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A list of trivia from I Love Lucy.

Trivia Edit

  • The "heart on satin" opening credits seen in the syndication were not the original opening credits. When the series originally aired on CBS, the credits featured animated stick figures of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz along with the sponsor's product (such as Phillip Morris cigarettes). The heart on satin credits were added in 1958 when CBS began rerunning the series.
  • References to the series' original sponsor, Phillip Morris, can still be seen in some episodes today. Most notable is the scene in Lucy Does a TV Commercial in which Lucy Ricardo dress up as Johnny the Bellhop, the Phillip Morris icon.
  • Bea Benaderet and Gale Gordon were Lucy and Desi's first choice to play the Mertzes. At first, Gordon was unavailable. When they came across William Frawley, Desi Arnaz wanted him, but was told that Frawley would be a poor choice because he was a womanizer, a gamber, and a drunk. Arnaz said, "He's perfect!"
  • Desi Arnaz invented the rerun during the during the pregnancy episodes of this series by re-airing some episodes from the first season to give Lucy some rest.
  • When Lucy was pregnant with Little Ricky, network censors wouldn't permit her to say "pregnant". She had to say "expecting".
  • 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.
  • The full names of Fred and Ethel Mertz are 'Fredrick Edie Hobart Mertz' and 'Ethel Louise Mae Potter Mertz'.
  • The Ricardos' address was 623 East 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.
  • Three "flashback" episodes were shown during the period when Lucille Ball was recovering after giving birth to Desi Arnaz, Jr.. These episodes were filmed in advance after Ball found out she was pregnant.
  • Ethel was from Albuquerque, New Mexico and her father ran a candy store. Also, one of her neighbors was Betty Ramsey, who would later become a neighbor of the Mertzes and Ricardos when they moved to Conneticut in the final season.
  • Frank Nelson appeared on the show in various roles, including that of game show host Freddy Filmore. During the final season, he took on the occasional role of Betty Ramsey's husband Ralph.
  • Lucille Ball decided to go ahead with the series after having a dream in which Carole Lombard - the screwball comedy actress who died in a plane crash and who was a close friend of Ball's - recommended she take a shot at the risky idea of entering television.
  • Lucy and Ricky's comic foils were initially going to be Ricky's agent and an out-of-work clown, but the parts were dropped when they did not prove successful in the series pilot.
  • 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, 50 years after he originally recorded it.
  • The series was partially based on My Favorite Husband, a radio comedy series with a similar storyline in which Lucille Ball had starred for several years.
  • In the episode wherein Ricky has a week off from the club (due to its need for a repainting job), he decides to take on all of Lucy's daily chores regarding Little Ricky. His first task is to tell Little Ricky his bedtime story, "Little Red Riding Hood". If you look closely at Little Ricky's bedspread, it has cartoon images (often used in advertising for the show) of his mom and pop on the side.
  • In the episodes when the Ricardos and the Mertzes are in Hollywood, the backdrop of Hollywood outside of the Ricardo's hotel suite replicates the view as it would be have been seen from the top of the stages at the Desilu lot on Cahuenga Boulevard (now Ren-Mar Studios), two blocks to the west of Vine Street where most of the I Love Lucy episodes were shot. Most of the landmarks at Hollywood and Vine that are on the backdrop (except for the Brown Derby Restaurant, which was demolished in the 1980's) may still be seen at that location today, over fifty years later. The Capitol Records Building was under construction when these episodes were being filmed and is not seen on the backdrop. The "Beverly Palms Hotel" was a fictional hotel, but its interior and exterior set designs combined elements of the Hollywood Plaza Hotel, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and the Bevery Hills Hotel.
  • During the course of living in their New York apartment the Ricardo's had three different telephone numbers. The first was MUrray-hill 5-9975, the second was CIrcle-7-2099, and the third was MUrray-hill 5-9099. In actuality these numbers were unused telephone numbers of the New York Bell Telephone Company. When the numbers were entered in to service the Bell company would advice the shows producers and give them a new number to use. Murray Hill and Circle were also actual call names used in Manhattan at the time.
