11 Secrets You Never Knew about I Love Lucy
I love Lucy was an American sitcom that ran from 1951-1957 and has never ceased running in syndication. The antics of quirky Lucy and her pragmatic heartthrob husband is comedic nirvana. That is if slapstick is your ideal.
Here are 11 secrets you were never meant to know about the iconic show.
11. Desi Arnez was quite smart
Desi Arnaz had an exceptional memory. He could memorize all of his lines after the very first reading. He directed, produced and wrote for the show throughout the run. He was very hands on, and both Lucy and Desi were hard workers.
10. Lucy and Larry Lopez
These were the names given to the characters before consultants changed it. Apparently, perspective viewers were not fans of alliteration.
9. Lucy was dirt poor (in real life)
The Ball family was so poor Lucy couldn’t even afford a pencil she for school. This pain was something she carried with her into her adult years, and she would hoard pencils her entire life
8. Lucille Ball was a Red
It is sourced that she listed “Communist” as her party affiliation on her voter registration from 1936 to 1938. In 1936, she sponsored a Communist Party and held meetings in her home. She also signed a certificate expressly stating, “I am registered as affiliated with the Communist Party.” Lucy was brought before the House on Un-American Activities Commission in 1953 to explain this link to communism. It was the height of the “Red Scare” and she was in esteemed company as the list of HUAC interviewees reads like a who’s who of Hollywood royalty of the time. Lucy denied all the charges stating she was not, nor had never been a member of the Communist Party. Desi defended Lucy often joking;
“The only thing red about Lucy is her hair, and even that is not legitimate.”
7. Desi had a wandering eye
According to their daughter, Lucie Arnaz,
“my father was Latin and had a lot of ladies on the side. They can be so charming these Latin men. Dad would come home and say, ‘Lucy, what’s the problem? They mean nothing. You know I love you the best.'”
6. Ethel’s full name
In one episode she is called Ethel Mae Potter. However, an earlier episode featured Fred calling her Ethel Louise, and in yet another episode she is referred to as Ethel Roberta.
5. Fred and Ethel despised each other
William Frawley and Vivian Vance bickered and quarreled incessantly. He cursed at her worse than a sailor, and she criticized his looks weight and age. Doesn’t that make it seem more authentic as a married couple of the time? Frawley said upon not receiving an Emmy Award,
“It didn’t surprise me. I knew they didn’t know what they were doing when Vivian Vance got one!”
4. The show that almost wasn’t
Before it even began, execs were so worried about an unfavorable reception by Amercian audiences of an interracial couple. It was received so well that department stores closed early, and water usage dropped on the nights it aired.
3. Desi had an explosive temper when he drank too much
Keith Thibodeux, who portrayed “Little Ricky” on the show, recalled once seeing his on-screen Pops beat a man badly after he had been drinking.
“It was like living on top of a volcano; you never knew when it would erupt or why. I was able to accept the situation for many years because it was our secret.” Lucille Ball, Lucille: The Life of Lucille Ball (Brady)
2. They were an unhappy couple off the set
The pair played the “happy couple routine” to audiences. They were perhaps the first Hollywood power couple. But all was not well behind the scenes. For years, the real-life marriage had been in decline. On March 2, 1960, the last episode of The Lucy and Desi Comedy Hour wrapped production and Ball filed for divorce the very next day. She once had this to say of Desi,
“He needed to make every mistake in the book and wanted to suffer all the consequences. He needed to punish himself.”
1. Lucy was a mogul
After divorcing Desi in 1960, Lucy took control of Desilu. She was the first woman to head a major studio. Eventually, she bought out Desi and sold the company for a cool $17 million.
I Love Lucy remains one of the most highly rated shows in syndication more than 50 years after it first aired.