Thank you for your patience, Ballers! I’ve been MIA trying to get another project up and launched. When you’re done reading this week’s post, head on over to Red, White, and Dad. It’s a weekly comedy show following my dad’s actual presidential campaign for The Constitution Party.
And now, finally, here’s this week’s episode…
Original Air Date: December 22, 1952
We open on Ricky trying to cast a quartet but not wanting to pay for it. He wants free labor, which some of you may call “slavery” but those of us in the know call “show business.”
Fred and Ethel offer to perform as “The Merry Mertzes,” which they showed us in E09. “Merry” must be a musical term for “hostile and spouse-hating” because that’s what I think of when I see these two together. They have as much chemistry as the movie version of Christian Grey and that girl Christian’s into. No one ever talks about her so I don’t know her name, and if I ever google that shit, you’ll know it’s time to get me 24/7 care.
Ethel takes bliss in the fact Lucy can’t perform because she’s lost her figure, being pregnant and all. Ethel is being that friend who has literally never said “congratulations” to you but then wants you to fund her web series.
Also, Ethel forgets Lucy’s figure comes SECOND. She’d let them use her belly as a trampoline if it meant putting her in a show.
Lucy assures them this will be her last show because of the baby, which makes them all feel better while I’m stuck here feeling sad for all women throughout the history of the world.
And even then, Ricky doesn’t want her auditioning.
Ricky: (starts to get mad)
Lucy: Sir, you dare not strike a mother!
OMG, her womb has made her unspankable now. I wish they’d just say these things the way I hear them.
Lucy decides to audition regardless, but first she has to cover her baby bump. She tries wearing a barrel, and then decides to wear a massive skirt and have Ethel dress as a man. It all makes perfect sense.
Ethel freaks out because this was 1952, way back when people were terrified of gender-bending. You know, the olden days before microwaves and color television. It’s different today. Right, people boycotting Target right now?
Ethel: I’d be better off playing the back end of that horse.
Ethel is so opposed to playing a man, she’d rather play an animal’s butt cheeks. At least an animal’s butt cheeks won’t mansplain music theory during rehearsal amiright?
Lucy has to threaten she’ll take away Ethel’s godmother position to make her do it, but it works. I do this all the time, and it never works. But then I don’t have a baby.
The next scene features a clown. Back in the 50s they were afraid of drag but not clowns. Let that sink in.
This clown does an impression of a baby, rides a tiny bicycle, and pretends to be a lion tamer.
Agh! A woman might put on pants!
Get the mace!
Is that a baby-man in makeup pretending to abuse an animal?
Lucy and Ethel perform and her bloomers fall down. Turns out Ricky’s looking for singers, not pregnant strippers. So she doesn’t get the part.
Back at home, they’ve pulled out the piano. Ricky, Ethel, and Fred just stand around singing shit. Song after song, arm in arm. Smiling merrily. It’s your emo teenage son’s worst nightmare.
Ricky decides to let Fred join the barbershop quartet, but Ethel’s a little too… vaggie:
Ricky: Too bad you’re not a man, Ethel.
But they convince him it’s OK. After all, Ethel dressed like a man earlier that day and it didn’t cause any problems. Well, it didn’t cause problems until like 75 year later, when she evidently caused North Carolina to pass a law against the will of a large portion of the state leading to investors and employers fleeing the region. Nice work, Ethel. LOOK AT WHAT YOU’VE DONE.
We find out Ricky has to sing with an Irish accent because nobody could ever believe a Cuban would be in a barbershop quartet. Barbershop quartets: a surprising holdout of white supremacy. Who knew?
To prepare for the show, they sing more songs! Kill me! That’s about 42 songs now. I lost count.
But Lucy can’t carry the tune, so eventually they put her in the bedroom and sneak out of the apartment. Legit that’s what they do.
A pregnant woman, abandoned and confused. It’s like she lives in Oklahoma or something.
All right so it’s time for the show, which means even more singing. This episode had more music and less plot than any so far. It’s like science back in the 1950s said babies make your voice die, so they all decided to cram as much in as they could before it was too late.
It turns a little Sweeney Todd in the barbershop scene. Lucy sneaks onstage to play the barbershop customer. They stuff her mouth with shaving cream and otherwise gag her to keep her from singing. They would rather this pregnant woman eat shaving cream chemicals than sing a flat note. But what they don’t realize is no one will notice a flat note, because we muted this episode as soon as we heard Ricky’s Irish accent.
In the end, Lucy reverses the punishment on them, and everyone gets cream all over their faces.
Thanks to that last sentence, I will probably get 20,000 hits on this post from people just looking for porn. Hey I’m like Lucy — I’ll do anything for an audience.
Join me next week for S02 E13: Lucy Hires an English Tutor. New posts on Fridays!