Tennessee Ernie Visits – I Love Lucy episode 94, season 3, originally aired 5/3/1954
Tennessee Ernie Visits begins with Lucy receiving a letter from her mother, Mrs. McGillicuddy. Informing her that Mrs. McGillicuddy’s friend’s roommate’s cousin’s middle boy is coming to New York City for a visit. And Mrs. McGillicuddy has thoughtfully volunteered Ricky and Lucy’s apartment for ‘Cousin Ernie’ to stay in during his visit. Mrs. McGillicuddy’s letter is hilarious in it’s own right – my favorite part is where she refers to Ricky as ‘Xavier’ (Desi Arnaz once worked for Xavier Cugat). Guest star Tennessee Ernie Ford arrives, playing the part of the rural Cousin Ernie, a very likable country bumpkin, who is unintentionally making Ricky and Lucy crazy during his visit.
Determined to drive Cousin Ernie home, Lucy decides to play upon one of his fears. Since his mother has warned him about wicked city women who will try to ‘vamp’ him … Lucy disguises herself in a slinky black dress and wig and proceeds to ‘vamp’ Cousin Ernie. Which consists of tousling his hair. Cousin Ernie asks, “Are you a-vampin’ me?” Lucy replies that she is, and asks if he’s going to go home now… But Cousin Ernie likes it! And starts chasing the ‘city woman’ around the apartment!
funny quotes from Tennessee Ernie Visits – I Love Lucy.
Tennessee Ernie Ford: You must be Cousin Lucy. And there’s Cousin Ricky, too. How’re you?
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): How are you? Did you say, cousin?
Tennessee Ernie Ford: Oh yeah, it’s just a habit. Down in Tennessee, everybody calls everybody cousin.
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): Oh.
Tennessee Ernie Ford: ‘Course, down in Tennessee, everybody is everybody’s cousin.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Hey, I got an idea!
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): I’m so desperate, I’m willing to listen.
Tennessee Ernie Ford: City woman, where are you at, you little heifer?
Tennessee Ernie Ford: You got quite a hitch, in your git-along.
[Ricky says that Ernie cannot stay.]
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): But Ricky, he’s my mother’s friend’s roommate’s cousin’s middle boy!
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): Oh, that’s different!