I LOVE LUCY
DICK VAN DYKE
MARY TYLER MOORE
ALL IN THE FAMILY
The Classic Sitcoms Guide to...
I Love Lucy
Season Four: 1954-55
1954-55: THE FOURTH SEASON
Year-End Rating: 49.3 (1st place)
It's westward ho, Ricardo, when Ricky lands a movie role and moves
to California with Lucy and the Mertzes--a slant that provides fresh
inspiration for producer Jess Oppenheimer and writers Madelyn Pugh and
Bob Carroll, Jr., as they embark on their fourth consecutive year as
Lucy's preeminent scripters. William Asher once again directs every
episode in the season.
Lucy invigorates her sagging household finances with a novel cash-flow
system: She buys the neighbors' groceries on credit and keeps the cash.
Charles Lane plays Ricky's accountant in one of his frequent TV guest
spots. His stint as Homer Bedloe, the villain of Paul Henning's Petticoat
Junction, would assure the actor's lasting fame--for better or worse.
After trying to impress an old vaudeville chum with his prosperity,
Fred discovers that his former partner is no better off than he and
Lucy tests Ricky's devotion by calling him home from the club for a
series of phony emergencies.
Lucy hopes to inspire an engaged couple to finally tie the knot when
she invites them to share an evening of domestic bliss at the Ricardos.
The entire neighborhood shows up to audition after word leaks out that
a Hollywood talent scout plans to pay a call on Ricky.
Lucy is assigned a bit role in Ricky's Hollywood screen test--but there's
no such thing as a small part for this actress, and she sets out to
The arrival of Ricky's mother spells trouble in two languages when
Lucy tries to make her Cuban mother-in-law at home in New York City.
Lucy so earnestly wants to impress Mother Ricardo with her command
of Spanish that she plants a bilingual translator in the kitchen to
coach her by secret microphone. Of course the ruse backfires, but--as
was often the case--Lucy's touching emotional investment in the hare-brained
scheme makes us laugh even harder at her pathetic attempt to fake her
way through the conversation.
Fred and Ricky plan to take the girls out for Ethel's birthday, even
though the wives aren't speaking to each other.
After weeks of waiting by the phone, Ricky finally gets the fateful
summons to Hollywood, and the great trip begins.
Ricky invites the Mertzes to join them on the drive to Hollywood, and
then makes the mistake of letting Fred pick out the car.
Lucy has barely learned the rules of the road when she decides to teach
Ethel to drive--behind the wheel of Ricky's brand-new convertible!
When the departing travelers encounter a flurry of last-minute complications,
Ricky begins to wonder if they'll ever make it out of their parking
Kathryn Card joins the cast as Lucy's mother, Mrs. McGillicuddy, in
this finely structured sitcom episode. Like most of the best Lucy
scripts, a perfectly ordinary situation--packing the family car--soon
blossoms, in small, logical steps, to heights of absurdity. And as always,
the complications are ironed out by the end of the half hour as the
foursome drive off singing "California, Here I Come" in the euphoric
At the end of their first day, the intrepid travelers are bilked by
a canny roadside innkeeper.
The tourists are glad to see their old friend Cousin Ernie after a
backwoods sheriff snags them in a speed trap.
Arriving in Ethel's hometown, the gang is surprised to discover that
all of Albuquerque thinks of little Ethel Mae Potter as a Hollywood-bound
Ethel is the comic foil when Fred, Lucy, and Ricky decide to upstage
the darling of Albuquerque as she performs her big comeback number,
Lucy makes a mess of things when she spies actor William Holden at
the Brown Derby.
Eve Arden, Lucy's old cohort at RKO, takes a break from filming her
own Desilu series, Our Miss Brooks, to make a cameo appearance.
Movie stars like Holden generally appeared on the show for minimum
pay in exchange for the chance to plug their latest film before Lucy's
vast television audience, which explains why the guest stars invariably
announce their latest release in none-too-subtle tones somewhere in
each episode's script. The big studios still kept an arm's distance
from television as late as the mid-1950s, but that didn't prevent them
from climbing into bed with TV's most popular couple when the opportunity
Lucy is jealous when Ricky's studio publicist insists that he escort
a bevy of beautiful starlets to a Hollywood premiere.
Lucy makes the director's life miserable when she lands a small part
as a showgirl in an MGM musical.
Lucy's burning desire to prove her talents takes on even greater urgency
when Fred and Ethel--and even the hotel bellboy--all land movie roles.
Of course, she milks her moment in the spotlight for all it's worth
as she totters down a long staircase with an immense feathered headdress
balanced atop her head.
Lucy decides to get a California tan--and quickly--after she finagles
her way into a celebrity wives' fashion show.
The wives of Alan Ladd, Forrest Tucker, Dean Martin, William Holden,
Van Heflin, Gordon MacRae, and Richard Carlson make cameo appearances
A studio press agent convinces Lucy and Ricky to pull a poolside rescue
stunt, hoping Ricky's mock heroics will earn a mention in Hedda Hopper's
When MGM cancels Ricky's picture, Lucy schemes to trick studio head
Dore Schary into renewing her husband's contract.
Dore Schary actually was the head of production at MGM, though Vivian
Vance's husband, Phil Ober, was called in to play him after the executive
begged off at the last minute.
Lucy threatens to feed an exposé of Ricky Ricardo to the fan
press unless he promises her a role in his TV special.
Ricky surprises Lucy with a gala anniversary party at a fancy Hollywood
Ricky is excited when he's offered the chance to host a TV talk show,
until he discovers that the producers expect his wife to act as co-host.
Cornel Wilde is the latest object of Lucy's star-struck enthusiasm
when she discovers he's staying in the suite directly above theirs.
Lucy and Ethel meet Rock Hudson during a Palm Springs getaway vacation.
Hudson's guest shot here marked the first time Universal Studios allowed
one of their contract players to appear in a filmed teleplay. Their
resistance to such guest shots is ironic--in a few short years, their
willingness to exploit the hungry market for television films would
make Universal one of the strongest studios in Hollywood.
Caroline Appleby unexpectedly arrives in California to call Lucy's
bluff after the redhead brags about her friendship with film star Van
Lucy's ruse to convince Caroline that the Ricardos' suite is the hub
of Hollywood's social scene is further complicated by the unexpected
arrival of Harpo Marx.
The justly lauded mirror scene, where Lucy mimes Harpo's actions perfectly
through a doorway, is an homage to a similar scene Harpo performed in
the early Marx Brothers feature Duck Soup.
126 Ricky Needs an Agent First Aired:
May 16, 1955
Lucy masquerades as Ricky's agent, and in no time at all she negotiates
him right out of a job.
Lucy is determined to snatch a souvenir grapefruit from a tree in Richard Widmark's backyard.