I have written about the greatest TV comedies of all time before on my blog and it makes for perfect timing as Lucille Ball is my TV goddess of the month. And without a doubt, her series, I Love Lucy is one, if not, greatest sitcom of all time. I know any number of fans can chime with their all time greatest but if you made a list of top 5 sitcoms of all time, I Love Lucy would probably be on 99.9% of those lists.
The original choices to play Fred and Ethel were Gale Gordon and Bea Benaderet, the co-stars of Lucille Ball's radio show, My Favorite Husband.
William Frawley and Vivian Vance actually hated each other in real life. In the show, displays of affection were forced.
Voted #2 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Show of all time.
Desi Arnaz invented the rerun during the pregnancy episodes of this series by re-airing some episodes from the first season to give Lucy some rest.
Lucy and Vivian each won an Emmy for their performances during the series 6 year run. The fellas did not. The show itself notched 2 Emmys for Best Situation Comedy in 1953 and 1954.
Follow-up series: which both had lengthy runs as well...
The Lucy Show (1962-1968, 156 episodes)
Here's Lucy (1968-1974, 144 episodes)