OAD: January 7, 1952 - CBS Television Network
FILMED: Friday, November 30, 1951 - General Service Studios
PREMISE: Lucy's scheme to appear with husband Ricky in Ethel's club benefit appears destined for failure... The song Ricky wants to do -- "Auf Wiederseh'n" -- provides Lucy with only a single word -- "Auf" -- and she refuses to do it. Ultimately, Ricky gives in and suggests they do a routine called "Songs and Witty Sayings." Ricky expects Lucy to play "straight man" in the comedic exchanges, but Lucy reworks the material to her own advantage. The couple close with "We'll Build a Bungalow," a delightful song-and-dance number.
MUSIC: "Shine On Harvest Moon," "Auf Widerseh'n, My Dear," and "We'll Build a Bungalow"
"The Benefit" was one of three episodes melded together to form the "I Love Lucy" Feature Film. The other two were episodes #18 ("Breaking the Lease") and 19 ("The Ballet"). For more information see "I Love Lucy Movie Found".
The Arnazes loved the material in this episode so much that they started doing "Auf Wiederseh'n" and/or the "Songs and Witty Sayings" routine at various industry functions and charity events (including the first major City of Hope fundraiser in Palm Springs in February, 1953). They recreated the entire "Songs and Witty Sayings" material (including the "rehearsal" scene with Bill Frawley) for the televised "Dinner with the President" event of November 25, 1953.
Simulcast "live" over CBS, NBC, ABC and the old DuMont networks, the "Dinner with the President" show featured a dozen name stars performing for President and Mrs. Dwight Eisenhower at a B'nai B'rith dinner in Washington, DC...
It was such a special event that Elois Jenssen, Lucy's new wardrobe designer, had Lucy and Desi's outfits remade. (Lucy had lost weight after the birth of her son, and the original outfit no longer fit... Moreover, the ties, hat bands and handkerchiefs in the original outfits did not match. The new ones did, but Elois gave Lucy a regular necktie instead of a bow tie.)
Original material © 2005 Lucyfan Enterprises.
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Images of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz used by permission of Desilu, too, LLC.
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