- Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Bob Carroll Jr, Madelyn Davis, Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf
- Genres: Comedy, Family
- Actors: Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, William Frawley
Originally set in New York City, I Love Lucy centers on Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball), and her singer/bandleader husband Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz), along with their friends and landlords Fred Mertz (William Frawley) and Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance). During the second season, Lucy and Ricky have a son named Little Ricky (whose birth was devised to coincide with Lucille Ball’s real life pregnancy). “Little Ricky” literally grows up on the show and during the final season is played by 6-year-old actor Keith Thibodeaux.
Lucy is somewhat naÃ¯ve and ambitious, with an overactive imagination and a knack for getting herself into trouble. Primarily she is obsessed with joining her husband in show business, despite his refusal to cooperate. Fred and Ethel are former vaudevillians and this only strengthens her resolve to prove herself as a performer. Unfortunately, she has little discernable ability. She cannot carry a tune or play anything other than off-key renditions of songs such as “Glow Worm” or “Sweet Sue” on the saxophone, and many of her performances devolve into disaster. On occasion, she is shown to be to be a good dancer and a competent singer.
The show provided Ball ample opportunity to display her considerable skill at clowning and physical comedy. Lucy’s determination to get into the act in any way possible results in numerous wacky situations. Character development was not a major focus of early sitcoms, so little was offered about her life prior to the show. A few episodes mentioned that she was born in Jamestown, New York, (later corrected to West Jamestown), that she graduated from Jamestown High School, and that she met Ricky on a blind date. Her family was absent, other than occasional appearances by her mother (Kathryn Card), who annoyed Ricky to no end by constantly mispronouncing his name as “Mickey” and mistaking him for fellow bandleader Xavier Cugat. Lucy also exhibited many stereotypical female traits that were standard for comedy at the time, including being secretive about her age, and being careless with money. She is also depicted as a devoted housewife and attentive mother.
The Manhattan building they all lived in before their move to Westport, Connecticut was addressed at a fictional 623 East 68th Street, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, which in reality would be located in the East River.