‘I Love Lucy’: How Little Ricky’s Superman Birthday Episode Made Minor Error on Date

by Madison Miller

“I Love Lucy” had a lot of iconic guest stars during its run on TV. The popular series had Barbara Eden, Janet Waldo, Aaron Spelling, and Natalie Schafer as a guest to Lucy, Ricky, and the rest of the characters.

One of the most memorable episodes of the series is called “Lucy and Superman.” The episode aired on January 14, 1957.

‘I Love Lucy’ Superman Episode

In this episode, Lucy is on the search for an interesting form of entertainment for Little Ricky’s birthday party. She finds out someone else is having a party the same day. Ricky mentions that Superman is in town. Lucy tries to get him to come to Little Ricky’s party to surpass Carolyn Appleby’s party. Superman can’t make it. Instead, Lucy dresses as the Man of Steel and gets herself in trouble. The real Superman swoops in to save the day.

The episode featured George Reeves as Superman. Reeves starred in the first feature film about Superman called “Superman and the Mole Men.” He then played Superman in the television series “Adventures of Superman” from 1952 to 1958.

While the “I Love Lucy” episode was a big hit, the show had one minor miss.

According to IMDb, it has to do with the birth of Little Ricky. Lucy tells Caroline that he was born at 11 a.m. However, in the episode where Little Ricky is born, Ricky can’t be at the hospital because he’s working at the Tropicana nightclub. This means that it would have been impossible for Little Ricky to be born in the morning.

It is such a minor detail, but fans picked up on it. This may be partially due to just how popular the episode in which Little Ricky was born was. According to Vulture, about 44 million people watched the episode “Lucy Goes to the Hospital.” This is the episode in which she gives birth to Little Ricky. This is about 72% of American households that had TVs at the time tuning in.

The episode was actually filmed on November 14, 1952, when Ball was seven months pregnant. She went into labor with Desi Arnaz Jr. on January 19, 1953. It was actually just 12 hours before the episode aired on television. Lucille Ball’s pregnancy is one of the first to appear on a television series.

Keith Thibodeaux on Meeting Superman

Keith Thibodeaux was the actor who played Little Ricky on “I Love Lucy.”

In a 2005 interview with the Archive of American Television, Thibodeaux said that “Lucy and Superman” was his favorite episode he ever filmed for “I Love Lucy.”

“That was probably my personal favorite because George Reeves was my personal hero. And here he was coming, on my birthday on the show, and I got to meet him,” Thibodeaux said.

Thibodeaux had some conflicting emotions as a young child. He knew that George Reeves was an actor but he also knew confidently that he was still Superman.