"The Operetta"
Season 2, Episode 3
#38 in Series
Network: CBS-TV
Air date: October 13, 1952
Written by: Bob Carroll Jr.
Madelyn Davis
Jess Oppenheimer
Directed by: Marc Daniels
Production code: 2-03 / 038
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Stage Scene from "The Operetta" in Season 2.

The Operetta was the 40th overall episode of I Love Lucy, which first aired on CBS-TV on October 13, 1952; it was also the 5th episode of Season 2. It was directed by Marc Daniels.


The Ricardos and Mertzes perform in an operetta for a club benefit.


Lucy's treasurer of the women's club, but she's done a horrible job keeping track of the money. The treasury is bare, so Lucy decides to have the club put on an operetta to raise money. To save royalty fees and having to pay someone to write the play's script and the songs, Lucy decides to write the operetta herself. Ethel will star as the lovely peasant girl Lily; Ricky will be Prince Lancelot, who falls madly in love with Lily; Fred is Squire Quinn, the owner of the town's inn; and Lucy is Camille, the snaggletoothed Queen of the Gypsies, who warns Lily not to marry Prince Lancelot, or terrible things will happen.


Hilarious image of Lucy in stage scene of "The Operetta".

Since Lucy has no money in the treasury, she pays for the scenery and the costumes by writing a check that is postdated until the operetta is already over and has brought in ticket sales. The first part of the operetta goes off beautifully, but, just like Camille warned, trouble strikes when Lily and Prince Lancelot wed. Lucy's postdated check bounced, and a bunch of men come to take away the scenery and costumes in the middle of the wedding scene. These men are ruthless, and they think nothing of taking props right out of the actors' hands or taking off Ricky's costume and leaving him in the middle of the stage in his underwear. Lucy tries to keep the show going by singing a reprise of her gypsy song, but the men carry her right off the stage.

Excerpt of scene from "The Operetta"Edit

  • Lucy: That was only the beginning. From then on, I borrowed from the household account so that the treasury acccount would balance. Then, I borrowed from the treasury account so that the household account would balance. And on and on, and back and forth, like a tennis game, and somewhere along the line, I lost the ball...
  • Lucy: Where do I go to get my teeth snaggled?
  • Lucy: (to Ethel) Then, Ricky comes in. He's the prince, and he takes one look at you and falls madly in love with you. That'll take a little acting...
  • Ricky: (singing) I am the good Prince Lancelot! I love to sing and dance a lot! I have an eye for a (forgets words) da-da-da-...

Lucy: (blows whistle) None of that "da-da-da" stuff! Let's hear the words. They're good words, let's hear them!

Ricky: GOOD words?! "Lancelot," "dance a lot"!

  • Fred: (singing) I'm Squire Quinn, and I wanna shout about my inn on the river out!
  • Lucy: (singing) I gave them a check.

Chorus girl: (singing) [The check] bow-how-how-how-ounced! It bow-how-how-how-ounced! (very fast and operatic) It bow-how-how-how-how-how-how-how-ounced!

Lucy: It came back?!


Guest starringEdit