‘I Love Lucy’: Little Ricky Actor Keith Thibodeaux Said He Usually ‘Changes the Channel’ when Show Comes On

by Joe Rutland

Don’t count on actor Keith Thibodeaux to be watching “I Love Lucy” reruns anytime soon. After all, he appeared in episodes as Little Ricky.

Thibodeaux, who played the son of Lucy and Ricky Ricardo in “I Love Lucy,” doesn’t spend time watching them according to a 2019 article from the New York Post.

Does he see them at all?

“Every so often, but most of the time I’ll probably change the channel,” Thibodeaux said “It just depends. My daughter was a real big fan when she was younger — she’s married now and we have a grandson.

“She would play the [“I Love Lucy”] tapes all the time and I would go, ‘Oh my gosh, I just can’t get away from this show!'” he said. “But it was neat to be able to see that another generation and other generations still love it.”

‘I Love Lucy’ Star Reportedly Changed Name Because Arnaz Couldn’t Pronounce Last Name

Obviously, Lucy and Ricky were played by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Vivian Vance and William Frawley played friends Ethel and Fred Mertz, respectively. He was billed on the show as Richard Keith, reportedly because Arnaz couldn’t pronounce his Cajun-influenced last name.

Yes, Thibodeaux was born in Lafayette, La., right in the heart of Cajun Country. He was part of both “I Love Lucy” and “The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour” from 1955 through 1960.

Now Thibodeaux also went on to make other TV show appearances, especially between 1962 and 1966 on “The Andy Griffith Show.” He appeared on the show as Johnny Paul Jason.

He currently lives in Jackson, Miss., with his wife Kathy Denton.

Classic TV Show Would Force Businesses To Close Their Doors On Monday Nights

While today’s television viewers may not relate, “I Love Lucy” was on CBS at a time when there were just three TV networks.

CBS, NBC, and ABC were the main selections for TV viewers back in the 1950s. Oh, there was the Dumont Network that lasted for a little bit but the Big 3 dominated the medium.

People loved that sitcom so much that they would usually stay home on Monday nights. Stores that were open during the time “I Love Lucy” was on the air wouldn’t see many customers. They could not compete against Lucille Ball’s dominant sitcom.

“I Love Lucy” was on CBS and viewers only could get one chance at watching the episode. That’s according to an article from ScreenRant. Reruns weren’t invented yet.

Why wouldn’t stores just go ahead and stay open? It was of no use. Stores that sold TV sets knew they wouldn’t do business between 9-9:30 p.m. Eastern time on Monday nights. Store owners probably went home and did what everyone else was doing.

Watch Lucy, Ricky, Fred, Ethel, and Little Ricky.