viviane banks

Lucy and the Bank Scandal

S2;E7 ~ November 11, 1963

Synopsis

When Lucy suspects Mr. Mooney may be embezzling from the bank, she digs up his back yard to find the money, only to puncture his new oil tank in the process.

Regular Cast

Lucille Ball (Lucy Carmichael), Vivian Vance (Vivian Bagley), Gale Gordon (Theodore J. Mooney), Jimmy Garrett (Jerry Carmichael), Candy Moore (Chris Carmichael)

Ralph Hart (Sherman Bagley) does not appear in this episode

Guest Cast

Eddie Applegate (Bob Mooney) is probably best remembered for playing Richard Harrison on “The Patty Duke Show” on ABC, a series that aired concurrently with “The Lucy Show.”  The same week this episode first aired he was seen on that show. He died in 2016 at the age of 81.  

This is the second of Mr. Mooney’s sons introduced on the series.  In “Lucy Gets Locked in the Vault” (S2;E4) we met Arnold Mooney (Stanley Livingston), a classmate of Jerry’s.  

James Flavin (Sgt. Wilcox) played the role of Sgt. Wilcox two episodes earlier in “Lucy and the Safe Cracker” (S2;E5). He appeared in four films with Lucille Ball, including playing a police sergeant in Without Love (1945). During his long career he played so many officers of the law that his IMDB photo is of him in a police uniform!

Jack Donohue (Man at the Bank) was the director of this episode and 106 others.  He also directed 35 episodes of “Here’s Lucy.”  He will also be seen as the Conductor in “Lucy Conducts the Symphony” (S2;E13).  

In the scene, Donohue approaches Viv to make a donation to the Hospital Helpers but is told to “Go away!”  

When Lucy asks Jerry to donate to the Hospital Helpers Fund, her voice sounds as if it was over-dubbed. Jerry replies that he already gave to the Volunteer Firemen’s Fund but coughs up a nickle anyway.  In “Lucy the Music Lover” (S1;E8) Viv was chairman of a benefit to raise funds for a new children’s hospital.

Bob says his father paid $300 for a convertible and bought Mrs. Mooney a fur stole. That $300 is the equivalent to nearly $2,400 in 2017. Chris theorizes that Mr. Mooney may have won the Irish Sweepstakes. The Irish Sweepstakes was a lottery based in Ireland to benefit their hospitals. The first ‘legal’ lottery in the United States was in New Hampshire in 1964.  

This is the first mention of Mr. Mooney’s wife, whose name, we learn, is Irma. She will remain off-screen for the entire series.  We also learn that they have a dog, although we don’t learn its name.    

Conversion from coal heating to oil heat began shortly after the Great Depression but was slow to catch on, especially in the Northeast, which heavily relied on coal.  As the technology progressed, costs for conversion decreased and many more homes moved away from coal to oil heat. Coal features heavily in the comic finale of “Lucy Builds a Rumpus Room” (S1;E11).

Mr. Mooney talks on the telephone with Mr. Alan about his new oil burner. It is guaranteed for one year and will use an estimated 10,000 gallons of oil over five years.  The oil tank is buried in the back yard.  When Mr. Mooney hastily scribbles notes about the conversation on a pad, Lucy mistakenly thinks that he has buried $10,000 in the back yard!

Mr. Mooney goes across the street to see Mr. Fox.  Della Fox was a wardrobe mistress on the series.  

Lucy wonders aloud what Perry Mason would do in a case like this.  “Perry Mason” (1957-1966) was a long-running TV series about a defense attorney (Raymond Burr) that aired concurrently with “The Lucy Show” on CBS.  

Callbacks!

This episode is full of clever callbacks to previous “Lucy Show” episodes.  Viv mentions hearing gossip from Flo the Manicurist. This was an off-screen character last mentioned in the series’ very first episode “Lucy Waits Up for Chris” (S1;E1).  The name Flo may be a tribute to Lucy’s childhood friend Flo Pauline Lopus.  

The gossip concerns Miss Tanner, Mr. Mooney’s secretary, a character we met in “Lucy Gets Locked in the Vault” (S2;E5) where she was played by Ellen Corby (above).  In this episode she is mentioned as “not being at her desk.”

Viv says that Flo once started a rumor that Grandma Sutton had run off with a 22 year-old cat food salesman!  Grandma Sutton’s cat got stuck up a tree in “Lucy and Viv are Volunteer Firemen” (S1;E16).  She was mentioned again in “Lucy Drives a Dump Truck” (S1;E24) and “Kiddie Parties Inc.” (S2;E2).  

Blooper Alerts!

When Lucy unwinds a rope to hoist Viv out of the hole it becomes knotted. Lucille Ball still manages to get it untangled without much delay.  

When Lucy’s pick ax causes a gusher from puncturing the oil tank buried in Mr. Mooney’s back yard, everyone complains that she damaged his oil heater, when in fact it was his oil tank, not the heater.  

“Lucy and the Bank Scandal” rates 3 Paper Hearts out of 5 

Reason 487 why Uncle Phil is a BAMF

Okay so - I sat an watched Selma yesterday and found it both fantastic and heartbreaking.

Today I was thinking about the scene with Malcom X, I briefly remembered the first time I ever learned about him - watching the Fresh Prince as a British kid in the 90′s. And suddenly all I can think of is this scene in the very first episode

Uncle Phil: Look at me when I’m talking to you. Let me tell you something, son. I grew up on the streets just like you. I encountered bigotry you could not imagine. Now you have a nice poster of Malcolm X on your wall. I heard the brother speak. I read every word he wrote. Believe me, I know where I come from!

So I never really linked him saying that to actually visually placing him in that period of the Civil Rights movement. So I looked up a bit more of Phil’s past in the show and literally:
“Phil: ls that so, son? Let me tell you something.
The ‘63 March on Washington? l was there.
The '65 demonstrations at Selma, l was there.
The '65 Watts Riots, l was there, too.”

So yeah, I always knew Uncle Phil was badass, but goddamn