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Best Episode of Every 'The Lucy Show' Season

Best Episode of Every 'The Lucy Show' Season

by Billy Ingram

While most Lucy fans consider I Love Lucy to be the superior Lucille Ball sitcom, there are episodes of The Lucy Show that rival the best I Love Lucys. The same can't be said of the surrealistic Here's Lucy, the series that followed after the comedienne ended The Lucy Show in 1968.

Here are what I believe are the best episodes for each of the 6 seasons of The Lucy Show, your experience may vary:


Season 1: Episode 18 - "Lucy and Viv Put in a Shower"

The first season of The Lucy Show was shot in black and white and this very much feels like an episode of I Love Lucy. Lucy almost drowned filming this scene, she found herself trapped under the water until Vivian Vance pulled her to the surface.

"I found I had no room to manoeuvr," Lucy said in her book Love Lucy. "I couldn't get back to the surface again. What's more I swallowed a lot of water and was actually drowning right there in front of three hundred people who were splitting their sides laughing. Vivian (Vance), realising in cold terror what had happened, never changed expression. She reached down, pulled me safely to the surface by the roots of my hair and then calmly spoke both sides of our dialogue, putting my lines in the form of questions. Whatta girl! And whatta night."

 

Lucille Ball was nominated for the Emmy for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Series (Lead) for the first season of The Lucy Show.


Season 2: Episode 20 - "Lucy and Viv Open a Restaurant"

This season was shot in color but broadcast in black and white. If you'll recall, there was an episode of I Love Lucy where the Ricardos and the Mertz's went in on a restaurant together with disastrous results. While this episode isn't as funny as that earlier one, the writers (Bob Carroll, Jr., Madelyn Martin, Bob Weiskopf and Bob Schiller) still managed to mine a few more laughs out of the concept.

 

Season 3: Episode 20 - "My Fair Lucy"

For the first time, viewers got to see Lucy and Viv in color every week.

Second episode with 'The Countess' (Ann Sothern) as Lucy's cohort to give Vivian Vance some time off. Also featured is the wonderful Reta Shaw (The Ghost & Mrs. Muir). Written by Jerry Belson and Garry Marshall (The Odd Couple, Happy Days).

A comic book adaptation of The Lucy Show was published by Gold Key Comics for five issues, from June 1963 to June 1964


Season 4: Episode 21 - "Lucy Dates Dean Martin"

Dean Martin's body double has a date with Lucy, when the stuntman can't make it at the last minute Dean decides to keep that date with Lucy for him.

Dean didn't guest star on many sitcoms, for one thing he didn't like to rehearse and Lucy in particular rehearsed everything down to the second. Even in this format Dean comes across as the cool crooner he was.

 

Season 5: Episode 5 - "Lucy and the Ring-a-Ding Ring"

Lucy tries on an expensive ring Mr. Mooney bought for his wife but it gets stuck on her finger. This script was reworked for possibly the best Here's Lucy episode ("Lucy Meets The Burtons") where Lucy gets Elizabeth Taylor's ring stuck on her finger.

Lucille Ball won the Emmy for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Series (Lead) for the 5th season of The Lucy Show.


Season 6: Episode 22 - "Lucy and the Lost Star"

Lucy and Viv think Joan Crawford is down and out, so they get her cast in a comedy film set in the 1920s. Lucy and Joan clashed every day during rehearsals. This was the third from the last episode of The Lucy Show.

From Jim Brochu's book 'Lucy in the Afternoon': An Intimate Memoir of Lucille Ball: "I asked Lucy how the experience of working with Crawford had been. She told me she fired her after the first rehearsal. "She was drunk. She showed up at ten o'clock in the morning for the first read-through, and she was bombed. She was drinking straight vodka from this silver flask, and she was drinking it in front of the kids. She was saying all the words, but it was like she was a robot. About lunchtime, Joan passed out cold, and that did it. As soon as she woke up, I fired her.'

"Herb Kenwith, the show's director and an old friend of Crawford's, begged Lucy to give her another chance. Crawford, after her revival, said the heat had gotten to her. Lucy gave her another chance, and Crawford did finish the show."

 

Lucille Ball won the Emmy for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Series (Lead) for the 6th season of The Lucy Show.

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1966 ABC Fall
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Love on a Rooftop, That Girl,
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