I Love Lucy S01 E13 – The Benefit

(OR: The one with the actual horse’s ass)

**Wanna keep up? Episode watch party!**

Ballers, you remember that time you and three other people spent every waking second together, and you never seemed to interact with anyone else, and it sorta felt like you couldn’t escape?

Unless you’re schizophrenic, in jail, or homeschooled, no. No, you don’t remember that.

But that’s every day for the Ricardos and the Mertzes. This time it’s cards, and while Lucy’s pinching Fred’s cheeks and Fred is joking about playing “shinsies” with Lucy under the table and Ethel is clobbering everyone at whatever game they’re playing, Ricky is throwing a temper tantrum at Lucy for losing all his money.

Rinse, repeat. Just another Tuesday.

Ricky loves how he's spending his one free weeknight.

Ricky loves how he’s spending his one free weeknight.

Because even this group knows cards are super boring, everyone but Lucy sits down to the piano and sings.

One of the weirdest things about Ricky and Lucy Ricardo is their piano. Sometimes it’s there, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s a desk. Sometimes it’s an empty space. These idiots randomly move a piano in and out of their apartment a couple times a month. JUST LEAVE IT THERE OR FIND ANOTHER PERMANENT PLACE FOR IT. Ridiculous.

Lucy comes in from the bedroom, and we discover she’s tone deaf. She’s as good at singing as she is at dancing, sewing, cards, and life.

But she has such perfect technique!

But she has such perfect technique!

And that’s when the friends with whom she spends every single night stand up and refuse to sing with her, like they’re the asshole kids on Forest Gump’s bus.

Ricky: Ah, honey, why don’t you just go sit down and listen to the rest of us?

Same thing men said about women getting the vote.

Then he gets all kissy kissy and asks for a snack and I vomit in my mouth a little. Snack on that.

Lucy refuses because she has some pride, but then she realizes he won’t be able to make snacks for himself. If Lucy didn’t feed him and clean his house, Ricky would die of starvation after a short battle with dysentery.

Ethel calls Lucy over.

Ethel: My woman’s club wants Ricky.
Lucy: Well I’d be very glad to help them out, Ethel, but I’m not through with him yet.

Ethel wants Ricky to perform for her benefit, and Lucy negotiates. She’ll get Ricky if she can perform with him. Ethel agrees and dashes out the door to order the posters (rookie producer mistake).

Lucy takes Ricky to the bedroom and does the only two things they’re allowed to do in there, thanks to network censors:

1) Manipulate each other with sweet talk
2) Cry and punch the bed like a toddler

Not sure which one gets Little Ricky conceived, but option 2 would certainly be interesting.

Ricky, you should know by now this face means she's having a psychotic break.

Ricky, you should know by now this face means she’s having a psychotic break.

Ricky doesn’t fall for option one (manipulation). He tells her he would climb the highest mountain for her, but he won’t sing at Ethel’s benefit. He gives no reason, and she knows better than to ask.


But he TOTALLY falls for option 2 (tantrum), as always. Lucy stops crying and he agrees to bring a song home for them to rehearse.

In the meantime, Lucy starts practicing with a self-taught singing book by F. Alsetto. GET IT??? I Love Lucy’s got jokes!

Ricky brings home the song, which is a lovely little tune called “Auf Weidersehen.” But Lucy only gets to sing the “auf.”

Most women have to work twice as hard as men. Lucy's got Ricky, so she has to work 10x as hard.

Most women have to work twice as hard as men. Lucy’s got Ricky, so she has to work 10x as hard.

This one time when I was 10, the director of Charlotte’s Web at the local children’s theater gave me a call back audition to play a rock. He was like, you’re too big to play a little person and too little to play a big person and I was like “Peace out, brah. I got birthday parties to go to at the FunPlex and this is some bullshit.”

Ricky is that director. He gives Lucy nothing to work with. So when Lucy sings that one word, it sounds like the two cats that occasionally fight outside our window, or maybe the crows when the mockingbirds chase them off.

Lucy: I sound like a hungry seal.

Yes! That’s the sound!

Ricky tells her that’s the only song that’ll work. FALSE.

Ethel comes in with the posters, and Lucy has to tell her Ricky’s out. She screwed Ethel over, group project-style. But in her defense, it’s well-known in the industry not to act on anything without a contract in hand.

Ethel’s super disappointed to have Lucy and not Ricky.

Ethel: It’s like expecting Clark Gable and getting Hubert Grimset.
Lucy: Hubert Grimset? Never heard of him.
Ethel: Exactly.

So Lucy has to come to terms with reality — and Ballers, this is no small thing. This might be the first time that’s EVER happened. She decides not to sing.

Instead, she’ll get an old costume from the closet. This is how you know you’re watching FICTION, folks. They have a costume closet in Manhattan. Hahahahaha.

She pulls out a horse costume and convinces Ethel to play the ass because Ethel is a total victim and belongs in something that looks exactly like Eeyore’s butt.

That horse's head is giving more attention to Ethel than Fred ever did.

That horse’s head is giving more attention to Ethel than Fred ever did.

Fred comes in and makes fun of Ethel, calls her a thoroughbred, and does various other things to guarantee he’s not getting any tonight.

He brings with him a funny song and jokes number for Ricky and Lucy. So Ricky has finally decided to do a set with Lucy. But the vain bitch refuses to perform it with him because she doesn’t get any of the good jokes.

Then Lucy gets an idea.

Cut to: the benefit. This is an event for the “Middle East 68th Street Women’s Club.” Can we get any more specific here?

My husband used to work in NYC real estate and is a total nerd about this stuff:

“OK, so 68th Street will go all the way over to St. Catherine’s Park and so I think that’s one street after First but that would mean the middle of East 68th Street would be like between Lexington and Second Avenue… or something like that. It’s a whole club for them?! Man, that’s a beautiful neighborhood. Hashtag NYC.”

Ethel comes out on stage and introduces Lucy and Ricky. The duet enters and performs a song together.

It's almost like they're professionals at this!

It’s almost like they’re professionals at this!

Guess what? She isn’t tone deaf anymore! It’s so confusing, this show. She’s a 1950’s Miley Cyrus. Absolutely unpredictable.

In between stanzas, they stop the music and tell jokes. They actually make a pretty good act. Call me crazy, but these two should have their own show together.

Lucy, refusing to play second fiddle to Ricky, jumps on all his jokes and beats him to the punchline. He gets pissy, she gets the last laugh, and that’s the end of the show.

I turn to my husband.

Me: Tell my readers the moral of the story. Make it really funny.

Husband: Once again Lucy is amazing and no one recognizes it.

Me: May I ask a follow up question?

Husband: Yes

Me: Do you realize this is a comedy blog?

Husband: What? …I’m sorry. (sneezes) My allergies. Man, I should take something. You’re writing down every word I say again, aren’t you? Well, I’m gonna go.

And he did.

Join me next week for S01 E14: The Amateur Hour. New posts every Friday!

And follow WTF Lucy on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Maybe Ethel's problem isn't playing the horse's ass, but getting mounted by her friend.

Maybe Ethel’s problem is less about playing the horse’s ass, and more about getting mounted by her friend.

2 thoughts on “I Love Lucy S01 E13 – The Benefit

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