from the Wonderful
World of Lucy
September 25, 2001
The Museum of Television & Radio, in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of I Love Lucy, presents a month-long screening series of many of the show's most classic episodes with the original commercials and animated opening sequence.
"Lots of Lucy" runs in New York from October 2 to 31, Tuesdays through Sundays at 12:15 p.m., and in Los Angeles from October 3 to 31, Wednesdays through Sundays at 2:30 p.m.
On the night of Monday, October 15, 1951, the CBS television network debuted I Love Lucy, featuring the hijinks of Lucy Ricardo, her Cuban bandleader husband Ricky, and their good friends and neighbors Fred and Ethel Mertz. CBS was initially concerned that such an unlikely paring would not appeal to the American public, but fifty years later, I Love Lucy remains one of the worlds best-loved and best-known television shows.
This screening series showcases thirteen classic I Love Lucy episodes. The schedule is as follows:
October 2 and 17 (New York)
October 3 and 18 (Los Angeles)
"The Girls Want to Go to a Nightclub"
In this first episode of I Love Lucy, Lucy and Ethel want to spend an evening at a nightclub, but Ricky and Fred would rather go to the fights. Includes the show's original opening animation and commercials. (1951; 30 minutes)
October 3 and 18 (New York)
October 17 (Los Angeles)
"Lucy Thinks Ricky Is Trying to Murder Her"
Although this was the first episode of I Love Lucy to be filmed, it was the fourth to be aired. Lucy, engrossed in a mystery novel, is convinced that Ricky is trying to kill her. Includes commercials. (1951; 30 minutes)
October 4 and 19 (New York & Los Angeles)
Lucy is upset that she has gained weight since marrying Ricky. When she finds out that Ricky's nightclub act needs a substitute dancer, she wants the part-but first, she must diet to shrink down to the dancer's size. At the end of the episode, Lucy gives the first performance of her famous "spider voice," where she draws back her lips and makes a "euwww" sound. Includes commercials. (1951; 30 minutes)
October 5 and 20 (New York & Los Angeles)
Lucy wants to perform with Ricky in his audition for an upcoming television show. When the clown in Ricky's act has an accident, Lucy replaces him without telling Ricky ahead of time. This episode is the first one in which Ricky performs his signature song "Babalu." Includes commercials. (1951; 30 minutes)
October 6 & 21 (New York and Los Angeles)
Lucy and Ethel pester their husbands for automatic dishwashers. Ricky and Fred say the girls have gone soft, and can no longer handle physical labor. To prove them wrong, Lucy and Ethel become pioneer women; in one hilarious scene, they bake their own mammoth loaf of bread (which was real bread, not a prop-pieces were sent home with the studio audience after the episode was filmed). Includes commercials. (1952; 30 minutes)
October 7 and 23 (New York)
October 7 (Los Angeles)
"Lucy Does a TV Commercial"
In this classic episode, Lucy finagles a job doing a television commercial for "Vitameatavegamin." No one tells her there is alcohol in the "healthful" medicine, and as the rehearsals continue, her performance gets more and more hilarious. (1952; 30 minutes)
October 9 and 24 (New York)
October 24 (Los Angeles)
Lucy and Ethel, angry that their husbands think being a housewife is easy, switch places with Ricky and Fred for a week. Ricky and Fred do battle with routine housework, while the women-in one of I Love Lucy's most famous scenes-face a tricky conveyer belt at their chocolate factory jobs. (1952; 30 minutes)
October 10 and 25 (New York & Los Angeles)
"Lucy Is Enceinte"
Lucy, who hasn't been feeling well lately, finds out from her doctor that she is expecting a baby and tries to find the perfect moment to tell Ricky. (Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were expecting a baby in real life, and in a landmark move, CBS incorporated Ball's pregnancy into the storyline, using the French word "enceinte" instead of "pregnant.") (1952; 30 minutes)
October 11 and 26 (New York & Los Angeles)
"Lucy Goes to the Hospital"
Ricky, Fred, and Ethel rehearse their drill for taking Lucy-who is due to give birth at any moment-to the hospital. Madness ensues when Lucy announces she's gone into labor. More television viewers watched this episode, in which Little Ricky makes his debut, than watched President Eisenhower's second inaugural the following day. In a happy coincidence, on the day this episode aired (January 19, 1953), Desi Arnaz, Jr., was born. (1953; 30 minutes)
October 12 and 27 (New York & Los Angeles)
"Lucy Hires a Maid"
Lucy is exhausted from her housework and taking care of infant Ricky. Ricky Sr. hires a maid for her, but it soon becomes clear that Lucy is taking orders from the maid, not vice versa. Includes commercials. (1953; 30 minutes)
October 13 and 28 (New York & Los Angeles)
"The Camping Trip"
Eager to prove to her friends that she and Ricky enjoy doing every activity together, Lucy signs on for a camping trip with Ricky. Ricky doubts she can handle camp life, but Lucy manages by using several props, including Ethel. Includes commercials. (1953; 30 minutes)
October 14 and 30 (New York)
October 14 (Los Angeles)
"Hollywood At Last!"
Lucy, Ricky, Fred, and Ethel arrive in Los Angeles where Ricky will make his Hollywood debut. At the Brown Derby restaurant, Lucy spies on actor William Holden and makes a fool of herself. When Ricky later tries to introduce Holden to Lucy, Lucy disguises herself, with fiery results. Includes commercials. (1955; 30 minutes)
October 31 (New York & Los Angeles)
"Lucy's Italian Movie" En route to Italy, Lucy is spotted by and Italian filmmaker who wants her to appear in his movie, "Bitter Grapes." Overjoyed, Lucy goes to a local vineyard to prepare for her role. In a classic scene, Lucy stomps grapes along with the locals. (She later commented on filming this scene with real grapes: "It was like stepping on eye-balls.") (1956; 30 minutes)
The Museum of Television & Radio, with locations in New York and Los Angeles, is a nonprofit organization founded by William S. Paley to collect and preserve television and radio programs and advertisements and to make them available to the public. From its inception in 1975, the Museum has organized exhibitions, screening and listening series, seminars, and education classes to showcase its collection of over 100,000 television and radio programs and advertisements. Programs in the Museum's permanent collection are selected for their artistic, cultural, and historic significance. The Museum is initiating a process to acquire Internet programming for the collection.
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The Museum of Television & Radio in California, located at 465 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, is open Wednesdays through Sundays from noon to 5:00 p.m. and until 9:00 p.m. on Thursdays. The Museum of Television & Radio in New York, located at 25 West 52 Street in Manhattan, is open Tuesdays through Sundays from noon to 6:00 p.m., until 8:00 p.m. on Thursdays, and Friday evenings until 9:00 p.m. (theaters only). Both Museums are closed on New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Suggested Contribution: Members free; $6.00 for adults; $4.00 for senior citizens and students; and $3.00 for children under thirteen. Admission is free in Los Angeles. The public areas in both Museums are accessible to wheelchairs and assisted listening devices are available. Programs are subject to change.
You may call the Museum in Los Angeles at (310) 786-1000 or in New York at (212) 621-6800. The Museum's World Wide Web site may be accessed at http://www.mtr.org.
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Original materials © 2001 Lucyfan Enterprises. All rights reserved.
"I Love Lucy" is copyrighted by and a registered trademark of CBS Worldwide, Inc.
Images of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz used with permission of Desilu, too, LLC.
Licensing by Unforgettable Licensing, Northbrook, Illinois.