SNL Transcripts: Desi Arnaz: 02/21/76: Failed “I Love Lucy” Pilots


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 1: Episode 14

75n: Desi Arnaz / Desi Arnaz, Jr.

Failed “I Love Lucy” Pilots

…..Desi Arnaz
Ricky Ricardo…..Desi Arnaz Jr.
Louis Armstrong…..Garrett Morris
Lucy…..Gilda Radner
Ricky Ricardo #2…..Tom Schiller

Desi Arnaz: You know, it’s no secret that “I Love Lucy” was a very successful show on television. But it has been on for so very long now.. and I want to tell you the story about that. It’s been on for so long now, and in so many forms, that I almost forgot, the,n how we arrived at the idea. You see, uh.. first, you try a lot of different things, and for the pilot.. and, if the pilot sells, then it becomes a series. So we try – this is really a matter of trial and error – you know, and we had to find something that would really present Lucy the right way. And we tried several ideas, and, uh.. we were very fortunate.. to find.. a print of some of those early pilots. So, Dave, if you’re ready, will you run the first one, please?

[ dissolve to “I Saw Lucy” title card ]

Announcer: “I Saw Lucy”.

[ dissolve to Ricky’s empty apartment, as he comes running in ]

Ricky Ricardo: [ runs to open window ] Lucy! honey, it’s me, Ricky! Can you hear me! Lucy, I’m up here! [ sits on couch ] Shucks! She never looks up! [ dials phone ] Hello, Fred? Oh, Ethel – hi, hi! Is Fred there? Let me talk to him! Yeah, you too. Yeah, I-I-I just saw Lucy again Fred, huh! Yeah, down in the street! no, she didn’t say anything, she didn’t even see me! Yeah, she was just walking by. Okay, bye-bye. [ hangs up phone ] Well, maybe if I go down to the club with Little Ricky, I’ll see her hanging around on the sidewalk, or something.

[ dissolve back to Desi Arnaz ]

Desi Arnaz: The problem with “I Saw Lucy” seemed obvious after the first filming. We never actually got to see Lucy, and we felt that that would probably work againstus. So, I didn’t give Lucy a fair crack at the show.. so, we tried another idea.

[ dissolve to “I Loathe Lucy” title card ]

Announcer: “I Loathe Lucy”.

[ dissolve to Ricky’s empty apartment, as he comes running in ]

Ricky Ricardo: Lucy, honey, I’m home!

Lucy: Hi, honey!

Ricky Ricardo: Hi, honey! [ they kiss ] You look pretty.

Lucy: How are things at the club, honey?

Ricky Ricardo: Oh, great! You know, Maurice Chevalier’s gonna be on the show tonight, and he’s rehearsing right now!

Lucy: Oh, that’s great, honey!

Ricky Ricardo: Yeah, isn’t that great? Yeah! [ shoves Lucy to the floor ] Get me a drink, will you, honey?

Lucy: Oh, sure thing, honey, sure.. [ brings Ricky his drink ]

Ricky Ricardo: Oh, thank you. You know, I think I’m gonna ask Fred and Ethel to come see the show tonight! You can stay at home and be very lonely, huh.

Lucy: [ resolved ] Okay.

Ricky Ricardo: Hey, how’s Little Ricky’s cold?

Lucy: Oh, it’s much better.

Ricky Ricardo: Oh, good, good. [ sips his drink ] You know I don’t like Scotch!

Lucy: You don’t?

[ Ricky tosses the Scotch in Lucy’s face ]

Lucy: Honey, I’ll get you another drink.

Ricky Ricardo: Oh, thank you. Oh, come here, baby. Come here! [ kisses Lucy, then shoves her to the floor again ]

Lucy: [ jumps up and runs into the kitchen ] Ethel! Ethel!

[ dissolve back to Desi Arnaz ]

Desi Arnaz: Um.. the wear and tear.. was too much for Lucy, you see. Exhausted, she came t us and asked us to come up with something – another vehicle – something less demanding.

