HomeEntertainment‘I Love Lucy’: Why Lucille Ball Cast Bob Hope as a Guest Star in the Series’ Final Season

‘I Love Lucy’: Why Lucille Ball Cast Bob Hope as a Guest Star in the Series’ Final Season

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

Beloved comedian Bob Hope was the first guest star in the final season of “I Love Lucy.” Why did Hope receive such a prestigious honor?

Ball and Hope were both friends and movie costars before “I Love Lucy” was ever created. Movie fans can catch them in “Sorrowful Jones” and “Fancy Pants,” according to an article from ScreenRant.

It made good sense to have Hope on for the season opener. Viewers already had the show listed as a must-see appointment on Monday nights.

Getting Hope over from NBC for a CBS show was a big “get” yet Hope probably would have done it anyway.

‘I Love Lucy’ Star Manages To Bring Two Great Comedians Together

The episode is simply called “Lucy and Bob Hope,” focusing on Hope’s love for baseball. Some of the scenes were actually filmed at Yankee Stadium. The show closes with Hope’s theme song, “Thanks for the Memory.”

Ball, after many years of struggling in both Broadway and Hollywood, found her humorous side a good fit for the world of television on “I Love Lucy.” Hope already had established himself as a major star on the radio. He was one of TV”s first crossover acts, moving from radio to television. Yet his humor and wit made Hope still popular with fans.

He also had a very successful movie career, co-starring with singer Bing Crosby in “The Road” series of movies. Hope also had his individual movies that proved to be box-office successes, too. He once played Vaudevillian Eddie Foy in “The Seven Little Foys,” a biopic based on Foy’s real life.

“I Love Lucy” started its sixth and final season on CBS off with a bang. Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley would close up this show. But they continued to work together on the hour-long “The Lucy and Desi Comedy Hour” until that ended.

Ball, Hope, Arnaz, Vance, and Frawley are all dead but the memories of their work live on forever.

Mother Of Lucille Ball Sat In The Audience For Daughter’s Tapings

“I Love Lucy” had a very special guest in the audience for all of the show’s tapings.

DeDe Ball, the mother of Lucille Ball, always was present each time the show was being done. In fact, DeDe Ball also was in the audience for Ball’s two follow-up sitcoms, “The Lucy Show” and “Here’s Lucy.”

Besides being Lucy’s mother, DeDe provides a rather crucial element to the audience responses throughout a show.

If you listen close enough, then you can hear a person sometimes say “Uh Oh!” from the live studio crowd. That was DeDe. You might even hear that in other shows which used laugh tracks instead of filming in front of live audiences.

Dede Ball died on July 20, 1977.