I Love Lucy

Season 1 Episode 1

The Girls Want To Go To a Nightclub

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Oct 15, 1951 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
99 votes

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Episode Summary

The Girls Want To Go To a Nightclub
It's the Mertzes' eighteenth wedding anniversary. Ethel longs to celebrate it by going to the Copacabana, while Fred wants to attend the fights. As can be guessed, an argument soon ensues among the couples. Ethel and Lucy decide that they will go to the club-with dates! This is perfectly fine with Fred, but Ricky is worried, so he and Fred call an old friend, Ginny Jones, for dates so that they can go to the nightclub and spy on their wives. Coincidentally, Lucy and Ethel have also called Ginny about getting dates to go to the club. When Ginny tells the girls about the boys' plans, Lucy decides that she and Ethel will impersonate the boys' blind dates. Thus, the two of them enter the Ricardo apartment decked out like country bumpkins, which makes for some superb Lucille Ball schtick.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Not technically the first episode!

    Having just recently seen the final few Lucy episodes on television, I thought I'd watch the first few episodes again to compare and contrast the show in the beginning and in the end. This isn't technically the first episode filmed, but it was one of the first episodes filmed and it was the first to air.

    In this episode, that crazy red-head and her pal Ethel are cooking up a scheme (a vague description that could apply to a large portion of Lucy episodes). Ethel and Fred are to celebrate their anniversery. At least Ethel does. Fred has another way of putting it. The main conflict of the episode is that the girls want to go to a night club, while Ricky and Fred would prefer to go to the fights. You know how normal people discuss differences of opinion and try to reach a fair, rational solution? Well, these people are crazy and not about to try that. Lucy and Ethel decide they are going to a night club one way or another, even if it means finding dates. Ricky and Fred grow concerned, and decide to get their own dates (but just to keep their eyes on their wives....for the record, I'm not a poet). When the boys' dates arrive they are actually Lucy and Ethel in (not at all convincing) disguises.

    The main thing that struck me while watching this was that LUCY seemed like an even wackier show in the beginning, if that's even possible. The show, of course, would always be off-the-wall, but the characters seem a little less fully-realized at this early point. While it's a small complaint, it seems a little forced (even for an old sitcom) that the boys would not recognize Lucy and Ethel immediately. Of course, that doesn't really matter. The episode is still funny, though not by any means a series classic. Once the main four actors really got their characters down, the show became much sharper.moreless
  • Fred and Ethel are celebrating their wedding anniversary, and they each want to do something different to celebrate; Fred wants to go to the fights, and Ethel wants to go to a night club. When Lucy and Ricky get involved, things really get interesting.moreless

    "The Girls Want to Go to a Nightclub" is the first episode of "I Love Lucy" to air on television, though it was not the first to be filmed. This was thought to be a better debut episode, and it is certainly a fitting one. This episode introduces a theme that will show up again and again in future episodes of the show: Lucy and Ethel scheme together and try to outsmart their husbands. The final minutes of the episode, as Lucy and Ethel show up as nightmare "dates" for their husbands, are classic, and four stars show why they were so beloved by Americans in the 50's and today as well.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • In "Lucy thinks Ricky is trying to Murder Her," Episode #1, the couch in the living room is different from the couch in "The Girls Want to Go to a Nightclub" Episode #2. It was the same style... almost.

  • QUOTES (21)

    • Ethel: But he works in one! Your life should be just one game round of nightclubs.
      Lucy: Yeah, that is what I thought when I married a bandleader. But ever since I said I do there are so many things we don't.

    • Ethel: It's our wedding anniversary.
      Lucy: Oh, your's and Fred's?
      Ethel: No, me and Gregory Peck.

    • Lucy: (on the phone with Ginnie Jones) Hello, Ginnie? Ginnie, this Lucy Ricardo. Oh well, it's very nice to hear your voice again, too, dear. I'll tell you why I called. It seems that a friend of mine--Ethel Mertz--(pause) What? (pause) They did? (to Ethel) Ricky and Fred just called her. (to Ginnie) They did? (pause) They didn't! (pause) They didn't! (pause) They did? (pause) They did? (gasping) They didn't!
      Ethel: Well, did they or didn't they?

    • Ethel: Who are you calling? Who, who, who?
      Lucy: Quiet! You sound like an owl.

    • Fred: That's absolutely criminal! I bet you could've got a fortune for that book.
      Ricky: "A" alone was worth a hundred bucks!

    • Fred: I bet you know a million gals. Where's your address book?
      Ricky: I burned it.
      Fred: Burned it?
      Ricky: I hadn't been in this country very long and Lucy said it was part of the American marriage ceremony.

    • Ethel: (about Fred) This smart aleck is trying to unbutton my high top shoes.

    • (The girls, acting as country bumpkins, find out Ricky is a singer.)
      Ethel: Sing something.
      Ricky: I couldn't.
      Lucy: Let's neck.
      Ricky: Wait a minute, I'll sing.

    • (Lucy and Ethel can't find dates.)
      Ethel: We can always call the zoo and order a couple of dancing bears.

    • (Ricky mentions what Lucy and Ethel's night might be like and Fred replies)
      Fred: Yeah with all that champagne, even Ethel might look good.

    • Lucy: We must know two men who are single and attractive. (Lucy and Ethel pause to think) Two men who are single. (pause to think) Two men. (pause to think) A boy and a dog.
      Ethel: Maybe we should settle for Little Boy Blue and Peter Cottontail.

    • Ethel: Lucy, what were those names you whispered to me?
      Lucy: What'd they sound like?
      Ethel: They sounded like Little Boy Blue and Peter Cottontail.
      Lucy: That's who it was.

    • Lucy: Ethel and I are going dancing at the Copa.
      Ricky: I hope one of you knows how to lead.

    • Ethel: I think a tuxedo is the best looking thing a man can wear.
      Fred: Unless he's wearing boxing trunks.

    • Ricky: Everybody knows you can get around a lady with a little sweet talk.
      Fred: That's alright for Lucy, but it's a little longer trip around Ethel.

    • (Fred talking to Ricky about his anniversary)
      Fred: I'd like you to join me in commemoration of an eighteen year-old tragedy.

    • Lucy: (to Ethel about her and Ricky) Ever since we said "I do," there are so many things we don't.

    • Lucy: Ricky hates nightclubs.
      Ethel: But he works in one.

    • Ethel: I've been meaning to talk to you about Monday night. We want you and Ricky to help us celebrate. It's our wedding anniversary.
      Lucy: Yours and Fred's.
      Ethel: No, me and Gregory Peck.

    • (Lucy and Ethel are washing dishes.)
      Ethel: Here, you missed something on this one.
      Lucy: That's the design.
      Ethel: It is?
      Lucy: Sure, can't you see. Flowers against a background of (scratches plate with nail) gravy.

    • Lucy: I'm Euncie this here is my ma.
      Ricky: That's your mother?
      Lucy: It is? Oh! It is, it is! I know that!

  • NOTES (5)

    • When the show originally aired, there was an animated opening sequence. A stick figure Lucy and Desi jump from the top of a Philip Morris cigarette box using ropes to slide down on and they pull to ropes to display the show's stars and title. This was used for the first 20 episodes.

    • Songs: "Guadalajara"

    • The scene of the wrestling match audience was filmed on the audience bleachers after the I Love Lucy audience went home.

    • Only one year later, the Mertzes celebrate their 25th anniversary!

    • This was the first episode of "I Love Lucy" to air. The first to be filmed "Lucy Thinks Ricky is Trying to Murder Her" was fourth to air because of the network and those working on the show thought that the country bumpkin ending would be a funnier first episode.