Back to Classic Sitcoms Home Page

I LOVE LUCY
HONEYMOONERS
DICK VAN DYKE
MARY TYLER MOORE
ALL IN THE FAMILY
M*A*S*H
BOB NEWHART
BARNEY MILLER
TAXI
CHEERS

Order Classic Sitcoms now at Amazon.comVisit Our Bookstore!
HomeClassic Sitcoms BookstoreAbout Vince WaldronContact UsOther ChannelsImportant Legal StuffComing Soon to This SiteSite Map
The Classic Sitcoms Guide to...
I Love Lucy
Season Six: 1956-57



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

Click Here To Order
"I Love Lucy" on Video or DVD

1956-57: THE SIXTH SEASON

Year-End Rating: 43.7 (1st place)

The show ends its phenomenally successful run as a half-hour sitcom at the close of the sixth year, as the Ricardos and the Mertzes settle down to a new life in Connecticut during the final thirteen installments. New cast members include Keith Thibodeaux as the five-year-old Little Ricky and Frank Nelson and Mary Jane Croft, who play neighbors Ralph and Betty Ramsey in the Connecticut episodes.

Desi Arnaz is the producer of the show's final year, and writers Madelyn Pugh Martin, Bob Carroll, Jr., Bob Schiller, and Bob Weiskopf continue to pen all of the scripts. William Asher replaces James V. Kern as staff director for the final thirteen episodes.


154 Lucy and Bob Hope    First Aired: October 1, 1956
Writers: Madelyn Pugh Martin, Bob Carroll, Jr., Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf
Director:James V. Kern
Guest Stars: Bob Hope, Lou Krugman, Peter Leeds, Dick Elliott, Maxine Semon

Lucy tries to talk Bob Hope into appearing as the opening-night act at Ricky's new nightclub.

Bob Hope was an old friend of the Arnazes. Desi had been his orchestra leader in radio, and Lucy co-starred with him in Sorrowful Jones and Fancy Pants.


155 Little Ricky Learns to Play the Drums    First Aired: October 8, 1956
Writers: Madelyn Pugh Martin, Bob Carroll, Jr., Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf
Director:James V. Kern
Guest Stars: Elizabeth Patterson, Keith Thibodeaux

Ricky decides to give his son a head start in show business when he buys the five-year-old a snare drum.

Keith Thibodeaux, officially the world's tiniest professional drummer--and a dead ringer for the senior Arnaz--was brought in to play the five-year-old Little Ricky in the sixth season.


156 Lucy Meets Orson Welles    First Aired: October 15, 1956
Writers: Madelyn Pugh Martin, Bob Carroll, Jr., Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf
Director:James V. Kern
Guest Stars: Orson Welles, Ellen Corby, Lou Krugman

When Orson Welles invites Lucy to take part in his act, she starts brushing up on her Shakespeare--only to discover that the director has other plans for her.

Welles uses Lucy in his magic act, much as he called on the services of two other redheads--Marlene Dietrich and Rita Hayworth--to fill the role when he performed the novelty act for USO troupes during World War II.

Clearly demonstrating how the ambitions of Desilu had grown beyond I Love Lucy, in 1956 Arnaz engaged Welles to direct a proposed series of classic short-story adaptations for television. The director fashioned a Peabody Award-winning adaptation of John Collier's Fountain of Youth as a pilot film, but the series never sold.


157 Little Ricky Gets Stage Fright    First Aired: October 22, 1956
Writers: Madelyn Pugh Martin, Bob Carroll, Jr., Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf
Director:James V. Kern
Guest Stars: Howard McNear, Marjorie Bennett

Little Ricky gets cold feet on the eve of his first music-school recital.

Ricky's drum teacher is played by Howard McNear, the lovable character actor who later portrayed Floyd the barber on The Andy Griffith Show.


158 Visitor from Italy    First Aired: October 29, 1956
Writers: Madelyn Pugh Martin, Bob Carroll, Jr., Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf
Director:James V. Kern
Guest Stars: Jay Novello, Eduardo Ciannelli, Aldo Formica

The Ricardos offer a helping hand to a visiting gondolier they met during their tour of Venice.


159 Off to Florida    First Aired: November 12, 1956
Writers: Madelyn Pugh Martin, Bob Carroll, Jr., Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf
Director:James V. Kern
Guest Stars: Elsa Lanchester, Strother Martin

When Lucy loses the train tickets for her trip to Florida, she and Ethel are forced to share a ride with an eccentric old woman.


160 Deep-Sea Fishing    First Aired: November 19, 1956
Writers: Madelyn Pugh Martin, Bob Carroll, Jr., Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf
Director:James V. Kern
Guest Stars: James Hayward, Billy McLean

Ricky and Fred stage a fishing competition with the wives to see who can hook the largest catch on a deep-sea-fishing expedition.

