Ricky Minds the Baby – I Love Lucy season 3, episode 80, originally aired January 18, 1954
Ricky Minds the Baby is a very funny, and very good episode of I Love Lucy. With Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz) having the week off from work, Lucy (Lucille Ball) drops several ‘subtle’ hints that he should spend some time with his son, Little Ricky. Ricky surprises her by agreeing, and when it’s time for Little Ricky to be put to bed, Ricky tucks him in and tells an absolutely hilarious bilingual version of Little Red Riding Hood — the highlight of the episode. Due to Lucy’s skill as a very skilled clown, people tend to underestimate Desi Arnaz’ comedy skills. But as he proves here, he’s a very gifted comedian and clown in his own right.
The next morning, Lucy is supposed to be able to sleep in, but a wonderful game of ‘gotcha’ occurs, as she goes to check on Little Ricky, only to hear Ricky taking care of him – so she goes back to bed. But then she thinks about what she just heard, dashes back into the kitchen, only to realize that she only heard part of what Ricky was saying. In a classic “rule of 3” bit, she keeps sneaking back out to “help” — only for Ricky to already have taken care of the issue.
Later, however, when overprotective momma Lucy is supposed to go shopping with Ethel (Vivian Vance), she’s reluctant to cut the apron strings and comes back to the apartment, to find Little Ricky wandering in the hall, all alone (having ‘escaped’ when his godfather Fred (William Frawley) came to visit with Ricky and watch the fights on TV). Lucy and Ethel decide to teach the boys a lesson, with Lucy and Ethel taking Little Ricky to the Mertzes’ apartment, where Lucy calls and asks to talk to Little Ricky. Which is when Ricky and Fred realize that the little boy is missing!
Lucy comes in because she wants to kiss Little Ricky goodbye before she ‘leaves’ – as Ricky tries to stall while Fred looks for the missing Little Ricky. Fred finds him upstairs in his apartment, and sneaks him out while Ethel’s back is turned. While Ricky and Lucy are engaged in talking Fred sneaks Little Ricky into his crib. When Lucy finally storms into the nursery, her “Aha!” turns into a “Huh?” and Ricky is puzzled as well (although he doesn’t confess anything to Lucy).
Ethel bursts in (having noticed that Little Ricky is ‘missing’) shouting “Lucy, I can’t find him!” Find who? Ethel, seeing Little Ricky in the crib tries to cover by saying that she can’t find her husband Fred. Who’s been hiding behind the door ever since putting the little boy back in his crib, and now pops out with “Here I am!” A very funny episode, with a nice reversal at the end – Ricky Minds the Baby is available on the I Love Lucy season 3 DVD collection.
Funny quotes from Ricky Minds the Baby – I Love Lucy
[after Fred hears for the first time that Ricky has a week off from the club]
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): Ethel, why didn’t you tell me Ricky had a week off?
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): [surprised] What? Lucy, why didn’t you tell me Ricky had a week off?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): [to Ricky] Why didn’t you tell me Ricky had a week off?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): There’s a gentleman who lives in the neighborhood who’s just dying to meet you. He’s heard a lot about you and I think it’s high time you two got together.
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): Who’s that?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): His name is Ricky Ricardo Junior.
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): You mean little Ricky?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Oh, then you have heard of him?
[Ricky announces that he’ll take care of Little Ricky during his week off]
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): You mean everything?
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): Yeah. All day–everything.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): That means getting up at 6:00.
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): So? That’s not so tough.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): I don’t know if you know this working nights and all, but there’s a 6:00 in the morning, too.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Did you know we were there the whole time?
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): Not the whole time; at first, I thought it was mice, but I never heard mice giggle before.