‘I Love Lucy’: Lucille Ball Had to Continuously Teach Harpo Marx His Mirror Routine for the Famous Episode

by Joe Rutland

When Lucille Ball and Harpo Marx are on the screen together in “I Love Lucy,” you might think it’s comedy gold. But the backstory is even more fun.

It seems Ball, obviously the star of “I Love Lucy,” had to teach Marx their timing routine for the classic mirror routine.

But the one thing that makes it look so seamless is that pieces of the scene were spliced together. Why? Harpo kept changing up the routine, throwing Lucy off-balance at times. She had to go over and over again with him how the routine would work.

‘I Love Lucy’ Episode With Marx Part Of Hollywood Shows

The episode occurs during a number of “I Love Lucy” shows set in Hollywood, instead of the Ricardos’ New York digs.

A lot of Hollywood’s A-list stars, both young and old alike, made appearances on the hit CBS comedy.

Marx, famously known as the silent Marx Brother who played a harp just like an angel, was one of those stars. It is noted that Marx, after finishing his work, actually hung around and played the harp while costar Vivian Vance, who played Ethel Mertz, sang with him.

Ball speaks highly of Harpo during an appearance on “The Dick Cavett Show” in the 1970s.

“So bright and so darling and, ooh, such a great musician,” Ball said.

From 1955, here are Harpo Marx and Lucille Ball with this classic routine from “I Love Lucy.” It’s three-plus minutes of pure hilarity and comedy gold.

TV Show Becomes First Sitcom To Reach No. 1 In Nielsens

People could not wait to tune in on CBS for the antics of the Ricardos and Mertzes. It became “must-see TV” before that slogan even had diapers on it.

“I Love Lucy” actually became the first situation comedy to take the No. 1 spot in the Nielsen ratings.

According to the Lucy-Desi Museum, not only did the show climb to the top of the Nielsen charts. It stayed there for four of its six total seasons. The show finished its 161-episode run in that top spot.

It’s hard to fathom how much success, both on the screen and financially, that one show brought Ball and Desi Arnaz. But it did and they turned that success into fulfilling their dreams and giving TV viewers a lot of laughs.