“I Love Lucy has been called the most popular television show of all time. Such national devotion to one show can never happen again; there are too many shows on many more channels now. But in 1951-1952, our show changed the Monday-night habits of America. Between nine and nine-thirty, taxis disappeared from the streets of New York. Marshall Fields department store in Chicago hung up a sign: ‘We Love Lucy too, so from now on we will be open Thursday nights instead of Monday.’ Telephone calls across the nation dropped sharply during that half hour, as well as the water flush rate, as whole families sat glued to their seats.”
Sixty-Five Years of I Love Lucy // October 15, 1951
Lucy and I did almost 200 shows together, and Lucy not only proves what a great comedienne she is, but she’s also a real person, with great warmth. And one of the outstanding moments of that warmth was in a show that I guess is closest to my heart. The time we were having a baby.
When we did this scene before an audience, Desi was suddenly struck by all the emotion he’d felt when we discovered we were finally going to have Lucie. His eyes filled up and he couldn’t finish the song; I started to cry, too. Vivian started to sniffle; even the hardened stagehands wiped their eyes with the backs of their hands. The director wanted retakes at the end of the show, but the audience stood up and shouted, “No, no!”