Pioneer Women


Pioneer Women

I Love Lucy

Determining they have washed 219,000 dishes since being married, Lucy and Ethel demand dishwashers in an effort to rid themselves of dishpan hands, something the Society Matrons League would frown upon.

The men insist the women have it too "soft" and bet them fifty dollars that they "cry uncle" first, after agreeing to live life as it was before the turn of the century, without modern conveniences. Lucy and Ethel take to churning their own butter (cost: $23.75 per pound), baking their own bread (Lucy puts in thirteen cakes of yeast, instead of three, producing a mammoth loaf), and wearing old-fashioned clothes.

Ricky complies by riding a horse home from the club, bathing in an ancient bathtub, and, along with Fred, wearing period clothing.

Unexpectedly, Mrs. Pettebone and Mrs. Pomerantz of the Society Matrons League drop in on Lucy and Ethel for a surprise inspection "to check on them." Lucy tries to explain but gets tongue-tied. Ricky explains that the ladies caught them in a rehearsal for a Gay Nineties bit for the Tropicana.

When the highfalutin society women display some reluctance to accept Lucy and Ethel because of their show business leanings, Lucy becomes irate and informs them she has "no desire to join your phony baloney club." Ricky calls off the bet, and the foursome enjoy homemade bread and home churned butter.

Special Notes: Ruth Perrot, who played one of the society matrons was a featured character (Katie, the maid) on Lucy's "My Favorite Husband" radio comedy and was probably considered for the role of Ethel Mertz. The name Pettebone was inspired by Jean Pettebone, a CBS photographer, and Pomerantz by Charles Pomerantz, a Phillip Morris press representative headquartered in Los Angeles. The bread Lucy makes was real and was custom made by a Los Angeles bakery. After filming it was distributed to the cast, crew, and audience to eat.

Bloopers: When the inspection committee is viewing the Ricardo's apartment, the electric lamp in the background is on. Since the couples had agreed to live like pioneers the lamp should not have been on. Lucy had even went to the trouble of buying lanterns to avoid using electric lighting.

Episode #25
Season #1 (1951-52)

Aired: March 31, 1952
Filmed: February 22, 1952
Rating: 66.0/86

Marc Daniels (Director),
Jess Oppenheimer (Producer),
Bob Carroll Jr. (Writer),
Madelyn Davis Pugh (Writer)

Supporting Cast:
Florence Bates (Mrs. Pettebone),
Ruth Perrott (Mrs. Pomerantz)