Lucy Has Her Eyes Examined – I Love Lucy – season 3 originally aired: 12/14/1953
Lucy Has Her Eyes Examined begins with Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz) rehearsing with his band at his club, suffering from a headache. His wife Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) suspects that it’s a problem with his eyes, and he promises to have his eyes examined. An old friend of Ricky’s, Broadway producer Bill Parker, arrives at the club, and Ricky invites him to join them for dinner that evening — warning him not to mention show business to Lucy. While Fred Mertz (William Frawley) and his wife Ethel (Vivian Vance) are visiting with Lucy, however, they spill the beans — and plans to audition for Bill Parker’s new show.
Not quite an audition
Ricky is decoyed out of the way by Lucy having him run to the corner drugstore for some ice cream for desert. No sooner has Ricky left than Lucy, Fred and Ethel begin singing and dancing to No Business like Show Business. Ricky returns unexpectedly early, however, and after some hurt feelings Bill Parker agrees to let them all audition. And Lucy exaggerates her dancing ability, claiming to know how to jitterbug (an old style dance, once popular on college campuses) when she doesn’t have a clue how. However, Ricky’s agent sends someone to teach her. Arthur ‘King Cat’ Walsh, who plays the role of ‘cool cat’ to the hilt. While he begins trying to teach Lucy to jitterbug, Fred walks in wearing a fur coat, and they have fun with how he looks. A very clownish dance lesson ensues.
A fly in the eye ointment
Later at Ricky’s club, Lucy and King Cat jitterbug very well, demonstrating Lucille Ball’s skills. Bill Parker, however, would like to see them performing before an audience before saying yes, and so they will perform that night at Ricky’s club. Finding out that Ricky has still not gone to the eye doctor, Lucy takes him there for his eye exam.
And Lucy turns out to be the one who needs her eyes examined. The doctor puts drops in her eyes to relax them, which will blur her vision for several hours. Which will make it impossible for her to audition that night. Lucy is determined, however, and Ethel takes her to the club in a taxi. That evening, Fred and Ethel perform Varsity Drag in period costume. Followed by Lucy and King Cat Walsh trying to audition. With some hilarious visual comedy as the near-blind Lucy hilariously tries dancing the Jitterbug.
Funny quotes from Lucy Has Her Eyes Examined – I Love Lucy
Bill Parker [talking about show business]: Does your wife have aspirations?
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): No, no, she’s feeling all right.
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): What do you want?
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Be sure and sandpaper that new banister you put in before some idiot runs his hand on it and picks up a splinter. What’d you want?
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): I was wondering if you’d help me get this splinter out of my hand.
Bill Parker: Can you dance?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Can I dance!
Bill Parker: Can you jitterbug?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Can I jitterbug!
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): Can you put dinner on the table?
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Do you know how to jitterbug?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Well, I will as soon as my teacher gets here.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): You can’t learn jitterbugging from a teacher. It’s something you pick up in school, like measles.
King Cat: [after seeing Fred dancing into the room with a fur coat on] Dig this crazy dancin’ bear!