Sunday, May 13, 2012

15 Greatest TV Characters of the 1960s: Lucy Ricardo

Name: Lucy McGillicuddy Ricardo

Portrayed by: Lucille Ball

TV series: I Love Lucy (1951-57); The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show (1957-60)

Occupation: Homemaker; aspiring singer, dancer, and actress.

Lifestyle: Lived in an apartment at 623 East 68th Street in New York City with her husband Ricky. They temporarily relocated to Hollywood in 1954-55 while Ricky starred in a film about Don Juan; toured Europe in 1955-56. In December 1956, the Ricardo Family moved to Westport, Connecticut.

Family and Friends: Lucy and Ricky's son, nicknamed Little Ricky, was born in 1953. The Ricardos were best friends with their landlords, Fred and Ethel Mertz. In Connecticut, they also became friends with Betty and Ralph Ramsey.

Trademarks:  Trying to weasel her way into one of Ricky's shows.

Classic Quote:  (In an effort in get rid of 700 pounds of frozen beef, Lucy and Ethel sell it for 79 cents a pound. A customer asks how they can sell meat so cheap)  "I'm glad you asked that. We rope, we brand, we butcher. We do everything but eat it for you."

Classic episodes: "Lucy Does a Commercial" (yes, it's the Vitameatavegamin episode!); "Lucy Is Enceinte" (Ricky learns that Lucy is pregnant); "Lucy Goes to Scotland" (in a dream sequence, Lucy is rescued from a dragon by Scotty McTavish McDougal McCardo--that'd be Ricky); "Lucy's Italian Movie" (the grape-stomping episode); "L.A., at Last" (Lucy meets William Holden).


  1. What can I say? Lucy Ricardo is like the air I breathe - I need her constantly! There was a time when she was off the air for a while and it was horrible just knowing that I couldn't see her if I wanted to. Thankfully, Hallmark shows her in the morning, so as I get ready for work, she and Ricky and the Mertzes are where they belong and all is right with the world. By the way, as time goes by, I am really appreciating Desi's work in the show - he was terrific. I am sure everyone has their favorite Lucy episode, but as a kid the sight of an endless loaf of bread emerging from her oven left me in stitches!

  2. Rick, your list so far has contained some surprises, but this is the one character who was absolutely certain to appear. Glad to see "Lucy Goes to Scotland" included in your list of notable episodes. This one is often omitted in reruns of Lucy's European trip. One thing I notice in "Lucy" episodes is how much attention her writers paid to classic comic situations and bits in comedy movies. Do you think it's any coincidence this episode was made only a year or two after the movie version of "Brigadoon"? Remember the sword dance? I rewatched the episode just a few weeks ago and especially liked Fred and Ethel as the two-headed dragon. Another "show within a show" episode I fondly recall (and also rewatched just recently) is the one where Lucy and Ethel's club put on an operetta and Lucy, who wants the lead as the beautiful princess, gets stuck playing the snaggle-toothed Queen of the Gypsies.

  3. I meant to mention as an example of Lucy's writers borrowing comic bits the famous Vitameatavegamin routine, which is based on an old Red Skelton routine.

  4. Ha! I know Lucy. Definitely a classic TC character. Loved her with Ethel.

  5. I knew Lucy would appear on this list! And how we do love her in "I Love Lucy" as well as her very talented costars. I still cry when I see the episode where Lucy lets Ricky know she is pregnant. He is singing in the club trying to find the pregnany mother and finally only Lucy is left. Desi was so precious in that episode!

  6. "Lucy" is almost one of those characters that you don't need to mention, but if we don't mention her then we might forget just how groundbreaking, how talented and how really, really funny Ricky's wife was.

  7. I love how much they combined Lucille Ball's persona ( with the Lucy character in the show. My favorite episodes, besides those already mentioned, are the ones where she and the others performed sort of sketch routines or little musical numbers. I've always found those charming! I also liked that about The Dick van Dyke Show as well (produced by Desilu, incidentally).

  8. my favorite show from back then was the rifleman