The Gossip – I Love Lucy episode 24, originally aired 3/24/1952
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz) and Fred Mertz (William Frawley) have finally gotten sick and tired of their wives’ non-stop gossiping — and complain to them about it. This leads to a hilarious routine, as Lucy is dying to tell some juicy gossip, but has promised Ricky that she won’t gossip — and so she pantomimes it! The girls — Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) and Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance) counter that the boys are just as big gossips, but that men call it something different.
Soon, this leads to a men vs. women bet — the first group to spread gossip loses the bet, and have to serve their spouses breakfast in bed for a month.
This leads to a very funny scene, as Lucy and Ethel go through “gossip withdrawal” — and the boys decide, rather than be patient, to “help” the girls along by spreading some malicious gossip about their attractive neighbor, Grace Foster, planning to run off with the milk man. In order to not actually be accused of gossiping themselves, they decide to “talk in their sleep”. This is a very funny scene, as Lucy tries to pry additional details out of the “sleeping” Ricky.
Soon enough, Lucy and Ethel gossip with each other, with Ricky and Fred catching them in the act — and talking to them through the heating pipes from the basement, pretending to be their “guilty consciences.” The boys have clearly won … or have they?
After all, it wouldn’t be gossip if their crazy rumor turned out to be true … and the story ends with a very funny ending involving Grace Foster’s jealous husband and the milkman!
I Love Lucy Quotes
Fred Mertz (William Frawley) [through the furnace pipe]: Ethel Mertz. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Who’s that?
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): This is your conscience. You have been gossiping.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Ethel, you’ve got the loudest conscience I ever heard.
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz) [through the furnace pipe]: Luuucy Ricardo. This is your conscience. You’ve been gossiping too.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Oh fine, my conscience has an accent.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Wait, if they weren’t asleep, they were awake!
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): There’s a monumental conclusion.
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): We made it up; the whole thing was friction.
I Love Lucy Trivia
- This is the first official “bet” episode.
- This is the first mention of neighbor Grace Foster.
- Bob Jellison played the part of the milkman. He had a recurring role as the bellboy in the Hollywood story arc.