George Burns opens an account at the bank, he recruits Lucy to be his
new sidekick. When the act is a hit, Lucy must choose to go on tour
with Burns or stay with Mr. Mooney.
Ball (Lucy Carmichael / Rusty Martin), Gale Gordon (Theodore J.
Jane Croft (Mary Jane Lewis) does not appear in this episode.
was born Nathan Birnbaum in New York City in January 1896. He
married Gracie Allen in 1926 and the two formed an act (Burns and
Allen) that toured in vaudeville. They had their own hit show
“The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show” first on radio then on
CBS TV from 1950 to 1958, airing concurrently with “I Love Lucy.”
Burns and Desilu shared such talent as Bea Benadaret, Elvia Allman,
Ross Elliot, Maurice Marsac, Kathryn Card, Eleanor Audley, Sheldon
Leonard, Charles Lane, Irving Bacon, Hy Averback, Jay Novello,
Shirley Mitchell, Jerry Hausner, Roy Rowan, Benny Rubin, Tristram
Coffin, Mary Wickes, and many others. After Allen’s death in 1964
(two years before this “Lucy Show” episode), Burns reinvented
himself as a solo act. In 1976 he won an Oscar for playing one of The
He was also known for playing the title role in Oh,
and its 1984 sequel Oh,
God! You Devil.
Burns and Ball appeared on many TV variety and award shows together.
He died at the age of 100.
Telephone Voice) was
born on Valentine’s Day 1894. He had a successful vaudeville
career, and an even greater career on radio with “The Jack Benny
Program,” which also became a successful television show. George
Burns made a dozen appearances on the show between 1952 and 1964. He
was also the best man at Burns’ wedding to Gracie Allen in 1926.
Benny was a Beverly Hills neighbor of Lucille Ball’s and the two
were off-screen friends. He previously appeared on “The Lucy Show”
as Harry Tuttle (Jack Benny’s doppelganger) in “Lucy and the
Plumber” (S3;E2). He later appeared on three episodes of “Here’s
Lucy” (one opposite George Burns) and appeared with Ball and Burns on many TV
variety and award shows. Benny died in 1974.
Benny is not listed in the final credits. George Burns says that
Benny is his agent.
(Show Announcer Voice) made
more than 45 appearances on “The Lucy Show,” all as background
characters. He also did 40 episodes of “Here’s Lucy.” Gould
(born Sydney Greenfader) was Lucille Ball’s cousin by marriage to
Operator Voice) has only six other screen credits to her name
according to IMDB.
is the first episode of season 5, the
shortest half-hour season of any Lucille Ball series (except for the
producing only 22 instead of the usual 26 episodes. This reduced
total was due to a special Ball did for CBS on location entitled
In London,” technically
not part of the series and not syndicated.
title of this episode is often listed as “Lucy and
George Burns.” The episode was filmed in mid-June 1966, before the
cast and crew went on summer hiatus.
date this episode premiered (September 12, 1966) CBS presented the
series premiere of “Family Affair” (1966-71) starring Brian Keith
and Sebastian Cabot. The opening episode featured Phil Ober (Vivian
Vance’s ex-husband) and “Lucy Show” extras Barbara Perry and
Murray Pollack. “Family Affair” was produced by Edmund Beloin,
who had written a half dozen season 4 episodes of “The Lucy Show.”
Once again, “The Andy Griffith Show” (filmed at Desilu Studios)
followed Lucy in the CBS prime time lineup. That same morning, CBS
syndication ran a repeat of “Lucy Wants to Move to the Country”
new opening title sequence was created that featured Lucy as
an animated jack-in-the-box. Lucille Ball reportedly
hated it, and it was only used in a handful of episodes at the start
of the season before being replaced by a slightly revamped version of
the kaleidoscope opening. However, because of poor editing, the theme
music to this opening was retained for several early fall 1966
episodes while the kaleidoscope opening was used.
jack-in-the-box opening hasn’t been shown in syndication since the
1970s but was recently restored for the DVD release.
episode is in the public domain resulting in the availability of many inexpensive and low quality DVDs. There are 30 episodes of the
entire series that have somehow reverted to public domain. Only one
season 5 episode - “Lucy Puts Main Street on the Map” (S5;E18) -
is still under copyright protection.
