richard-erdman

LUCY LOSES HER COOL

S3;E13 ~ December 7, 1970

Directed by Herbert Kenwith ~ Written by Milt Josefsberg and Ray Singer

Synopsis

Lucy goes on the Art Linkletter show and is challenged not to lose her temper for 24 hours in order to win $500.  Little does she know that her friends and family are all in on the stunt and are determined to make her lose her cool!

Regular Cast

Lucille Ball (Lucy Carter), Gale Gordon (Harrison Otis Carter), Lucie Arnaz (Kim Carter), Desi Arnaz Jr. (Craig Carter)

Guest Cast

Art Linkletter (Himself) was born in 1912 in Moose Jaw, Canada.  He was the host of “House Party” (aka “The Linkletter Show”) which ran on CBS radio and television for 25 years, and “People Are Funny,” on NBC radio and TV for 19 years. Linkletter had one of the longest marriages of any celebrity in America, at nearly 75 years. He was the father of five children. Art Linkletter also played himself on a 1966 episode of “The Lucy Show.”  He died in 2010 at age 97.  

Mary Jane Croft (Mary Jane) played Betty Ramsey during season six of “I Love Lucy. ” She also played Cynthia Harcourt in Lucy is Envious” (ILL S3;E23) and Evelyn Bigsby in Return Home from Europe” (ILL S5;E26). She played Audrey Simmons on “The Lucy Show” but when Lucy Carmichael moved to California, she played Mary Jane Lewis, the actor’s married name and the same one she uses on all 31 of her episodes of “Here’s Lucy. Her final acting credit was playing Midge Bowser on “Lucy Calls the President” (1977). She died in 1999 at the age of 83. 

Vanda Barra (Mrs. Carol Carroll from Walla Walla) was Lucille Ball’s cousin-in-law and married to frequent day player Sid Gould. This is just one of her over two dozen appearances on “Here’s Lucy” as well as appearing in Ball’s two 1975 TV movies “Lucy Gets Lucky” (with Dean Martin) and “Three for Two” (with Jackie Gleason). She was seen in half a dozen episodes of “The Lucy Show.” 

This is a one-gag character based on her name. Because it wouldn’t be realistic for Art Linkletter to directly approach Lucy right off the bat, a throw-away character is created as a buffer to make it seem more natural.  

Richard Erdman (Supermarket Clerk) was seen in the Lucille Ball film Easy Living in 1949.  This is his only series appearance.

Scott Garrett (Kid) was a child actor who was eleven years old at the time of filming.  He made his last screen appearance in 1980 and became behind the scenes draper for motion pictures and television.  

The Kid’s mother (or whoever she is) goes uncredited and has no dialogue.

The studio audience of “The Art Linkletter Show” (all uncredited) are played by:

  • Leon Alton appeared with Lucille Ball in The Facts of Life (1960) and Critic’s Choice (1963). He was in two episodes of “The Lucy Show.”  This is the second of his three episodes of “Here’s Lucy.” 
  • Jack Berle was the older brother of Milton Berle. This is just one of his eleven uncredited appearances on the series. He also did two episodes of “The Lucy Show.”
  • Paul King makes the second of his five background appearances on the series.  
  • Leoda Richards made at least three background appearances on “I Love Lucy.” She also did four episodes of “The Lucy Show.”  Coincidentally, Richards was also in the studio audience of “The Art Linkletter Show” on “The Lucy Show” in 1966.  In 1968, she was in the Lucille Ball film Yours, Mine and Ours. In deference to her reputation, Richards gets prime seating for the camera shot, located just behind Lucy and Mary Jane. 
  • Walter Smith makes the third of his 13 mostly uncredited appearances on the series.  He also did one episode of “The Lucy Show.”  
  • Luree Wiese played a member of the Danfield Art Society in “Lucy Gets Her Maid” (TLS S3;E11).  This is her only appearance on “Here’s Lucy.”

Other members of the studio audience, pages, shoppers, and security guards are all played by uncredited background performers.  

