‘I Love Lucy’ Star Lucille Ball Would Use ‘Aunts’ to Trick Her Children Into Practicing Performances

by Quentin Blount

All of the mothers out there can most likely relate to I Love Lucy star Lucille Ball in one way or another. Especially after watching Ball admit to tricking her kids so that they would practice performing.

During an episode of America Alive in 1978, Ball spoke to members of a live audience at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). One of the audience members asked the star what her recommendations were for her children Lucie and Desi when they got into the business.

“They showed an early inclination to perform,”Ball explained. “And they were interested in their music. I never nagged them to practice.”

According to the star herself, she never forced little Lucie and Desi to practice. She did, however, say that she used the kids’ aunts as a roundabout way to get them to hone in on their performance skills.

“Aunt Helen is coming on Thursday and she’d love to hear your little number,” Ball used to say to her children. “You know, that thing you were playing the other day. I heard you on the drums, Desi, and I heard you on the piano, Lucie. She’s coming Thursday if you feel like it.”

Then in the background, she would hear her kids gearing up and getting ready.

“That’s the way I got the practicing done for years, and years, and years,” she said.

‘I Love Lucy’ Star Pulled Her Kids Out of School

Which sounds better to you? Going to high school for eight hours a day? Or getting tutored on the set of one of the nation’s most popular shows with your star actress mom? We know what most kids in that scenario are choosing.

That is precisely the question that I Love Lucy star Lucille Ball posed to her own children back in the day. And, of course, they chose show business.

“I noticed that their schools were not working to their potentials,” Ball explained. “The schools were getting a little flaky, and things were happening.”

“…I said to them, ‘I have to change my format. I’m going away for a month and I want you to think. Would you like to be in my show?'”

Before Lucille Ball could finish her proposal, both kids shouted “YES!”

“I said, ‘You have a month to think about it. You’re going to have people come here — writers and directors — they are going to talk to you and discuss what this means to your life.'”

Although her kids didn’t get a lot of money, their uninterrupted time training on the set worked out in the end.

“Well, it worked out great,” Ball said. “They accepted and they loved it.”

The I Love Lucy star explained that in time, both Lucie and Desi’s hard work led to apprenticeship roles.

“Immediate work, immediately right in the middle of doing something and being able to learn,” she said. “And they did learn. They have shown their appreciation and they are doing fine.”