‘I Love Lucy’: Desi Arnaz’s Photogenic Memory Had Him Nailing His Lines On First Read

by Jeremy Spirogis
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in

Few exhibits broke as many boundaries as I Love Lucy. The present was one of many first to indicate an interracial couple, the real-life husband and spouse Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. It was additionally the primary scripted sitcom to be filmed in entrance of a stay studio viewers and the primary to characteristic an ensemble solid. While Ball usually stole the present along with her wacky, side-splitting antics, Arnaz was an achieved, profitable musician in his personal proper, and he had one vital benefit that made him a terrific actor. 

The actual Ricky Ricardo 

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in 'I Love Lucy'
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in ‘I Love Lucy’ | CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

In I Love Lucy, Arnaz performs Ricky Ricardo, the counterpart to Lucy, performed by his spouse in actual life, Ball. Ricardo was a fictional model of himself, a younger, up and coming singer and bandleader attempting to interrupt into present business. He was usually quick-tempered, and when he was notably exasperated along with his spouse, he’d resort to a rapid-fire string of Spanish. 

In actual life, Arnaz was born to a rich political household in Cuba, however they fled to Miami after the 1933 Cuban Revolution. His profession took off after his orchestra launched the Conga line dance to American audiences, and he was solid in a Broadway musical referred to as Too Many Girls in 1939.

The musical was ultimately made into a movie, the place Arnaz and Ball met and fell in love. The two married on November 30, 1940. 

Arnaz virtually wasn’t in ‘I Love Lucy’

Lucille Ball with Desi Arnaz | © Bettmann/CORBIS/Bettmann ArchiveLucille Ball with Desi Arnaz | © Bettmann/CORBIS/Bettmann Archive
Lucille Ball with Desi Arnaz | © Bettmann/CORBIS/Bettmann Archive

While Arnaz continued his rigorous touring schedule, Ball remained in Hollywood, the place her appearing profession was thriving. She began showing on a radio present referred to as My Favorite Husband in 1948.

It was so standard that CBS approached Ball about turning it right into a TV present. She had only one situation: that Arnaz would play her husband on the present.

The community was hesitant as a result of blended marriages had been very unusual on tv on the time, however Ball stood her floor. In order to show the community executives unsuitable and present that they might be a terrific comedy crew, the duo created a vaudeville act that they carried out with Arnaz’s orchestra.

It was an enormous hit with audiences and sufficient to persuade CBS that it was well worth the danger, and the present started manufacturing in 1951.

Arnaz had a secret appearing benefit

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I Love Lucy had nice confidence of their writing crew. So a lot in order that no ad-libbing or going off-script was allowed.

The actors carried out each phrase for phrase, precisely because it was written. While remembering so many traces looks like a tough activity, it was a breeze for Arnaz as a result of he had a photographic reminiscence, reported the Los Angeles Times. He may reportedly learn his script simply as soon as after which ship his traces completely on stage when it was time to movie.  

‘I Love Lucy’ made reruns potential

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At the time, most tv exhibits had been filmed in New York City, however Arnaz and Ball had been insistent about staying in Hollywood. This was lengthy earlier than the times of cable tv or streaming content material, so stay exhibits may solely be broadcast to date.

They had been recorded utilizing low-quality kinescopes after which despatched to stations throughout the nation. Arnaz prompt utilizing three cameras to shoot on 35-millimeter movie. Not solely did this permit the present to movie in a lot larger high quality, however it additionally meant that every episode was preserved completely in a format that might be simply replayed.

This marked the beginning of rerun syndication and likewise made Arnaz and Ball millionaires as a result of their manufacturing firm maintained full possession of the present.  

I Love Lucy was the most-watched TV present within the United States for 4 of its six seasons and stays extraordinarily standard with audiences today. 

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