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My Favorite "My Favorite Husband" Episodes

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For those of you who enjoy Lucille's radio program, which episodes do you enjoy the most? Here are my top picks:


1) Over Budget


This was the very first episode featuring the "Coopers" as opposed to the "Cugats". It's also the first episode I ever heard way back in 2000 and remains, to this day, my favorite of them all. The storyline is pure Lucy and is paced perfectly from beginning to end - with the jokes about all the ways to fix beans being a recurring staple throughout the show. The dialogue is sharp and funny, the payoff satisfying and the interaction between Liz and Katy the maid is very funny.


2) Liz Appears on Television


Another fave of mine. This show loosely inspired "Lucy & Ethel Buy the Same Dress", but only in the sense that Liz and Iris wind up with the same dress to appear on a television program in. Other than that the plot is noticeably different. In this one, Liz is presenting a friendship plaque to Iris in honor of Friendship Week. The acidic quips between Lucille and Bea Benadaret during the final scene are biting and laugh-out-loud funny ("It's too bad we don't have color television, because you would see that her dress is orange and black - the same colors as her hair!"), and all four leads have shining moments. It's also a great showcase for guest star Frank Nelson as the helpless TV host. 


3) The Marriage License


This was one of two episodes that inspired the marriage license episode of I Love Lucy. Liz discovers that George's last name is misspelled on her marriage license and fears her marriage is invalid.  George plays a joke on her to make her think it really is invalid, but Liz catches on to his scheme and gets back at him by pretending to be glad her marriage is no more, and arranges a false date with an old boyfriend (who just happens to be a jewelry dealer) to get back at him. The phone call scene in particular is hysterical, with Liz faking her end of the conversation as if her old flame has truly asked her on a date, while he just scratches his head wondering what she's up to. Then after he hangs up, she continues feigning the conversation with the hotel receptionist, who simply acts as though she's inquiring about hotel guests and rules. The ending is also a happy one, with Liz tricking George into finally buying her an engagement ring 10 years on. It also features a title drop in Liz's last line - "Who cares, I've got my favorite husband back!"


4) Country Club Dance


Another great Liz and Iris script, where they unsuccessfully try to coerce their husbands into taking them to the country club dance Friday night, but the boys would rather attend the fights. Loosely inspired "The Girls Want to Go to a Nightclub", but the ending is radically different here. Liz & Iris arrange for two high school boys (one of them Richard Crenna) to drive them to the country club, thereby tricking the husbands into thinking the two kids are their dates. But the boys have to go to their own high school dance, leaving Liz to drive the rest of the way. Naturally she gets lost and gets the car stuck in the mud. Iris's line about asking a cow for directions back to the main road has always cracked me up for some reason.


5) Liz Teaches Iris to Drive


Now here's an interesting example of how Bob and Madelyn adapted some of their radio scripts for television. By the time I Love Lucy's fourth season rolled around, most of the scripts were original creations and not based on previous MFH material. But the basic premise of this show did inspire "Lucy Learns to Drive". We all remember the sight gag of Lucy driving off in Fred's old Cadilac with Ricky's Pontiac dragging behind it, only for her to return after the commercial break driving the Pontiac with the Cadilac now stuck in back. She then relays the story of how it happened to Ethel. But for radio, where you didn't need big sets and special effects, Liz and Iris got to be IN the car when the switch occured on the road! It's a lot of fun to listen to as you can picture in your head what Lucy must've experienced. In other words, radio got to show where television only got to tell. Both are favorites of mine considering how successful each was in dramatizing this particular scene.

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I also really enjoy Liz Changes Her Mind. The restaurant scene is almost identical to the TV counterpart, including Frank Nelson as the waiter. The ending of the radio version is different, however, in that Liz mails George an old letter saying she's leaving him. George never gets it, but does receive a letter inviting Liz to her sorority reunion. When George tells Liz he thinks she ought to go, she thinks he's leaving her. It's touching and funny, and the ending wraps everything up nicely. I especially enjoy this conversation between George and Mr. Atterbury:


George: Delta Upsilon Delta. Doesn't Iris belong to the same sorority?

Rudolph: Yes, she's a DUD too.

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:blink: What does that have to do with Lucy's radio show?

Mea culpa! You're right LB, absolutely nothing! For some reason, somehow or other when I post from work (!) somehow they sometimes end up in the wrong thread (don't ask me how, I don't get it either!)! If I figure out/remember what I was actually trying to answer to, I'll move it over! ;)

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