Jay Sandrich, the son of RKO director Mark Sandrich, signed on as assistant director with this episode. After a stint as director of He and She in the late sixties, Sandrich distinguished himself as the Emmy-winning director of The Mary Tyler Moore Show in the seventies and of The Cosby Show in the eighties, making him one of the few directors whose career has spanned three generations of superior TV comedy.


161 Desert Island    First Aired: November 26, 1956
Writers: Madelyn Pugh Martin, Bob Carroll, Jr., Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf
Director:James V. Kern
Guest Stars: Claude Akins, Jil Jarmyn, Joi Lansing

The wives go to extreme measures to prevent their husbands from participating as judges in a Miami Beach beauty pageant.


162 The Ricardos Visit Cuba    First Aired: December 3, 1956
Writers: Madelyn Pugh Martin, Bob Carroll, Jr., Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf
Director:James V. Kern
Guest Stars: George Trevino, Nacho Galindo, Mary Emery

Lucy is a nervous wreck at the prospect of meeting Ricky's Uncle Alberto at the Ricardos' family reunion in Cuba.


163 Little Ricky's School Pageant    First Aired: December 17, 1956
Writers: Madelyn Pugh Martin, Bob Carroll, Jr., Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf
Director:James V. Kern
Guest Star: Candy Rogers Schoenberger

The Mertzes and Ricardos are the improbable supporting players in Little Ricky's kindergarten production of The Enchanted Forest.


164 I Love Lucy Christmas Show    First Aired: December 24, 1956
Writers: Madelyn Pugh Martin, Bob Carroll, Jr., Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf
Director:James V. Kern
Guest Star: Cameron Grant

As the Ricardos and Mertzes trim the tree on Christmas Eve, they reminisce how much their lives have changed since the arrival of Little Ricky.

Here's one for video archaeologists. Because of its seasonal theme and an uncharacteristic reliance on flashbacks, this show was left out of the bundle when the series was later packaged for syndication, and would not be rerun until CBS rebroadcast it as a prime time special on December 18, 1989.


165 Lucy and the Loving Cup    First Aired: January 7, 1957
Writers: Madelyn Pugh Martin, Bob Carroll, Jr., Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf
Director:James V. Kern
Guest Stars: Robert Foulk, Johnny and Hazel Longden, Jesslyn Fax

Lucy gets lost on the New York subway system with a loving-cup trophy stuck on her head.


166 Lucy and Superman    First Aired: January 14, 1957
Writers: Madelyn Pugh Martin, Bob Carroll, Jr., Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf
Director:James V. Kern
Guest Stars: George Reeves, Doris Singleton, George O'Hanlon, Steven Kay

Lucy impersonates Superman at Little Ricky's birthday party when she's unable to arrange an appearance by the real man of steel.


167 Little Ricky Gets a Dog    First Aired: January 21, 1957
Writers: Madelyn Pugh Martin, Bob Carroll, Jr., Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf
Director:James V. Kern
Guest Star: John Emery

Lucy schemes to let Little Ricky keep a puppy, despite the no pets clause in their lease agreement with Fred and Ethel.

June Foray, the voice of Rocky the flying squirrel, provided the yelps of Little Ricky's dog, Fred. Unlike most sitcom pups, who vanish unaccountably from subsequent episodes, Fred did manage another appearance in the final episode of the series.


168 Lucy Wants to Move to the Country    First Aired: January 28, 1957
Writers: Madelyn Pugh Martin, Bob Carroll, Jr., Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Frank Wilcox, Eleanor Audley

The Ricardos make plans to forsake Manhattan's grit and grime for a new home in suburban Connecticut.

The decision to remove the Ricardos from the familiar surroundings of their New York apartment house seems almost sacrilegious, but after five and a half years, and close to 170 scripts, the writers had finally run out of movie stars for Lucy to pester, and they'd long since exhausted her repertoire of material for Ricky's nightclub.

Of course, the Mertzes and Ricardos weren't alone in their urban flight. By the late 1950s, the colorful melting pot of Ralph Kramden's Bensonhurst, Amos 'n' Andy's Harlem, and Molly Goldberg's Bronx would give way to a half dozen bucolic and geographically undefined towns with names such as Mayfield, Hilldale, and Springfield. By the mid-1960s, TV's prime-time atlas would read like the Farmer's Almanac, with the most popular sitcoms set in exotic rural communities such as Mayberry, Pixley, and Hooterville--all far from the harsh urban reality that had typified the shows of Lucy's era.


169 Lucy Hates to Leave    First Aired: February 4, 1957
Writers: Madelyn Pugh Martin, Bob Carroll, Jr., Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Gene Reynolds, Mary Ellen Kaye

Lucy and Ricky double up and cram in with the Mertzes until their new home in Connecticut is ready.

