I Love Lucy
: October 15, 1951
It is the eighteenth wedding anniversary of Fred and Ethel Mertz. What better way is there to celebrate than by going to the fights, at least that's what Fred thinks. Ethel on the other hand, wants to go out nightclubbing.
Their argument quickly spreads to the Ricardo household. Lucy quickly sides with Ethel, and Ricky of course sides with Fred. The girls decide that they are going to go to the Copa Cabana anyway, and they will be bringing dates. The boys quickly agree, only to change their minds afterwards. So Ricky calls up his singer friend Ginny and asks her to fix him and Fred up with a couple of dates also. But, Lucy calls Ginny and finds out about the plan. So Ginny sets up the husbands with their wives. But the girls show up dressed as hillbillies just to teach the boys a lesson.
This was the first episode of I Love Lucy to be aired, although it was the second one filmed.
The cast almost didn't get to see this premiere episode because they were just finishing up filming the seventh episode that night. But one cast member lived nearby, so everyone crammed into his living room to watch.
This episode was proceeded by a live cigarette commercial done from the Ricardos' living room by John Stevenson. They did a lot of live commercials in those days. This commercial could almost stand on its own as a node, but I will repeat it here instead.
"In a moment we'll look in on Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz but before we do may I ask a very personal question? The question is simply this--Do you inhale? Well, I do. And chances are you do too. And because you inhale, you're better off--much better off--smoking Philip Morris and for good reason. You see, Philip Morris is the one cigarette proved definitely less irritating, definitely milder than any other leading brand. That's why when you inhale, you're better off smoking Philip Morris. . . .And now, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in I Love Lucy."