Ricky Asks for a Raise – I Love Lucy episode 35, originally aired 6/9/1952
The final episode of the first season features Lucy trying to push Ricky into asking for a raise. This gives Desi Arnaz a good chance to show his comedic skills, acting as the mousy husband who’s unwilling to stand up to his boss. After inviting Mr. and Mrs. Littlefield (Gale Gordon’s second and last appearance on I Love Lucy) to dinner, Ricky asks (weakly) for a raise, and is politely turned down. Lucy then decides to interfere, informing Mr. Littlefield that Ricky has twelve other job offers, all paying higher than the Tropicana. In a wonderful bit of comedic timing, Mr. Littlefield thinks out loud about Ricky’s importance, his history at the Tropicana, and their friendship – he decides that he can’t stand in Ricky’s way, and wishes him luck in his new job.
Lucy, of course, quickly hatches a plan to demonstrate to Mr. Littlefield just how important Ricky Ricardo is to the Tropicana’s success. With the help of Fred and Ethel Mertz, they make numerous reservations at the Tropicana under a variety of aliases, and with a variety of quick changes they impersonate a variety of would-be customers at the Tropicana, and keep leaving once they learn that Ricky Ricardo is no longer appearing there.
Mr. Littlefield is convinced of Ricky’s value and re-hires him with his raise, and all is well – until the next season, at least.
Ricky Asks for a Raise is available as part of the season 1 I Love Lucy DVD collection.
Quotes from I Love Lucy – Ricky Asks for a Raise
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): I can’t make one more phone call. My finger is all worn down to a nub.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): You don’t have to; they’re all sold out.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Good.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Harry and Bess Truman got the last two tables.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): [dressed as Tropicana customer]: Ricky Ricardo ain’t here no more? Well, I’m getting out of this crummy dump.
Phoebe Littlefield: Where is everybody?
Alvin Littlefield (Gale Gordon): They’re all out washing their hands.
Trivia from I Love Lucy – Ricky Asks for a Raise
- Although this was the end of the first season, the cast and crew continued to film new episodes through May, to have episodes to air during Lucille Ball’s pregnancy leave.