I Love Lucy
(All quotes unless specified are by Jess Oppenheimer one of the creators of the show).

I Love Lucy is an icon of American television. The show debuted on October 15, 1951 and the final episode was shown on May 6, 1957. But reruns are still on the air even today.

I Love Lucy is perhaps the most memorable television show to come out of the original age of televison. This show was a smashing success and established the sitcom as the dominant televsion genre. Many of the episodes were based upon Lucille Ball's earlier radio show My Favorite Husband.

The actual premise behind the show was the story of Lucy (the meddling housewife), and Ricky (a bandleader) Ricardo. Lucy would cause all sorts of mischief, and Ricky would always have to come bail her out of trouble. Along for the ride were the Mertzs (Fred and Ethel). Who were the best friends, landlords, and later business partners of Ricardo's.

The decision to make the show with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz was made long before anyone could come up with a suitable premise for the show. They kicked around various ideas in smoke filled rooms until they finally came up with something.

Why don’t we do a show about a middle-class working stiff who works very hard at his job as a bandleader, and likes nothing better than to come home at night and relax with his wife, who doesn’t like staying home and is dying to get into show business herself?

The show's format had been decided, but there was the little problem of a name, and the fact that Desi Arnaz wanted top billing as the star of the show. Desi eventually gave in said the logical thing to do would be to use alphabetical order (but he still wasn't happy). Finally the title of "I Love Lucy" was finalized from a stack of cardboard titles (solving another problem as well).

As I thought more about my choice, I realized that I had just solved another problem as well. The 'I' in I Love Lucy was Desi. I had given him first-place billing after all."

Eliot Daniel then composed the I Love Lucy theme song in a matter of days (unattributed at the time, because he would have been breaking his contract with Fox).

Now we come time to film the first episode in front of a live studio audience. But Desi is still arguing with Hal Hudson (from CBS) over his contract. Hal tells him that the show will not be filmed unless he signs. Desi demands to know how much the episode will cost to film. Hal checks some papers and comes back with $19,000. Desi pulls out his checkbook, "I'll pay for it myself, and it will belong to us" he screamed. Hal backed down, and the first episode was shot with Desi Arnaz's contract still unsigned.

After the pilot was sold Vivian Vance and William Frawley were signed as Ethel and Fred Mertz. This completed the regular cast that would do 179 Episodes in front of a live studio audience.

The Cast Desi Arnaz as Ricky Ricardo
Lucille Ball as Lucy Ricardo
Vivian Vance as Ethel Mertz
William Frawley as Fred Mertz
Desi Arnaz Jr. as Little Ricky

All of these characters will be fully detailed in nodes of their own (if someone else doesn't do it, then I will).

Episode Guide

I believe there is no other television show in the world that deserves a fully detailed episode guide the this one does. Please help fill in these links.

