I Love Jess: Celebrating A Sitcom Milestone

Welcome to a new Wildcard Wednesday! Tomorrow marks the 70th anniversary of the original broadcast for one of the best I Love Lucy episodes of all time, “Lucy Does A TV Commercial,” which CBS-TV first aired on May 05, 1952. This classic half hour is top sitcommery, boasting not only the iconic “Vitameatavegamin” routine, but also a wonderfully plotted story that utilizes the Lucy Ricardo character’s central objective, Ricky’s defined opposition to it, and the basic “situation” that the series has established — making it one of the best examples of situation comedy from the first great situation comedy exclusive to TV.

This wonderful offering was written by the same trio who wrote every episode from I Love Lucy‘s first four seasons — and penned the majority of Lucille Ball’s earlier radio series, My Favorite Husband — Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll Jr., and headwriter Jess Oppenheimer, the latter of whom deserves most of the credit for molding Ball’s raw talent into a unique, specific, motivated characterization for TV (with help from Desi Arnaz’s natural gifts, as well): Lucy Ricardo — the best sitcom character of the 1950s. So, in honor of this milestone, and Jess Oppenheimer, in particular, here’s his original one-page treatment, where he summed up the premise of I Love Lucy when registering its initial 1951 pilot. It’s the foundation for everything that made this sitcom, and Lucy Ricardo, so comedically rich.



Come back next week for a new Wildcard! And stay tuned Tuesday for more Roseanne!