Everyone tells a little white lie now and then... but when Lucy takes fibbing to new heights, Ricky and the Mertzes bet her a hundred dollars that she cannot go 24 hours without telling a lie. Lucy accepts the challenge -- but immediately regrets it when she remembers she is supposed to play bridge the next day with Ethel, Carolyn Appleby and Marion Strong. Hoping to force Lucy into telling a fib (and, thus winning the bet) Ethel asks Lucy to comment on Carolyn's new furniture and Marion's new hat. When a reluctant Lucy finally speaks the truth (she finds both the furniture and the hat ghastly!), she discovers telling the truth can be liberating -- and lets go with both barrels! Later that evening, Lucy accompanies Ricky to an audition for a television show, and, hoping not to be caught in a lie, fibs about having experience in a knife-throwing act.
"Lucy Tells the Truth" was filmed 50 years ago this week, on Thursday, October 8, 1953. It was telecast by CBS a month later, on November 9. Appearing in the cast were Doris Singleton as Carolyn Appleby; Shirley Mitchell as Marion Strong; Charles Lane as the talent agent; and Mario Siletti, as Professor Falconi, the knife thrower.
The episode is somewhat famous among Lucyfans as being one of the few that Desi Arnaz refused to do as originally written. The original script ended not with the knife-throwing audition but with a visit from an IRS auditor. Ricky asks that Lucy "verify" all the little deductions he listed on last year's income tax -- which were all a little questionable. Desi refused to do the scene because he did not think Ricky Ricardo -- the most famous/visible Hispanic character on television -- should have cheated on his income tax. Writers Jess Oppenheimer, Bob Carroll and Madelyn Pugh agreed, and quickly came up with the TV audition. (A copy of the script for the original final scenes is included in Jess and Gregg Oppenheimer's book, "Laughs, Luck and Lucy.")
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