Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball portraying their characters on “I Love Lucy” would forever change the history of American television.
The couple was one of the first multiethnic marriages in television history, paving the way for countless other iconic stories in the future. Lucille Ball also shows one of the first on-screen pregnancies during a time where pregnancy and sex are taboo subjects.
‘I Love Lucy’ as a Marriage Counselor
Years later, we see the impact figures like Ball and Arnaz have had on current television, especially sitcoms. However, the impact was just as relevant back when the show was on from 1951 to 1957.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight from 1982, Desi Arnaz talks about the impact of the show over the years. While “I Love Lucy” was only on for about six years, it never really left television. Re-runs of the trailblazing show have always happily appeared on television screens everywhere.
Arnaz shared the time a man told him that “I Love Lucy” essentially saved his marriage.
“One guy, I’ll never forget, he says ‘I want to thank you for saving my marriage. I was about to get a divorce from my wife because I thought she was nuts. Then I started looking at your show and she didn’t look so crazy after all,'” Arnaz said.
For those who have never seen the classic “I Love Lucy,” Lucy Ricardo has a way of turning everything into a crazy and hilarious scheme. From shoveling chocolate into her mouth at a chocolate factory to getting stuck in a freezer, there’s no shortage of scheming-gone-wrong.
In many ways, the marriage on “I Love Lucy” portrayed a certain level of realism. With ups and downs, but still a lot of love and laughs, Lucy and Ricky were something very real. Lucille Ball was also somewhat straying away from that “dotting housewife” image that was so prominent at the time.
The Show Helps Arnaz and Ball Marriage
“I Love Lucy” saved the two actor’s marriage as well, at least for a little while. Ball had filed for divorce in 1944, but the two were able to reconcile before it was finalized. Ball then started talking about creating her own sitcom based on a popular radio show called “My Favorite Husband.” She was approved and pushed for Arnaz to be cast as her husband, despite pushback from the networks.
According to People, Ball was very persistent in bringing along her real-life husband to the project. Reports at the time stated that she believed working together would save their tumultuous marriage. She also stated that it may keep Arnaz from cheating, as he was infamously unfaithful to her.
Luckily, her persistence was successful. The result was a couple on the TV screen that people everywhere would grow to love.