Redecorating the Mertzes’ Apartment [I Love Lucy]

Redecorating the Mertzes’ Apartment, I Love Lucy season 3, originally aired November 23, 1953

Lucy helps Ethel & Fred redecorate their apartment, including new paint and new upholstery . Redecorating the Mertzes’ Apartment is a classic example of Lucy engaging in meddling in her friends’ affairs, to hilarious results. I love the scene with the fan and the down pillow, for example. to her own hurt.  (“What happened to your mink?” “You’re sitting on it.” — you need to see the episode to appreciate that exchange)

Redecorating the Mertzes’ Apartment begins with Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) bragging on the phone to all of her friends how her husband Ricky is going to buy her a mink stole — while Ricky (Desi Arnaz) is waiting for an important phone call. Ricky makes her promise to not tell anyone else about it, and Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance) comes in — leading Lucy to pantomime it to Ethel in a funny routine.

Let’s redecorate the Mertzes apartment

Painting party at the Mertzes in Redecorating the Mertzes Apartment

Ethel wants Lucy to host the club meeting in the Ricardos’ apartment, since she’s ashamed of her dingy apartment, but Ricky hates it when their club is at their place — giving Lucy the idea to redecorate the Mertzes’ apartment. Visiting the Mertzes, with a bit of costume comedy from Fred Mertz (William Frawley), they volunteer to throw a “painting party”.

This won’t cost any money, will it?

Tightwad Fred is angry in Redecorating the Mertzes Apartment

But Fred’s penny-pinching gets in the way, first with the Ricardos having to buy the paint, and then refusing to buy any new furniture (after 20 years) — leading to Ethel going to the bedroom in tears, and Fred marching out of his apartment, giving Ricky a chance to repeat his father’s wise advice — don’t interfere in other people’s business — to Lucy’s chagrin.

Redecorating the Mertzes' apartment - Lucy and Ethel are pulling the feather stuffing out of the old furniture

Back at the Ricardos’ apartment, Lucy and Ricky are talking about the problem with the Mertzes — and Ricky doesn’t want to get involved again and make things even worse. Lucy insists that the repaint the Mertzes’ apartment, and re-upholster the old furniture, to make both Ethel and Fred happy.

The feathers fly!

Redecorating the Mertzes' Apartment - the feathers go flying

Bringing them all together, Lucy explains her plan … and soon, the foursome are repainting the apartment. All’s going well, until it’s time to re-upholster the furniture … and Lucy opens a window to get the paint smell out, while she pulls the feathers out of the old furniture … and Fred gets an electric fan to blow the smell out … and soon the feathers are literally flying all over, making a mess of the apartment.

In the end, all’s well — the Mertzes have been given the Ricardos furniture, giving Lucy the excuse to buy brand new furniture. But as Ethel asks, how did Lucy pay for it? What happened to her new mink stole? Lucy replies bittersweetly, “You’re sitting on it.”

Redecorating the Mertzes’ Apartment is a funny I Love Lucy episode, and is available on DVD as part of the I Love Lucy season 3 DVD collection.

Funny quotes from Redecorating the Mertzes’ Apartment

Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): I’m getting it wholesale.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): That’s a secret between you, me and the mink.

Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): I want everyone to think that you love me retail, not 40% off.

Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Ricky is giving me something, something that every woman has always wanted from her husband.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): A divorce?

Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): Don’t kick the shin that stoles you.

Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): You don’t expect to stay dressed like that, do you?
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): From the tone of your voice, I guess I don’t.

Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Look at that chair; it’s lumpy and sags in the wrong places.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): So’s Fred.

Fred Mertz (William Frawley): They don’t make furniture like that anymore.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): You can say that again!

Fred Mertz (William Frawley): Who’s a penny-pinching old goat?
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): If the penny fits, pinch it!

Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): My scatter-brained wife has a hair-brained scheme, and if you listen to her you’re out of your mind.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Boy, did I suffer in that translation.

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