Previous episode: Ragtime Band            Next episode: Housewarming


The Ricardos and the Mertzes are excited to travel into New York this Saturday night to see the hit play The Most Happy Fella. Trouble abounds, however, when Lucy realizes at 7:30 pm that their tickets were for the afternoon matinee. After the girls eat extra slowly to try and stall so they'd miss the beginning of the show, the truth comes out, and the gang tries to buy four more tickets to the sold-out show. By a chance of luck, there are two tickets available, so Lucy and Ethel go and watch the first half of the show, and Ricky and Fred are scheduled to watch the second half.

After the first act ends, Lucy notices two empty seats behind her, so she and Ethel sneak back in to the show after the second act starts. Unfortunately, the late couple who rightly own the girls' seats arrive shortly after, and the foursome end up being squished by sharing two people to a seat. Lucy then accidentally knocks Ethel's purse off the balcony. When she retrieves it, Ethel is horrified to learn that it's not her purse but some other lady's. When they find the rightful owner of the purse, the woman thinks Lucy and Ethel stole her purse. Ethel then thinks that the woman stole the rent money Fred supposedly put into her purse. Fred tells Ethel that he only pretended to put the money in her purse, and that it has been with him the entire time. All is well, it seems? Not quite. The manager overhears the foursome's seat scam, so Ricky is forced to pay for four seats. Then, as everyone goes to head back in to watch the rest of the play, the theater doors open, signaling the play's end.


  • Fred was indeed right that the main character in The Most Happy Fella is not married. That's all we ever learn about the play, other than that the single guy wrote some kind of letter.
  • Lucy fans will recognize the theater manager as Joseph Kearns the same actor who played Dr. Tom Robinson in "The Kleptomaniac." Kearns went on to costar in Dennis the Menace as the first Mr. Wilson eventually being replaced by Gale Gordon who played Ricky's boss Mr Littlefield
  • The matinee tickets the gang ended up not being able to use were downstairs, sixth row center in Row F, Orchestra seats 104-107.
  • At Meegham's Chop House, Lucy and Ethel order roast beef (medium) with mashed potatoes and lima beans, because the meal is already prepared and Fred and Ricky were running late.
  • Everyone should chew their food thoroughly (around 25 times) before swallowing, just like the animals do, because hot food is bad for the stomach. You also should peel lima beans "to get the most out of them." The nutrients lie underneath the "upper epidermis."
  • Lucy kept the show tickets in her jewel box, along with her good jewelry, in her dresser for six months before the performance. Ethel wants to put her tickets in her "memory book."
  • Fred gets so much enjoyment out of coming to New York to collect the rent that he takes from morning until evening to finish the job.
  • According to Lucy at the beginning of the episode, the Ricardos have only lived in their new house for six weeks.
  • Fred gets paranoid that the "entire underworld" is following him whenever he's carrying a lot of money.
  • The reason that the couple behind the two seats the Ricardos and Mertzes ended up sharing was late to the show (and ended up missing the first act) was because they got caught speeding. The wife thought the judge would "never let [them] go."
  • This episode is very clever in its main plotline. The viewers are set up to think that Lucy forgot the tickets at home, which would have been an old and tired plot. The surprises start coming when Lucy triumphantly pulls out the tickets, only to find out that she had the wrong time, something very unusual.
  • The couple who missed the first act of the play were late because they were caught speeding at 65 mph.
  • When the gang sees all the people coming out of the theater after the purse fiasco, Ethel tries asking random members of the crowd to tell her what happened in the play during the parts she missed.
  • The Most Happy Fella was partially financed by Desilu, so they gladly allowed for the real Frank Loesser music to be used on the show. The poster in the Imperial Theater lobby has a review from Walter Winchell, saying that it's "a most happy smash!"
  • The three songs from the play that were heard during the show were "Standin' on the Corner, Watchin' All the Girls Go By" (first act), "Don't Cry," and "Big D" (second act).


  • Lucy: I bet I won't even recognize the old place.

Ricky: Well, [New York City] has changed a little. They got skyscrapers now.

