‘I Love Lucy’: Lucille Ball and Son Desi Arnaz Jr. Had Classic Mother-Son Exchange on ‘The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson’ in 1974

by Keeli Parkey

Lucille Ball, the legendary star of “I Love Lucy” received a very unexpected surprise while she was making an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” on March 22, 1974.

That surprise was an unexpected visit from her son, Desi Arnaz Jr. The young man sneaks up on his mother while she is looking in the other direction. He comes from the left of Johnny Carson, who gets Lucy’s attention by saying, “Here’s your son.”

The “I Love Lucy” star is obviously shocked and excited to see him. She throws up her hands and claps before jumping out of her chair to embrace him. It’s a very sweet moment. Desi Jr. shakes hands with the famous host of “The Tonight Show” and hugs his mother.

Interestingly, the young Desi Jr. comes out holding a cane. Unsurprisingly, his mother wants to why. “What’s this?” Lucy asks. “I don’t know, I just brought it out,” Desi Jr. responds.

Lucy then asks Desi Jr. if he had “been hurt in the war?” “What are you talking about, the cane? No, it means nothing,” Desi Jr. says in response as he tosses the cane across the stage. “Oh, I’m glad,” Lucille Ball adds.

The mother and son then begin to banter back and forth about what Desi Jr. says is an injury he sustained while playing football.

“He’s 21 and look at the old injury,” Lucy jokes as she adds comedic emphasis to the word “old.”

She then says to her son, “Hey, you found to come over here and say hello to your poor old mother, huh?” “I sure did,” Desi Jr. says in response. “I’m doing ‘Lampoon’ right next door.”

“Don’t be pushing another show,” Lucy then jokes. “That’s why I came over, actually,” responds Desi Jr. This quick quip delights his mother. She laughs and looks admiringly at the young man.

Lucille Ball Is Every Mother

As the conversation continues, Lucy tells Desi Jr. that she “wants to talk to him” about his room. “Do you?” he responds. This draws another laugh from Lucy.

The mother and son then begin discussing her film, “Mame.” She wants to know why he hasn’t seen it yet.

“You were invited to the premiere. Where were you?” Lucy asks. “I was working. I have things to do,” Desi Jr. says. And, he sounds just like any other young man who is getting fussed at my his mothers. Frankly, it’s pretty adorable.

“Mothers never change, do they?” Carson then jokes. He was exactly right.

‘I Love Lucy’ Star Talks About Raising Her Son, Daughter During Appearance on ‘The Tonight Show’

Moments before Desi Arnaz Jr. came out to surprise his famous mother, Lucille Ball talked to Carson about raising the young man and his sister, Lucie Arnaz.

According to IMDb, Desi Arnaz Jr. was born on Jan. 19, 1953, in Los Angeles, California. He was the younger of the famous star’s two children. Lucie Arnaz was born on July 17, 1951. Of course, their father is the famous Desi Arnaz.

“Both of my kids are doing well,” Lucille Ball told Carson during that March 1974 interview. “They’re learning. They’re making their mistakes on their own. See, that’s good.”

Carson then asked the famous actress what power she still had over her children. In response, the “I Love Lucy” star said she had very little if any.

“I’ve given them all the advice I can give them,” she added. “And, I’ve given them all the training I can give them. They’re out on their own.”