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Lucy Writes a Novel

Lucy Writes a Novel - I Love Lucy episode 90, season 3, originally aired 4/5/1954.

I Love LucyLucy, hearing of a housewife who earned $10,000 for a novel that she wrote decides to do the same.  She writes what she knows about—her life and her dearest friends, Ricky, Ethel and Fred.  Although she tells Ricky about her ‘novel idea’ she refuses to let him, or anyone else, see it.  As their curiosity builds, Ricky, Ethel and Fred begin to scour the apartment trying to find Lucy’s manuscript.  But when they do finally find it, they wish that they hadn’t.

Lucy’s novel deals with ‘Nicky Nicardo the Cuban ham’, and ‘Mr. and Mrs. Nertz’—with the heroine being a beautiful housewife with naturally red hair.  When Lucy arrives home, they inform her that they have burnt her manuscript in the fireplace!  Lucy, unperturbed, informs them that she has several copies hidden about the apartment.  Although Lucy has mailed copies out to various publishers, none have replied; that actually might be for the best, since the others have threatened to sue her if it were published.  And then, a $100 advance royalty check arrives from the publisher Dorrance and Company.

However, Mr. Dorrance arrives later, explaining that his secretary made a mistake, and they aren’t interested in publishing Lucy’s novel.  Lucy tears up her novel in disgust, upset that no one wants her novel—only to have Mr. Dorrance call back to inform her that someone else does want to publish her novel!  A very comic scene follows, as Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel piece the pages back together, with Lucy successfully stifling Ricky’s sneeze—only to sneeze herself, and scatter the pieces.  They eventually get everything pieced together, and Lucy retypes the entire novel.  However, it turns out that the new publisher only wants to use excerpts from Lucy’s novel in a book about how to not write a novel, in a chapter entitled Don’t Let This Happen to You.

Lucy Writes a Novel is available as part of the season 3 I Love Lucy DVD collection.

Funny quotes from Lucy Writes a Novel - I Love Lucy

Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): What are you writing about?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): I’m writing about things I know.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): That won’t be a novel that will be a short story

Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): [Fred enters] Why don’t you find out what makes him tick?  He creaks a little, too.

Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Ricky, that’s what writers do.  They take the truth and twist it a little.
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): Well, if your novel doesn’t sell, you can always get a job making pretzels.

Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): [reading what Lucy wrote about him] “His voice charmed millions.  His guitar-playing made women swoon.” You know, she writes very well!

Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): [continuing Lucy’s description of Ricky] It’s no surprise that he became such a big ham that he could be stuffed with cloves.

Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): [burning Lucy’s book] We changed the title of your book. Forever Embers

Fred Mertz (William Frawley): We three are suing lovable, libelous Lucy.

Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): I still say sue her!  Sue her!
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Sue her! Sue her!  Get your mind out of the gutter!

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