7 Facts You (Probably) Have Not Heard About I Love Lucy

Posted by Sarah Seippel on

7 Facts You (Probably) Have Not Heard About I Love Lucy

 I Love Lucy debuted on CBS on October 15, 1951.  With Lucille Ball staring as the ever so charming, yet ambitious housewife Lucy, the show was an unexpected and immediate success. The combination of innovative filming techniques, perfectionism of Lucille Ball, and top-notch writing are a few of the factors that made this show such a hit.  The series even won five Emmy Awards, including best situation comedy and best actress (Lucille Ball); however, these awards are not the only reasons that this comedy will remain an important part of our country’s entertainment history.  Here are ten surprising facts that contributed to the show becoming so iconic in our nation.

  1. I Love Lucy was the first television series to use the three-camera format.

In the early days of television, shows were filmed with just one camera, as were movies.  The idea of a three-camera format was that three cameras would be filming simultaneously, switching back and forth between cameras to capture different angles.  This way you could get a close-up and wide shots without having to set up for the different shows.

  1. Three hundred audience members attended every tapping of I Love Lucy.

The set allowed for three hundred people to attend each showing of I Love Lucy because it was said that Lucille Ball performed better with a real audience.

  1. The producer wanted to center the show around the lives of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball; however, both actors did not find their lives to be relatable, so they chose to center the plot around the average family.

  2. The first episode of I Love Lucy aired when Lucille Ball was forty-one years old.

Lucille Ball was enrolled in drama school when she was fifteen, but the school wrote her mother saying that she was a waste of time because she was far too shy to achieve a career in show production.  Instead, Lucille Ball moved on to made her living as a model, but she soon moved to Hollywood to find more opportunities.  There, she found was a stint for one of the twelve “Goldwyn Girls” on Roman Scandals.  She worked a few smaller roles, and did not land her largest acting role until forty-one years old.

  1. Each episode about Lucy's pregnancy had to be reviewed by a minister, priest and rabbi to ensure that they weren’t offensive to the television audience.

  2. The theme song’s lyrics can be heard in one episode.

You can hear the lyrics to the theme song in only one episode of the series, and that is the episode “Lucy’s Last Birthday”.



  1. Lucille Ball almost died while filming.

In the episode “Lucy’s Italian Movie”, there is a grape stomping scene.  Nobody noticed until they stopped filming the episode and realized that Lucille Ball was actually choking on a grape.

What is one weird fact that only you know about the history of the show?  Share in the comments below!


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