Did anyone else notice an inconsistency with the location of Fred and Ethel's apartment? I can't remember which exactly episodes I noticed this but I remember one episode when Lucy was in Ethel's apartment late one night and as Ethel was about to shut the front door, Lucy asked her to leave it open so she could listen for the baby (Little Ricky), suggesting that Fred and Ethel's apartment was on the same floor as the Ricardo's. However there was another episode where the Ricardo's had a fight with the Mertz's and to upset the Mertz's Lucy and Ricky had pulled up the carpet in their living room and purposely walked around in hard soled shoes and dropped heavy objects on the floor (which implies that the Mertz's lived in the apartment below the Ricardo's). Throughout the series it seemed like the Mertz's alternated between living down the hall from Lucy and Ricky and living in the apartment beneath them.
I believe their original apartment was above the Mertz's, their second apartment—the larger one with the picture window—was next door (as shown in the Lucy Meets Superman episode.
That's it exactly. After Little Ricky was born, they moved downstairs to a larger apartment.
I have a question about one of the most famous parts of one of the most famous episodes.... In the candy making episode every reference book and transcription I see has the woman supervisor shouting "Speed it up a little!" , but every time I see it, I hear "Speed it up, Otto!" (Assuming Otto is the name of person running the conveyer). Am I the only one?
Nope, I thought the same thing.
Vitameatavegamin. Is 6 tablespoonfuls of something that's 23% alcohol really enough to get a 129-pound person drunk?
Possibly, considering she clearly wasn't accustomed to alcohol and hadn't eaten anything in over 24 hours.
That looked like it might have been an oversized spoon that would read better on television. And considering that 23% alcohol is more potent than undiluted sake, it seems very likely that six shots of the stuff in less than 10 minutes might hit a thin woman who hasn't eaten very much pretty hard.
Maybe she was already tipsy and it just pushed her over the edge.
It was more than 6 tablespoonfuls. It was around 15-20 tablespoons (about 3-5 'shots' worth) — there were many takes and she was sampling it beforehand. Easily enough to get a 129 pound woman drunk without much trouble at all.
The script said "take a tablespoonful," and I counted her taking 6 of them on camera before she started acting tipsy. Since she didn't realize how horrible it tasted until the first take we saw, she obviously hadn't been taking any beforehand.
There also comes a certain point where she completely ditches the spoon and drinks straight from the bottle, although she's completely drunk by then...
I just watched the sketch at Youtube from start to finish and she actually takes seven spoonfuls with a frickin' enormous spoon, after which she's so impaired that she can't even get it into the spoon again so she just drinks it out of the bottle. It's not hard to imagine a thin person getting that tipsy from seven spoonfuls out of a spoon that large when the liquid in question is a quarter pure alcohol.
Maybe it was a larger than regular tablespoon used so that it would show up better on camera for the ad.
Am I the only one who thought Lucy was blond? Hair colors don't translate well with black and white, and I've never seen a color picture of her actress until a few months ago. I guess I missed, or forgot, any references to her hair tone.
That's interesting. I have only watched ILL and the other Lucy shows in reruns, but I don't ever remember not knowing she was a redhead (in terms of the Lucy franchise). For me, at least, I can tell the difference between Lucy's hair color and Ethel's, or Carolyn Appleby's, or Betty Ramsey's. There are some references in the show. In one episode, Ricky refers to her as 'Rhode Island Red' and in another episode she mentions that she hasn't been to the salon in weeks which resulted in her head looking like a fire broke out. I took that to mean dark roots and reddish tips. I do remember a couple of movies from the 20s or 30s where she was blonde.
Lucille Ball was a natural brunette; she dyed her hair in the 1920's and 30's to be a "blonde bombshell," as that was a super-popular look at the time (Jean Harlow and Mae West were in this group). She later started coloring her hair red to stand out more in auditions, and it worked. There were a few episodes where they named her hair as dyed—in "Men Are Messy," Lucy remarks that because she can't leave the apartment (she and Ricky are having a This Is My Side argument), she'll be a brunette in a few weeks; in "Lucy Tells the Truth," her friends force her to reveal her natural hair tone (she says brown); in one episode where some old Cuban friends of Ricky's visit, the only English words he uses when talking about Lucy are "henna rinse" (referring to a method of dyeing the hair red); and in one famous line, Lucy claims that she was bird-watching as opposed to spying on the neighbors, prompting Ricky to remark that "there's a red-headed cuckoo in the living room!"
Did Fred and Ricky ever win a bet? It seemed like Lucy and Ethel either always cheated or Ricky/Fred conceded and paid for whatever the girls wanted.
The girls usually won on a technicality.
Lucy seems like a very inquisitive and curious woman (it seems like half the episodes involve Lucy sticking her nose someplace Ricky told her not to). Does it seem odd to anyone else that she never learned a word of Spanish? It just seems like eventually she'd want to know what some of the things that Ricky was shouting actually meant. Also, doesn't it seem odd that she's lived with a native Spanish-speaker for years and didn't even pick up what muchas gracias meant through sheer osmosis?
Alternatively she does understand some of what Ricky says, just that she has trouble with phonetic noises (just like Ricky has with English). When Ricky is yelling at her in Spanish she seems to have a general gist of what he's saying.
Simple contrariness. She's intensely curious about everything Ricky tells her to stay out of. When he actually wants her to learn Spanish, suddenly it is the language la más aburrida.
Lucy and Ricky live on the third or fourth floor in New York, right? Why then did they have so much trouble going up 4 flights of stairs in Italy? The third or fourth time they go up makes sense, but they shouldn't have had a problem at least the first time...
