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"Desert Island"
Season 6, Episode #8
#161 in Series
Air date: November 19, 1956
Written by: Bob Carroll, Jr.
Madelyn Martin
Bob Schiller
Bob Weiskopf
Directed by: James V. Kern
Production code: 6-08 / 161
Episode guide
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"Deep Sea Fishing" "The Ricardos Visit Cuba"

Desert Island was the 161st overall episode of I Love Lucy, also the 8th episode of season 6, the final season of the series. The episode was directed by James V. Kern, originally aired on CBS-TV on November 19, 1956.


Lucy and Ethel's scheme to prevent the boys from judging a beauty contest leaves the Ricardos and the Mertzes marooned on a desert island. Claude Akins guest stars as himself.

Plot summaryEdit

Ricky and Fred are set to judge a bathing beauty contest, and Lucy and Ethel don't want them anywhere near the gorgeous girls. So, they plan to make their husbands late for the contest. Lucy puts lemonade in a gas container and makes sure the boat's gas tank is only half full. This way, they'll run out of gas. She plans to hide the container with the gas on the boat, only to "discover" the gas container when it's far past the time to judge the contest. But Fred finds the "hidden" gas container before they set off, and he and Ricky leave it behind, knowing it's dangerous to have gas in a container that looks like lemonade. So, when the men figure out that the boat stalled from an empty gas tank, Lucy's plan is foiled and they're stranded in the ocean.

They find a deserted island to take refuge on, but Lucy and Ethel are spooked by what looks like island natives. The "natives" are really just actors on set, and guess who else is there? Bathing beauties Joi Lansing and Jill Jarmyn. The girls were brought to the island because the movie Turns out that the contest has been postponed until the next day, so the men didn't miss the judging after all!


  • Claude Akins, Jill Jarmyn, and Joi Lansing all go by their real names in the episode.
  • Claude Akins, the "native," supposedly made a film with Ricky when the Ricardos were in Hollywood. Actor Keith Thibodeaux remembers that Akins had really, really bad breath.
  • Ricky is set to be a part of a documentary film about Florida.
  • Little Ricky is the first one to spot the deserted island.
  • There was reportedly lots of sexual tension on the set because of Joi Lansing, who played one of the bathing beauties. Keith Thibodeaux said, "I also remember watching the chemistry between Joi Lansing and Desi, and Lucy's reaction. Even at my [young] age, I knew this couldn't be good." All seemed to be forgiven by 1959, though, because Joi appeared in the ninth episode of the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour.
  • In this episode, Ricky finds out that he's going to be filming a documentary about the history of Florida. Ricky's going to be doing the present-day view of Florida, highlighting his band performing in Miami.
  • We learn that Claude Akins was in "a picture" made while in LA. So, did Ricky make more than one movie out in Hollywood?
  • We also lean that luau-type food is Ethel's favorite.
  • When Lucy needs to figure out if the thermos she brought out is the one filled with lemonade or gasoline, she LICKS some of the liquid off of her fingers! What if that had been the gasoline thermos and Ricky had been wrong about it being lemonade?!
  • Ricky says that he's been on boats since he was younger than Little Ricky.


Guest StarringEdit

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