The DVD Box Set lists this episode as “Lucy LOOSES Her Cool” in the main menu.  

On the DVD, the episode is introduced by ‘TV Legend / Author’ Art Linkletter, who died shortly afterwards.

The date this episode first aired (Monday, December 7, 1970), Art Linkletter began a week of co-hosting “The Mike Douglas Show” interviewing Barbara Walters and football player Roosevelt Grier.

Craig says he is doing his biology homework by reading Playboy magazine. This is the first time the magazine has been named, but Harry has been seen ogling centerfolds in two previous episodes. Despite using the name, the magazine’s cover has been removed. An ad for Lee Jeans is visible on camera. 

Oddly, Craig makes no attempt to hide the magazine from his mother. He then tells Lucy he got the magazine from his Uncle Harry!  

Lucy mentions borrowing earrings from Aunt Vivian during her last trip to California. Vivian Vance’s last appearance was in “Lucy and Viv Visit Tijuana” (S2;E19) aired eleven months earlier.  Her next appearance will be “Lucy Goes Hawaiian” (S3;E23 & 24) in February 1971.

When Kim asks Lucy what day it is, Lucy naturally responds “Monday.” All of Lucille Ball’s sitcoms aired on Monday nights!

In the supermarket, Lucy actually slips on a banana peel, a comedy trope dating back to vaudeville.

When she is about to lose her temper, Lucy ‘hears’ the voice of Art Linkletter in her head.  This surreal technique is repeated three times throughout the episode.

Lucy Carter pronounces tomato as “toe-mah-toe”. This is how Lucille Ball would pronounced the word in real life.  On “I Love Lucy”, however, Ball made a concerted effort to pronounces it “toe-may-toe” to make Lucy Ricardo sound less cultured.  

When Mary Jane asks Lucy to hold her groceries, they include boxes of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and Post Toasties, although the brand names of both have been covered with tape. Toasties were actually Post’s version of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, so Mary Jane is buying two boxes of flakes.  Toasties were discontinued in 2016.  

Harry gives the Kid a dollar to squirt Lucy in the face with seltzer water, but naturally Harry ends up getting the shower instead!  

This episode is a combination of “Ricky Loses His Temper” (ILL S3;E19) and “Lucy and Art Linkletter” (TLS S4;E19).  Lucy Ricardo frequently got into tests of will with Ricky for a modest wager. 

In 1966, Art Linkletter dared Lucy Carmichael to not make a sound for 24 hours in “Lucy and Art Linkletter” (TLS S4;E16).  [Note: Background player Leoda Richards is seated just behind Lucy, just as she is in this episode.]

The end of the episode has Lucy presented with a bill for the damage to the supermarket that comes to $499.99, leaving her with just one cent. In “Bonus Bucks” (ILL S3;E21) the prize is $300 but when the damage done to the laundry to retrieve the lucky buck comes to $299, Lucy Ricardo is left with just one dollar - and extremely starched!

Lucy Carter wreaked havoc in a supermarket where Craig was employed in “Lucy, the Shopping Expert” (S1;E20).  

Lucy Carmichael also terrorized the market place in “Lucy and Joan” (TLS S4;E4)… 

…and in “Lucy the Bean Queen” (TLS S5;E3).  

The stunt with the stacked oranges was first done in “Lucy, the Shopping Expert” (S1;E20). The display table and scales look to be the same ones in each episode. 

Wireless! Art Linkletter’s microphone cord is tucked into his jacket pocket!  

Where the Floor Ends! The camera pulls out too far in Lucy’s living room and reveals where the carpeting meets the cement stage floor.

“Lucy Loses Her Cool” rates 3 Paper Hearts out of 5  

The comic premise of this episode is familiar, but still funny.  Lucy in a supermarket spells comedy gold.

We all know that Leonard Briggs is pretty much the greatest Community character ever. What we don’t all know, however, is that Richard Erdman, the actor who plays Leonard, once appeared on The Dick Van Dyke Show. Cool. Cool cool cool cool cool. 

Thanks,  killams!

p.s. Don’t forget, Community returns March 15th! 

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