Lucy and Superman
|"Lucy and Superman"|
|I Love Lucy episode|
|Episode no.||Season 6|
|Directed by||James V. Kern|
|Written by||Bob Carroll, Jr.|
|Original air date||January 14, 1957|
"Lucy and Superman" is an episode of the sitcom I Love Lucy, and was first broadcast on January 14, 1957 on CBS. The episode was written by Bob Carroll, Jr., Madelyn Pugh, Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf. Directed by James V. Kern, it is the 13th episode of the sixth season, and the 166th episode of the series.
The episode features a guest appearance by George Reeves as Superman. His character is referred to as "Superman" throughout the episode (rather than "George Reeves" or "the actor who plays Superman"), with hints throughout the script meant to clue adult viewers in that the character is actually only an actor.
Bandleader Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz) and his young son Little Ricky (Richard Keith) watch the latest episode of the Adventures of Superman television series, which concludes with the narrator stating that Superman will be making personal appearances in the coming week at Macy's Department Store in New York City. As Ricky's wife Lucy (Lucille Ball) enters and sends her son to bed, she promises to take him to see Superman at Macy's. Ethel and Fred Mertz (Vivian Vance, William Frawley) arrive and drop off favors for Little Ricky's fifth birthday party, which is scheduled for Saturday. Shortly thereafter, Lucy and Ricky entertain Caroline and Charlie Appleby (Doris Singleton, George O'Hanlon), whom the Ricardos consider to be good friends, except when they brag about their son Stevie (Steven Kay) – Little Ricky's best friend. Lucy and Caroline get into an argument when they realize that both of them have scheduled birthday parties for their sons on the same day, but neither will agree to change the date.
Because Stevie and Little Ricky are in the same class at school and have the same friends, Lucy worries that none of the children will attend Little Ricky's party – especially since Stevie's party will include a clown, puppet show and magician. Realizing that she must have more exciting entertainment for her son's party, Lucy convinces Ricky to ask Superman to appear at Little Ricky's party. Since Superman is in town – and since Ricky met him when the Ricardos and Mertzes visited Hollywood – Ricky agrees to ask him. Meanwhile, Lucy promises her son that Superman will be there. Even Stevie wants to come to Little Ricky's party upon learning about Superman, thus Caroline relents and changes the date of her son’s party. However, Ricky later calls and tells Lucy that Superman will be leaving town on Saturday and can't appear at the party. Desperate to avoid disappointing Little Ricky, Lucy decides to dress up as Superman herself. She and Ethel hatch a plan whereby Lucy will use the vacant apartment next door to walk onto the ledge and enter through the window of the Ricardo apartment during the party, hoping to fool the children that she's the Man of Steel.
During the party on Saturday, Lucy dons her makeshift Superman costume (complete with a football helmet to hide her red hair) and steps onto the ledge, just as Ethel enters the vacant apartment with a pair of prospective tenants (Ralph Dumke, Madge Blake), who have arrived unexpectedly. Meanwhile, Ricky returns home with the real Superman (George Reeves), who changed his plans once he heard that it was a child's birthday party. Delighted that the real hero came after all, Lucy turns to go back into the vacant apartment, but can't do so because the prospective tenants are still there. It begins to rain as the couple prepares to leave, so they close the window, trapping Lucy outside on the ledge.
As the party ends and the children leave, Superman expresses regret that he hasn't had the chance to meet Lucy (about whom, he remarks, he's heard so much). When Ethel lets it slip that Lucy's on the ledge, Ricky and the Mertzes race to the window to find Lucy still there, with her cape snagged on a drainpipe as the rain pours. At Little Ricky's suggestion, Superman goes out onto the ledge to rescue her. A furious Ricky screams that this is one of the craziest stunts Lucy has pulled in their entire fifteen years of marriage. Astonished to learn how long Ricky has been married to Lucy, Superman exclaims, "And they call me Superman!" Still on the ledge, an embarrassed Lucy turns to face the wall.
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In 1998, the episode was released on VHS as part of two separate compilations: "I Love Lucy Collection, Volume 5 - Lucy and Bob Hope/Lucy and Superman", and "I Love Lucy - The Classics: Lucy and Superman/The Freezer".
The episode was released on DVD in 2006 as part of the box set "I Love Lucy - The Complete Sixth Season".
Colorized version telecast
CBS aired a colorized version of the episode on May 17, 2015, along with another colorized episode, "L.A., At Last," which guest starred actor William Holden as himself, in an hour-long TV special.
- "I Love Lucy Season 6 Episodes". imdb.com. IMDb.
- Kashner, Sam; Schoenberger, Nancy (1997) . "The Phantom Zone". Hollywood Kryptonite: Accident, Suicide, or Cold-Blooded Murder - The Truth About the Death of TV's Superman. St. Martin's Press. p. 94. ISBN 0-312-96402-1.
- Gross, Ed (October 28, 2019). "The Life and Tragic Death of 'Superman' Star George Reeves — Plus the Actor in his Own Words". Closer. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
- Kelley, Seth (April 16, 2015). "CBS Brings Back Classic 'I Love Lucy' Episodes for One-Hour Special". Variety.com. Variety. Retrieved April 16, 2015.