Lucy’s Show Biz Swan Song – I Love Lucy episode 52, season 1, originally aired 12/22/1952
The now-pregnant Lucy tries, for one last time, to “get in the show” as Ricky is putting on a Gay Nineties revue – failing all else, she “crashes” the Barbershop Quartet number (singing Good Night Ladies), leading into a “pie fight” of shaving cream.
Lucy wants to audition for Ricky’s Gay 90’s revue, and tries to find a costume that will hide her pregnant condition. After trying a rain barrel, with Ethel’s help she settles on an old-time outfit, complete with bloomers and a hoop skirt. At the audition, after Pepito the Spanish clown (a very funny routine) Lucy and Ethel perform By the Light of the Silvery Moon … which actually goes well (despite Lucy’s singing) — until Lucy’s bloomers fall down at the end of the routine!
Later that afternoon, Ricky comes home … and Lucy is still angry at him. Ricky wants to use Fred and Ethel as part of a barbershop quartet routine … and Lucy wants to insert herself as the fourth person, despite her lack of singing ability — which she demonstrates by trying to sing. It’s a very funny bit as the foursome (Lucy, Ethel, Fred and Ricky) practice singing Sweet Adeline in the Ricardo’s apartment — highlighting the fact that Lucy Ricardo doesn’t sing well, and doesn’t harmonize at all — with Lucy repeatedly moving away from the rest of the group, as they keep “throwing her off” — until she’s finally totally out of the room, and Ricky, Fred and Ethel leaving. With them gone, Lucy calls up the person that Ricky has promised the part of the fourth barber to …
That night at the Tropicana, for the finale of the Gay 90’s revue, Ricky, Lucy and Fred sing, with the fourth person in the barber chair, her face hidden with towels … and the Cuban Ricky trying to sing with an Irish accent! As they sing, Ricky removes the towels, revealing Lucy, whose attempts to sing keep getting frustrated by the other three — until the very end where she turns the tables on them!
Lucy’s Showbiz Swan Song is available as part of the season 2 I Love Lucy DVD collection.
Quotes from I Love Lucy – Lucy’s Showbiz Swan Song
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): We can work up a cute song and dance number.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): I hope you’re not thinking of me as part of ‘we.’
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Sure, we’ll be a couple!
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): A couple of what?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): [singing] I was strolling through the park one day, in the merry, merry month of May! I was taken by surprise . . . [looks at Ricky] by a pair of roguish eyes …
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): [singing] And you can put that parasol away, bom bom!
Trivia about I Love Lucy – Lucy’s Showbiz Swan Song
- Music performed on this episode include Carolina in the Morning, Strolling Through the Park, By the Light of the Silvery Moon, Goodnight Ladies, and Sweet Adeline.
- The first performer to record Carolina in the Morning was … William Frawley!