Friday, October 12, 1951
Watch it here thanks to the wonders of YouTube. This may be the only movie footage in existence from the I Love Lucy audience’s point of view. A member of the audience at the filming of I Love Lucy Episode 6, “The Audition” shot this 8mm color footage from the grandstand seating using a home movie camera, on the night of October 12, 1951, at Sound Stage #2 of Desilu Studios, Hollywood, California.
Episode 6 was a remake of “I Love Lucy” pilot episode, which was presumed lost until 1990. Lucy performs the famous cello routine that Pepito Perez taught her. Pepito the Spanish Clown was not in this episode. For reasons unknown, although Pepito played himself in the pilot episode, in Episode 6 his part was filled by Boffo the Clown.
In this YouTube video, someone has cleverly edited together the amateur film footage with the actual finished footage from the TV episode.
Jess Oppenheimer, the producer and writer of I Love Lucy, strictly prohibited members of the audience from bringing their own cameras into the soundstage. What you see below is the only known footage from behind the scenes of this legendary sitcom. It is said that Desi Arnaz occasionally filmed on set using his own 8mm home movie camera, but it is not proven.
Vivian Vance is the only one of the four stars of I Love Lucy who does not appear in this footage. Jess Oppenheimer, and the famous cameraman, Karl Freund, are seen briefly.