  1. Lucy Thinks Ricky Is Trying to Murder Her
  2. The Girls Want to Go to a Nightclub
  3. Be a Pal
  4. The Diet
  5. The Quiz Show
  6. The Audition Show
  7. The Seance
  8. Men Are Messy
  9. Drafted
  10. The Fur Coat
  11. Jealous of Girl Dancer
  12. The Adagio
  13. The Benefit
  14. The Amateur Hour
  15. Lucy Plays Cupid
  16. Lucy Fakes Illness
  17. Lucy Writes a Play
  18. Breaking the Lease
  19. The Ballet
  20. The Young Fans
  21. New Neighbors
  22. Fred and Ethel Fight
  23. The Mustache
  24. The Gossip
  25. Pioneer Women
  26. The Marriage License
  27. The Kleptomaniac
  28. Cuban Pals
  29. The Freezer
  30. Lucy Does a TV Commercial
  31. Publicity Agent
  32. Lucy Gets Ricky on the Radio
  33. Lucy's Schedule
  34. Getting Bald
  35. Ricky Asks for a Raise
  36. Anniversary Present
  37. The Handcuffs
  38. The Operetta
  39. Job Switching
  40. The Saxophone
  41. Vacation From Marriage
  42. The Courtroom
  43. Redecorating
  44. Ricky Loses His Voice
  45. Lucy Is Enciente
  46. Pregnant Women Are Unpredictable
  47. Lucy's Show Biz Swan Song
  48. Lucy Hires an English Tutor
  49. Ricky Has Labor Pains
  50. Lucy Becomes a Sculptress
  51. Lucy Goes to the Hospital
  52. Sales Resistance
  53. Inferiority Complex
  54. Club Election
  55. The Black Eye
  56. Lucy Changes Her Mind
  57. No Children Allowed
  58. Lucy Hires a Maid
  59. The Indian Show
  60. Lucy's Last Birthday
  61. The Ricardos Change Apartments
  62. Lucy Is Matchmaker
  63. Lucy Wants New Furniture
  64. The Camping Trip
  65. Ricky's Life Story
  66. Ricky and Fred Are TV Fans
  67. Never Do Biz With Friends
  68. The Girls Go Into Business
  69. Lucy and Ethel Buy the Same Dress
  70. Equal Rights
  71. Baby Pictures
  72. Lucy Tells the Truth
  73. The French Revue
  74. Redecorating the Mertzes' Apartment
  75. Too Many Crooks
  76. Changing the Boys' Wardrobe
  77. Lucy Has Her Eyes Examined
  78. Ricky's Old Girlfriend
  79. The Million Dollar Idea
  80. Ricky Minds the Baby
  81. Charm School
  82. Sentimental Anniversary
  83. Fan Magazine Interview
  84. Oil Wells
  85. Ricky Loses His Temper
  86. Home Movies
  87. Bonus Bucks
  88. Ricky's Hawaiian Vacation
  89. Lucy Is Envious
  90. Lucy Writes a Novel
  91. Lucy's Club Dance
  92. The Diner
  93. The Black Wig
  94. Tennessee Ernie Visits
  95. Tennessee Ernie Hangs On
  96. The Golf Game
  97. The Sublease
  98. Lucy Cries Wolf
  99. The Matchmaker
  100. Business Manager
  101. Mr. and Mrs. Television Network
  102. Mertz and Kurtz
  103. Ricky's Movie Offer
  104. Ricky's Screen Test
  105. Lucy's Mother In Law
  106. Ethel's Birthday
  107. Ricky's Contract
  108. Getting Ready
  109. Lucy Learns to Drive
  110. California, Here We Come
  111. First Stop
  112. Tennessee Bound
  113. Ethel's Hometown
  114. LA at Last
  115. Don Juan and the Starlets
  116. Lucy Gets in Pictures
  117. The Fashion Show
  118. The Hedda Hopper Show
  119. Don Juan is Shelved
  120. Bull Fight Dance
  121. Hollywood Anniversary
  122. The Star Upstairs
  123. In Palm Springs
  124. Harpo Marx
  125. Dancing Star
  126. Ricky Needs an Agent
  127. The Tour
  128. Lucy Visits Grauman's
  129. Lucy and John Wayne
  130. Lucy and the Dummy
  131. Ricky Sells the Car
  132. The Great Train Robbery
  133. Homecoming
  134. Person to Person
  135. Lucy Goes to the Rodeo
  136. Nursery School
  137. Ricky's European Booking
  138. Passports
  139. Staten Island Ferry
  140. Bon Voyage
  141. Lucy's Second Honeymoon
  142. Lucy Meets the Queen
  143. The Fox Hunt
  144. Lucy Goes to Scotland
  145. Paris at Last
  146. Lucy Meets Charles Boyer
  147. Lucy Gets a Paris Gown
  148. Lucy in the Swiss Alps
  149. Lucy Gets Homesick
  150. Lucy's Italian Movie
  151. Bicycle Trip
  152. Lucy Goes to Monte Carlo
  153. Home From Europe
  154. Lucy Meets Bob Hope
  155. Lucy Meets Orson Welles
  156. Little Ricky Gets Stage Fright
  157. Little Ricky Learns to Play the Drums
  158. Visitor From Italy
  159. Off to Florida
  160. Deep Sea Fishing
  161. Desert Island
  162. The Ricardos Visit Cuba
  163. Little Ricky's School Pageant
  164. Lucy and the Loving Cup
  165. Little Ricky Gets a Dog
  166. Lucy and Superman
  167. Lucy Wants to Move to the Country
  168. Lucy Hates to Leave
  169. Lucy Misses the Mertzes
  170. Lucy Gets Chummy With the Neighbors
  171. Lucy Raises Chickens
  172. Lucy Does the Tango
  173. Ragtime Band
  174. Lucy's Night in Town
  175. Housewarming
  176. Building a Bar B Q
  177. Country Club Dance
  178. Lucy Raises Tulips
  179. The Ricardos Dedicate a Statue

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