Thursday, August 06, 2020

My Ten Favorite "I Love Lucy" Episodes

I've loved I Love Lucy (1951-57) since I was a tween.  I saw my first episode at twelve, when my family moved to NC and we gained a video rental store that had lots and lots of classic TV shows on VHS.  Not full seasons, but "best of" compilations and such.  A couple of years later, a new TV channel started up that showed classic TV, which is how I discovered many of my favorite shows.  I Love Lucy was among the shows they ran, and we spent so many happy half-hours laughing over those as a family.


So here are my ten favorite I Love Lucy episodes.  Are any of them favorites of yours?

1. "Hollywood at Last" -- Lucy, Ricky, Fred, and Ethel arrive in Hollywood for Ricky's new job as a movie star, and Lucy sees William Holden at the Brown Derby, with ridiculously funny results.  Also ridiculously funny:  this is the first thing I ever saw William Holden in!  (After all, I was twelve and was only just starting to get into movies.)  I didn't know he was a REAL movie star, and when I learned that he was actually very famous, that made it all even funnier to me.

2. "The Marriage License" -- Lucy finds a typo on her marriage license and is convinced that means their marriage is invalid, so she makes Ricky take her back to the tiny town where they were married years earlier.  This is probably my husband's favorite episode.

3. "The Ballet" --  We always called this episode "Slowly, I Turned" because it contains that famous vaudeville sketch.  Which we didn't realize was a famous vaudeville sketch at the time, I didn't learn that until I was in college -- we just thought it was hilarious!

4. "Lucy and John Wayne" -- (You knew this was going to be here, right?) A sequel to "Lucy Visits Graumann's," in which Lucy and Ricky have to figure out a way to get John Wayne to make new cement footprints to replace the ones Lucy stole and then broke.  I'm endlessly entertained by how many different confused and bemused expressions John Wayne goes through in half an hour.

5. "Lucy Visits Graumann's" -- Lucy decides the perfect souvenir from her visit to Hollywood would be the slab of cement with John Wayne's footprints in it.  No wonder I love Lucy!  That would be my ideal souvenir too!  Unlike Lucy, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't actually manage to steal it, though.

6. "The Anniversary Present" -- Ricky gets a neighbor woman to help him with a surprise for Lucy, but Lucy thinks he's in love with the neighbor.  I love it for the part where Lucy and Ethel try to eavesdrop from the basement but keep getting interrupted by someone yelling at her husband to eat his lunch.

7. "Lucy's Schedule" -- Lucy makes Ricky look bad in front of his boss by being late, so he puts her on a tight schedule.  Lucy then sticks to it rigorously.  Which sounds boring, but isn't.

8. "New Neighbors" -- Lucy thinks the new neighbors are plotting a murder, and she convinces Ricky, Fred, and Ethel of this.  I mostly love this one for the part where Lucy disguises herself as a chair.

9. "Lucy's Italian Movie" -- While visiting Italy, Lucy gets asked to be in a movie.  She thinks it's a movie about making wine and decides to go all Method and gets a job at a vineyard stomping grapes.  Slapstick ensues.

10. "Job Switching" -- Ricky and Fred think the girls are spending too much money, so the girls offer to switch roles with them.  The guys have to keep house, and the girls have to get a job.  This is mostly famous as the one where Lucy and Ethel work at a candy factory, but I think Ricky and Fred trying to cook and do housework is even funnier.


This list is my contribution to the We Love Lucy Blogathon hosted by Musings of an Introvert today and tomorrow to celebrate Lucille Ball's birthday!  I'd almost forgotten how much fun I have making these top ten lists -- keep an eye out for more in the near future!

