‘I Love Lucy’ pulled off an uncanny miracle when Lucy’s TV character gave birth on the same day she gave birth to her real son in 1953. Roughly 44 million viewers watched the show, representing 72% of the population!
Desi Arnaz, playing Ricky, walks into the living room with a plan. He tells Ethel to call the doctor. Ricky says, ‘Ok, as soon as we get the signal, you rush to the phone.’
He tells Fred to carry the suitcase. Ricky tells them both, ‘I’ll look after Lucy. I’ll get her coat, and we’ll meet downstairs.’ Then, he insists on a rehearsal of the plan.
Ricky narrates as he walks in, role-playing the situation. They all walk calmly toward their jobs. They run through it again, and Fred says, ‘It’s important to stay calm so that Lucy stays calm.’
They wait for Lucy’s signal, and she walks out slowly and says, ‘Ricky, this is it.’ The three actors go crazy and start yelling, ‘This is it!’ They scramble to grab their things and fail comically. Ricky falls on the couch multiple times, and he tries to call the doctor, but that’s not his job, so they fight over it.
Then, Ricky grabs the coat and puts it on Fred by accident, and they rush out as the audience laughs. The physical comedy and timing are exceptional by the ensemble!
Little Ricky was born on the show, and in real-life, Lucille Ball gave birth to Desi Arnaz Jr. in Los Angeles. The planned cesarean delivery was the idea of Lucille and Desi, and the episode titled ‘Lucy Goes to the Hospital’ got more media attention than that day’s big news involving the inauguration of Dwight D. Eisenhower.