See our exclusive interview with “Little Ricky” about tonight’s episode!
The “I Love Lucy” Superstar Special, a new one-hour special featuring two colorized back-to-back classic episodes of the 1950s series, to will be broadcast tonight at 8 p.m. on CBS.
The two episodes, “Lucy Visits Grauman’s” and “Lucy and John Wayne,” are newly-colorized with a vintage look, reminiscent of the 1950s period in which they were filmed. This is similar to episodes presented in “I Love Lucy” specials on the Network last spring and the past few holiday seasons. Previously only shown separately, the two episodes tell a continuous story in one comedy hour for the first time. As with the previous “I Love Lucy” specials, the main titles and end credits are seamlessly combined into one set at the beginning and end of the hour. Academy Award-winning movie legend John Wayne is the special guest star.
Twins Joe and Michael Mayer (each played “Little Ricky” in seasons 3-5 of “I Love Lucy”) recently spoke with us in celebration of tonight’s I Love Lucy Special on CBS featuring the pair.
“Our mother thought it was a scam at first” said Michael Mayer recalling how he and his brother got the role of “Little Ricky”. “At the time she was president the Twins Club when she received a call from producers of “I Love Lucy” saying that they had a job for us twins.”
“She told them that she has heard this before, and it’s always follows up with paying for acting and dance lessons. Producers ensured her that it wouldn’t cost her anything, and Mom gave it a shot (but warned them that as soon as it cost her a penny, we were out),” said Michael. “The producers kept their promise, paid for our union dues, and even let us keep our cloths from the show”
“We were about 4 years old at the time of the John Wayne episode, and by that time we learned that we could say “no” to things,” said Joe Mayer. “We both just got these new red shoes and neither of us wanted to get them dirty with the oatmeal that was being used for cement. Lucy bent down and said that they would get a new pair of shoes for whoever would go into the oatmeal. My brother Michael was the entrepreneur at the time and took her up on her offer. That’s the only reason that we know that it is Michael who is in the cement in this episode.”
“For the majority of the episodes we were in, we don’t recall which one of us were in each scene. Producers never kept track, and we both looked the same,” said Joe. “There are photos of us with Lucy and we don’t know who was on the left or right because they were never labeled. But this episode, we know for sure as Michael got a new pair of shoes!”
“I Love Lucy” aired on CBS from October 15, 1951 until June 24, 1957. It was voted “the best TV show of all time” in a 2012 viewer poll conducted by People magazine and ABC News.