"Cuban Pals"
Season 1, Episode 28
#28 in Series
Cuban Pals
Network: CBS-TV
Air date: April 21, 1952
Written by: Bob Carroll Jr.
Madelyn Davis
Jess Oppenheimer
Directed by: Marc Daniels
Production code: 1-28 / 028
Episode guide
IMDB Cuban Pals
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Cuban Pals was the 28th overall episode of I Love Lucy, first aired on April 21, 1952 on CBS-TV during the series' first season. It was directed by Marc Daniels.


Ricky has some of his old friends from Cuba over to visit, and Lucy has to overcome the language barrier in order to communicate with them. All is well and good until Ricky's Cuban pals mention that Ricky should dance a number with old partner Renita Perez. Once a little girl, Renita is now a sexy bombshell, and jealous Lucy takes over Renita's part.


  • Even though we are never told the color of Lucy's dress that she wears in the number at the club, it would be cool if it had been a bright red dress, going very appropriately with Ricky singing "Lady in Red."
  • When Ricky accidentally translates to Maria and Carlos in English, this was a genuine flub. Desi's real-life mistake seems like it was meant to happen, since he covered for it so effortlessly. But Desi's laughter and reaction are genuine, since the translation error was by accident. The fact that this is the only time in the entire series that Desi lapses into speaking the wrong language is a testament to his acting talent and superior memory.
  • In the original script, at the very end, Ethel is mad at Lucy, because she has just received a telegram from Fred. He took Renita all the way to Atlantic City, and they're living it up! This scene was cut for time.
  • Portions of this episode were used in the 1992 film The Mambo Kings starring Antonio Banderas and Armand Assante. The two play Cuban brothers who come to America in the 1950s to achieve fame in music. At one point they meet Desi Arnaz (brilliantly played by Desi Arnaz Jr) and are invited to guest star on I Love Lucy. The scene from this episode where Lucy is first introduced to Ricky's friends was reworked and re-edited to accommodate a scene with Armand and Antonio. Desi Arnaz Jr gets to play his father opposite his mother and the scene is put together seamlessly.


  • Lucy: Both of my parents had red hair!

Ricky: (talking in Spanish) ...con una "henna rinse."

Lucy: I have an idea my hair suffered in the translation...

  • Ethel: Lucy, I don't trust you being so pals-y wal-sy with [Renita]. What are you planning to do?

Lucy: Oh, you're so smart!

  • Fred: (as "cab driver") Don't you worry, lady. I know a shortcut through Pil-a-del-pia!


Guest StarringEdit