Johnny Carson Asked Lucille Ball About Her Virginity on Live Television in 1974, and Her Reaction Was Priceless

by Madison Miller

Lucille Ball had made several appearances on talk shows or variety shows during her career as the “First Lady of Television.” One of the most popular shows for famous celebrities at the time was on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.”

Lucille Ball and Johnny Carson Show

On March 22, 1974, Johnny Carson and Lucille Ball sat down together to talk on the show. Lucille Ball asks Carson, “Are you still happy?” He responds with, “What do you mean still happy?”

Ball said, “Well, you get married a lot.” She’s poking fun at the fact that Carson had been married three times at that point in his life. It would later be four times. She wished him “the greatest happiness” in his life and marriage. Ball said that’s what she had for years with Gary Morton. She got married in 1961 and the two were together until she passed away.

Carson would shock both her and the audience later on with a very intimate question. The question started with, “How old,” and Ball immediately cut him off and started to freak out hysterically.

He then gets the chance to finish and asks, “How old were you when you lost your virginity?” In a very Lucy fashion, she stares open-mouthed at the camera for several seconds in shock before cracking a grin. Carson then explained it was purely for “shock value” and that he wanted to “see one of those takes again” that she was so famous for in “I Love Lucy.”

The question is avoided during the rest of the interview.

‘I Love Lucy’ Pregnancy

For many reasons, Lucille Ball was one of the most influential figures in television history. Besides her groundbreaking role in “I Love Lucy,” Ball was also the owner of Desilu Productions.

She was a direct inspiration to the actors that came right after her, as well as even now. For example, she was comedy icon Carol Burnett’s mentor. They met in 1959 and were friends for 30 years.

“I Love Lucy” was a landmark show. For one, it showcased one of the first mixed-race couples on television. It is also one of the first shows to feature a pregnant woman. While filming the show, Lucille Ball was pregnant with Desi Arnaz Jr. Due to strict guidelines and a hesitancy to talk about sex, Ball and the other cast members were actually never allowed to say the word “pregnant.”

The episode where Ricky finds out Lucy is pregnant is called “Lucy Is Enceinte.” The word is actually French for pregnant. This is one of the most popular episodes of the series, as Ricky performs a sweet song when he finds out.