a common trait of older buildings in Los Angeles and not of those in New York.

I Love Lucy Quotes

Lucy Ricardo: Well, I'm your Vitavigavegivat Girl. Are you tired, run down, listless? Do you pop out at parties? Are you unpoopular? [pause] Lucy Ricardo: Well, are you? The answer to all your problems is in this little ol' bottle, Vitameatavegamin. [Checks the bottle label] Lucy Ricardo: That's it. Vitameatavegamin contains vitamins, meat, megetables and vinerals. So why don't you join the thousands of happy peppy people and get a great big bottle of Vitaveatyvemeanyminimoe. I'll tell you what you have to do. You have to take a whole tablespoonful after every meal. It's so tasty too. It's just like candy. [Takes a bit of time, if not too much, trying to sample the liquid. Finally... ] Lucy Ricardo: So everybody get a bottle of... [pointing at the bottle] Lucy Ricardo: this stuff.

Ricky Ricardo: Lucy, you got some 'splainin' to do.

Ricky Ricardo: What do you know about rice? Fred Mertz: Well, I had it thrown at me on one of the darkest days in my life.

Ethel Mertz: Where you afraid you'd lose me? Fred Mertz: I'll say, that outfit you're wearing is rented.

Lucy Ricardo: We have to find Sylvia Collins a husband but where? Ethel Mertz: I'll make the sacrifice she can have mine.

Ricky Ricardo: Fred, I've got an awful problem on my hands. Fred Mertz: You should have thought about that before you married her.

[Lucy is dressed as Lucille McGillicuddy, after tasting homemade salad dressing] Lucy Ricardo: What's Aunt Martha trying to do, poison me?

Lucy's Doctor from Jamestown: Hello, Mr. Ricardo. I'm the man who brought your wife into the world! Ricky Ricardo: I don't know whether to thank you or punch you in the nose!

Ethel Mertz: I refuse to go anywhere with someone who thinks I am a hippopotamus. Ricky Ricardo: Lucy, is this true? Lucy Ricardo: No, I just implied that she was a little hippy... though she has got the biggest potamus I've ever seen.

Lucy Ricardo: [Lucy gets caught spying on the neighbors] I was, uh... bird-watching! Ricky Ricardo: Bird-watching? Lucy Ricardo: Uh, yeah! Do you know that there's a yellow-bellied woodpecker on our lawn? Ricky Ricardo: No, but I know that there's a red-headed cuckoo in the living room.

Ethel Mertz: Gee, this high altitude sure gives me an appetite. Fred Mertz: What's your excuse at sea level?

Ethel Mertz: Imagine me meeting a Queen face to face, I'm scared. Fred Mertz: You're scared? Think of the Queen.

Lucy: Gee, did you hear that, honey? It's going to be called "Bitter Grapes." I wonder what part they want me for. Fred: Oh, you're probably going to be one of the bunch.

Fred: Two other people wanted to buy this car. Lucy: Where were they from...the Smithsonian Institute?

Fred: Now, don't make fun of us doughboys. Ethel: Doughboys?! Lucy: Whoever put the dough in that boy used too much yeast.

Ricky: Honey, you can't go running around Paris all by yourself. Lucy: Why not? Rikcy: What about your French? Lucy: What about my French?! Ricky: Well, Paris is a big city, and not knowing the language, you're liable to get in a lot of trouble. Lucy: Well, when you first came to the U.S., you didn't get into a lot of trouble because you didn't know the language, did you? Ricky: I'm married aren't I? She told me that "I Do" meant "Pleased to meet you," and then she introduced me to the preacher.

My Top 10 Favorite I Love Lucy Episodes by ILOVELUCYSUPERSTORE.com staff member: Raven

1.) RETURN HOME FROM EUROPE: Season 5 Lucy insists on bringing a 25 pound block of Italian cheese back to the states. When Ricky refuses to pay the extra money to have it shipped back, thinking that babies ride for free on the plane, Lucy wraps the cheese in a blanket and takes it aboard.

2.) OFF TO FLORIDA: Season 6 Driving to Florida to meet their husbands, the girls share the drive with a strange lady they mistakenly think is an ax murderess.

3.) JOB SWITCHING: Season 2 After an argument over who works harder, men or woman, the boys take a try at the house work while the girls end up working at a candy factory. As you can imagine, neither works out and hilarity ensues!

4.) LUCY DOES A TV COMMERCIAL: Season 1 Lucy wants a part in Ricky's TV show. When he refuses, she sneaks in anyway as the girl doing the commercial. Unfortunately the sponser's product, Vitametavegimin, contains 23% alcohol. Lucy does a bit too much rehearsing and ends up bombed by show time.

5.) LUCY TELLS THE TRUTH: Season 3 Ricky bets Lucy that she can't go 24 hours without telling a fib.

6.) MILLION DOLLAR IDEA: Season 3 Lucy concocts a delicious salad dressing, and Fred tells her she ought to market it.

7.) LUCY LEARNS TO DRIVE: Season 4 Ricky makes the mistake of teaching Lucy to drive his brand new car.

8.) LUCY'S SECOND HONEYMOON: Season 5 Lucy plans to make the ocean voyage a second honeymoon, but Ricky has previous shipboard engagements with his band.

9.) LUCY'S ITALIAN MOVIE: Season 5 On route to Italy, an Italian producer offers Lucy a role in a film called "Bitter Grapes." So she decides to take a job in a vineyard to absorb a little "local color." This episode contains the famous scene in which Lucy stomps grapes and picks a fight with her fellow stomper.

10.)LUCY RAISES TULIPS: Season 6 Lucy is determined to beat Betty Ramsey in Westport's "Best-looking Garden" contest, and she accidentally runs over her tulip garden with a lawn mower.