Lucy Does a TV Commercial


Lucy Does a TV Commercial

I Love Lucy

Lucy connives to appear in a commercial on the "big TV show" Ricky is emceeing. To prove to Ricky how good she is doing commercials, she removes the "works" from their TV set, installs a window shade where the picture tube was, and, when Ricky arrives home, proceeds to do an impromptu Philip Morris cigarette commercial, dressed as Johnny.

Ricky is not impressed with her performance. And less than pleased to learn she has removed the workings of the set piece-by-piece instead of just sliding out the chassis.

The following morning, Lucy gives Ricky the silent treatment, still trying to win the commercial job. She has a better idea: she'll tell the girl Ricky did hire that Ricky's "already hired another girl."

Standing before a backdrop that reads "Join the Parade, Buy Vitameatavegamin Today," Lucy rehearses her speech at the TV studio: "Hello, friends. I'm your Vitameatavegamin girl. Are you tired, rundown, listless? Do you poop out at parties? Are you unpopular? The answer to all your problems is in this little bottle: Vitameatavegamin. Vitameatavegamin, contains vitamins, meat, vegetables, and minerals. Yes, with Vitameatavegamin, you can spoon your way to health. All you do is take a tablespoon after every meal (Lucy samples product). It's so tasty too. Just like candy. So why don't you join the thousands of happy peppy people and get a great big bottle of Vitameatavegamin tomorrow. That's Vita..Meta..Vegamin."

After repeated rehearsals, Lucy gets bombed because the liquid tonic is 23 percent alcohol. Further attempts to polish her performance proves hilarious, with Lucy garbling her words and slurring her speech. This is Lucille Ball at her comidic best.

Special Notes: Maury Thompson, the script clerk, played himself. A good deal of time and effort was expended by stage manager Herb Browar to find just the right liquid concoction to fill the Vitameatavegamin bottles. It had to ooze out of the bottle, not flow freely, plus it had to taste good to Lucy. After trying and dismissing a half-dozen products, including honey, Browar stopped off at a health food store on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood and found the perfect liquid: apple pectin. Lucy loved the taste, and they proceeded to fill the bottles with it on dress rehearsal day. At the end of the show, Ricky gestures offstage before his musical number and says "Mr. Hatch, if you please." Wilbur Hatch was the conductor of Desi Arnaz's orchestra.

Bloopers: In Act 3, after Lucy is soused on the alcohol in the tonic, Ricky begins to sing a song on the "live" show. Lucy enters from the left, between scenery flats, and in the darkness behind her, you can see the Ricardo's apartment fireplace and mantel.

Episode #30
Season #1 (1951-52)

Aired: May 5, 1952
Filmed: March 28, 1952
Rating: 61.1/88

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

Supporting Cast:
Ross Elliott (Director),
Jerry Hausner (Joe),
Maury Thompson (Script Clerk)