Lucy and Ethel are tired of going to see Ricky's show every night. Lucy wants to do something different tonight and check out the famous Monte Carlo casino. Ricky overhears her plans and orders her to stay far from the casino. He says that, once in a casino, the temptation to gamble is too great. He once went to a casino in Havana and gambled against his father's wishes, so he knows from experience. Ricky says that Lucy and Ethel are more than welcome to eat at any restaurant they wish, they just aren't allowed to go to the casino.
While looking for restaurants, Lucy finds one that is IN the casino, and she persuades Ethel to eat there. When the women arrive at the casino and are walking through to the restaurant, Lucy finds a spare chip next to the roulette table. She asks whose chip it is, but nobody claims it. So, Lucy tosses it on the roulette table. Her chip ends up winning. She keeps trying to push away the chips that she's earned, and soon, she's won 875,000 francs! Lucy is scared to tell Ricky about the money, so she and Ethel hide the money in Ethel's lingerie case.
Ricky is discussing the band's finances with band manager Fred, because Fred recently revealed that he thought they made $3000, but really only have $300. Fred asks Ricky to get something out of his suitcase, and as luck would have it, Ricky accidentally opens Ethel's lingerie suitcase and finds the stash of money. Ricky thinks that Fred is embezzling, and that's where the money came from.
When Lucy finds out that Ricky thinks the money is a result of Fred juggling the books, she makes up a story to get Fred off the hook. She claims the money is Ethel's whos French aunt recently died and left all the money to her in the will. When Fred gets wind of the explaination he smiles from ear to ear, saying, "You mean my little honeybunch is LOADED?!" Ethel doesn't understand Fred's sudden overly affectionate treatment toward her, but she's not complaining by any means!
Ethel and Fred go in their room, where Fred asks Ethel to sit on his lap. The phone rings, and Ethel answers it. Lucy's on the other end. She explains to Ethel about making up the French aunt story. Ethel is furious at Lucy, and she also is furious to find out the real reason behind Fred's affection. Lucy rushes into the Mertzes' bedroom, declares that she can't take the evil ill gotten money anymore, then rushes off to the casino to get rid of all of her winnings.
When Ricky arrives, Ethel tells him the truth, about how the money was really Lucy's, that she won it at roulette, and was going to the casino right now to get rid of the money. Ricky naturally thinks that Lucy winning all the money by chance is wonderful, and he hurries to the casino to stop her from giving all the money away.
At the casino, the first time Lucy attempts to rid herself of her "ill-gotten" riches, she ends up winning yet again. She doesn't understand how this is possible, since she didn't even put her money on a number! But she had placed the pile on red, and the last number that won was red. Just then, Ricky runs in the casino and over to Lucy. He tells her that she's more than welcome to keep the money. But Lucy took too long to talk to Ricky, and had left all of her chips on red. Sadly, the next number to come up is a black one, and she loses everything...
Gambling at the Monte CarloEdit
Interested in seeing the details of the different table games Lucy and Ethel check out at the Monte Carlo casino? Look below!
Lucy and Ethel first were enticed by a craps table when they entered the casino. Lucy was even given the opportunity to be the next to throw the dice, but, in French-ified English, Lucy said she didn't play ("Je do not play-ez").
Lucy then found the chip on the floor next to the roulette table and tossed it on the numbered betting region of the roulette table. Lucy claimed to not know any rules of roulette whatsoever, which is hard to believe, considering how easy the game is to understand. The chip Lucy found on the floor hits on 26, black. When Lucy pushes the unwanted chips away, she pushes them onto 18, black. After that number wins, she says that she "washes her hands" of the chips and that, as "far as she's concerned, they can stay right where they are." The roulette operator interprets this to mean that Lucy wants the chips to stay on 18. She says she doesn't care. And the next number up is 18, repeat! Minus the one chip the casino manager gives to the house to represent the chip Lucy found on the floor that wasn't hers, she walks out of the casino having won 875,000 francs!
We never get to see any other types of games at the casino, so it is unknown if there were slot machines, poker, and/or blackjack there.
Knowing that Lucy walked out of the casino with 875,000 francs in winnings, combined with the foursome's reactions about the amount, one would think that Lucy won a great deal of money at roulette, a small fortune of some amount. But the amount of money she won in American dollars is shockingly low.
