10 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘I Love Lucy’
6. The Mertzes
As the neighbors to the Ricardos, the Mertzes were an interesting pair. In real life Vivian Vance (Ethel Mertze) and William Frawley (Fred Mertz) actually had a 22 year age gap, and even though they played spouses on-screen, they hated each other off-screen. Despite some name-calling, the pair were professional enough not to jeopardize their jobs and few even knew they didn’t get along. Several of their fellow co-stars didn’t even know about the hostility between the pair until years after the series came to an end.
5. The Pregnancy
After successfully getting through Ball’s first pregnancy in the first season, her second pregnancy in season two created a panic on set and also became another reason I Love Lucy broke barriers. When writers decided to write the pregnancy into the couple’s storyline because of how much she changed during pregnancy, Lucille Ball became one of the first female leads to ever be visibly pregnant on-screen. Since it was such a huge risk at the time, Arnaz had to hire a Catholic priest, a minister, and a rabbi to review each episode to make sure there was nothing that would be objectionable or offend viewers. CBS also took extra precautions by deeming the word “pregnant” as too vulgar and they could only use the term “expecting” to describe Lucy’s condition.