  • Although they slept in twin beds throughout the entire run of the series, during the first two seasons of the show, 1951-1953, Ricky and Lucy slept in twin beds that were pushed together in the same box spring. Once little Ricky was born CBS suggested that the beds be pushed apart to diminish the impact of the suggested sexual history of Lucy and Ricky. The only time we see the Ricardo's in two bed pushed together again is when they first move to the bigger apartment in the Mertz building, however, subsequently after that the beds are pushed apart again.
  • The back door so much used 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.
  • The show started out as a radio program in 1948 called, My Favorite Husband. And during the program, it was Dick Denning who played Lucy's husband. When CBS decided to take the show to television, it was Ball's idea to bring her real life husband, Desi Arnaz.
  • In March of 1977 a Disco version of the I Love Lucy theme became a hit single. It stayed on the dance charts for three months and on the pop charts for seven weeks.
  • The writers mirrored the actors' real lives in presenting the character back stories. Lucy Ricardo, like Lucile Ball was born in Jamestown, New York, attended Celeron High School, and came to Manhattan as young woman. Ricky Ricardo, like Desi Arnaz, was from Cuba, and both lead their own Latin America bands. Ricky and Lucy, like Desi and Lucy, eloped to Connecticut to get married. Ethel Mertz, like Vivian Vance, was from Albuquerque, New Mexico where they got their start in show business by appearing in the Albuquerque Little Theater. Like Bill Frawley, Fred Mertz was a Mid-Westerner who was raised on a farm and enjoyed a successful run as a vaudevillian.
  • Other sponsors of I Love Lucy are Procter & Gamble's Cheer Detergent and Lilt Home Permanent.
  • There is a subtle hint in the series of the quick costume changes that go along with filming live TV shows: In many of the scenes where Lucy and Ricky are in bed, pay attention to when they are getting in and out of bed. Whenever they swing their feet in and out, you'll see that Desi Arnaz is wearing black dress socks with his pajamas and Lucille Ball is wearing stockings (you can see the reinforced toes and heels) under her pajamas/gowns.
  • This show attracted many huge Hollywood names as guest stars who did the show not for the money (which was actually very little), but because they liked the show or were personal friends of the stars. The impressive list includes John Wayne, Bob Hope, Van Johnson, Orson Welles, Rock Hudson, Charles Boyer and William Holden, to name only a few.
  • On August 11th, 2009 the US Postal Service issued a pane of twenty 44¢ commemorative postage stamps honoring early USA television programs. A booklet with 20 picture postal cards was also issued. The stamp honoring I Love Lucy pictured stars Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance in a scene from Job Switching, in which Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz work at a conveyor belt in Kramer's Kandy Kitchen. Other TV shows honored in the Early Television Memories issue were: The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Dinah Shore Show, Dragnet, The Ed Sullivan Show, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Hopalong Cassidy, The Honeymooners, The Howdy Doody Show, Kukla, Fran and Ollie, Lassie, The Lone Ranger, Perry Mason, The Phil Silvers Show, The Red Skelton Hour, Texaco Star Theater (titled The Buick-Berle Show, 1954-1956), The Tonight Show (which began as Tonight!), Twilight Zone, and You Bet Your Life.
  • Sometimes, Desi Arnaz's distinctive laugh can be heard on the laugh track.
  • In spite of the series' success during the initial 1951-52 season, CBS aired My Little Margie (1952) as a "summer replacement" , in lieu of reruns or "flashback" episodes.
  • Just prior to the premier of I Love Lucy, Desi Arnaz was a panelist on the long running What's My Line? alongside Bennet Cerf, Arlene Frances and Dorothy Kilgallen. He was replaced by Fred Allen who reined as a regular panelist until Allen's death in 1956. That spot was then filled by Steve Allen as well as other guest panelists, including Lucy.
  • Voted #2 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.
  • William Frawley and Vivian Vance actually hated each other in real life. In the show, displays of affection were forced.

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