Saturday, December 2, 2017

THE LUCY AND DESI BLOGATHON: Lucy's Summer Vacation (1959)


Michaela of Love Letters to Old Hollywood is hosting The Lucy and Desi blogathon running on December 1 - 3. Click HERE for all the fun.


The Desilu produced The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour aired from 1957 to 1960, and was comprised of 13 hour long episodes. I'm looking at Lucy's Summer Vacation which aired on June 8th, 1959 guest starring Ida Lupino and Howard Duff.



Ricky's business associate has loaned the Ricardos his Vermont lodge for a whole week. While Little Ricky is at scout camp and the Mertzes are at Atlantic City, Lucy and Ricky will have a lovely, romantic vacation.

Absent-mindedly, the same business associate loaned the lodge to another couple. Ida Lupino and Howard Duff are looking for some alone time after an extended personal appearance tour. Much of the humour comes from Ida presented as a pampered Hollywood star with Howard as just one of the boys.


Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Howard Duff, Ida Lupino
Surprise!

There are some very funny gags as the couples keep missing each other and go to sleep still unaware of the others presence. They finally meet in the morning when the boys are up and ready for fishing at dawn and the girls have to drag themselves out of bed.

Once the mistake is discovered the Ricardos win a coin toss for the cabin. Ricky, overcome by a serious case of politeness, and the prospect of a fishing buddy, invites the Duffs to stay. It is off to the lake for the boys, leaving disappointed and neglected wives behind.



Lucy:  "You know, I wouldn't mind the boys fishing all day if they just didn't spend the evening playing gin rummy."

Ida:  "I wouldn't mind the gin rummy in the evening if they didn't dash to bed at nine so they wouldn't be too tired to go fishing in the morning."



Feminine wiles are the order of the day as Ida concocts a plan. The girls will make themselves so darn glamorous that the darn hubbies will forget all about fish and cards! Well, that didn't work, and didn't work in the funniest way as the boys stay focused on their cards despite the temptation being thrown at them. It is Lucy's turn to concoct a plan.



Ricky: "Hey, we have sprung a lick!"

Unfortunately, before Ida can let Lucy know that the suddenly feeling guilty fellows have planned a champagne picnic on a romantic island, Lucy has drilled holes in the row boat. Never fear, Lucy has plugged the holes with chewing gum so they can still enjoy the picnic.



Desi Arnaz, Lucille Ball, William Frawley, Vivian Vance
Surprise!

Ida and Howard leave earlier than expected to take care of Howard's sudden cold, and Ricky promises a second honeymoon. Guess who got bored in Atlantic City?!

Noir master cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca, Miss Lupino's DP on The Hitchhiker was the cinematographer for this episode. I swear, the fist time I saw the glamourized Lucy and Ida enter the room behind Ricky and Howard, my mind went right to noir.

Costume designer Edward Stevenson first met and worked with both Lucy and Ida in the 1930s and worked with Lucy on all of her TV shows including this episode of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour. No wonder Lucy's fashion is timeless.

A funny episode with the tables turned when, for once, Lucy is not pleased to be cheek and jowl with celebrities.










20 comments:

  1. I've never seen the hour-long version. I take it it's little different from the original LUCY show? Sure sounds like it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We've got the same players/characters, but the live audience is gone. It's missing that special something, but I find it still fun.

      Delete
  2. Such a fun episode. Even though I Love Lucy has practically always been in my life, I hadn't seen The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour until last year. I was afraid that these "new" episodes wouldn't live up to the I Love Lucy name, but I was so glad to be wrong. The scripts use the celebrities wonderfully, never letting them outshine the real stars of the show, and I think "Lucy's Summer Vacation" is an example of that.

    Thanks for writing such a nice post for my blogathon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It looks like all involved enjoyed themselves. I hope that is the case.

      I am very pleased to be part of the blogathon.

      Delete
  3. I don't remember this one, Pat, though for me too, Lucy was a huge part of my television life back in the day. My favorite episodes were always the ones where they drove cross-country to California. So ridiculous and so funny. I never could get with Ricky's attitude towards Lucy's career dreams especially when it was obvious from the first that she was the more talented of the two. I mean - 'babaloo' only goes so far. But I love the dynamics of their interaction and Fred and Ethel and the looniness. Remember the episode where Lucy was convinced that 'someone' was trying to kill her? I'm hoping to find the old I LOVE LUCY shows to stream over at CBS Access. Thanks for this post, Pat. Wonderful as usual. Why didn't I know about this blogathon?? I'm always missing out on the fun. Boo-hoo me. Ha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that one where Lucy gets that idea in her head that she's about to be a murder victim. I think it was in the first season.

      Thanks for the lovely compliment. We're going to have to arrange some sort of blogathon alert so you don't miss out on any more fun.

      Delete
    2. Please do. You know how air-headed I am. :)

      Delete
  4. I probably saw every episode of I Love Lucy in reruns on afternoon TV growing up in the 70's. I can't recall ever seeing an episode of this show, however. Have to see if they have it on youtube.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Until I borrowed the DVDs from a friend, I hadn't seen this show either. Somehow it must have missed the syndication market. Even if you don't find them on YouTube, you know the search will bring something else you'll be glad to see.

      Delete
  5. As a kid, I used to stay up late on Saturday nights in the late '90s to catch "The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour" on Nickelodeon's Nick at Nite broadcast. Didn't like them as much as the regular "I Love Lucy" series, but heck, it's Lucy and Desi so it's still very good!

    But I have to admit -- when I think of Ida and Howard together on screen, my mind goes straight to "Batman" '66 where they played the "entrancing" Dr. Cassandra and her husband Cabala! So strange to see Ida looking so lovely and glamourous here (as well as in her appearance as a film star in the Twilight Zone episode "The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine") when I'm so used to seeing her all decked out in over-the-top red and purple as a comic book-esque villain who's trying to thwart the Dynamic Duo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dr. Cassandra! She looked like Agent 99s crazy mom.

      Delete
  6. A follow-up thought... why in the world was Lucille Ball never a Guest Villain on "Batman"??? She would have been perfect!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gee, I wonder if Lucy was ever asked. I wonder if she would have said "yes". The mind boggles.

      Delete
  7. I rather enjoyed THE LUCY-DESI COMEDY HOUR. You're right, it's a different vibe from I LOVE LUCY, but infinitely better than Lucy's solo TV series. I don't recall this episode, but it sounds like fun--and your film noir comments have me intrigued! Plus, I always like Ida Lupino and would enjoy seeing her in a comedy role.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have no doubt you'll enjoy Ida playing Ida, the movie star and fill-in Ethel. She does both beautifully, plus looking oh so glamorous.

      Delete
  8. Sounds like a very nice episode! Too bad the show is not asa easy to find here as I Love Lucy. And the mention of Musuraca as cinematographer only added extra points in my book.
    Thanks for the kind comment!
    Kisses!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a very cute episode. When I read Musuraca's name in the credits, my reaction to some of the shots became clear.

      Delete
  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete

THE LUCY AND DESI BLOGATHON: Lucy's Summer Vacation (1959)

Michaela of Love Letters to Old Hollywood is hosting The Lucy and Desi blogathon running on December 1 - 3. Click HERE for all the ...