The Adagio – I Love Lucy, season 1

The Adagio – I Love Lucy episode 12, originally aired 12/17/1951

After dinner with Fred Mertz (William Frawley) and his wife Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance), Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz) makes the mistake of calling his agent Jerry while his wife Lucy (Lucille Ball) is in the room.  It turns out that Ricky is looking for some Apache dancers for a number at the club.  Lucy misunderstands and starts ‘auditioning’ by dancing in what she thinks is Native American style.  Ricky corrects her that he’s looking for the other kind of Apache dance – the French style.  Ricky turns her next ‘audition’ down too, but Lucy is determined to learn the Apache dance so that Ricky will have to have her in the show.

The next day, Ethel offers to have Fred teach her the Apache dance – and the picture of Fred in French garb, with a painted-on mustache, is a riot.  What’s more funny, though, is poor Fred trying to teach Lucy the dance, with her repeatedly stepping on his aching feet, and ending with her throwing Fred onto a chair.  Thankfully, before she can kill Fred, Lucy finds an authentic Apache dancer to teach her – Jean Valjean Raymond.

The Adagio - Lucy's "tutor," Desi Arnaz, Lucille Ball - I Love Lucy

Jean has more than dancing in mind, however, and Lucy throws him out after his amorous advances.  He vows to return, however, and win Lucy’s heart.  That evening, he does so – entering the bedroom when Ricky is there! At first, Lucy tries to hide him, in a hilarious bit.  Eventually, Ricky pulls the man in, and the Frenchman challenges him to a duel.  With Lucy out of the room, the two men talk, and decide to use Jean’s dueling pistols to teach Lucy a lesson, letting Lucy (and Fred and Ethel) think for a moment that Ricky has been killed in a duel.  Amends are made, and all ends happily.

The Adagio is available as part of the season 1 I Love Lucy DVD collection.

Funny quotes from The Adagio –I Love Lucy

Ricky (Desi Arnaz): [watching Fred]: What’s that for?
Fred (William Frawley) [crossing his fingers]: Well, I’m always hoping that this time’ll be the charm.
Ricky (Desi Arnaz): What do you mean?
Fred (William Frawley): Ethel keeps going out to put on a new face, but she always comes back with the old one.
[Lucy and Ethel come back from fixing their makeup.]
Fred: Same old one. [uncrosses his fingers]
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): Same old one here too.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): What are they talking about?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): I don’t know but whatever it is, ours aren’t young enough.

Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Oh Ethel, did you ever wish there was something else to marry besides men?

[Lucy ‘auditioning’ for Ricky, doing a parody of the Apache dance]
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): There are only two things keeping me from dancing in that show.
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): Your feet?

Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) [on learning Fred is going to be her dance partner]: I suppose a fat Apache is better than none.

[Fred trying to teach Lucy how to do the Apache dance]
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Ricky, what are you doing here?
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): I live here, remember?

Jean: Why are American women so stubborn?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Why are French men so amorous?
Jean: I don’t know, just fortunate I guess.

Jean: I was told that American men would be afraid to duel.
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): [laughing] American, eh?  I guess my Brooklyn accent fooled you.

Fred Mertz (William Frawley): Who’s dueling?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Ricky and Jean Valjean Raymond.
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): All four of them?

Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): [to Jean]You creep Suzette!

I Love Lucy Trivia

  • Ricky mentions moving to the country for the first time, although they don’t actually move to the country until the 1956-57 seasons
  • I Love Lucy pioneered the idea of showing a snippet from next week’s episode to build interest, starting with this episode
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