National I Love Lucy Day falls is celebrated October 15 and who doesn’t love this iconic comedy? At this very minute, somewhere in the world, Lucy and Ricky are arguing in 44 countries. Today, we recall a simpler time when the family gathered around one (we repeat one) rabbit-eared, black and white TV set with only three channels. CBS was the only channel to watch on Monday nights at 9 PM. So throw on your pj’s and bunny slippers to walk down memory lane.
History of National I Love Lucy Day
I Love Lucy Day, which takes place on October 15, celebrates the trendsetting sitcom of the same name, I Love Lucy. Premiering on this day in 1951 and lasting until May of 1957, the hilarious comedy spearheaded by Lucille Ball as the bubbly, aspiring-star Lucy, and her real-life husband Desi Arnaz as singer and bandleader Ricky Ricardo took America by storm.
Shot in Hollywood, the show was innovative and fresh. It was the first sitcom to be shot in 35mm film in front of a live audience, those were real laughs we were hearing, not canned laughter. Three cameras were used simultaneously to shoot the show, allowing three different angles for each scene. After Lucy’s pregnancy, the reruns that were shown as a way to let her rest were so popular that it effectively started the concept of the rerun, revolutionizing TV as we know it.
I Love Lucy was the most-watched television show in the country for most of its airtime, even becoming the first show to end while at the top of the Nielsen ratings. It won five Emmy awards and has consistently been called one of the greatest shows in television history. Following the end of the original run of the series, one-hour episodes rebranded as The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show or The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour were broadcasted from 1957 to 1960. Starting in 1962, Ball starred in The Lucy Show, which ran until 1968, when Here’s Lucy started and broadcasted until 1974.
Today reruns of I Love Lucy are broadcast on several late-night networks, such as the Hallmark Channel, TBS, Nick and Nite, and TV Land, as well as many streaming sites. It is credited to be the longest-broadcasted TV show of all time.
National I Love Lucy Day timeline
Rising popularity"I Love Lucy" Made "Time" Magazine's list
"I Love Lucy" landed on "Time" Magazine's list of the "100 Best TV Shows of All Time."
TV Guide Awarded "I Love Lucy" a high honor
"TV Guide" honored the "I Love Lucy Show" with its ranking as the "Second Greatest Show of All Time."
Over 71% of the nation watched "Lucy Goes To the Hospital."
Toilets stopped flushing in parts of the country when the iconic episode "Lucy Goes to the Hospital" aired.
"I Love Lucy" debuted on CBS
The very first episode of "I Love Lucy" aired the evening of October 15, 1951.
National I Love Lucy Day FAQs
Where can I watch I Love Lucy nowadays?
If you want to keep up on Lucy on her day, check out different streaming services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime, as well as satellite TV schedules.
How can I find out more about I Love Lucy Day?
Use #ILoveLucyDay to post on social media and to find anything else you might be curious about on this day and the show overall.
What more can I do for I Love Lucy Day?
Take internet quizzes, visit forums, or just chat up with your fellow fans on social media, have a blast reminiscing of this show!
National I Love Lucy Day Activities
Watch an "I Love Lucy" marathon
As sophisticated as we seem to be with our cell phones, laptops, and iPads, "I Love Lucy" celebrates the pure comedy of life in a time when none of these items existed. The simple situations, many taking place in one or two middle-class Manhattan apartments, showed versatility and creativity upon which modern-day humor with all its snarkiness can't really improve upon. So, celebrate National I Love Lucy Day with back-to-back to back episodes of this comedy favorite.
Throw an "I Love Lucy" Theme Party
Who wouldn't love to stuff themselves with pillows to be cranky Fred Mertz for just one day? Get creative with all your best buds and throw a theme party celebrating National I Love Lucy Day. Cook up Ricky's favorite dish, arroz con pollo (also known as chicken and rice), make up a punch of Vitameatavegamin, and have some mid-week fun. Invent an episode for the show, play it out with your crew, and see what happens.
Display your collectibles
You can't be a true fan of National I Love Lucy Day without some Lucy, Ricky, Fred, and Ethel bobbleheads scattered around the house. Check out your favorite sites like eBay and find out what kind of memorabilia is available and make a purchase. Many of these items are worth thousands of dollars so invest in some Lucy and Ricky.
5 Shocking "I Love Lucy" Truths
One of the first Hollywood-filmed shows
Most shows were taped live in New York City at the time but this was taped in Los Angeles since the Arnazes didn't want to move away.
It was the first show to syndicate reruns
Producers thought of the innovative rerun concept as a way to give Ball maternity leave.
The magic 10 million
"I Love Lucy" was the first American television show to reach 10 million households.
Ricky Ricardo almost was Larry Lopez
But the alliteration of Larry and Lucy wasn’t deemed appealing.
Episodes were filmed almost seamlessly
Scenes very rarely had to be re-taped; the live audience often had the start-to-finish experience.
Why We Love I Love Lucy Day
It was a real love story
One of the reasons why we all love "I Love Lucy" is that Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were a real, married couple. They met on the set of a 1940 film called "Too Many Girls." The two eloped later that year and by 1951 were having some trouble in the marriage. The "I Love Lucy Show" was Lucy's brainstorm idea to keep her marriage with Desi intact.
It was hilarious
Even today, scholarly types go back and forth over why the show actually worked when the reason is simple — the show was freakin' hilarious! By 1951, Lucille Ball, a former B-rated glamour girl, was already 40 years old, considered past most actresses' prime. The idea that someone still so beautiful would do anything for a laugh in the style of older slapstick masters like Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, or even the Three Stooges was revolutionary. Everybody who watches the show has a favorite episode where Lucy inevitably gets dunked, schmeared, frozen in a vault, or knocked around in a wine vat full of grapes.
It was ahead of its time
The show was cutting-edge even in the '50s. The idea of a Latino band leader in an interracial marriage never even seemed to raise eyebrows. More than that, Arnaz was a genius of innovation with such ideas as using three cameras and 35mm film for the very first time — a technological achievement that television shows still use today. When Lucy and Desi took a pay cut with the understanding that they would gain 100% of the rights to the show instead, this became one of the first and most lucrative syndication deals in history.
National I Love Lucy Day dates