Mr. and Mrs. TV Show – I Love Lucy season 4, originally aired April 11, 1955
Mr. and Mrs. TV Show begins with Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) excitedly returning home after eating at an exclusive restaurant (21), where she met a well-known advertising executive, Mr. Cromwell, who is looking for a new talent to build a morning television show around, and Lucy has suggested her husband, band leader Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz). When Ricky returns, Lucy is excited to tell him, until he “lays down the law” and informs her that she will not be part of the show.
When blackmail fails
Lucy then decides on blackmail, since she hasn’t told him the name of the executive, and is “forgetting” it. She’s told her best friend, Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance), however, who’s about to tell Ricky. Until Lucy mentions that they don’t need Ricky, they can build the show around Lucy, Ethel and her husband Fred Mertz (William Frawley). It’s a very funny scene, as Ricky tries to worm the information out of Lucy using psychology, and Lucy gives herself away. To add insult to injury, Ricky tells Lucy in no uncertain terms that she can’t be part of the show.
The scene where Ricky meets with Mr. Cromwell is very funny satire on corporate culture, as Ricky, Mr. Cromwell and his “yes man” assistant all “brainstorm” an idea. However, this ends up with Mr. Cromwell stealing his assistant’s idea for a husband and wife television show. Ricky doesn’t want to include his beloved-but-talentless wife, but Mr. Cromwell is adamant, and as soon as he asks his assistant if Xavier Cugat is available, Ricky quickly relents. It’s a very funny scene, especially given the history between Desi Arnaz and Xavier Cugat. This leads to the problem of how Ricky is going to get Lucy to appear on the program, however.
When he returns home, Lucy is singing Sweet Sue (badly), and Ricky butters her up thickly, insisting that he’s going to tell Mr. Cromwell that it’s both of them, or none of them. The first rehearsal goes well, with several glowing references to the sponsor of the show, Phipps Department Store. Ricky tells them that they’ll do the dress rehearsal the following morning, but with Ricky gone Mr. Cromwell’s assistant lets the cat out of the bag that it was Mr. Cromwell who insisted on having Lucy as part of the show, against Ricky’s protests. Lucy is very upset at finding this out, and decides to get even with her lying husband by ruining the dress rehearsal in the morning. After all, it’s only the dress rehearsal, and won’t hurt anything. Unknown to her, the “dress rehearsal” is actually going to be the live broadcast.
Lucy’s revenge backfires
The live broadcast is hilarious, as Lucy keeps making fun of their sponsor, as poor Ricky becomes increasingly shocked. At the end, Lucy reveals that she knows about his deception, and explains why she ruined his dress rehearsal. Ricky then reveals that she just ruined the live show! Mr. and Mrs. TV Show is a very funny episode, and is available on the I Love Lucy – season 4 DVD collection.
Funny quotes from Mr. and Mrs. TV Show – I Love Lucy
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Mr. Cromwell just happened to mention that his agency was looking for a new TV personality to build a whole show around. So, naturally, I brought up Ricky’s name.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Naturally.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): I was very subtle.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Oh, I can imagine. Like a garlic sandwich.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Behind every great man is a great woman.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Is that what they say?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Yes! Empress Josephine, Dolly Madison, Mamie Eisenhower, we’re all back there.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Well, if it gets dull back there you can always start a bridge game.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Oh Ethel, we’re all behind our husbands guiding their destinies. We’re all puppeteers behind the scenes pulling the strings.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): [as Ricky enters] Well here’s Howdy Doody now!
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Ricky, that isn’t fair - I started this whole thing. It’s my chance to go coast-to-coast!
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): Now look, honey. I love this country. It’s been very good to me. I wouldn’t think of doing something like that to my fellow citizens!
[after Lucy tells Ethel that she won’t do the show]
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): But this is your big chance! Are you gonna muff it?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): You can call me Little Miss Muff-it!
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Phipps is a great big bunch of gyps.