Ricky’s European Booking

Ricky’s European BookingI Love Lucy season 5, episode 137, originally aired 12/12/1955

Ricky’s European Booking is a very good start to the European trip story arc in the fifth season of I Love Lucy.In a nutshell, Ricky’s agent has signed up Ricky’s band to perform across Europe several weeks. Unfortunately, it will be solid work with no time for sightseeing, and no additional money for taking Lucy along. Ricky asks Fred how he thinks that Lucy will respond, and Fred has a golden moment of comedy, acting out how he thinks Lucy will act at the news of Ricky going to Europe.

Moments later, Lucy comes in and Ricky tries to break the news to her, and she reacts exactly the way Fred did, leading Fred to say “Just call me Dunninger.” (Dunninger was a magician specializing in mind reading, much like the Amazing Kreskin more recently.) When Ricky breaks the news to Lucy that she can’t come, she is crestfallen, and when Ricky tries to find a business manager for the trip, Lucy offers her services. Insult is added to injury when Ricky hires Fred as the band’s road trip manager.

Ladies Overseas Aid

Ricky, however, has promised Lucy that she can come, if she can pay her own way $2,800.00 dollars US at the time. Lucy’s fertile brain starts working, however, and she and Ethel settle on a scheme to raffle off a donated television for the charity that Lucy and Ethel made up“Ladies Overseas Aid.” The girls sell all of the tickets, and just as Lucy is about to leave for the drawing of the raffle ticket, a man from the District Attorney’s office arrives, and informs her that she and Ethel are committing fraud!

If the television set is raffled, they can go to jail, so Lucy desperately tries to get the tickets back, but to no avail! Fortunately, the owner of the television shop that donated the TV set and tickets also invited the president of the Ladies Overseas Aid to come – it turns out that there is such a society, and by giving away all of the raffle money to them, the girls have broken no law.

How to raise the money?

Unfortunately, the girls are now just as broke as they were before. Fortunately, Ricky gets a call from the cruise line, offering free passage if Ricky’s band agrees to play for the passengers on the trip to Europe. Ricky races home to tell Lucy, where Lucy and Ethel tell Fred and Ricky that they were able to raise the money after all since the apartment building is in Ethel’s name, they mortgaged it! Tightwad Fred faints, and after Ricky’s news they revive Fred since they won’t need the money after all.

Trivia for Ricky’s European Booking

  • Ricky tells Lucy and Ethel that their fare to Europe will cost $3000. $3000 in 1955 is the equivalent of just under $27,000 in 2016.
  • Ricky’s recording session with the Pied Pipers (singing “Forever Darling“) takes place in front of a control booth labeled “MGM Records”. As Ricky leaves the room, there is a toy stuffed lion sitting on a chair next to the door. He pats the animal on the head, and says, “Goodbye, Leo” – the semi-official nickname of the MGM lion.

Funny quotes from I Love LucyRicky’s European Booking

(Fred is playing with blocks alone.)
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Where’s the baby?
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): Napping. He got bored.

Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): What we need is a good local raffle where they’re giving away two trips to Europe, and we’ve got all the tickets.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Ha ha. Hey, why not hold our own raffle?
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): What?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): The money we take in will pay for our trip. Now what could we raffle off?
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Your brain, for thinking up an idea like that.

Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Raffles are always held for needy causes.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Ethel, at this moment you and I are the two neediest causes I can think of.

Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): All we have to do for our needy cause is think up a good phony name.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): I don’t suppose we could call it “Two Bundles for Britain”.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): No, it has to sound real. How about Ladies Overseas Aid?
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Well?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Look we’re ladies, we want to go overseas, and boy do we need aid.

Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): How much do you get for selling blood?
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Lucy, you couldn’t get $2,800 worth of blood out of a herd of elephants.

Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Money found in over stuffed chairs and sofa cushions: $9.73. Money from sugar bowls: $29.25. Piggy banks: $28.16. GTHP: $15.36.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): What’s GTHP?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Going through husband’s pants.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Oh yeah.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Didn’t you go through Fred’s pants?
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Every pair including his World War I cavalry britches.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): What did you get?
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): A handful of lint and a Woodrow Wilson button.

Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): I don’t want to see Europe anyway. It’s so old.

Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): It was just a wild thought. You wouldn’t want to leave Ethel.
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): Try me.

Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): If I raise the money myself, can I go?
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): Look, if you can raise enough money to go to Europe, let me know and I’ll quit the band business.

Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): I bet I could get your boys all over Europe.
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): Yeah, but we play a lot better when we’re all in one place.

Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): He doesn’t think I ought to go with him.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): What husband would?

Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Lucy, Lucy, I was just down at the market and the butcher told me you were going to Europe.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): The butcher? How’d he know?
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): The grocery boy told him.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): How’d he get it?
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): He just made a delivery to Marion Strong.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Well how in the world did Marion … [realizes] Oh Marion Strong. She’s just a hop, skip, and a blab from Caroline Appleby.

Fred Mertz (William Frawley): Just call me Dunninger.
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): What do I do now?
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): Well you’re married to her. I just read her mind.

Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): Fred, she won’t act like that.
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): Are we talking about the same Lucy?
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): If I promise her a wonderful trip later on, I think she will be reasonable.
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): My Lucy has red hair and blue eyes. What does your Lucy look like?

Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): My agent has booked me and my band on a tour of Europe.
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): Going to Europe? Say that’s great.What’s the problem?
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): I can’t take Lucy along.
Fred Mertz (William Frawley):Yeah, that is a problem.

Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): Wha’ hoppen?
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): [laughs evilly]

Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Well, think of it, Ethel here all alone by herself, and you all alone by yourself in Paris.
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): Yeah!

Agent: Fraud is a felony punishable by one to ten years in jail.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): But I’m going to Europe! I don’t have one to ten years!

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