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Ragtime Band

Ragtime Band—I Love Lucy season 6, episode 173, originally aired March 18, 1957

In Ragtime Band, Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) is setting in to life in the country, and is helping the local Historical Society’s fund raiser by offering the services of Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz) and his band. However, when Ricky hears of it, he refuses—and when Lucy presses the issue, he suggests that she form her own ragtime band and leave him out of it. When Lucy tries to tell the Historical Society over the telephone that Ricky Ricardo won’t be able to perform, she is unable to do so upon hearing about how the tickets are selling on the strength of Ricky Ricardo’s appearance. And Lucy realizes that she has another Ricky Ricardo—Little Ricky!

Lucy's Ragtime Band - Lucy wins, and Ricky's band performs, with parts of Lucy, Fred, Ethel and Little RickyLucy takes Ricky’s advice, and starts her own ragtime band—with Little Ricky on the drums, Lucy playing saxophone, Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance) on piano and Fred Mertz (Willaim Frawley) on violin. The funniest part of the episode comes when Ricky comes home, and each member of the band comes and tells the resting Ricky how they (and Little Ricky) were pretty good, but the other two are awful! After hearing the entire group play together, and realizing the damage to his reputation they’ll cause, he decides that he can have his band appear after all—and even has parts for Fred, Ethel and Lucy that require no musical talent, but is a very funny finale.

Ragtime Band is available on the I Love Lucy season 6 DVD collection.

Funny quotes from Ragtime Band—I Love Lucy

Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): You volunteered Ricky?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): He’s the only husband I have!


Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): I forgot to bring these eggs over this morning.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Thanks.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): [picking up an egg] Look at the size of that one!
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): That’s nothing compared to the size of the one I just laid with Ricky.


Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): What happened to buttering up Ricky?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Oh, Betty Ramsey spilled the beans to Ricky before I could start churning.


Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Does Fred still have his violin?
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Yeah, but the last time he played it was three chins ago.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Well, I’m sure with a little practicing, I’m sure he’ll play it the way he used to.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Then whatever you do, don’t let him practise!


Fred Mertz (William Frawley): Ethel plays by ear. The bad news is, we have to *listen* by ear!


Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): That’s right the woman is…
Lucy,Fred,Ethel: Um, smarter!


Trivia for Ragtime Band

  • For the calypso number at the end of this episode Ricky says that Little Ricky can play the bongos (attached single-headed, open-ended drums), Fred can play the quijada (“built with the jawbone of a donkey, horse or cow, and is weathered until the molars rattle in place”), Ethel the cencerro (cowbell), and Lucy the cuíca (a friction drum).

Originally published at Clown Ministry

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