I Love Lucy

Season 1 Episode 12

The Adagio

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Dec 31, 1951 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
64 votes

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Episode Summary

Lucy volunteers for Ricky's Parisian Apache dance number for an upcoming Tropicana show, and Ethel finds the perfect person to teach her the basic aspects of Apache dancing - Jean Valjean Raymand, who is the nephew of the woman who runs the French hand laundry. This Frenchman has more than dance lessons in mind, however. When Ricky finds him hanging outside the bedroom window, fireworks commence. Jean challenges him to a duel behind Radio City Music Hall, but they ultimately decide to stage a fake fight in the bedroom to teach Lucy a well-deserved lesson.moreless

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  • A French farce.

    This early in its run I Love Lucy still had to work on a limited budget, using tried and true formulas. That's why this entire episode is set in the apartment, has only one guest actor and resorts to the traditions of a French farce: Lucy needs to hide a strange man from her husband to avoid Ricky getting the wrong idea. That the man is French and pretends to be a classic French lover, adds more to the comic mix.

    I enjoyed the show for several reasons. Fred and Ricky each get a chance to shine. (Ethel unfortunately doesn't.) The story moves along nicely and there is some wonderful play with clichés. The title puzzles me, though. Adagio appears to be a dancing technique, but as everybody keeps referring to the dance in the show as Apache, why use this general term? Surely, in the fifties there was no political correctness yet that would stop people from using Apache as a title? Well, let's not forget that in the next season they couldn't put 'pregnant' in a title...moreless

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (10)

    • (Jean is surprised that Ricky didn't react like all American men.)
      Ricky: American men, eh? I guess I fooled you with my Brooklyn accent.

    • Ricky: What do you mean, you came here...?
      Jean: Please, please, this is no time to argue. If we stay here much longer, her stupid husband will return and find us here.
      Lucy: Watch what you're saying! (points at Ricky) He is my stupid husband. (stutters) He's my husband.

    • Lucy: There's just two things keeping me from dancing in that show.
      Fred: Your feet?

    • Jean: Why are American women so stubborn?
      Lucy: Why are French men so amorous?
      Jean: I don't know, just fortunate I guess.

    • Lucy: Ricky, what are you doing here?
      Ricky: I live here, remember?

    • Lucy (on learning Fred is going to be her dance partner): I suppose a fat Apache is better than none.

    • Lucy: Oh Ethel, did you ever wish there was something else to marry besides men?

    • (Lucy and Ethel come back from fixing their makeup.)
      Fred: Same old one. (uncrosses his fingers)
      Ricky: Same old one here too.
      Ethel: What are they talking about?
      Lucy: I don't know but whatever it is, ours aren't young enough.

    • Ricky: If Lucy doesn't have any lipstick on, she thinks she's nekkid.
      Fred: Nekkid?
      Ricky: Yeah, you know not wearing a thin.
      Fred: A thin what?
      Ricky: Clothes, clothes!
      Fred: Nekkid - not wearing no thin clothes.

    • Fred: Ethel keeps going out to put on a new face, but she always comes back with the old one.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Guest star Shepard Menken (Jean Valljean Raymand) makes three other appearences in the series: season 2 episode "Lucy Becomes a Sculptress" where he plays the art store owner William Abbott, season 3 episode "Lucy Has Her Eyes Examined" where he plays the eye doctor, and season 5 episode "Paris at Last" where he plays the street artist named Charpontier.

    • My Favorite Husband: "The French Lessons"

    • In Lucille Ball's autobiography, Love, Lucy, she mentions that she once dislocated her shoulder doing an Apache dance at the age of twelve.


    • (Ricky lights two cigarettes at once.)
      Ricky: Hey, look at me. I'm making like Paul Henreid.

      Ricky refers to the famous scene in "Now Voyager" (1942) in which Paul Henreid lit a cigarette for Bette Davis.

    • Desi: All this shaving is wearing my chin out.
      Lucy: Okay, Andy Gump.

      Andy Gump was a chinless comic strip character created by J.M. Patterson and Sidney Smith in 1917.

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