Hitting the High Notes...
During the spring of 1952, I Love Lucy writers, Bob Carroll, Jr. and Madelyn Pugh, asked Lucy if she could play a musical instrument. Her answer: "No, but give me a week..." The result, of course, was "The Saxophone," Episode #40, which first aired fifty years ago this week, on September 22, 1952.
The plot concerned Lucy's efforts to accompany Ricky and his band on a series of out-of-town one-nighters. When an ill-conceived plan to join the band as a saxophonist backfires, Lucy plots to make Ricky jealous -- so he will be afraid to leave her at home alone. She borrows Fred's hat and gloves, and pretends there is a new man in her life...
"For some reason, Bob and I liked the idea of people hiding in a closet," says Madelyn today. "We used it in this show, and in a couple of other Lucys. We even used it in the pilot of The Mothers-in-Law fifteen years later -- and it always got a laugh! As for Lucy playing the saxophone -- she was a writer's dream... No matter what we asked her to do -- ride a lawnmower, jump on a trampoline, walk on stilts -- she never said "No," just "Give me a few days to learn it."
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