  • Lucy: (to Little Ricky) Yeah, you can see it when you grow up, honey. At the rate they're selling tickets, it will still be playing.
  • Ricky: And you won't forget to bring [the tickets] with you?

Lucy: Well, I thought I'd throw 'em in the wastebasket just before I left the house.

  • Lucy: Yes, honey, I'm sure I have the right date. I put a ring around the date on the calendar. I made a mental note of it. I entered it in my engagement book. I did everything but hire an elephant and tie a string around its trunk!

Ricky: Yeah, but are you sure you got the right date?

  • Lucy: What time is it, Ethel?

Ethel: It's 7:40. Why?

Lucy: Too late for the matinee, huh?

Lucy: Well, at least I didn't lose 'em! You'll have to admit that!

Ethel: Well, bully for you!

  • Ethel: (about show being sold out) It's too bad we didn't have tickets to a stinker.
  • Ricky: 10:30 in the morning 'til 7:30 at night?

Ethel: Well, collecting the rent money is the highlight of the month to Fred. He likes to linger over it.

  • Lucy: Yeah, I thought roast beef was a good idea at the time, but now, I don't know. Steak might be nice or maybe some broiled chicken. What do you think about broiled chicken, Ethel?
  • Ethel: Every time Fred has more than $10 in his pocket, he imagines the entire underworld is trailing him.
  • Ethel: Well, if you're so nervous, why didn't you take a taxi?

Fred: I may be nervous, Ethel, but I'm not panicky!

  • Ethel: Oh, well, then put [the rent money] in MY purse. Even I wouldn't think of lookin' there!
  • Ricky: (about Lucy chewing so slowly) What are you doin'? Would you please tell me what you are doin'?

Lucy: Chewing.

  • Ricky: Well, swallow it now and chew it later!
  • Fred: Well, usually, by now, you've gobbled your dinner and devoured half of mine.

Ethel: Well, I just decided to eat like the animals do, too.

Fred: "Just decided"? You've been eatin' like a horse for 20 years!

  • Lucy: Why do you get to go? I'm the one who's been counting on this for months!

Ethel: Well, you just said we should go!

Lucy: Well, I didn't think you'd take me up on it!

  • Ricky: I wonder what the story's all about?

Fred: Well, I can tell you one thing- the guy is not married.

Ricky: How do you know that?

Fred: Look at the title!

(Fred points to the poster saying The Most Happy Fella)

  • Lucy: Do you know anyone who's missed the whole first act and still wants to see the show?

Ethel: Sure- Ricky and Fred!

  • Ricky: You can't sit there. We didn't pay for those seats.

Lucy: Oh, why not? They got all that extra for the matinee tickets we didn't use!

Fred: She's got a point there, Rick.

Ethel: Now, we'll fill you in on the first act.

Lucy: Yeah. See, this guy here- he isn't married.

Fred: (to Ricky) What'd I tell ya?

  • Woman who missed first act: They're sitting four people in two seats! Go down and tell the manager!

Husband: You go. I'd like to see just two minutes of the show!

  • Lucy: Honey, I"d like some orangeade.

Ricky: Orangeade?

Lucy: Yes, I'm thirsty.

Ricky: Yeah, you're also crafty, but it won't work. If you want orangeade, go get it yourself.

Lucy: Oh!

Ricky: And when you're down in the lobby, stay there!

  • Lucy: (goes to wrong seat) Move over, honey.

Man: I beg your pardon!

Lucy: Oh, sorry! Wrong honey!

  • Manager: Well, lady, can you prove you had $500 in your purse?

Lucy: Her penny-pinching husband can!

  • Lucy: I'll just say, "Fred, we lost your $500." But I'll say, "Fred, it was your fault for putting the money in Ethel's purse."

Ethel: And then I'll say, "Fred, take your hands from around Lucy's neck!"

  • Lucy: So, the four of us are sharing two seats.

Manager: Well, I'm sorry [you'll have to pay for four seats]!

Lucy; Oh, that's alright. We don't mind.