I Love Lucy: Mertz and Kurtz (1954)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Domestic Comedy, Sitcom [TV]  |   Run Time - 30 min.  |  
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Veteran showman Charles Winninger appears in this episode as Barney Kurtz, the former vaudeville partner of Fred Mertz (William Frawley). When Barney comes to visit full of grandiose tales of performing before "the crowned heads of Europe," Fred tries to impress his ex-partner by pretending to be rolling in dough, and Lucy (Lucille Ball) goes along with the gag by posing as the Mertzes' maid. It soon develops that Barney is in far worse shape financially than Fred -- and worse, he has been forced to quit showbiz to work as a fry cook. To make sure that Barney will remain a hero in the eyes of his impressionable grandson Barney Jr. (Stephen Wootton), Lucy, Fred, Ricky (Desi Arnaz), and Ethel (Vivian Vance) help the old trouper stage his comeback as part of an elaborate vaudeville show at the Tropicana. Highlights include Desi Arnaz' deathless rendition of the old standard "They Go Wild, Simply Wild Over Me."