The Hedda Hopper Story


The Hedda Hopper Story

I Love Lucy

Lucy's mother arrives in Hollywood with Little Ricky. Mrs. McGillicuddy: "Long time, no see, Mickey." She describes the wonderful plane trip on which she met a newspaper woman who wants to do a story on Ricky.

Interrupting the family chat, Ricky's new press agent, Charlie Pomerantz, enters, exclaiming: "Dad, I'm going to make you the Cuban Liberace!" He concocts a publicity stunt that is sure to land Ricky in Hedda Hopper's gossip column, all he has to do is save a drowning woman at the Beverley Palms Hotel pool during a tea the following day.

At poolside, Ricky sings "Cuban Pete," before preparing himself for the rescue act in which Lucy is to be the "victim". When they spy an object that resembles one of Miss Hopper's kooky hats passing in the background, Lucy makes a mad dash for the pool and falls in. But, alas, it was a false alarm; it wasn't one of Hedda's famous chapeaux, rather a bowl of fruit.

After a few more fake drownings, the Ricardos give up and return, soaking wet, to their hotel suite where they discover Hedda Hopper, the "newspaper woman" Mrs. McGillicuddy encountered on her airplane trip. Through clenched teeth, they ask: "Mother dear, why didn't you tell us it was Hedda Hopper?" Mrs. McGillicuddy: "You didn't ask me."

Special Notes: Charles Pomerantz was connected with "I Love Lucy" as the West Coast press representative for Philip Morris. Commercials presented on this episode introduced the Marlboro cigarette. Guest-star Hedda Hopper and Lucille Ball were very good friends. In fact, when Hopper died in 1966, she bequeathed her black-and-blue Rolls-Royce to Lucille Ball. Hedda Hopper was an actress and gossip columnist from Hollywood's Golden Age who often guest starred as herself in movies and television shows and was the mother of William Hopper who played Paul Drake on the Perry Mason TV show.

Episode #118
Season #4 (1954-55)

Aired: March 14, 1955
Filmed: February 3, 1955
Rating: 50.3/69

Cuban Pete,
Sheik of Araby

William Asher (Director),
Jess Oppenheimer (Producer),
Bob Carroll Jr. (Writer),
Madelyn Davis Pugh (Writer)

Supporting Cast:
Hedda Hopper (Herself),
Hy Averback (Charlie Pomerantz),
Robert Jellison (Bobby),
Kathryn Card (Mrs. McGillicuddy),
John Hart (Lifeguard)