I Love Lucy S01 E24 – The Gossip

(Or: Nancy the Harpist: the heartbreak episode)

**More WTFacts are at this week’s Episode Watch Party.**

We open on Lucy talking with Marge via telephone. They’re gossiping like 12-year-old cheerleaders about the fat kid in school. Poor Betty. We’ll get back to her.

Ricky wants Lucy to get off the phone, probably because with all this gossip she’s eventually going to hear about him and Fred going in together on a paid Ashley Madison account. But Lucy keeps talking:

Lucy: She didn’t! She didn’t! She didn’t! She couldn’t!
Ricky: Maybe that’s why she didn’t.

When Lucy finally hangs up, she worries what Marge is saying about her. Ricky’s like “I literally slap you around the damn house, and even I know this isn’t healthy.”

Lucy swears she won’t tell Betty’s news to anyone. Yeah right. At this point, Lucy’s word is as good as a president saying they’ll close Gitmo.

I’m the #1 example of women’s empowerment in the 1950’s. Now tell me all about that bitch Betty. What a dumb slut.

“I’m the #1 example of women’s empowerment in the 1950’s. Now tell me all about that bitch Betty. Haha. What a dumb slut.”

 When Fred and Ethel arrive, Lucy tapes her mouth shut. You know, after last episode you’d think she’d have learned her lesson about putting adhesives near her face.

Fred: Hey I kinda like that. (To Ethel) How come you never went in for one of those?

You have to wonder if Fred and Ethel have ever, in their miserable married life, just cuddled for once.

Since Lucy can’t talk, she shows Betty’s story through charades. In my fantasies about what Heaven will be like, I imagine playing charades with Lucille Ball. We’d also have some pasta and a bar stocked with bourbon, and Nancy the harpist would be there because she seems cool.

Here’s Betty’s sad story:

Betty saw her husband Jack kissing and drinking with another woman. A fight ensued. Jack tried to stop the two women, and then a policeman came in and separated them. He put the women in the police van, then threw Jack in, and drove off.

I don’t see why any of these folks deserve jail, but I’m really into prison reform these days so maybe I’m biased.

Lucy’s upset because she knows how much better she looked last week when she grew that beard.

Lucy’s upset because her face is still raw from when she grew that beard last week.

The guys brag about how great they are at not gossiping. Then they immediately gossip about how Joe the Trombone player is such a “wolf.”

Ricky: This week it’s Nancy the Harpist, last week was one of the girls in the trio, the week before that was the hat check girl.


Look, if our Nancy was horny and just wanted a fling, good for both of them. You do you, Nancy.

But it sounds like Joe’s been letting any girl in town blow his trombone, and Nancy didn’t know about it. She deserves love, Joe! How dare you.

Lucy bets the women can keep from gossiping longer than the men. The losers will serve the winners breakfast in bed for a month. This is crazy unfair. Those guys have never boiled water. If Lucy wins, she’s gonna get solidified cream of mushroom soup, still in the shape of a can, with a side of spam chunks.

The next day in the cigarette shrine they called a “drugstore” back then, Ricky thinks up a great idea: he and Fred should “accidentally” make up fake gossip about the hot blonde in the building, but say it in their sleep, so they’re technically not gossiping. The girls won’t be able to resist telling each other.

Let’s get real, though. That counter is too high.

Let’s get real, though. That counter is too high.

That night, Ricky tells a story in his sleep about Grace Foster running away with the milkman and not telling her husband. There’s an awful lot of adultery going on amongst their friends. Hard to imagine what damage this gang would do if they had access to Tinder.

Ricky’s sleep-talking works! Lucy believes him. Look, my husband wakes me up saying things all the time, but that doesn’t mean I take it as fact. One time he said he, Nolan Ryan, and C3PO were going to watch The Twilight Zone DVD collection together and eat crepes. I didn’t exactly get the Nutella out for them, is all I’m saying.

But Lucy and Ethel can’t hold in their excitement. They tell each other the news while the boys listen through the furnace pipe and pretend to be their conscience. “Pretend” is the active word here — these men are no more a voice of morality by now than Josh Duggar.

Ricky demands a twin bed because Lucy watches him sleep like this every single night.

Ricky demands a twin bed because Lucy watches him sleep like this every single night.

Ricky’s won the bet, and he’s all proud of himself:

Ricky: Now, let’s see, tomorrow morning I would like some orange juice, two eggs basted, ham, toast, jam, and coffee.

Ricky, you get that every fucking morning.

The next day Fred joins Ricky in bed (Finally! He’s been fantasizing about this day!), and the women bring the men breakfast on a tray. Can two gay men have a straight female harem? Is that even a thing?

Then suddenly, Mr. Foster chases the milkman in with a gun!

This is now the sixth gun we’ve seen in this apartment. The last time they almost shot a police officer in the face. Has the gun control lobby has ever had a better example of people who should be permanently banned from purchasing weapons? These morons shouldn’t be allowed to keep sharpened crayons around.

Hope the milkman hasn’t uddered too much. His chances of escaping are 2%. He’d butter be careful or the whole plan will be spoiled.

Hope the milkman hasn’t uddered too much. His chances of escaping are 2%. He’d butter be careful or the whole plan will be spoiled.

Mr. Foster claims the milkman is running away with his wife. That means the story was true, the boys lose the bet, and the girls make their order for breakfast.

With everyone gone, Lucy pays off the milkman.

She used her husband’s hard-earned paycheck to deceive him into making her breakfast for a month.

Someone make her the CEO of Chase. Our girl’s an evil fucking genius.

Join me next week for S01 E25: Pioneer Women. New posts every Friday!

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Wes Anderson’s directorial debut. 

Wes Anderson’s directorial debut.

3 thoughts on “I Love Lucy S01 E24 – The Gossip

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