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I Love Lucy
Season Two: 1952-53



SEASON ONE: 1951-52
SEASON TWO: 1952-53
SEASON THREE: 1953-54
SEASON FOUR: 1954-55
SEASON FIVE: 1955-56
SEASON SIX: 1956-57
CREDITS
EMMY AWARDS

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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.


36 Job Switching    First Aired: September 15, 1952
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Alvin Hurwitz, Elvia Allman, Amanda Milligan

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.


37 The Saxophone    First Aired: September 22, 1952
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:Marc Daniels
Guest Stars: Herb Vigran, Charles Victor

Lucy auditions for Ricky's orchestra, despite a saxophone repertoire that consists of but a single tune.


38 The Anniversary Present    First Aired: September 29, 1952
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:Marc Daniels
Guest Stars: Gloria Blondell, Herb Vigran

Disguised as house painters, Lucy and Ethel spy on a neighbor they suspect is having an affair with Ricky.


39 The Handcuffs    First Aired: October 6, 1952
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:Marc Daniels
Guest Stars: Paul Dubov, Will Wright

Ricky finds himself handcuffed to Lucy on the eve of his appearance on a gala television special.


40 The Operetta    First Aired: October 13, 1952
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:Marc Daniels
Guest Star: Myra Marsh

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 operetta.


41 Vacation from Marriage    First Aired: October 27, 1952
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher

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.


42 The Courtroom    First Aired: November 10, 1952
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Moroni Olsen, Harry Bartell, Robert B. Williams

Fred and Ethel take the Ricardos to court to settle a petty squabble over a broken television set.


43 Redecorating    First Aired: November 24, 1952
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Star: Hans Conried

Convinced that she's won a home-furnishings contest, Lucy enlists Ethel's help in redecorating her apartment.


44 Ricky Loses His Voice    First Aired: December 1, 1952
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Arthur Q. Bryan, Hazel Pierce, Barbara Pepper

Lucy and the Mertzes stage a vaudeville burlesque show at the Tropicana while Ricky's bedridden with a case of laryngitis.


45 Lucy is Enceinte    First Aired: December 8, 1952
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: William R. Hamel, Richard J. Reeves

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.


46 Pregnant Women are Unpredictable    First Aired: December 15, 1952
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher

Lucy begins to feel unloved and overlooked after Ricky makes a big fuss over naming the baby.


47 Lucy's Show-Biz Swan Song    First Aired: December 22, 1952
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Jerry Hausner, Pepito the Clown

Lucy schemes to become the fourth member of Ricky's barber-shop quartet.


48 Lucy Hires an English Tutor    First Aired: December 29, 1952
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Star: Hans Conried

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.


49 Ricky Has Labor Pains    First Aired: January 5, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Louis D. Merrill, Jerry Hausner

Lucy's afraid Ricky might be growing jealous of the baby after he begins to suffer psychosomatic morning sickness.


50 Lucy Becomes a Sculptress    First Aired: January 12, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Shepard Menken, Leon Belasco, Paul Harvey

In her continued efforts to bring culture into the Ricardo home, Lucy tries her hand at sculpting.


51 Lucy Goes to the Hospital    First Aired: January 19, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Charles Lane, Adele Longmire, Ralph Montgomery, Peggy Rea

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.


52 Sales Resistance    First Aired: January 26, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Sheldon Leonard, Verna Felton

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 neighbor.

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.


53 The Inferiority Complex    First Aired: February 2, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Star: Gerald Mohr

Ricky objects when a handsome psychiatrist attempts to bolster Lucy's sagging confidence with a particularly strong dose of flattery.


54 The Club Election    First Aired: February 16, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Lurene Tuttle, Ida Moore, Doris Singleton

It's a close race when Lucy and Ethel both vie for the presidency of their women's club.


55 The Black Eye    First Aired: March 9, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Star: Bennett Green

Ricky sets off a comedy of errors when he accidentally gives Lucy a black eye.


56 Lucy Changes Her Mind    First Aired: March 30, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Frank Nelson, Phil Arnold

Lucy attempts to make Ricky jealous when she pays a visit to an old boyfriend who's gone into the fur trade.


57 No Children Allowed    First Aired: April 20, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Star: Elizabeth Patterson

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.


58 Lucy Hires a Maid    First Aired: April 27, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Star: Verna Felton

The Ricardos regret hiring a domineering domestic after she takes charge of the entire household.


59 The Indian Show    First Aired: May 4, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Carol Richards, Jerry Hausner

Lucy is determined to don a feathered headdress and join Ricky's act when he stages an Indian number at the Tropicana.


60 Lucy's Last Birthday    First Aired: May 11, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Jerry Hausner, Elizabeth Patterson

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 Adamson.


61 The Ricardos Change Apartments    First Aired: May 18, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Star: Norma Varden

Yearning for more space for the baby's nursery, the Ricardos move to a larger apartment.


62 Lucy the Matchmaker    First Aired: May 25, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Hal March, Doris Singleton, Phil Arnold

Lucy tries to fix up one of her friends with a handsome lingerie salesman she meets at the Mertzes.


63 Lucy Wants New Furniture    First Aired: June 1, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher

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.


64 The Camping Trip    First Aired: June 8, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Star: Jerry Hausner

Ethel and Lucy plot to outshine their husbands when they tag along on a weekend hunting trip.


65 Ricky and Fred Are TV Fans    First Aired: June 22, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Larry Dobkin, Allen Jenkins, Frank Nelson

After their husbands abandon them for TV's Wednesday-night fights, Lucy and Ethel attempt to sabotage the broadcast from the rooftop antenna.


66 Never Do Business With Friends    First Aired: June 29, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Herb Vigran, Elizabeth Patterson

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 the Ricardos.

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 for perfectly."


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