Lucy Goes to Monte Carlo I Love Lucy – season 5, originally aired May 7, 1956
Lucy Goes to Monte Carlo is a very good I Love Lucy episode, playing up several of the elements that make the series memorable: Lucy’s scheming, Ricky’s ego, Fred’s cheapness, and a classic misunderstanding that leads to a Ricardo vs. Mertz conflict.
The episode begins with Lucy trying to get out of seeing Ricky’s show yet again, with a hilarious exchange between Ricky and Lucy showcasing Ricky’s vanity. Eventually, Lucy and Ethel are free to go out to eat, but with Ricky’s forceful injunction against gambling in Monte Carlo. Partly to prove her independence, Lucy decides that she and Ethel will eat at a wonderful restaurant — included inside the casino, of course. Ricky and Fred then go over the band’s finances, with Fred having to admit that instead of making a large profit, they’re barely breaking even.
At the ‘restaurant’, Lucy finds a chip on the floor and absentmindedly throws it on a table. Walking away, Lucy is stopped in her tracks by the announcement that she has won! Not wanting to get in trouble with Ricky for gambling, she tries to explain that she found the chip on the floor, and the winnings aren’t hers — she walks away, only to be surprised that she has won again! Bad leads to worse, and before long Lucy has won 875,000 francs! Trying to avoid Ricky’s wrath, she convinces Ethel to hide the winnings in her suitcase.
Later, Ricky and Fred need to go over the financial books, and Fred tells Ricky over the telephone to get the ledger out of his suitcase while Fred is on the way. Ricky grabs the wrong suitcase, of course, and finds the 875,000 francs … And jumps to the conclusion that Fred has been skimming money from the band’s tour! Ricky and Fred soon get into a fight, and Lucy arrives, and tries to set things right — by telling Ricky that the money belongs to Ethel! An inheritance from a French aunt is Lucy’s lie, and it fools Ricky enough to apologize to Fred … Who now believes that Ethel is a rich heiress, and he begins sweet-talking her until she realizes that something is up.
Lucy determines to get rid of the gambling winnings that have caused her and her friends’ so much grief, and takes it back to the casino, while Ethel explains the situation to Ricky and Fred. They catch up to Lucy, with Ricky explaining that he’s not angry, and of course she can keep the money! However, she has unintentionally placed it on a roulette table, and loses it all! A very good, very funny episode, and recommended.
I Love Lucy – Lucy Goes to Monte Carlo
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Ethel, how would you like to go to dinner and go to a movie with me tonight?
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Oh, I’d love to. But how did you get us out of the S-H-O-W?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Oh Ethel, he can’t pronounce English but he can spell it.
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): You’re darn tootin’ I can. If there’s one thing I know how to do is S-P-E-L.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): How do you like that? After all these years I could have been spelling in front of him.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Well, Ethel, if you’re going to split hairs …
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Well, I’d rather split hairs than have the boys split our skulls.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): I can’t hide it in my room. If Ricky finds it he’ll kill me.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Even after he finds out how much you’ve won?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Oh honey, that would be worse, he’d be a rich widower.
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): I caught you red-hanned!
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): You did not catch me ‘red hanned’! You Cuban mush mouth!
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Ethel didn’t want the old rooster to know about her nest egg.
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): Fred, I owe you an apology. I just found out that that money belongs to Ethel.
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): Ethel who?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Ethel Mertz!
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): My Ethel Mertz?
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): [to Ethel, believing that she is rich] It’s just dawned on me what a fascinating creature you are!
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): The heat’s got him.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): What did you do that for?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Well, I didn’t want Ricky to think that Fred was an embezzler, and I didn’t want Ricky to know that I’d been gambling — I ran out of people!
Trivia about I Love Lucy – Lucy Goes to Monte Carlo
- “I Love Lucy” writer and recurring extra, Bob Carroll, Jr., appears in this episode as the gambler wearing the fez.