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

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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