In a new clip from Being the Ricardos, Nicole Kidman’s Lucille Ball announces her pregnancy to the writers of I Love Lucy. In addition to Kidman, the film stars Javier Bardem as Desi Arnaz. Other actors in the clip include Alia Shawkat, Tony Hale, and Jake Lacy.
After discovering the news, the couple comes to share the news of their second pregnancy. The writers are less than enthusiastic, with Lacy’s character responding “boy, this is a one-two punch.”
“It’s not a punch, I’m having a baby,” the icon responds. The writers then begin to panic about how they will work around this news. At the time, pregnancy had never been shown on the air. As a result, the pregnancy is little more than an obstacle to the writers.
“I know it seemed like no one said congratulations, but that cannot be,” interrupts Ball. “These are three of our closest friends.” In response, the writers muster a few apologies before standing up to hug the expectant parents. She then humorously walks the writers through their options of hiding her changing figure.
“With Lucie, I was the size of a phone booth, so you’ve got about seven weeks before you have to start hiding me behind boxes and chairs,” the actress explains. “And then another seven weeks after that before I won’t fit in the frame. “
After the writers question what they can do, Ball confidently says “whatever there was to do, we’ve done it.”
“Without a choice,” declared Arnaz. “Lucy Ricardo is going to have a baby on television.”
Being the Ricardos Shows Desi Jr’s Arrival
While some audience members may not understand the gravity of that decision, Being the Ricardos recognized that it changed television. During her real-life pregnancy with Desi Arnaz Jr., Ball depicted Lucy Ricardo’s pregnancy with “Little Ricky.” It became something of a phenomenon as the first pregnancy depicted on television.
As a result, the media coverage of Desi Jr.’s arrival was extensive. While Desi Jr. was Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s baby, Lucy and Ricky Ricardo had Little Ricky, played by Keith Thibodeux.
“I can still remember watching the show when I was about three and wondering who was the baby with Mommy and Daddy,” Desi Jr. once explained. “When my parents said it was me, I was confused, because I knew it wasn’t.”
For a child in a spotlight he didn’t choose, Desi Jr. went through a lot. The child most associated with his parents wasn’t him, but he still received intense attention from the media. As a result, he learned to despise the name “Little Ricky.”
“I remember wanting rather desperately to be better at something – anything – than the boy who played Little Ricky,” said Desi Jr. “For a while, it seemed as if everything in my life was connected to Little Ricky’s.”
The extent of Desi Jr.’s childhood covered in Being the Ricardos is the announcement itself. However, it is still interesting to see what went on behind the scenes of one of the most iconic storylines in television history.
Being the Ricardos is in select theaters. It is also now streaming on Amazon Prime.