The “lost” Lucy episode: “Ethel’s Funeral”

March 16, 2007

In retrospect, I can see why the network got cold feet and decided not to show bowtie200.jpgthis I Love Lucy episode back in 1956.

Lucy’s friend Ethel Mertz dies, and Lucy buys an expensive black dress to wear to the funeral but she can’t figure out how to put it on, and she finally races into the service late, barefoot, with bits and pieces of black dress hanging everywhere, just barely holding it on in bunches with her fists.

The black bow-tie hanging over her face would have been a classic under different circumstances. Anyway, you read it here first.

 Oddly Enough Blog


A model wears a design from Mexican designers group Rexona Crystal Style’ Autumn/Winter collection during Mexico fashion week in Mexico City March 15, 2007. REUTERS/Henry Romero


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Are you sure this wasn’t the one where Ricky doesn’t want Lucy to meet Cesar Romero so she shows up at the club disguised as the famous and equally mysterious flamenco dancer “Senorita Bailarín” but couldn’t find a dress that wasn’t two sizes too large and got caught in a locked door when she tried to sneak in the back way? That one just killed.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure. Ironically, Desilu produced this episode, which was never aired, instead of the other “serious” one they were considering, in which it turned out that Ethel and Fred were really Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, and in the end Lucy got her metalic belt caught in Fred’s electric chair at exactly the wrong time, and, well, you can guess the rest…

The innocent viewers of the ’50s just weren’t ready for that…

Posted by Robert Basler | Report as abusive

Huh. That sounds only vaguely familiar. Was that in season three, which also had the episode where they got Castro to guest when he visited New York and Lucy set his beard on fire when she tried to light his cigar? If memory serves that was also the seminal episode when Desi Arnaz first utters his signature line, “Ay yay yay yay yay!!!”

I fear this may all be wasted effort. Several people have already told me in the nicest possible way that there aren’t ten people out there in the blogosphere who even know who Lucy was. Sigh.

That means they sure as hell won’t remember the notorious Lucy, Ricky, Alice and Ralph wife-swapping episode, which was so heavily censored in 1954 that only two and a half minutes actually made it to air….

Posted by Robert Basler | Report as abusive

What a two and a half minutes it was!

Wait. I’m supposed to be lurking.

Posted by Shawn Hendricks | Report as abusive

I’m not so sure about this Global Warming camouflage.

Posted by Shawn Hendricks | Report as abusive

Another design from the newly discovered Jason Pollock fashion archives.

Posted by Shawn Hendricks | Report as abusive

Buff puff malfunction plus Miss Clairol plus hair weave intersection equals high fashion. AGAIN!

Posted by Shawn Hendricks | Report as abusive

Well, since you can count on only five readers I’d say the odds are with you on this one.

And you’re right about the “Swingers” episode. But it sure changed my mind about twin beds.

Paper sack. Bows. Bright wrapping. Plastic. Foil. Spangles. Dangles. Ribbons, birds, bells, jewels, wires and tape in a rainbow of hues, shiny, dull or metallic. We don’t care. Men are like kids at Christmas: It’s all about what’s inside the wrapping.

Posted by Shawn Hendricks | Report as abusive

I can’t believe she wore the same outfit as I.

Posted by Shawn Hendricks | Report as abusive

Dear Mr. Basler,
Please show the matching “tux” next. I need a good stress-killing belly laugh.

Your bud,

Posted by Shawn Hendricks | Report as abusive

…shrieks filled the air as funeral-goers realized that Mary Beth was, in fact, being eaten by her dress…

Posted by K | Report as abusive

Sorry I’m late…had a big long day. I had to get up at 7:30 a.m. and it almost killed me.

Posted by K | Report as abusive

Too bad Lucille Ball wasn’t around now to make a movie out of the novel SWAP by Sam Moffie

Posted by Lindsey Stafford | Report as abusive