When you think of I Love Lucy, a few images probably spring to mind. Lucy stomping on grapes, Lucy and Ethel stuffing bon-bons down their shirts, and Lucy attempting to say “Vitameatavegamin.” That last scene occurred on the 30th episode of the show, “Lucy Does a TV Commercial”, which first aired on CBS sixty years ago on May 5, 1952.
In the classic episode, Ricky is hosting a TV show and needs someone to do a commercial spot. Lucy begs to do it, but Ricky refuses, even after Lucy pulls apart their television set, climbs inside and demonstrates what a fine spokeswoman she would be. She schemes her way onto the show, and does take after take of the ad for the cure-all tonic “Vitameatavegamin,” which contains 23% alcohol. The more takes she does, the better the product tastes, and the harder it is for Lucy to stay on script:
Madelyn Pugh Davis and Bob Carroll, Jr. wrote “Lucy Does a TV Commercial” and shared just how many takes the scene really took to shoot – a whopping one:
The episode ranked #2 on TV Guide’s List of Top 100 TV Episodes of All Time, beaten only by The Mary Tyler Moore Show’s “Chuckles Bites the Dust.” Here’s hoping you don’t pop out at your parties this weekend — it will make you quite “unpoopular”!
- by Adrienne Faillace