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10+ Behind The Scenes Secrets About 'I Love Lucy' Fans Didn't Know

The '50s timeless, classic sitcom, I Love Lucy was one of the very first television shows to be filmed in Hollywood — a trailblazer, you might say. It was quirky, heartwarming, and most of all, authentic.

But there was a whole lot more tea going on behind the scenes that fans weren't aware of!

Let's get into what made this show so interesting!

1. The network wasn't optimistic about Lucy's marriage to a "foreigner".


Desi Arnaz, who played Lucy's husband on the show, was already an established Cuban-American musician at the time.

However, he struggled to make a proper impact in Hollywood because of his Cuban accent.

When he was initially cast for the show, the network did not have high hopes that he would be well-received by viewers. But as we now know, that prediction was far from accurate!

2. It was Lucille's idea to cast her real-life husband as her on-screen husband.


While I'm sure she loved getting to work with her husband, the idea behind casting him was to make their on-screen chemistry look more natural — since it actually was!

3. William Frawley, who played Fred Mertz, struggled with severe alcoholism throughout his time on the show.


You may have noticed that in most scenes, his hands are either in his pockets or simply out of the frame.

This was done intentionally so that viewers wouldn't see his hands shaking from withdrawal.

Because William was a known alcoholic, he was considered to be a high-risk cast member.


Upon hiring him, he was informed that if he ever missed work or showed up drunk, he would immediately be written off of the show.

He was on thin ice from the start!

4. The show's network, CBS, banned the use of the word "pregnant" from their scripts.


So, when Lucy was pregnant with Little Ricky, she was forced to use words like "expecting" instead.

Obviously, we all know the meaning behind it, but it is still quite silly.

5. William Frawley and Vivian Vance hated each other IRL.


While their characters were deeply fond of each other, that wasn't the case for William and Vivian. In fact, quite the contrary.

Their on-screen affections were forced, and both of them were offered cash bonuses by the network to continue working together.

6. According to Vivian, her contract forced her to always be 10 pounds heavier than Lucy.


But there never seemed to be any resentment on Vivian's end over this particularly bizarre working condition.

She and Lucille remained good friends for the entirety of the show and often laughed about the 10-pound difference.

7. Before any scene that involved Lucy being splashed or hit in the face with something, like a pie for instance, she would remove her signature false eyelashes.


The ultimate giveaway that Lucille was about to be smacked in the face with something messy, is that her eyelashes would suddenly seem a little less full.

8. Gale Gordon was the first choice to play Fred Mertz, but he was unavailable to take on the role.


Their second choice was James Gleason. But he was also, unfortunately, unavailable.

But thankfully, they came across William Frawley, who Desi Arnaz later described as "perfect" for the role.

9. Mary Jane Croft was a master of disguise.


You may have not noticed because of how seamless the transitions were, but Mary Jane Croft played three separate characters on the show, Betty Ramsey, Evelyn Bigsby, and Cynthia Harcourt.

10. *I Love Lucy* was originally a radio show.


It was also going to be called My Favorite Husband.

The radio show — what we would now consider a podcast — was such a hit, CBS picked it up and decided to make it a television series.

11. The show didn't use a laugh track.


While most of the sitcoms that we're familiar with nowadays do use a laugh track to prompt viewers to laugh as well, I Love Lucy was filmed at a time when studio audiences were far more common, and therefore, so were he authentic, candid spouts of laughter.

12. Lucille got into a physical altercation with one of her female cast mates in the grape-stomping episode.


Behind the scenes of the grape-stomping episode, Lucille got into a fight with another one of the women, who allegedly almost drowned her in the barrel and forced grapes up her nostrils.

13. William Frawley had a clause in his contract that he would be exempt from work if his favorite baseball team, the New York Yankees, made the world series.


Evidently, he was very serious about baseball!

The New York Yankees were in the world series every year that I Love Lucy was on the air except for 1954.

Well, there you have it! There was a lot more to *I Love Lucy* than met the eye.


What is your favorite behind-the-scenes secret about the classic '50s sitcom, I Love Lucy?

Let us know in the comments below! We would love to hear from you!