Who doesn’t love Lucy? In the 20 odd years that Lucille Ball remained on TV doing a new show every week she rarely lost ratings and I think that most Americans felt that she was not only a TV star, but a part of their family. I know I felt that way. Before I started going to school, and I was the youngest of four, my mom would do her house work in the mornings I would sit in front of our little black and white set and watch the re-runs of I Love Lucy and The Jack Benny show. I think Lucy and Jack were my first baby sitters. When I got old enough to know that she was on at night too, I would beg to be allowed to stay up and watch The Lucy Show or Here’s Lucy. I was a major fan.
Why did The Lucy character do so well? I think the first reason is that Lucille Ball and Her Husband Desi Arnaz, wanted to have children. I Love Lucy was originally put together so a man and his wife could work together and be able to have a family. Lucille and Desi and had been married for a while but were unable to have children because of their constant separation. Lucy being an actress in Hollywood and Desi a popular band leader that traveled the country, did not allow enough time to conceive a child.
Together they came up with the idea that they could do a show together. They pitched the idea to several companies but no one would believe that the American viewing public would take the idea of a Cuban married to a beautiful American woman seriously. If you think about it, their way of thinking was way off, as many couples in America were not from the same country and all of our ancestors started as Immigrants. Lucille and Desi decided to prove the networks wrong and took themselves out on tour. .Audiences loved them and I Love Lucy was born. Lucille actually became pregnant even before the pilot was made and gave birth to Lucie Arnaz before the first episode of I Love Lucy was aired.
I Love Lucy was full of firsts. It was the first TV show to be filmed in Hollywood. It was the first TV show to be filmed using video tape, which is why the show is preserved today. It was the first TV show to utilize a Live Audience. And it was the first TV show to use what is now known as the three camera technique, a filming standard that is still used today.
All of this happened because of two people who wanted to start a family. The show and the production company were born out of love and love guided both of them.
It has been said that Lucille Ball was difficult to work with and wanted everything just right. But who can blame her for that. All of those physical gags and funny bits were sometimes dangerous to do and it all rested on her shoulders. She would spend hours with her director mapping out every move so that it would be perfect when filmed. She wanted everyone else to be just as driven as she was.
Lucille’s marriage to Desi Arnaz wouldn’t last. They would divorce soon after the last I Love Lucy was taped. But the legacy would live on and still lives on because of the roots being deep in love and passion.
Miss Ball once said “One of the things I learned the hard way was it does not pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.” Those are good words for us as we reach out to make our goals come to life. With optimism that we can achieve what we set out to do mixed with hard work all things are possible.
The Arnaz’s got their first child through optimism and hard work. Their second child Desi Arnaz Junior would be the first Baby born on television and his picture would grace the cover of the first TV guide. All of this out of love. Follow your passions, and your dreams. I believe in you. You have what it takes and nothing is impossible. Go for it. And when it feels like it is too much, well, all of The Lucy shows are out on DVD sit back relax and laugh.