It's been a long time since I watched I Love Lucy, and I just realized that it's high time I introduce my kids to it!  So I ordered the complete series on DVD today and can't wait to revisit this show -- and watch all the episodes I haven't seen yet!  Thanks for reminding me how awesome this show is, Carissa :-)

20 comments:

  1. I have never seen this show. I've heard about it, but never seen any of it, not even a tiny bit. Funny, huh?

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    1. Katie, it depends on how you like your humor. A little slapstick mixed with a lot of character-based humor, funny reaction shots, and a hefty dollop of absurdity. Wacky, but not stupid. Sound good to you? Give it a try!

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    2. Hmmmmmm. I don't really like slapstick or absurdity in general (there aren't many comedies I enjoy, for that reason) so ... I might not like it. I do like workplace comedies (B99, Parks & Rec) because there's more serious goals mixed in with the silliness, I guess? Not really sure.

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    3. Katie, there's not a lot of slapstick, which I'm also not a big fan of, but there are a lot of visual humor moments. Lucille Ball's reaction faces are priceless. But there really are no serious goals, just the funny moments of a woman who gets into scrapes with her friends and how she gets out of them.

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  2. I think I shall have to go watch an episode as a tribute. I could use a Lucy laugh session today! Thanks for posting!

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  3. I love the switching jobs one. Fred's seven layer cake that he's going to fluff up with frosting. �� Ricky starching the nylons. But the chocolate conveyor belt. Did you know the chocolate fight was made up by Lucy to get the woman who was a real chocolate worker to loosen up? I live her whole fly routine.

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    1. Jennifer, YES! The cake is just... so fun. I did not know that Lucy added that fight! That's awesome.

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  4. Lucy's Schedule is one of my favorites too! Also the episode where she got locked in the freezer. That one never gets old.

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    1. Ivy, I vaguely remember the freezer one! Poor Lucy.

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  5. Great list, these include several of my favorites as well. Almost all the Hollywood ones are fantastic. I also love the one where they keep stuffing the guests into the closet, and the "we're all odd, aren't we" numerology one, as we quote that one line constantly. Also, the one where Lucy tells Ricky she's pregnant during his show is very sweet.

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    1. DKoren, I have only seen maybe 4 of the Hollywood ones -- for sure the two with John Wayne and the one with William Holden,and I feel like there was one more, but what I'm remembering might have been part of one of those. But I definitely have seen the one where she announces she's pregnant! And the one where she leaves for the hospital.

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  6. Years go by and I forget how much joy I Love Lucy can bring to your life. One of my favourites is The Operetta. What a hoot!

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    1. Caftan Woman, yes, why do I let myself go so long between watching episodes of this? I'm not sure I've seen "The Operetta," but I'll be able to watch it sometime soon, once my dvd set arrives!

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  7. My sister and I live to binge watch I Love Lucy! My favorites are "Job Switching" (have you ever seen a list without it?) and the one where Lucy thinks she's won a lot of new furniture so she and Ethel decide to redo the wallpaper. Ah, I die of laughter from that one each time!

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    1. MC, yeah, it feels like "Job Switching" is a sort of must-have for these sorts of lists. Not sure I've seen the furniture/wallpaper one! So much to look forward to!

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  8. Aww, these are fun. I love all the ones you shared, and I also love her episode with Van Johnson. That one makes me laugh! And pretty much the entire road trip to California. Ooh, I also love the train episode when they're coming home from California and the drama leading up to the train tickets.

    I'm glad you bought the DVDs to share with your kids. Lucy is a fun way to grow up.

    Thanks for participating in the blogathon! ❤

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    1. Regency Woman, while looking through lists of eps to solidify my list, I discovered that I really have only seen maybe a fifth of this series. Which is why I ordered the discs. Must rectify this! I think the only ones of them in Hollywood I've seen are the ones I listed here! Maybe one more.

      Thanks for hosting!

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  9. My favorite is the one where Ricky thinks he's losing his hair, and Lucy comes up with a restorative "treatment". This is the episode where I learned Desi Arnaz was pretty funny himself! :)

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    1. Blakeney, I remember that one! Oh man, yes. Desi usually had to be the straight man, but he could really pull off funny stuff if he got the chance!

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