I Love Lucy: The Very First Show

When CBS first approached Lucille Ball about transferring her radio sitcom, My Favorite Husband, to television, she said okay if real-life hubby Desi Arnaz could costar. CBS balked. So the couple produced this pilot for I Love Lucy themselves, and CBS changed its mind — wisely. Ironically, Desi comes off only moderately well in the episode (which recently resurfaced after years in private hands). But Lucy is definitely in top form and almost breaks Desi up with an ad-lib about his accent. Their daughter, Lucie Arnaz, and the show’s writers frame the tape with behind-the-scenes comments and choice clips from later shows. Fascinating TV archaeology. B+

I Love Lucy: The Very First Show
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