I Love Lucy

Season 1 Episode 16

Lucy Fakes Illness

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Jan 28, 1952 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
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Episode Summary

Lucy Fakes Illness
After all this time, Lucy has finally found what she believes to be the perfect solution for getting into show business. After Ethel gives her a book about diseases, Lucy decides that she will pretend that she is suffering from numerous psychological ailments so that Ricky will feel sorry for her and let her go into show business. To convince Ricky that she is really "ill," Lucy pretends that she doesn't know who she is, and at one point "thinks" that she is Tallulah Bankhead! When Ricky eventually gets wind of Lucy's trick, he hires a phony doctor to scare Lucy back to health.moreless

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  • Lucy suffers from the go-bloots, and made need her zorch removed. Let's hope she doesn't turn green!

    "I Love Lucy" was really starting to hit its stride around this point. This episode begins with Lucy deciding yet again that she needs to be a part of one of Ricky's acts. And before you have the chance to complain that this storyline is getting old fast, the writers pull out a new twist: Lucy fakes getting an illness due to her depression over not being allowed in the show!

    Eventually (with a little help from his friend), Ricky figures this out and decides to get even with Lucy by recruiting a man I can only pray is the least ethical doctor in New York. This doctor has no problem telling Lucy that she has a terminal illness. A cruel trick to be sure...but not bad television.

    The doctor tells Lucy she has the go-bloots, and that she may need her zorch removed. But she should be okay as long as she doesn't turn green. Of course, Ricky plants a green light bulb in the lamp next to Lucy's bed. Lucy sees Fred and Ricky and thinks they have go-bloots too, but it is explained to her that she is seeing the world through green colored eyes. Of course, it's hard to figure out how Ethel doesn't catch on since when she enters, Ricky and Fred are still close enough to the light that they would have appeared green too. Good old plot holes!

    This episode is pretty funny. It seems cruel for Ricky to try to convince Lucy she's dying, but you can't feel too bad for her since she's usually not the honest, straight-forward type herself. And maybe turning green doesn't mean she has the go-bloots. Maybe Lucy is really the Hulk? (NOTE: The version of this episode I watched also had a scene at the beginning where the Ricardo's apartment is organized differently, and Fred, Ethel, and Ricky discuss the last time Lucy faked an illness. One assumes this scene was added later for a rebroadcast when Lucy was too pregnant to film new episodes.)moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • The fur coat that Lucy uses for her portrayal of Tallulah Bankhead looks identical to the one used in the episode, "The Fur Coat."

    • Ricky says they have lived in their apartment for five years when earlier in the season it was only three.

    • Lucy is told by the doctor that she's suffering from the go-bloots, brought into this country on the hind legs of the boo-shoo bird. To cure her, they may have to remove her zorch.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Fred: He's a slick one, all right. He'd do anything to keep you from going into show business.
      Lucy: Yeah. Well, what kind of act does Tricky Ricky need?
      Fred: Well, he needs a dance team. That's where Fred and I come in.
      Lucy: Yeah? Anywhere where I come in?
      Fred: Well, he needs a good dog act.

    • Lucy: Haven't you got a place for me in the show?
      Ricky: Why, sure, honey. I got just the place for you.
      Lucy: Where?
      Ricky: Out front in the audience.

    • Ricky: (to Lucy) All right, all right. They can come down and audition too. (to Fred and Ethel) But you're not gonna get any more consideration than anyone else.
      Fred and Ethel: Oh fine, Ricky. Good enough.
      Ricky: All right. Now that that's settled, how 'bout a little game of cards?
      Lucy: Well, Ricky, what about me?
      Ricky: Oh, you can play too.

    • Ethel: (Ethel in the middle of a tug of war between Lucy and Fred) Wait a minute! One of you let go, or I'm gonna have a split personality.

    • Ricky: Could it possibly be that you suffer from magnesia?
      Lucy: (frustrated) Amnesia!

    • Ricky: This makes us igual-pasqual.
      Lucy: What does that mean?
      Ricky: That means even-steven in Spanish.

    • Lucy: Oh, no. I'm looking at the world through green-colored eyeballs.

    • Ricky: (on the phone) It's about my wife...She's acting peculiar...Yeah, I know. I know...But this time it's even worse.

    • Lucy: (with Southern accent) Lucy, is that my name?
      Ricky: Well, it was when I left here this morning.

    • Ricky: Why don't you cut it out and be yourself, huh?
      Lucy: (as Tallulah) I'd be very happy to be myself if I could remember who I am. Who am I?

    • Lucy: Listen to this: (reads from book) A person who is kept from attaining his innermost desires may manifest his frustration in the following ways. One, he may assume the characteristics of the person he is kept from becoming. Now, you know Ricky has kept me from becoming a famous actress. Two, he may develop amnesia. Three, he may withdraw from reality and become childlike again.
      Ethel: Gee, what a keen bunch of complexes. Which one are you going to have?
      Lucy: Which one? I'm gonna have all three of them.

    • Lucy: I'm learning to act abnormal.
      Ethel: For this you need a book?

  • NOTES (4)


    • Lucy: (as Tallulah Bankhead): The phone woke me at the crack of noon. Noel called.

      Lucy/Tallulah refers to Noel Coward, the British playwright. Shortly before this show Miss Bankhead had starred in a successful revival of "Private Lives" on Broadway.