Lucille Ball secretly popped up on the cover of a magazine in I Love Lucy

It also might be proof of time travel. Maybe.

Read to Me

The running gag on I Love Lucy is that Lucy Ricardo constantly schemes to gain her own fame. Her husband may be some hotshot band leader, but the housewife has skill, too! She swallows spoonful after spoonful of Vitameatavegamin to prove she can do commercial work. She takes lessons in the fine art of Parisian dancing. She dresses as a clown and does a routine with a cello in "The Audition."

Of course, that's when things start to go wrong. Therein lies the humor. 

Well, one early episode very subtly ruined the joke. "Lucy Gets Ricky on the Radio" aired at the tail end of the first season. The plot is not so important here as a certain prop. In the beginning of the episode, Lucy reclines on the couch as Ricky flips through a magazine. You might not recognize it — not even in HD — but the periodical happens to be the June 3, 1952, issue of Look Magazine.

Speaking of Look, take a close peep at the cover. In the upper left? Next to Adlai Stevenson? Opposite Marilyn Monroe? That is none other than Lucille Ball. 

Here is a better view of that magazine. "Why Desi's Dizzy for Lucy," the caption reads. That's right — Ricky Ricardo was reading a gossip piece about Lucy and Desi. Turns out, Lucy was a celebrity in the world of I Love Lucy, too!

One weird thing to note. That magazine has a cover date of June 3, 1952. "Lucy Gets Ricky on the Radio" originally aired on May 19, 1952, and filmed weeks prior to that. 

How did Desi get a copy? Time travel? Or maybe just a really big lead time in publishing? We like to think time travel. We've been watching a lot of Star Trek. Which Lucy made happen, you know.

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UTZAAKE 1 month ago
All issues of LIFE can be read online (Google Books). Would love to see that with LOOK.
stephaniestavropoulos 1 month ago
I think there was another ILL episode in which Look/Life was shown. {Probably more than one, unique way to plug their latest editions!}
The article was entitled something like: "At Home With The Ricardos." and shots of the article are shown.
Taking a closer gander at the Look issue METV featured, I see that's former Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson sandwiched between Lucy and [pre JFK] Marilyn Monroe. Speaking of him, TV Trivia Tidbit: McLean Stevenson was a relative of the former Governor's.
Pacificsun 1 month ago
I think Lucy & Desi together was a publicity photo.
justjeff 1 month ago
Many magazines of that time had "street dates" for when the magazine was to go on sale, although it was printed in advance to keep with its production deadline. It's highly possible that Look (a picture-oriented magazine similar to Life) sent Lucy and Ricky an advance copy because they had appeared in it.

Unlike daily (or even weekly) newspapers, magazines such as Look and Life covered general interest stories, and not necessarily breaking news [unless something of a large scale was taking place] such as a war, the Kennedy assasination or the moon landing... so they could publish farther in advance as the more "up to the minute" periodicals and newspapers.

Useless trivia: That issue of Look was dated the month before I came along - so it and I are both "relics of the past"!
daDoctah justjeff 1 month ago
I remember when comic books with cover dates of September would come out in May. The cover date was to tell the newsagent (usually a Rexall drug store) when to take those issues *off* the stands.
Pacificsun daDoctah 1 month ago
MeTV used to covered nostalgia themes. To that point I wish they would write something about the "Drug Store" magazine racks and their popularity!
justjeff daDoctah 1 month ago
I recall (in the early 60s when DC Comics raised their price from 10 cents to 12 cents and did a full page apology for doing so, citing rising paper costs. That was also about the time they introduced the "DC Checks" (a masthead checkerboard pattern).
Andy justjeff 1 month ago
I remember when you could tell Marvel was about to raise their prices when they started using the STILL ONLY X¢! bullet in the upper left corner where the price went. About three issues later, everything went up a dime.
You mean like this one? https://www.metv.com/stories/the-same-tv-guide-issue-with-lucille-ball-on-the-cover-appears-in-three-different-episodes-of-the-andy-griffith-show
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