lucy and john wayne

Lucy and John Wayne

S5;E10 ~ November 21, 1966

Synopsis

Mr. Mooney asks Lucy to deliver some important contracts to the studio, where she meets John Wayne and worms her way onto the set of his latest picture. Naturally, Lucy doesn’t behave and causes more trouble than a barroom brawl! 

Regular Cast

Lucille Ball (Lucy Carmichael), Gale Gordon (Theodore J. Mooney), Mary Jane Croft (Mary Jane Lewis)

Guest Cast

John Wayne (Himself / “Tall”) was born Marion Morrison in 1907. He made his film debut in 1926 and rose to become an iconic presence in the Western film genre. He was nominated for three Oscars, winning in 1969 for True Grit. He epitomized rugged masculinity and was famous for his distinctive voice and walk. His nickname ‘Duke’ came from his own pet Airedale. Wayne previously worked with Lucille Ball in a 1955 episode of “I Love Lucy,” also titled “Lucy and John Wayne” (ILL S5;E2).  He died in 1979 at the age of 72.

In the film he is shooting, Wayne’s character is named Tall.  Wayne was 6'4” and appeared in the 1944 film Tall in the Saddle.

Joseph Ruskin (Joe, the Director) appeared in four of the “Star Trek” series, the first being shot at Desilu. This is his only appearance on “The Lucy Show,” but he also does a 1968 episode of “Here’s Lucy.”  

Bryan O'Byrne (Bryan, the Assistant Director) was an actor and (later) acting teacher who appeared in over 200 commercials.  This is his only appearances with Lucille Ball.  

Morgan Woodward (“Pierce”)  was seen on many TV Westerns but is perhaps best remembered as Gibbs on “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp” (1958-61). This is his only appearance with Lucille Ball.  

Joyce Perry (Joyce, Studio Receptionist) makes the second of her two appearances on the series. She was also a screen writer, receiving Emmy nominations for “Days of Our Lives” and winning a WGA (Writers Guild of America) Award in 1975 for “Search for Tomorrow.”

Milton Berle (Himself) was born Milton Berlinger in New York City on July 12, 1908. He started performing at the age of five. He perfected his comedy in vaudeville, early silent films, and then on radio, before taking his act to the small screen, where he would be proclaimed “Mr. Television” and later “Uncle Miltie.” He hosted “Texaco Star Theater” on NBC from 1948 to 1956. The variety show was re-titled “The Milton Berle Show” in 1954 when Texaco dropped their sponsorship. The program was briefly revived in 1958, but lasted only one season. In 1959 he played himself in “Milton Berle Hides out at the Ricardos.” This is the second of his three episodes of "The Lucy Show,” the first being “Lucy Saves Milton Berle” (S4;E13).  He also did two episodes of “Here’s Lucy.” On all but one, he again played himself. He died of colon cancer in 2002.

Berle makes a walk-through cameo appearance with no dialogue.

Kay Stewart (Commissary Waitress) was the subject of a feature story in the first edition of Life Magazine, which focused on the fact that she was apparently the first female cheerleader at a major university (Northwestern). This is her only appearance with Lucille Ball. 

Danny Borzage (Accordionist) appeared in 13 films with John Wayne from 1939 to 1967.  He also appeared with Wayne on a 1960 episode of “Wagon Train” directed by John Ford.  Both Borzage and Wayne were favorites of Ford’s. This is his only appearance with Lucille Ball.  

Victor Romito (“Bartender”) makes the first of his two uncredited appearances on “The Lucy Show.”  He also appeared in four episodes of “Here’s Lucy,” also uncredited.  He was seen as an extra in the 1960 Lucille Ball / Bob Hope film Critic’s Choice. That same year he was seen with John Wayne in North to Alaska, and in 1962’s How the West Was Won

Jerry Rush (Cameraman) makes the fifth of his nine (mostly uncredited) appearances on the series. He also did two episodes of “Here’s Lucy.”

The ‘Barflys’ (aka Stunt Men) are played by:

  • Jerry Gatlin was an actor and stunt man who later turns up in the Lucille Ball film Mame (1974).  He appeared with John Wayne in 13 films between 1961 and 1975.  
  • Bill Hart was an actor and stunt man who appeared in three films with John Wayne between 1960 and 1963.  This is his only appearance with Lucille Ball.

  • Boyd 'Red’ Morgan is an actor and stunt man who will also be seen in four episodes of “Here’s Lucy.”  He did 11 films with John Wayne between 1956 and 1970.  

  • Chuck Roberson was an actor and stunt man who played minor roles in many films. He was a stunt double for John Wayne in more than 35 films and television shows. He played one of the firemen who rescues Lucy and Viv from their roof when “Lucy Puts Up a TV Antenna” (S1;E9), four years earlier.

In the commissary Mr. Simon “the director,” Ed Nelson (an actor with an arrow in his chest), an actor named Will (who Nelson greets), and more than a dozen other background players appear – all uncredited.

The episode indulges the old trope that movie actors eat lunch at the studio commissary in full costume and make-up. The commissary is named the Studio Cafe.  We are reminded that Mary Jane works at the studio, although which studio is not made clear. Could it be Desilu?

