Original air date: May 19, 1952
We open on Lucy doing her nails while Ricky reads LOOK. (as in LOOK how bored I already am). Thankfully Fred and Ethel show up to watch TV.
The gang is well-prepared for this ritual. Ethel even has a popcorn passer! One thing you can say about the 1950s: even with all the racism and homophobia, they sure invented lots of great stuff for television watching.
Suddenly Lucy gets a crazy idea that maybe they shouldn’t watch television.
Everyone: NOT WATCH TELEVISION?!
Lucy: We’re 4 intelligent, interesting people. Let’s just talk. Exchange ideas.
Ideas? Have you met these people? It goes badly.
Lucy: How bout those elections.
Ricky: What about em?
Lucy: Well, they had them all right.
What are they gonna talk about, the political turmoil in Franistan? They’re morons.
So they decide to watch TV after all. I’ve said it for years: there’s nothing sadder than watching people watch television. …But technically that’s what this blog is, so joke’s on y’all.
Eventually the TV acts up and they fix it over and over again until it finally breaks. With the internet, this never, ever happens anymore. Last time I couldn’t watch a show because something had broken, it was 2005 and I couldn’t watch Joe Millionaire because my heart was still mending. (Thanks a lot, Xavi.)
So now they have to think of something else to do.
Lucy: We could make fudge and dress up in our mothers’ clothes.
Who recommends that?@?!!$%#^?!?! Lucy’s a freak.
Instead, they get out the radio. When they turn it on, they hear a trivia quiz show for married couples. Today if they turned on the radio, they’d hear:
Yeah, he love this fat ass
Yeah! This one is for my bitches with a fat ass in the fucking club
I said, “Where my fat ass big bitches in the club?”
Fuck them skinny bitches.
The voice on the radio is that of Freddy Filmore, host of that horrible quiz show Females Are Fabulous. He’s humanity’s prequel to Girls Gone Wild.
As the quiz show progresses, we find out Ricky knows an obscure fact about Teddy Roosevelt, and everyone’s surprised.
Why is this so shocking? He probably knows about Teddy because the guy took credit for a bloody conflict in Cuba. Someone shows up in your hometown and kills everybody, you don’t tend to forget that shit.
Ricky also knows the last state admitted into the union and the date of the Gettysburg Address.
Lucy’s shocked. She’s lucky if she can remember there are 46 states. But then Ethel corrects her that there are 48 states.
See, the number kept changing because back then we acknowledged places that were obviously meant to be states. You know, like Puerto Rico and Guam and DC. People say making it more than 50 states would be a pain. I have two words for them: Florida and Arkansas. We don’t need those. Frees up room for at least 2 more. You’re welcome.
Ricky confesses to Fred that he knew the answers because he’d already heard the broadcast at the station.
Fred: You tricky Cuban!
I don’t really see what his being Cuban has to do with it.
The next day, Lucy daydreams about Ricky winning $300 on the show that night. She imagines herself running barefoot through 30,000 pennies. And sure, that sounds fun, but she’d get that nasty metalic smell. And they’d probably feel terrible on her feet, especially after they get warm and sweaty.
Lucy decides to get Ricky on the radio show. She calls Freddy Filmore and pitches Ricky perfectly. (Of course she does! As we clarified in the last post, she’s a good publicity agent.)
But that night, Ricky tells Lucy the truth about how he knew the answers, and she’s devastated. Then he hears on the radio how he and Lucy are on the next episode, and he freaks out:
Ricky: Lucy, before I kill you…
That would be hilarious to add to a wedding vow, amiright? “For richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, before I kill you.”
He tells her she’d better know the answers before the next night.
Lucy: What will happen if I don’t?
Ricky: It’s too horrible to think about.
Someone get 12 roses and a bottle of lube. Things are getting steamy up in here!
Cut to the radio station. Freddy is preparing for the show. Here are tonight’s questions:
1) To whom do you make your federal tax check out on March 15?
I know this one! I know this one! Whomever our software tells us to pay! And then we go get drunk and wonder where the next month’s food is gonna come from. Easy. Gimme another.
2) How do sub-freezing temperatures in the arctic affect the growth of trees?
Trick question! There are no sub-freezing temperatures in the arctic now because of climate change. Hahahahaha. Next question.
3) Why was the steamship Ile de France put in dry dock recently?
The fuck? The French language is in itself a game show no one can win. And what the hell is a dry dock? I’m just gonna guess it was probably ABOAT time the ship got a BREAKER, because she’s pregnant, and they’re hoping for a BOUY but we’ll have to wait and SEA.
Lucy comes in wearing a hat that looks like a wedding veil to visit Freddy Filmore. Like she’s gonna offer him prima nocta for the answers or something.
With a little trickery she’s able to kick the crumpled answer sheet out of the office. It’s not exactly Bend It Like Beckham. More like your toddler at soccer practice. You know, in that stage when you take all those pictures and hope to heaven he stays with it and doesn’t change over to 2nd tuba in marching band 10 years later because you just want your kid to have some dignity.
Lucy works hard to memorize the answers, but she doesn’t take the time to learn the questions. In her defense, she can only hold 10 words in her head at a given moment, and she’s also focusing hard on breathing, blinking, and walking around.
Finally, Lucy and Ricky go to the show. It’s Mr. and Mrs. Quiz, where married couples have to answer the questions together. So, sorry, gay people who were closeted, imprisoned, or being brutally assaulted and killed all over America at the time. You also can’t do a really shitty radio show with your secret lover.
Here’s the catch, though: Tonight they’ve changed the questions up, and they’re going to have Ricky pick them out of a bowl.
Freddy: What is the name of the animal that fastens itself to you and drains you of your blood?
Lucy: The Collector of Internal Revenue!
Lucy’s got a RON PAUL 2012 pin inside her purse.
Freddy: What is a senator’s term of office?
Lucy: The sap runs every 2 years!
Ugh. Never-ending election season. It’d be like hell but less enjoyable.
Freddy: Why did the French people put Marie Antoinette under the sharp blade of the guillotine?
Lucy: To scrape the barnacles off her hull!
See, that’s how you take down women you don’t think are leading the country well. One thing you have to admit about the guillotine: it’s way more bearable than a congressional hearing.
The Ricardos are the first couple ever to get every answer wrong, but they still have a chance at the giant jackpot question. Ricky’s so upset he tries desperately to leave.
Freddy: What did George Washington say while crossing the Delaware?
Ricky: Please let me sit down; this is making me sick.
Freddy: That’s it!
They win tons of money in the end! And it’s so great and everyone celebrates and jumps up and down and Ricky’s so happy he’s like I’m gonna go home and bang this beautiful woman!
Before I kill her!
Join me next week for S01 E33: Lucy’s Schedule. New posts every Friday!