Guest star Gene Reynolds, a former child actor, discovered far greener pastures as a producer of such acclaimed series as Room 222, M*A*S*H, and Lou Grant.


170 Lucy Misses the Mertzes    First Aired: February 11, 1957
Writers: Madelyn Pugh Martin, Bob Carroll, Jr., Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: William Coffin, Jesse Kirkpatrick, Robert Brice

After less than eight hours in their new home, Lucy and Ricky find life almost unbearable without the Mertzes.


171 Lucy Gets Chummy With the Neighbors    First Aired: February 18, 1957
Writers: Madelyn Pugh Martin, Bob Carroll, Jr., Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Frank Nelson, Mary Jane Croft

The Ricardos decide to redecorate with the help of their new neighbors, Ralph and Betty Ramsey.


172 Lucy Raises Chickens    First Aired: March 4, 1957
Writers: Madelyn Pugh Martin, Bob Carroll, Jr., Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Tyler McVey, Mary Alan Hokenson, Mary Jane Croft

Fred and Ethel join the Ricardos in their newest venture as Connecticut chicken ranchers.


173 Lucy Does the Tango    First Aired: March 11, 1957
Writers: Madelyn Pugh Martin, Bob Carroll, Jr., Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Ray Ferrell

When the Mertzes and Ricardos invest in 200 laying hens, Lucy ends up with egg on her face--and everywhere else.


174 Ragtime Band    First Aired: March 18, 1957
Writers: Madelyn Pugh Martin, Bob Carroll, Jr., Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf
Director:William Asher

Ricky is enlisted as reluctant bandleader when Lucy and the Mertzes combine their meager musical talents to form a band to play at a charity bazaar.


175 Lucy's Night in Town    First Aired: March 25, 1957
Writers: Madelyn Pugh Martin, Bob Carroll, Jr., Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Joseph Kearns, Gladys Hurlbut, Doris Packer, John Eldredge

The Mertzes and Ricardos plan to see the latest Broadway hit, until Lucy realizes that she bought the wrong tickets.


176 Housewarming    First Aired: April 1, 1957
Writers: Madelyn Pugh Martin, Bob Carroll, Jr., Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Ray Ferrell, Mary Jane Croft

Ethel is jealous of Lucy's burgeoning friendship with her new neighbor, Betty Ramsey.


177 Building a Barbecue    First Aired: April 8, 1957
Writers: Madelyn Pugh Martin, Bob Carroll, Jr., Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf
Director:William Asher

Lucy is convinced that she's lost her wedding ring in the wet cement of their freshly constructed backyard barbecue.

The episode provided Lucy and Ethel with one of their last comic set pieces--a huge brick barbecue that they stay up all night to dismantle and then rebuild, brick by brick.


178 Country Club Dance    First Aired: April 22, 1957
Writers: Madelyn Pugh Martin, Bob Carroll, Jr., Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Frank Nelson, Mary Jane Croft, Barbara Eden, Tristam Coffin, Ruth Brady

Lucy and Ethel decide to give a local glamour girl some mature competition.


179 Lucy Raises Tulips    First Aired: April 29, 1957
Writers: Madelyn Pugh Martin, Bob Carroll, Jr., Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Peter Brocco, Eleanor Audley

Lucy tries her hand at gardening when she competes with Betty Ramsey to win a tulip-judging competition.


180 The Ricardos Dedicate a Statue    First Aired: May 6, 1957
Writers: Madelyn Pugh Martin, Bob Carroll, Jr., Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf
Director:William Asher

Lucy accidentally destroys a statue that Ricky is supposed to dedicate during Westport's Yankee Doodle Days.

The Mertzes and Ricardos would return in a series of thirteen hour-long specials over the next few years, but no episodes of I Love Lucy would be made after the show left the air on May 6, 1957, while still the highest-rated series on television.

Of course, I Love Lucy didn't really end there.

In 1957, Desi Arnaz sold the rerun rights to CBS, and the series began what is probably the most successful afterlife in TV history. To this day it remains one of the most durable half-hour sitcoms in syndication, appearing almost perpetually in every major market in the country.

Finally, in 1986, the most innovative comedy of the 1950s was ushered into the new video age, when I Love Lucy became one of the first TV series to be made widely available on home videocassette. It's not hard to imagine historians from some far-distant age stumbling across one of these odd little videotapes as they explore the remains of the third planet from the sun. If that happens, assuming they're able to dig up a videoplayer--VHS format-- it's almost certain that those explorers from that faraway era will find the antics of this twentieth-century Earthling as worthy of repeated viewing as we did.

And before long, it's a sure bet, they'll love Lucy, too.


HomeClassic Sitcoms BookstoreAbout Vince WaldronContact UsOther ChannelsImportant Legal StuffComing Soon to This SiteSite Map