My Five Favorite I Love Lucy Episodes
TODAY IS LUCILLE BALL’S 100TH BIRTHDAY!!! Beautiful, funny, and loved by millions, she is being celebrated today in a big way: a blogathon, a day devoted to her on TCM’s Summer Under the Stars, and a Google animation. In honor of the world’s greatest comedienne, here are my top five I Love Lucy episodes:
Lucy Fakes Illness (1952)
When Ricky doesn’t allow Lucy to be part of his show, she fakes a mental illness so he can feel bad for her. But when he finds out of Lucy’s trickery, he hires an actor friend to pose as a doctor…and convince her that she’s gravely ill.
I love Lucy’s impersonation of Tallulah Bankhead in this episode. It was simply DAAAHLING, DAAAHLING. This is quite funny since Bankhead would guest-star in the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour six years later (the episode is HILARIOUS). And the entire part with the doctor leaves me in stitches, especially when Lucy exclaims, “I got the go-bloots from the boo-shoo bird?” Not only that, but she will turn green, and in order to cure her, the doctor must remove her zorch :D
Lucy Hires An English Tutor (1952)
Lucy wants her unborn child to speak perfect English. With her constant use of “slang” and Ricky’s accent, this seems impossible. She hires an English tutor to teach her, Ricky, and the Mertzes how to speak proper English. However, the tutor will give them lessons in exchange for one thing…
Let’s go in order here: the scene in which Ricky tries to read is CLASSIC. I laugh so hard I cry every time I see it! It’s also nice to see Desi Arnaz shine on his own like that as well. Fred’s costume is hilariously ridiculous (I adore Fred!!), and where do I start with this tutor? His voice is enough to make me crack up. But the best part is his song, “Tippy Tippy Toe”. Here’s the words (well, the basic lyrics anyway, since they seem to change each time he sings it):
I tippy tippy toe through my garden,
Where all the pretty flowers dwell,
There’s a rare perfume in my garden
And I just love to stand there and smell.
And as I tippy tippy toe along,
All the pretty flowers seem to sing this song:
Ricky: Derry down pip pip
Lucy:Dilly dilly day
Ethel: Ah nani nani
Fred: Rippity pippity ay
Fred:Derry down ding dong
Ethel: Dilly dilly do
Lucy: Ah nani nani
Ricky: Rippity pippity poo
It speaks for itself!
The Indian Show (1953)
Being a new mother did not kill Lucy’s dreams of getting into showbiz. She’s eager to get into the Indian act at the Tropicana, baby or no baby!
This episode is full of funny moments: Fred’s little Indian song and dance (complete with a feather duster) makes me giggle every time, and the part in which the Indian actors come to the Ricardo apartment is hilarious. First, they get the door slammed in their faces by Lucy and Ethel. Then they get hit over the head with vases by Lucy and Ethel. Then Lucy tries to apologize for what she did: “Me heap sorry me smack ‘em on coco!” The episode also has some pretty good music, such as “Pass That Peace Pipe”, sung by Ricky and the Mertzes, and “The Waters of the Minnetonka”…that is, if Lucy didn’t so hilariously butcher it! The punch line is when she turns around, and there’s Little Ricky, a pappoose on her back!
Bonus Bucks (1954)
This episode is craaazy! The Ricardos and Mertzes read about a Lucky Buck newspaper contest. If you have the winning dollar bill–the “bonus buck”–you will win $300! (a lot at that time) Turns out Ricky has the winning buck, but always the gentleman, he slips it in Lucy’s purse, so she can win. However, Lucy doesn’t realize and spends the buck in the grocery store…and Ethel ends up getting it as change! Who does it belong to now?
You can guess that the couples fight over the bill and it ends up being ripped in half. But then they decide to glue the bill back together and split the prize money. But of course, when Ricky gets into the shower (seeing his medallion in his hairy chest makes me laugh every time), Lucy takes his clothes to the laundry, not realizing their half of the buck is in his pocket! The whole laundromat scene is hilarious, from the nasty workers to Lucy and Desi sneaking in inside laundry bags…to Lucy getting the starch treatment! All this zaniness for one dollar bill.
Harpo Marx (1955)
The gang’s having fun in Hollywood while Ricky is making a movie. But when Lucy and Ethel’s nearsighted friend Carolyn Appleby visits from New York, Lucy finds herself having to impersonate celebrities, from Gary Cooper to Jimmy Durante. But when she decides to impersonate Harpo Marx, the real Harpo comes in!
Don’t they look like twins in the first picture? Anyway, the impersonations were hilariously spot-on! Gary Cooper only spoke in “yep”s and “nope”s, Clark Gable smoked a pipe and called Carolyn Appleby “baby”, and Jimmy Durante’s gravelly voice was imitated perfectly. Although the impersonations are quite famous I Love Lucy moments, the standout scene here is when Lucy, dressed as Harpo, and the real Harpo recreate the mirror scene from Duck Soup. And of course, it’s always nice to hear Harpo play the harp!
Happy 100th, Lucy!!!