JAMESTOWN, N.Y. — Oct. 15 is a day Lucille Ball Fans across the country are celebrating. It's National "I Love Lucy Day."
Oct. 15, 1951, the sitcom classic debuted on CBS, and seven decades later and we are still celebrating!
"It's timeless, it's still funny as funny now as it was 70 years ago. It's still watched in countries all around the world. And it still makes you laugh but there's nothing dated about that show," said Gary Hahn.
Hahn told 2 On Your Side's Pete Gallivan that it wasn't always smooth sailing. In fact, the Lucy and Rick love story almost never made it to the small screen. Partially because certain executives wanted the names to be Lucy and Larry Lopez, but also because of issues with ethnicity.
"There was a point early on in the development of the show where CBS did not want Desi Arnaz to play Lucille Ball's husband it was kind of a new thing to show that kind of multi-ethnic marriage on television," Hahn said.
To prove to the network that it would work, Lucy and Desi Arnaz took their show on the road, and performed before live audiences in a vaudeville-style show. And people were drawn to the couple.
"It was very believable hand and because it was a real marriage and and audiences loved watching the Ricardo's every Monday night," Hahn said.
Although, part of Lucy's motivation in making the show a success was actually to save her marriage.
"Lucille was doing films in an a radio show in Hollywood has he had his band and was traveling around the country and I think they wanted to stay put, become a family, which they did they had two kids but they wanted to be together in one place," Hahn said.
Lucy and Desi did ultimately divorce, but not before making "I Love Lucy" a household name, first run, and for generations through syndication.
Today, the show and its stars, are featured prominently here in Lucy's hometown. At the Lucy-Desi Museum, where you can actually walk around on recreations of the show's sets, and at the National Comedy Center, where you can recreate one of the show's most iconic scenes.
And this museum is as much of a reflection of Lucy's legacy, as the show itself.
"Jamestown wanted to have a museum celebrating her celebrating I Love Lucy and Desi she suggested at that point I'd rather have you have a cultural institution a museum that celebrates all of Comedy not just my work," Hahn said.
As for today, nothing out of the ordinary is planned to mark the anniversary here at the museums, for one simple reason. Everyday is I Love Lucy day in Jamestown.
The museum's official shop is presenting an auction of rare and vintage Lucy, Desi and “I Love Lucy” treasures and collectibles.
The online auction runs through Oct. 29 with proceeds supporting the museum’s non-profit mission.