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Lucy Takes a Cruise to Havana 

Hedda Hopper visit the Ricardo's Connecticut home for an interview. All answer questions of how Lucy first met Ricky after a cruise trip to Havana, Cuba, with Ann Sothern in 1940 with thanks to Rudy Vallee's assistance.

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Carlos Garcia
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Himself
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Herself
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Richard Keith ...
Frank Nelson ...
Cruise Director
Jorge Treviño ...
Judge (as George Trevino)
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Jailer
Joaquin Del Rio ...
Drunk
Vicente Padula ...
Nightclub Owner (as Vincent Padula)
Louis Nicoletti ...
Waiter
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Storyline

When Hedda Hopper comes over for an interview, Lucy recalls a cruise she took to Havana in 1940 with her long time friend, Susie McNamara, [of "Private Secretary" & acted by Ann Sothern], meets an older couple named Fred and Ethel Mertz, singer Rudy Vallee, and a young Cuban drummer named Ricky Ricardo, portrayed by Desi Arnaz. Written by Attmay

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Genres:

Comedy | Family

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Release Date:

6 November 1957 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The debut of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour (1957), The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour: Lucy Takes a Cruise to Havana (1957) originally ran 75 minutes, uncut. See more »

Connections

References Private Secretary (1953) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Belatedly, how it all started - with a boost from PRIVATE SECRETARY
27 February 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

There was a time that episodes of THE LUCI - DESI COMEDY HOUR were rerun almost every summer up to about 1969 (about the time I entered High School). Then they vanished, and only reappeared in the last decade. Most of them held up fairly well (like the episodes of I LOVE LUCY do), but some of them may seem odd or distant to youngsters. While the episodes of I LOVE LUCY that had then prominent stars like Robert Taylor or William Holden as guest-stars may still catch the attention of the viewer as memorable, how does one explain those episodes of the COMEDY HOUR that starred the great, but tragically long forgotten Ernie Kovacs, or that fine actor Paul Douglas?

The first one has a curious original note that most viewers would not be aware of anymore. That is that when the story unfolds Lucy reveals who was her closest chum before she met Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance). For the story here is that news gossip columnist Hedda Hopper (another long forgotten figure to today's audiences - but in her day a really powerful figure in the movie colony) is interviewing the Ricardos to learn how they met. Actually, over the years, we got some idea of the odd marriage of Ricky Ricardo, musician and band leader, and Lucille McGillicuddy. Her family (in particular her mother) were not really crazy about it - it was so sudden and rushed into). And it was really unheard of in the 1940s for American women like Lucy (caucasian as she is) to marry Latin Americans. However, although religion is rarely mentioned, it is probable that Lucy like Ricky in Catholic, and that she is of Irish descent (which makes a marriage with a Spanish-American more possible: Irish - Spanish unions were not unheard of, such as the family of Eamon Da Valera of Ireland or General/President Bernardo O'Higgins of Chile).

But the details of the meeting of the couple and their marriage are not told until this episode. And it also includes the first meeting (on board a cruise ship) with Fred (William Frawley) and Ethel. Fred is younger here - he still has hair! But since this was where Lucy met Ethel, we learn Lucy traveled with an older friend: one Suzie McNamara (Anne Southern). Southern and Ball had become close friends on their way up in movies in the 1930s and 1940s, and even appeared together at least once. While Ball had been making I LOVE LUCY, Southern was on another station doing PRIVATE SECRETARY with Don Porter and Jessie White. But that show ended in the late 1950s. So Southern was in a unique situation: She could pop up in her persona from PRIVATE SECRETARY in Lucy's new show, and link the two characters. This had not been tried before on television.*

(*I have never found it, but there is a story that in the dialog of one of the I LOVE LUCY episodes, Lucy returns home in an angry mood and tells Ethel she had a run-in with a bus driver in Brooklyn named Kramden. It's just barely possible, as THE HONEYMOONERS as a program only lasted those 39 episodes after being on Jackie Gleason's earlier program as a skit. Certainly it is easy to imagine Ralph having some ditsy problem with Lucy as a passenger on his bus.)

The episode is how Lucy and Suzie meet two musicians on the boat, Ricky and Carlos Garcia (Cesar Romero), and two romances develop. But the complications involve the police and some period in a Cuban calaboose. The upshot is that Ricky and Lucy end up together (Suzie is with Carlos at the end, but as she and her boss - Don Porter - ended up together in her show we know this union didn't work). Ethel (with a reluctant Fred) get involved in helping Lucy and Suzie out of their predicament with the law, which is how Lucy finds her new pal.

As a start to the new series of hour long shows it was okay. A few of the later ones (particularly one with Fred MacMurray, which I always enjoyed) were funnier. But the linking of Southern's heroine with Ball's was quite simple but clever. Interestingly enough, when Ball did her THE LUCY SHOW in the 1960s, Vivian Vance did not stay on it very long. For a number of episodes Southern came back as an old friend of Ball's named the Countess Framboise. She nearly became a regular.


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