On 11 August 2009 the US Postal Service issued a pane of twenty 44¢ commemorative postage stamps honoring early USA television programs. A booklet with 20 picture postal cards was also issued. On the stamp honoring "Perry Mason" is a picture of William Talman, as district attorney Hamilton Burger, standing over a seated Raymond Burr, as Perry Mason, in a courtroom. Other shows honored in the Early TV Memories issue were: The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Dinah Shore Show, Dragnet, "The Ed Sullivan Show" (originally titled The Ed Sullivan Show), The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Hopalong Cassidy, The Honeymooners, "The Howdy Doody Show" (original title: The Howdy Doody Show), I Love Lucy, Kukla, Fran and Ollie, Lassie, The Lone Ranger, The Phil Silvers Show, The Red Skelton Hour, "Texaco Star Theater" (titled The Buick-Berle Show, 1954-1956), The Tonight Show (which began as Tonight!), Twilight Zone, and You Bet Your Life.
William Frawley and Vivian Vance actually hated each other in real life. In the show, displays of affection were forced.
Voted #2 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.
Just prior to the premier of "I Love Lucy", Desi Arnaz was a panelist on the long running What's My Line? alongside Bennet Cerf, Arlene Frances and Dorothy Kilgallen. . He was replaced by Fred Allen who reined as a regular panelist until Allen's death in 1956. That spot was then filled by Steve Allen as well as other guest panelists, including Lucy.
In spite of the series' success during the initial 1951-52 season, CBS aired "My Little Margie" (1952) as a "summer replacement" , in lieu of reruns or "flashback" episodes.
Sometimes, Desi Arnaz's distinctive laugh can be heard on the laugh track.
This show attracted many huge Hollywood names as guest stars who did the show not for the money (which was actually very little), but because they liked the show or were personal friends of the stars. The impressive list includes John Wayne, Bob Hope, Van Johnson, Orson Welles, Rock Hudson, Charles Boyer and William Holden, to name only a few.
There is a subtle hint in the series of the quick costume changes that go along with filming live TV shows: In many of the scenes where Lucy and Ricky are in bed, pay attention to when they are getting in and out of bed. Whenever they swing their feet in and out, you'll see that Desi Arnaz is wearing black dress socks with his pajamas and Lucille Ball is wearing stockings (you can see the reinforced toes and heels) under her pajamas/gowns.
Other sponsors of "I Love Lucy" are Procter & Gamble's Cheer Detergent and Lilt Home Permanent.
The writers mirrored the actors' real lives in presenting the character back stories. Lucy Ricardo, like Lucile Ball was born in Jamestown, New York, attended Celeron High School, and came to Manhattan as young woman. Ricky Ricardo, like Desi Arnaz, was from Cuba, and both lead their own Latin America bands. Ricky and Lucy, like Desi and Lucy, eloped to Connecticut to get married. Ethel Mertz, like Vivian Vance, was from Albuquerque, New Mexico where they got their start in show business by appearing in the Albuquerque Little Theater. Like Bill Frawley, Fred Mertz was a Mid-Westerner who was raised on a farm and enjoyed a successful run as a vaudevillian.
In March of 1977 a Disco version of the I Love Lucy theme became a hit single. It stayed on the dance charts for three months and on the pop charts for seven weeks.
The show started out as a radio program in 1948 called, "My Favorite Husband". And during the program, it was Dick Denning who played Lucy's husband. When CBS decided to take the show to television, it was Ball's idea to bring her real life husband, Desi Arnaz.
The back door so much used in both the Ricardo's and Mertz's apartments were in actuality a common trait of older buildings in Los Angeles and not of those in New York.
Although they slept in twin beds throughout the entire run of the series, during the first two seasons of the show, 1951-1953, Ricky and Lucy slept in twin beds that were pushed together in the same box spring. Once little Ricky was born CBS suggested that the beds be pushed apart to diminish the impact of the suggested sexual history of Lucy and Ricky. The only time we see the Ricardo's in two bed pushed together again is when they first move to the bigger apartment in the Mertz building, however, subsequently after that the beds are pushed apart again.
During the course of living in their New York apartment the Ricardo's had three different telephone numbers. The first was MUrray-hill 5-9975, the second was CIrcle-7-2099, and the third was MUrray-hill 5-9099. In actuality these numbers were unused telephone numbers of the New York Bell Telephone Company. When the numbers were entered in to service the Bell company would advice the shows producers and give them a new number to use. Murray Hill and Circle were also actual call names used in Manhattan at the time.
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