[ dissolve to “I Love Louie” title card ]

Announcer: “I Love Louie”.

[ dissolve to Ricky’s empty apartment, as he comes running in ]

Ricky ricardo: Honey, I’m home!

Louie Armstrong: [ playing trumpet ] Hi, honey! You want dinner now, or should I play a number first? [ plays “A Kiss To Build A Dream On” on the trumpet ] [ dissolve back to Desi Arnaz ]

Desi Arnaz: [ laughs ] Oh.. of course, “I Love Louie”, uh.. had its share of problems, you see. Contractually, Louie Armstrong.. belonged to another studio, and it was almost impossible to get him every week. So.. we tried another idea.

[ dissolve to “I Love Asparagus” title card ]

Announcer: “I Love Asparagus”.

[ dissolve to close-up of plate of asparagus, as Ricky hovers over it ]

Ricky Ricardo: Honey, I’m home! I bet you can’t guess who’s gonna do the show tonight, huh! No.. it’s Ernie Kovacs. Yeah, yeah.. he said he’d do the show if he can get a chainsaw and a cardboard mock-up of a grand piano. Mmm-hmm.. Gee, honey, you know, you look great! Huh? [ starts to eat the asparagus ] [ dissolve back to Desi Arnaz ]

Desi Arnaz: The, uh.. the main problem with this one was keeping the vegetables fresh uner the very hot studio lights. And the budget was overwhelming. We tried, later, some broccoli.. again, they all kept shriveling and wilting away. And, again, no Lucy. So, finally, we hit on this!

[ dissolve to “I Love Desi” title card ]

Announcer: “I Love Desi”.

[ dissolve to Ricky’s empty apartment, as he comes running in ]

Ricky Ricardo: Honey, I’m home!

Ricky Ricardo #2: [ enters ] Hi, honey!

Ricky Ricardo: Hi!

Ricky Ricardo #2: Hi!

Ricky Ricardo: Heeeeeyy! Guess what? Is dinner ready, because, if it is, Cesar Romero’s on hid way here!

Ricky Ricardo #2: Cesar Romero coming here?

Ricky Ricardo: Yeah! Isn’t that terrific?

Ricky Ricardo #2: Yeah!

Ricky Ricardo: If you can make a fantastic dinner for him tonight, I think we can get him on the show!

Ricky Ricardo #2: Don’t worry about it, I’ve been cooking all afternoon with this new French cookbook that Ethel gave me. We’re having Beef Stroganoff, Beef Wellington, and Chocolate Mousse! I had a heck of a time getting the moose through the kitchen door!

Ricky Ricardo: Oh, no! That book! That was a joke cookbook I gave Fred as a practical joke!

Ricky Ricardo #2: Oh, no! Oh no, what do we do?

[ doorbell rings ]

Ricky Ricardo: Uh-oh! That’s Cesar!

Ricky Ricardo #2: Uh-oh!

[ dissolve back to Desi Arnaz ]

Desi Arnaz: We tried everything: “I Love Fred & Ethel”.. “I Love Loose Change”.. “I Love Casterbind Engines”.. “I Married Lucy”.. and even “Our Miss Lucy”. None of them worked. But the answer was obvious – a show with my wife called.. “I Love Lucy”. And now, I’ve got a wonderful surprise for you. Perhaps some of you are a little bit ahead of me, so, uh.. no use waiting any more. Let us introduce him right now. Right now, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome.. Mr. Willie Day!

[ Willie Day steps up on stage to decent applause ]

Desi Arnaz: Willie is the Prop Man on NBC’s Saturday Night! [ band breaks into “I Love Lucy” theme ] We’ll be right back after this message!

SNL Transcripts

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Author: Don Roy King

Don Roy King has directed fourteen seasons of Saturday Night Live. That work has earned him ten Emmys and fourteen nominations. Additionally, he has been nominated for fifteen DGA Awards and won in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

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