I Love Lucy

Season 4 Episode 16

Ethel's Home Town

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Jan 31, 1955 on CBS
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Ethel's Home Town
The Ricardos and the Mertzes stop at Ethel's hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico (Vivian Vance's real-life hometown). Under the impression that Ethel has been called to Hollywood and not Ricky, the townsfolk accord her a monumental ovation. When Ethel refuses to disillusion them -- and even goes so far as to put on a "celebrity act" -- Lucy takes matters into her own hands.moreless

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  • Whta a classic!

    One of the most well-done I Love Lucy episodes, and the only one that gave Ethel most of the spotlight. The gang is motoring their way 'cross country to Hollywood-and after a stop in a western-type mom and pop motel, they're on their way to see Ethel's "Daddy" in Albuquerque, her old home town.(They ever explain what happened to her mom, tho). They arrive at his house, that's decorated in Indian decor, and Daddy has plenty of hilarious lines for Fred!-Yes, it seems that Fred's the big winner of his shrinking violet, Ethel Mae. (But according to Fred, she's not shrinking, but "Big everywhere!".But maybe not back in the day-when they see a picture of a much thinner Ethel as a bathing beauty(a real life modeling picture of Vivian Vance in her younger days). But it seems Ethel got carried away with her stories for the folks back home, and it is SHE, NOT Ricky, who is the big star of this new Hollywood movie. Old friend Billy Hackett who now works for the newspaper, is coming over for a few pictures of their small-town star, so Ethel wants to freshen up a bit. And BTW, they haven't touched her bedroom- they left it just the way she had it-Fred-"it must be pretty dusty by now! With Ethel upstairs, Lucy, Ricky, and Fred are less than pleased that Ethel could do this to them. But Lucy reminds them that she wants to make a good impression on her father, so they decide to humor her. But it's all they can take when Ethel and her "five hands" get into a picture, and Ethel christens the opening of an Indian reservation sporting a full-feathered headdress. Even worse, Ethel is gonna star solo in the town's "Little Theater", with a marquis reading "Ethel Mae Potter, We Never Forgot Her!" Fred sarcastically suggest to Daddy that he can sell candy from his own store in the lobby-Daddy thinks it's a terrific idea, but Fred won't hear of it. And it seem Ethel may have greeted "fans" at the candy store already.But how is the gang gonna put her in her place? With one of Lucy's famous schemes.

    That night, a very dolled-up Ethel comes before an adoring crowd, ready with her songs and selected readings. She starts off with a cute number-Shortnin Bread-but unawares to Ethel, the gang is backing her up every step of the way-right behind on the stage! Ethel has no idea that the laughing and clapping is for Lucy, Ricky, and Fred's stunts and jokes-like Ricky's "Man Eating Tiger", and Fred carrying a tree that seems to keep growing with every passing. (BTW, the outfit Lucy is wearing looks like the same one she used in the pony act in England). Lucy "sews" her fingers", and Ricky pulls socks out of a tophat-only to realize his boxers are in there too! Ethel is encouraged by the crowd's response, and decides to try something a little more dramatic-an operatic number-"My Hero", from "The Chocolate Soldier"(originally sing by Deanna Durbin in the 1940's). At the height of Ethel Mae's performance, she discovers her "back-up" act, as they are doing a swing trick, and she is indignant.

    Bill Hackett thinks it was a great show and decides to get a parting shot-with Ethel's comedic backup in the picture this time! The others think they've secured it, until Billy wants the picture entitled "Ethel Mae Potter and Company" (with "Company" being the silent partner). Now Ethel is the one who's smiling!moreless
  • It's Ethel's turn.

    As a self-confessed Ethelaholic I had been looking forward to this episode for a long time. The two previous episodes on the road to LA left me relatively cold, and so I was wondering what this would become. It starts out as a relatively normal episode: the four stars together in a (motel) room, with Lucy trying to call her mother. Once the show travels to Albuquerque Ethel moves to the foreground. Vivian Vance puts everything she has in the comedy and it works. The three others are given a secondary role (although Fred gets to quip some zingers), which is part of the plot. I was a bit annoyed by their reaction to Ethel's popularity. Couldn't they just let her bask in her (dubious) glory? Especially Lucy looked as if she could kill Ethel with her eyes. Then it dawned on me that the kooky, loveable redhead had turned into a cold, ambitious attention-grabber. There have been spats between Lucy and Ethel before, but this one seemed very bitter. I couldn't help feeling that we saw the real Lucille Ball here, who - according to people who worked with her - was so professional that she could be very harsh in her criticism of others. She wasn't kooky, she was a tough cookie. As such, this scene felt out of place.

    The show is saved by the final act. It turns out that the threesome's revenge on Ethel is playful rather than mean. The vaudeville skits work wonderfully, Lucy does a brilliant bit with an imaginary sewing kit and Vivian Vance proves that she really can sing.moreless
  • The Ricardos and the Mertz arrive to Ethel's hometown.

    While heading to California.The Ricardos and the Mertz make an stopped to Ethel's hometown.Except the only thing is that she is an famous and popular in her hometown.The only flaw is that they never heard or knew of Ricky who is the real famous one.Lucy is jealous of Ethel's attention and being famous of course.Altough Ethel never told that she wasn't really famous.She just kept quiet.Altough I forgot this episode I don't remembered what happened in the rest but it was pretty good.moreless

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