I Love Lucy

Season 4 Episode 14

First Stop

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Jan 17, 1955 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
126 votes

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Episode Summary

First Stop
The Ricardos and Mertzes have a hard time finding accommodations that will please everyone on their trip to California. They finally hit a greasy restaurant where stale cheese sandwiches cost them a dollar apiece. Hoping to find something better elsewhere, Ricky pays the check. The couples leave -- only to return several hours later, fooled by some purposely misleading road signs.moreless

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  • Awesome!

    The gang has started their big cross-country trip out to Hollywood-and they're not too far from home yet-only in Ohio.(The only time the production crew ventured out of the Desilu studios for some filming.) Lucy marvels at all the farmland in Ohio (she didn't know there was so much) and everyone in dressed up in their good clothes for the car trip (like people did back then). Everyone is getting tired and hungry as evening falls, and all that's left in the picnic basket is a sandwich a grape-so Fred takes the grape! But he also swipes the "stale sandwich" when Ethel was taking that nap! They need to find a place to stop and eat (and sleep), and Ricky keeps promising, but it looks like there's not much available in these sparse farmlands. The keep seeing repeated signs for a country joint-"Aunt Sally's Pecan Pralines" and they get hopeful. They follow the numerous signs until they arrive there. Ricky stops the car for a minute, and Lucy gets out to check out the building. But of all things! They're out of business! Everybody's getting really hungry and cranky buy now, and at Lucy's insistence, they finally stop at a little shack to eat.

    They sit down and wait to be served-only to be greeted by the hillbilly-ish Mr. Skinner! They all decide on what sounds like a mouth-watering roast beef dinner with the trimmings-but it's out of stock! Mr, Skinner, with his countryish ways, doesn't tell them up front what is and isn't available-but Lucy finally takes the hint that that truck hasn't been around here for a while! But there is a speciality of the house-a cheese sandwich. Fred wants something better than that-but everybody's so hungry at this point they decide to spring. Skinner tosses 4 cheese sandwiches wrapped in wax paper down-and the cheese is pure rubber! Ricky can't take it, and they decide to leave. He won't pay for such poor service either-that is until Skinner tells him there will be an entertainment tax. ("EnterTAINment tax?!") Skinner decides he will serenade them with "Baby Dear" on his old gee-tar-and the gang decides even more it's time to head for the car. They drive away, only to discover that that same road goes around in circle--and they're back at Skinner's! Seems Skinner has pulled this fast one on many an unsuspecting costumer-or they'd never BE his costumers!

    Out back, Skinner has an equally dumpy shack for a motel-actually cabins for his guests. In it, is a dumpy brass bed that Lucy thinks looks more like a canoe because of its huge sag in the middle! There's also some bunk beds, and Fred and Ethel with take those. But more problems crop up-not only are the quarters dumpy, they're not shut-eye-worthy--a train goes charging by and rattles the whole unit-sending the brass bed across the room and back. And Ethel comes out of the bathroom with toothpaste all over face! Totally fed up and exhausted at this point, the gang decides to sneak of his cabin without paying. But a light goes on and Skinner's caught them! He won't make them pay for a worthless room-but he WILL charge them for the steering wheel he has so sneakily taken off of their car! There's just no beating that Skinner!moreless
  • This episode immerses Lucy, Ricky, Ethel, and Fred in a whole new world that is merely just another "slice of America".

    On the way to California, the Ricardo's and the Mertz's meet up with life on the road.

    I really like this episode, but for reasons that might be a little different. Being interested in history, its fun to get a view of what life was like on the road at a time when there were far fewer interstate highways and when the chances of getting a Holiday Inn in New Jersey and Ohio were practically zero.

    This entry shows a funny but party accurate look at the men and women who made their living on tourists in the days before "Food and Fuel" exits from the limited access freeways. Real Route 66 kind of stuff. Watching the gang struggle with stale cheese sandwiches wrapped in waxed paper and trying to settle into a horrendous "motor lodge" are excellent examples of taking the "New Yorkers" to a new world of alien things and people with completely different motivations.

    I like this story better than Lucy missing the boat to Europe (Bon Voyage) because of its "out of our element" approach.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Also notice, Lucy is wearing pants in the car and the restaurant where they stop later. She's wearing
      a skirt when she gets out of the car at Aunt Sally's.

    • Flub: Lucy's wearing a coat while riding in the car, but when she steps out to check Old Aunt Sally's diner on the side of the road, she isn't wearing her coat, and when she gets back in the car, she's wearing it again.

    • Those in a closed room can tell the direction of the oncoming train from the sound, A.K.A., the Doppler Effect.

    • When the Ricardos and the Mertzes are staying in the cabin and the bed keeps sliding across the floor, you can see the string attached to the bedpost on the left at the foot of the bed pulling the bed across.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Reading signs as they drive.
      Ethel: 200 yards
      Fred: 100 yards
      Ricky: Just around the corner.
      Lucy: You've just passed Aunt Sally's Pecan Pralines. (realizes that they passed the restaurant) Ricky, go back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      (Ricky stops the car, then backs it up)
      Lucy: There's a sign on the door, but I can't read it.
      Ricky: Well, get out and go read it.
      (Lucy gets out of the car, runs up to the restaurant, then gets back into the car
      Lucy: Drive on.
      Ricky: What?
      Lucy: Out of business.
      Fred: I knew Aunt Sally was paying too much money on those signs.

    • Lucy: (reading a sign) 'Fifty miles to Aunt Sally's Pecan Pralines.'
      Ethel: Well, we're closing in on her. The first sign we saw said, '200 miles to Aunt Sally's Peacan Pralines.'
      Fred: I'm surprised she has time to make pralines. She's so busy making signs.

    • Lucy: I wonder if this bed stops in Chicago.

  • NOTES (1)