I Love Lucy

Season 1 Episode 6

The Audition Show

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Nov 19, 1951 on CBS
out of 10
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Episode Summary

The Audition Show
Ricky's band is to be auditioned for television, and Lucy is trying to "get into the act". When Lucy substitutes for Boffo the Clown, the producers want to sign her, not Ricky, and Lucy is confronted with problems. Ricky sings his trademark "Babalu" for the first time in this episode.moreless

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  • Notable for several reasons, but really not the greatest episode.

    This episode is notable for a few reasons. First, it is a remake of the unaired pilot for the series. Of course, the original version had some different lines, a different set, and there was no Fred or Ethel Mertz yet. Nonetheless, the plot and many of the lines came straight from the pilot. It is also notable in that it is the first episode in which Ricky performs his trademark song Babaloo. And no, I'm not sure I spelled that correctly. Finally, it's the only episode I can remember off the top of my head in which Vivian Vance (Ethel) does not appear. This episode begins in a familiar way: Lucy wants to be in Ricky's show....again. Ricky tries to hide the fact that he'll be performing from Lucy, but a clown in his act injures himself and goes to Ricky's apartment to recover. There (of course) he finds Big Red and tells her she should go on in his place. Lucy appears as the clown and is a big success....that's really about it. Perhaps the overly simple plot is due to the fact that the story is pulled from the pilot.

    As usual (at least in these early episodes), there are a couple of plot points that make little, if any, sense. The clown injures himself riding a bike for Ricky's act, but when Lucy goes on in his place, no bike riding is featured in the act! What Lucy does perform goes extremely well. Seems kind of unlikely Lucy would be that well-rehearsed for a part she didn't know she had several hours earlier. Perhaps things like this are part of the show's charm, but overall (even despite all the interesting facts behind it) this isn't one of the more memorable episodes of the series. It's definitely my least favorite of the first few episodes that I just recently rewatched.moreless
Jess Oppenheimer

Jess Oppenheimer

Network Representative

Guest Star

Harry Ackerman

Harry Ackerman

Network Representative

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Babalu is a legendary folkloric Cuban song that is about the Yoruba and Afro-Cuban orisha or diety, Babalú Ayé, the diety of illness and disease and is the equivalent of Saint Lazarus of the Catholic religion. Babalu as performed by Ricky Ricardo is based on legendary Cuban singer Miguelito Valdés who in 1939 while singing with the Casino de la Playa Orchestra made the song famous worldwide. Desi Arnaz and Miguelito Valdés became friends in the 1940s after Miguelito left Cuba, relocated to NYC and became a singer for the Xavier Cugat Orchestra, Desi never denied he was inspired by the authentic Señor Babalu-Miguelito Valdés.

    • Lucy hums "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody" with the lampshade on her head.

    • Harry Ackerman was the vice president of CBS at the time this episode was filmed.

    • The star decals above the bed are replaced with daisies.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Ricky: Now look, honey, I'm perfectly well. I feel fine. But let's face it, we all have to go sometime.
      Lucy: We do?
      Ricky: We do unless you know something the rest of us dun't.
      Lucy: No, I dun't.

    • Ricky: How am I gonna get rid of her for the day?
      Fred: Well, you could lock her in the bathroom. If she stays in there as long as Ethel, she'd never even know the door's locked.

    • (Lucy's reason for why she can't take the wills downtown)
      Lucy: That's impossible. I have an appointment to have my hair dyed--washed.

    • (When Lucy finds out Ricky has her will, too.)
      Lucy: What are you trying to do, shove me ahead of you in line?

    • (Lucy finding out about their wills.)
      Lucy: Then you lied to me when we were married. You're really older than I think.

    • Fred: Wills. Now that's a happy thought.
      Ricky: Listen, if my show's not a success tonight I'm going to need them.

    • Ricky: I want a wife who's just a wife. Now, all you have to do is clean the house for me, bring me my slippers when I come home at night, cook for me, and be the mama for my children.

    • Lucy: George Burns uses his wife on the show. Why don't you?
      Ricky: I'd love to. Do you think she would leave George?

  • NOTES (8)


    • Lucy: I bet if Ziegfeld or Earl Carroll had seen me, they'd sign me up like that.
      Ricky: As what?
      Lucy: As a beautiful showgirl.

      Earl Carroll (1893-1948) and Florenz Ziegfeld (1867-1932) were producers of Broadway revues. In the early part of her career Lucille Ball actually performed briefly in a Ziegfeld production. She was fired for not being a very good dancer.