Mr. Mooney’s office, Burns sings (a capella) a bit of Irving Berlin’s
The song was written in 1924 and sung by Bing Crosby in the film
(1942) and Marilyn Monroe in There’s
No Business Like Show Business
then launches into a chorus of “Time
on my Hands,”
a song written by Vincent Youmans, Harold Adamson, and Mack Gordon in
1930 for the musical Smiles.
song was used in the Marilyn Miller biopic Look
for the Silver Lining (1949)
and in So
This Is Love (1953)
by Kathryn Grayson.
for George Burns’ file in Lucy’s absence, Mr. Mooney opens the ‘B’
drawer to find “Martin, Miller, Munson, Murphy” - but no Burns.
This is the start of a running gag about Lucy’s unusual filing system
that will continue well into “Here’s Lucy.” Lucy explains that
the B’s are under the X’s because “that poor little file never
has anything in it.” Her mnemonic system of filing:
reminds her of fire and fire reminds her of stove and stove reminds
her of pot roast and pot roast reminds her of noodles and noodles
reminds her of her mother (who made the best noodles) – therefore
the Burns file is located under 'G’ - for gravy!
Mooney offers Burns a cigar. George Burns was rarely seen without a
cigar in his hand. He claimed to smoke up to ten cigars a day up
until his death at age 100.
Mooney asks why Burns stopped working and went into retirement. He
replies that he like to work with women but that Carol Channing
went into Hello, Dolly!,Dorothy Provine went into
television [“The Alaskans” 1959-60], and Connie Stevens
went into pictures. Burns actually performed with all three of these
women at some point. What goes unmentioned is the death of Gracie
Allen. Perhaps Lucy and the writers felt that the public already
knew this information and would accept it as a given. On “The Lucy
Show” death is only ever mentioned in a humorous context. The word
was never mentioned to explain the absence of Lucy’s husband; just
that she was a widow. Lucy’s deceased husband never even had a first
Ball’s entrance comes four minutes into the action, cued by George
Burns saying he’s looking for “a girl with a pixie personality,
an eccentric, a real kook.” [Enter Lucy] Curiously, Lucy does
not get entrance applause - probably due to the fact that she was
typically introduced to the studio audience by Gary Morton, her
husband and warm-up act. Interestingly, when Lucy recognizes George
Burns and says his name aloud – despite the fact that he’s been on
screen for four minutes – the studio audience applauds. Lucy and
Burns both get entrance applause in the final dressing room scene
indicating that this scene (despite being the last in the script) was
filmed first for logistical reasons involving the sets.
says that Ginger Rogers is her very favorite star. She
describes a film she saw on “The Late Late Show” in which Fred
Astaire and Ginger Rogers fell in love despite her accidentally
kicking him from the chorus line. Lucy is probably describing Follow
the Fleet (1936) or Roberta (1935) in which Lucille Ball
had supporting roles. Both films were made by RKO, which became
Benny has booked Lucy and George into a club in Santa Monica. Their
act is very much in the style of Burns and Allen, where Lucy delivers
the set-up and George anticipates her punchlines. Lucy and Burns sing
“Some of These Days” and dance a soft shoe. “Some of These
Days” was written in 1910 by Shelton Brooks. It became
associated with Sophie Tucker, who Lucy impersonated in a 1970 Bob
Hope TV special.
Las Vegas bookers offer $10,000 for the act ($15,000 if Burns won’t
sing). Lucy turns down the offer in order to stay with Mr. Mooney at
the bank. [This is after all, the beginning of a new season, not the
“Lucy and the Dummy” (ILL S5;E3) Lucy Ricardo’s comedic dancing
routine with 'Raggedy Ricky’ earns her a lucrative contract, but she
is conflicted if she should leave her husband and child for the
bright lights of Hollywood. In the end she turns the offer down, just
as Lucy Carmichael does here.
Mooney’s office has been reconfigured once again. There is a new door
(marked “Private”) just behind Mr. Mooney’s desk and there is a
new bank of green filing cabinets behind Lucy’s desk.
“Lucy with George Burns” rates 3 Paper Hearts out of 5