"I Love Lucy" was first conceived in 1949, when CBS approached Lucille Ball to turn her successful radio show, "My Favorite Husband", into a TV show. She liked the idea, but had one condition: her real-life husband, Desi Arnaz, would play her TV husband. The network instantly said no, no one will believe those two are actually married. Ball responded with the obvious, "We ARE married!" (and had been for nearly ten years). Still the network executives were hard to convince, claiming Ball and Arnaz would not make a good performance team.
To prove them wrong, Lucy and Desi put together a vaudeville act with Desi's orchestra, had a little help from Pepito, a great Spanish clown of the era, and took it on the road.