Mr. Mooney dictates a letter to John Wayne about his bank’s financial participation in a “film about a war wagon.” Gale Gordon emphasizes the words “war wagon” because that is the actual title of the film, which was released in May 1967. It co-starred Kirk Douglas, who made a cameo appearance in “Lucy Goes to a Hollywood Premiere” (S4;E20). It also featured Chuck Roberson and Boyd 'Red’ Morgan who appear as Barflys in this episode.  

Lucy mentions to Wayne that he usually stars opposite Maureen O'Hara, who also had red hair.  Ball and O'Hara were both in the 1940 film Dance, Girl, Dance. Lucy also mentions that Wayne is usually directed by John Ford. Ford and Wayne collaborated on 23 films between 1928 and 1963.  Ford directed Lucille Ball in the 1935 film The Whole Town’s Talking.

Fawning over John Wayne, Lucy mentions his recently released films Cast a Giant Shadow (March 1966), In Harms Way(1965), and the Oscar-nominated The Sands of Iwo Jima (1949).  

Lucy says that Wayne has played characters who’ve served in every branch of the service and that Bob Hope should play a Christmas show just for him! Lucy’s film co-star and friend Bob Hope was known for performing in USO shows overseas during the holidays to entertain the American troops.  Hope had a cameo in “Lucy and the Plumber” (S3;E2).  

In the saloon scene, the accordionist plays “Golden Slippers,”a song penned by James A. Bland in 1879. It was famously used in the 1948 John Ford film Fort Apache starring John Wayne.

In the Studio Cafe, Lucy mistakes a man named Mr. Simon for Burt Lancaster. They both are roughly the same  build.  She then mistakes the studio doctor for Richard Chamberlain,a joke referring to Chamberlain’s most popular role as “Dr. Kildare” (1961-66) which ended its run on NBC a few months earlier.  She then mistakes Milton Berle for the janitor.  Berle is oddly dressed in an ill-fitting suit, a straw hat, and has a blacked-out tooth.  He has a bewildered expression on his face, as if he’s still in character for a hillbilly movie.  It is unclear how Lucy might mistake him for a studio janitor.

Coincidentally, “The Lucy Show” stunt coordinator was named Jesse Wayne (no relation).  

Callbacks!

John Wayne previously guest-starred as himself on "I Love Lucy” in 1955. The episode was also titled “Lucy and John Wayne” (ILL S5;E2).  

Hanging on the wall in the studio commissary is a black and white headshot of Bob Crane from “Hogan’s Heroes” (1964-71), a TV show filmed at Desilu. Crane played himself in a parody of “Hogan’s Heroes” in “Lucy and Bob Crane” (S4;E22).  

Lucy Carmichael was previously on the film set of a movie western when she assumed the identity of  Iron Man Carmichael in “Lucy the Stunt Man” (S4;E5). Curiously, while Lucy Carmichael is telling the director how to shoot the picture, she doesn’t mention her experience as Iron Man.  In 1954 Lucy Ricardo made her own western movie in her apartment in “Home Movies” (ILL S3;E20).

Blooper Alerts!

Lucy reveals that her maiden name is MacGillicuddy, same Lucy Ricardo. At “Lucy’s College Reunion” (S2;E11), Lucy Carmichael said her maiden name was Taylor. This is the second week in a row that the Lucy character has “forgotten” key information about her past.  In last week’s “Lucy Gets Caught Up in the Draft” (S5;E9) she said her son’s name was 'Jimmy’ when in fact it was 'Jerry.’  Geoffrey Mark Fidelman’s The Lucy Book,says that although the production staff told Lucille Ball of her error, she insisted that she was right and would not change the reference. Perhaps this inconsistency about her birth name is also attributable to the staff’s deference to Ball’s faulty memory?

When Lucy sees Milton Berle in the commissary she says “Wait’ll I tell the girls I nearly saw Milton Berle!”  This line sounds very much like Lucy Ricardo speaking, not Lucy Carmichael.  Lucy Carmichael has already met TV star Milton Berle in “Lucy Saves Milton Berle” (S4;E13).  Here, he looks directly at Lucy and Mary Jane but does not acknowledge them despite the chaos they previously brought to his life.  Also, it is unclear which “girls” Lucy is talking about since Mary Jane seems to be her only female friend. Perhaps she is referring to the unseen secretarial pool at the bank?  Lucy Ricardo, however, would have bragged to all the “girls” of the Wednesday Afternoon Fine Arts League!  

When the Assistant Director calls the scene to be slated, he cups his hand over his mouth and purposely garbles the title of the film. This was a tactic Lucy Ricardo used many times on “I Love Lucy” when she wanted to be purposely vague about important details. Later, when the Assistant Director shouts “Scene 856, Take One!” Lucy corrects him under hear breath: “Take Four!” Lucy is right, but it is hard to determine if this was Lucy Carmichael or Lucille Ball talking!   This scene, with Lucy Carmichael standing behind the camera and correcting the crew, probably mirrored Ball’s own interactions with her “Lucy Show” staff.  

“Lucy and John Wayne” rates 2 Paper Hearts out of 5