Why? Because it’s
NATIONAL I LOVE LUCY DAY!
On October 15th, 1951, Colombia Broadcasting System first aired “I Love Lucy.”
Created by Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz as a starring vehicle for his wife, comic actress Lucille Ball, “I Love Lucy” not only touched America’s funny bone, but revolutionized the young medium of television.
Arnaz produced the show, introducing the innovation of using 3 TV cameras for the first time, and filming before a live audience, eliminating the need for “canned laughter.” He also shot “I Love Lucy” on .35 millimeter film for greater fidelity, a vast improvement over .16 mm Kinescope film, notoriously unstable.
These production values, coupled with the Arnaz’ refusal to move from Los Angeles to New York City, were expensive, so at CBS Studios’ insistence, Lucy and Desi took a weekly pay cut, but only in exchange for ownership of the shows by Lucille’s and Desi’s own Desilu Studios, a descision the TV station would regret when the show became a mammoth hit in syndicated reruns for many decades to come, making Desi Arnaz and Lucile Ball very wealthy.
As Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, along with their neighbors Fred and Ethel Mertz (played by William Frawley and Vivian Vance), Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz made America laugh out loud for 6 seasons, plus a modified version of 13-show seasons for 3 more years.
Together they set the gold standard for situation comedies, most of which are still filmed in the same manner pioneered by Arnaz, if not getting quite the same hilarious results. Pioneering television production coupled with comedy genius makes “I Love Lucy” well worth its own National Day.
•Suggested Activities: Stuffing your cheeks with bonbons while singing “Babalu.”