Might it have had something to do with elevation. Maybe if the oxygen level was lower it would hit them harder than in they were in New York.
The episode in question takes place in Florence. According to The Other Wiki, New York has an elevation of 33 feet, while Florence has one of 160 feet. So yeah, it's higher, but not enough that it seems like it would make a difference. Pretty much just Rule of Funny. Good catch to OP, though; I never thought of that before.
They took the elevator in NY? Yeah, I agree with that. Maybe the writers should have had it on the 6th floor
You know, I've been watching this show for the better part of the past thirteen years, I've been sure I've seen almost every episode at least once, and there's still one thing that I never can figure out... why was Ricky so against Lucy trying to break into show business? He always says things like she "has no talent" or "has no experience", but I kind of think it's really male ego. I know Lucy suggested that once, that he had an insecurity that if she was given the chance, she may become more popular/successful than him and it would eat him up. I'm sure, given the time period (1950s), that may have been the case, Ricky probably didn't want to be outshined and outperformed by his own wife.
In one of the earliest episodes - the remake of the unaired pilot - Ricky explicitly tells Lucy just that: "I want a wife who's just a wife..." etc. and doesn't try to hide how displeased he is when Lucy gets offered a contract at the end of the episode. Hey, it was The '50s.
A good piece of it might have been Male Pride, if not Male Ego. Back then, even more so than now, the man was supposed to be the only breadwinner. For many men, if their wife had to take a paying job, it was taken as a personal insult, believing that he failed at his job as provider for his family. Barring that, it's entirely possible that he didn't want her to do it simply because he knows that, behind the scenes, show business can be a pretty seedy profession.
The show consistently shows that Lucy can't sing. And other characters besides Ricky also reinforce that she's just not that good. And each time Lucy does get her way, it ends terribly (and hilariously) usually due to her own incompetence and it usually happens at Ricky's expense.
Pretty much. Thing is, she's got talent...it just isn't in singing. When she's allowed to be in the show, she knocks it out of the park (see "The Diet" and the first time we see "Cuban Pete" performed onscreen). Breaking in on her own usually means things go hilariously wrong, as she wouldn't know the steps. When they play to her strengths Lucy is very talented, like early on when she subbed in for that clown Boffo for one of Ricky's shows at the club. That worked well because she didn't have to sing and she knew the routine (it's stated she had seen the show before and knew how it went). But when she tries to get in on a singing gig or she tries to sneak in on a dancing section, things go wrong. Lucy Ricardo, as with Lucille Ball, had a huge aptitude for physical comedy (see the Funny Background Event routine they pull on Ethel in Albuquerque when they're going to California).
There's another more charitable explanation, too: Ricky has been in show business for years, and knows what a stressful job it really is (several episodes revolve around this, actually). Ricky loves Lucy so much that he doesn't want her to experience that kind of stress.
Ok, In "Lucy Tells the Truth" I get it that the trick to the knife throwing act is that the thrower drops the knives out of sight of the audience, while fake knife handles come out from behind the board, giving the illusion that he is throwing the knives. However after this, he has Lucy face him with a cigarette (no doubt a Phillip Morris) in her mouth and he starts to get ready to 'throw' another knife, when she panics and says Ricky wins the bet. How exactly does THIS illusion work, Ricky?
Maybe it was never supposed to. Maybe Ricky just knew his wife well enough to know that it would be her breaking point.
The performer isn't trying to knock the cigarette out of Lucy's mouth (she thinks he's going to, but he corrects her). It's just a "good job" cigarette.
Or it could be one of those "last smoke before someone's executed" cigarettes, since it's implied that's the big finish and he was going to go for a tricky shot there.
What the heck was up with the setup for the Ricardo's second apartment? The layout from left to right was Little Ricky's room-Lucy & Ricky's room with attached bath-small hall-living room-kitchen. What kind of two bedroom apartment has you going through one bedroom to get to the second? I know it's shot that way largely for convenience's sake, but it makes no sense, when it could be shot with the hall leading right to the second bedroom.
The best Watsonian explanation is that Little Ricky's room is supposed to be a rather large walk-in closet, or possibly an office/study.
Our 2-story house has 2 bedrooms like that — you have to enter one to get to the other. Once all the kids grew up, the first, naturally, became the last room anyone wanted to stay in.
To me the layout of the second apartment is still confusing. In the normal view we see a window in back, and to its right a door which leads to the apartment house's hallway. On the right is the door to the kitchen, which has an exit door to an outside walkway. So is the apartment sticking out of the corner of the apartment house, or what? Of course the "apartment house" is an imaginary construct that we never actually see, so they've never had to explain the layout.
It's made clear throughout the series that Lucy has little to no musical talent. Yet, in "The Operetta", she is able to compose passable music for an operetta (albeit set to some silly lyrics). How'd she do that? It could be argued that Ethel helped her, as early on Lucy does try to persuade her to do so, but ultimately it does seem implied that she wrote it all on her own. In any case, there is a scene showing Lucy plonking out a tune on the piano and writing it down. However, later in the episode "Lucy's Club Dance", she is depicted as clearly being unable to read music (let alone write it)... for example, she confuses a sharp symbol for a 'lopsided tic-tac-toe'!
It seems to be based on Rule of Funny, and she's not the only one that suffers from this. In "Breaking the Lease," Ethel is seen playing the piano, and rather well. But just about every other time she goes for the piano it's painfully bad.