I LOVE LUCY
DICK VAN DYKE
MARY TYLER MOORE
ALL IN THE FAMILY
The Classic Sitcoms Guide to...
I Love Lucy
Season Two: 1952-53
1952-53: THE SECOND SEASON
Year-End Rating: 67.3 (1st place)
The Ricardos and the Mertzes swing into a second year on the wave of
unprecedented popularity as producer Jess Oppenheimer and writers Madelyn
Pugh and Bob Carroll, Jr., seize upon their star's real-life pregnancy
for some of the series' best-remembered episodes.
William Asher assumes the show's directorial reins in the second year,
and Argyle Nelson takes on the duties of production manager.
Lucy and Ethel discover they've bitten off more than they can chew
after they take assembly-line jobs at a candy factory.
The memorable sequence where Lucy and Ethel unsuccessfully cope with
a relentless conveyor belt is a comic gem--reminiscent of Chaplin's
bout with technology in Modern Times, and just as funny.
Lucy auditions for Ricky's orchestra, despite a saxophone repertoire
that consists of but a single tune.
Disguised as house painters, Lucy and Ethel spy on a neighbor they
suspect is having an affair with Ricky.
Ricky finds himself handcuffed to Lucy on the eve of his appearance
on a gala television special.
After they're elected to stage the big musicale for their women's club,
Lucy and Ethel attempt to save royalty expenses by writing their own
In an effort to invigorate their routine married lives, the Mertzes
and Ricardos each embark on week-long separations.
William Asher signed on as the regular Lucy director with this
episode, a role he would become identified with for most of the show's
long run. He later produced and directed Bewitched, the long-running
sitcom that starred his wife, Elizabeth Montgomery.
Fred and Ethel take the Ricardos to court to settle a petty squabble
over a broken television set.
Convinced that she's won a home-furnishings contest, Lucy enlists Ethel's
help in redecorating her apartment.
Lucy and the Mertzes stage a vaudeville burlesque show at the Tropicana
while Ricky's bedridden with a case of laryngitis.
Lucy is bursting with the news that she's going to have a baby, but
she finds it impossible to get Ricky alone so that she can tell him.
When Lucille Ball announced that she was pregnant at the close of
the first season, the writers wisely worked her blessed event into the
second-year continuity. This inspiration allowed the actress to appear
on the show throughout most of her pregnancy, while it provided the
writers with a raft of fresh storylines.
Today, it's hard to imagine what a stir was created by Lucy's 1952
pregnancy, but CBS and her sponsor balked loudly at the idea of depicting
a pregnant mother on network television. After protracted discussions
that were probably funnier than anything Carroll and Pugh could've thought
up, the show's producers reached a compromise with the nervous broadcasters.
They would not use the word pregnant in any of the episodes--and for
good measure, prominent members of the clergy would be allowed to screen
all the finished scripts that dealt with the stork's impending arrival.
Lucy begins to feel unloved and overlooked after Ricky makes a big
fuss over naming the baby.
Lucy schemes to become the fourth member of Ricky's barber-shop quartet.
Lucy enlists the aid of a diction expert to coach the Mertzes and Ricardos
in proper English usage so that they'll set a good example for the baby.
Lucy's afraid Ricky might be growing jealous of the baby after he begins
to suffer psychosomatic morning sickness.
In her continued efforts to bring culture into the Ricardo home, Lucy
tries her hand at sculpting.
Despite careful rehearsal, Fred, Ethel, and Ricky unleash chaos as
they try to get Lucy to the maternity ward when the great moment arrives.
Desi Arnaz, Jr., was born on the day this show first aired, a happy
coincidence that helped make this episode the highest-rated program
of its day.
Lucy is unable to fend off a persuasive salesman and gets stuck with
an overpriced vacuum cleaner, which she then tries to palm off on a
Sheldon Leonard was well known for playing Damon Runyonesque types
in countless films and TV appearances, but he would achieve even greater
success in partnership with Danny Thomas as one of the most successful
sitcom producers of the fifties and sixties.
Ricky objects when a handsome psychiatrist attempts to bolster Lucy's
sagging confidence with a particularly strong dose of flattery.
It's a close race when Lucy and Ethel both vie for the presidency of
their women's club.
Ricky sets off a comedy of errors when he accidentally gives Lucy a
Lucy attempts to make Ricky jealous when she pays a visit to an old
boyfriend who's gone into the fur trade.
Ethel defends the Ricardos after another tenant complains about the
baby's crying--and then won't let them forget it.
The question must've occurred to the writers the moment Lucy announced
her pregnancy--what would they do with the baby when Lucy Ricardo had
to go off to stomp grapes or climb the side of a building somewhere?
The answer would be Mrs. Trumbull, Little Ricky's all-purpose baby-sitter,
introduced as an irate neighbor in this episode.
The Ricardos regret hiring a domineering domestic after she takes charge
of the entire household.
Lucy is determined to don a feathered headdress and join Ricky's act
when he stages an Indian number at the Tropicana.
Lucy is convinced she hasn't a friend in all the world after Ricky
and the Mertzes apparently forget her birthday.
At Lucy's party, Ricky surprises her by singing the I Love Lucy
theme song, with lyrics written especially for this episode by Harold
Yearning for more space for the baby's nursery, the Ricardos move to
a larger apartment.
Lucy tries to fix up one of her friends with a handsome lingerie salesman
she meets at the Mertzes.
Lucy buys new living-room furniture and then hides it in the kitchen
until she works up the nerve to tell Ricky how much it cost.
Ethel and Lucy plot to outshine their husbands when they tag along
on a weekend hunting trip.
After their husbands abandon them for TV's Wednesday-night fights,
Lucy and Ethel attempt to sabotage the broadcast from the rooftop antenna.
Lucy and Ricky sell their old washing machine to Fred and Ethel just
before it breaks down, igniting a battle royal between the Mertzes and
This dispute, like so many others, springs from Fred's incredible
miserliness, one of the curmudgeon's more durable traits. Frawley invested
his character with an uncanny believability, though he was certainly
no Method actor. "He never knew what the story was about," Lucy confessed
some years later. "He just tore out the pages he was supposed to do!
But he was a funny, irascible, wonderful man whom the writers wrote