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The Passports

The Passports - I Love Lucy episode 138, season 5, originally aired 12/19/1955

Preparing for the trip to Europe, Lucy is getting the documents together that they need; she has phone the Jamestown City Hall for a copy of her birth certificate.  Unfortunately, they call back with the bad news that they do not have any record of her birth.  Lucy starts crying, thinking that she will be left behind.  Ricky calls the passport office, who inform him that instead of a birth certificate, they will also take an affidavit from Lucy’s mother (who, unfortunately, is on a trip) or 2 affidavits from people who knew her when she was a baby.  Lucy tries to contact various old family friends, including the doctor who delivered her.

After some searching of her memory for an old friend’s married name, Lucy’s memory is jogged by the site of Fred in his World War I Army outfit (Fred is also preparing for the trip, and reliving his memories of having been to Paris as a doughboy during World War I—Lucy’s friend’s married name is Kaiser).  Lucy goes to visit her, only to have her friend’s husband arrive before the affidavit is signed—and Lucy’s friend has been lying about her age to her husband, who believes that she can’t be old enough to have known Lucy as a baby … so Mrs. Kaiser won’t sign the affidavit.

The Passports - I Love Lucy - Lucy hides in Fred's old trunk, only to get locked in it!Returning to her own apartment, Lucy is discouraged, and playfully mentions stowing about the ship in Fred’s old steamer trunk.  Just to prove to Ethel that she would fit, she goes inside and closes it, locking herself inside.  While Ethel looks for Fred to open the trunk, Ricky comes home with a friend and performs a song routine, with his friend playing piano while Ricky does percussion on the ‘empty’ steamer trunk.  They leave, Ethel returns just as Lucy’s old family doctor arrives, who won’t swear to Lucy’s identity since he can’t tell who’s in the trunk.  Singing an old song that the doctor taught her as a child, the doctor becomes convinced as Ricky returns home.  Fred gets her out of the trunk, as a letter arrives from Lucy’s mother, Mrs. McGillicuddy—who encloses a copy of Lucy’s birth certificate!

Funny quotes from I Love Lucy – The Passports

Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): [about the trunk] It’s even got a hole in it.
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): I defy anyone to find that hole with the naked eye. [Ethel finds the hole] I said the naked eye, not two bony fingers.


Fred Mertz (William Frawley): [Speaking about birth certificates] Show it to them, honey.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): No!
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): She doesn’t want us to see the year.
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): Put your finger over the year. I thought they’d might like to see what Lincoln’s signature looks like.


Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): If I’d known Jamestown would be that careless, I would have been born somewhere else.
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): Well, honey, you need your birth certificate if you wanna get a passport.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Well, what do you want me to do?  They’ve never heard of me!
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): Maybe you were never born.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): I was too!


Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): You don’t know what it’s like to be born a missing person!


Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): You know it and I know it. But as far as Jamestown is concerned, the stork just dropped me and didn’t tell anybody.
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): Look honey, why don’t you call your mother and ask her?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Waaa! I don’t know where my mother is.
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): The whole family is disappearing right in front of our eyes.


Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): You don’t know what it’s like to be born a missing person.


Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Her first husband’s name was Sears.
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): You don’t supposed her second husband’s name could be…[thinks] No, I guess that’s impossible.


[Fred enters in his old World War I uniform.]
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Fred, what are you doing in that?
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): I’m getting ready to burst upon gay Paree.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Well that’s sure the outfit for it.
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): So it needs a little letting out here and there. Now don’t make fun of us doughboys.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Doughboys!
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Whoever put the dough in that boy put too much yeast.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): It’s a good thing the Kaiser didn’t see you in that outfit, he never would’ve surrendered.


Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): [to Helen] There have been color changes here and there and I am wearing better fitting bloomers.


Sidney: Ever since we’ve been married she seems to be growing younger every day.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): I guess, it’s the marriage that did it. You have no idea how much younger she’s grown just since you’ve walked in the room.


[Lucy wants to travel in the trunk]
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): How could you breathe?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): There’s a hole in it.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Yes, and it matches the one in your head.


[Lucy is stuck in the trunk]
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Now you wait right there.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Yeah, I’ll do that.


Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Flies in the sugerbowl.Shoo, Flie, Shoo!


Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): I can’t hear a thing!  Ricky just beat out a concerto for piano and trunk.


Dr. Peterson: I’m the doctor who brought your wife into the world.
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): You are? I don’t know whether to thank you or punch you in the nose.


Trivia about I Love Lucy -The Passports

  • Lucy Ricardo’s Birth Certificate states that she was born in 1921 in West Jamestown, New York.  In reality, there is no West Jamestown—only Jamestown, New York, U.S.A. where Lucille Ball was born in 1911.
  • Based on Lucille Ball’s popular radio program, My Favorite Husband #121, “The Passports”
  • Music performed on this episode included “Skip to my Lou” and “Mad’moiselle from Armentieres”.
  • In this episode we learn that Lucy’s true hair color is brown, not red.

Originally published at Clown Ministry

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