We learned in episode #145 that, at the time this episode was filmed, 7000 francs was worth $20. So, if we divide 875,000 by 7000, we get 125, which is the total piles of 7000 franc amounts in Lucy's winnings. Multiplying 125 by 20 to get Lucy's winnings in dollars, we get 2500. Seriously? That's ALL?! Now, $2500 is still a good bit of money today, and it was worth a lot more back in 1956, but this is far from the large sum of money everyone was making it out to be. After all, only a year later, in episode #170, Lucy spends over $3000 on new furniture for her Connecticut home!
When Lucy returned to get rid of the "ill-gotten gold," she just threw her stacks of French money on the table, and when she had it turned into chips, she pushed all of the chips on the colored betting region of the roulette table. She put all her money on the red region. Clearly, she had since figured out the main rule of roulette- that you try to predict which number will show up on the wheel. But she didn't know about the finer rules of the game, like that you're able to predict whether the next winning number is either red or black.
The next number to hit is 25, which is red, meaning Lucy won again! (This win is an unknown amount.) While digesting this surprising news, Ricky and the Mertzes run in the casino, and Ricky tells Lucy she can keep the money. Alas, Ricky got there a split second too soon, because Lucy left her chips on red while talking to her husband. And the next number to hit is 22, black! Lucy went bust, and one black number on a roulette wheel made her 875,000+ francs in the RED!
- Geoffrey Mark Feldman, author of The Lucy Book, makes a very good argument about why part of this episode's plot is entirely unrealistic. While it's understandable that Ricky wouldn't want Lucy to gamble at the casino, preventing her from potentially losing a fortune, it makes absolutely no sense why Lucy fears Ricky will be mad at her for winning the large sum of money. Even if Ricky did get angry that Lucy disobeyed his orders to stay away from the casino, Lucy didn't even truly gamble. It was all pure coincidence that she "pushed her [chips] into a fortune." She had a perfect alibi, and Lucy telling Ethel that Ricky finding out about the money would "be worse- he'd be a rich widower!" makes no sense. And, of course, when Ricky does find out that the money is Lucy's, his reaction is one of excitement, not anger.
- The restaurant in the casino that Lucy and Ethel ate at was called Le Grille.
- The gambler in the fez at the roulette table is none other than writer Bob Carroll, Jr.
- The dress Lucy is wearing when she goes to Le Grille and wins the money is a dress she has on in a still commonly known as "glamour Lucy" in the merchandising world. This "glamour Lucy" same is the picture on Lucille Ball's commemorative stamp. Mattel also made a Lucy doll that was dressed in this outfit. The doll didn't come with any props, so LucyEddFan added a roulette wheel sticker to hers, to signify this episode.
- It's no wonder Ricky accused Fred of embezzling. Fred confessed being $2700 short in the books, and Lucy won $2500 at the casino.
- Vivian Vance is in fancy clothes in this episode, just like Lucy. This is the beginning of Vivian demanding to have Ethel look more glamorous on the show, being tired of having to look frumpy. Vivian will get more leeway with her wardrobe and hair in the following season, but she won't have looking more glamorous in her actual contract until the start of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour.
- Fred found out that he had mistaken the books for having $3000 instead of $300 when he "jiggled the books and what [he] thought were decimal places fell off."
- Ethel's fake French aunt that Lucy invented was named Yvette.
- Lucy: Let's put it this way- your show is so great, I just can't stand the excitement of seeing it one more time.
Ricky: That's better... THAT'S better?
- Ethel: How'd you get us out of the S-H-O-W?
Lucy: Oh, Ethel. He can't pronounce English, but he can spell it.
Ricky: You're darn tootin' I can! If there's one thin' I know how to do, it's how to S-P-E-L!
- Fred: Well, I was goin' over the books, and, uh... Well, you know that money isn't everything. And you also know that anyone could make a mistake.
Ricky: Well, what? What? What's goin' on?
Fred: Well, you remember how I told you back in Rome that we cleared $3000?
Fred: Well, I checked the figures again, and when I jiggled the paper, what I thought were decimal points fell off! It must have been dirt or somethin'. So, we didn't make quite $3000.
Ricky: Well, how much DID we make?
Ricky: I might as just well have Lucy for a band manager!
Fred: Well, you don't have to get nasty!
Lucy: What do you mean you might just as well have had Lucy for a band manager? And what do you mean, "You don't have to get nasty"?! What's goin' on?
Ethel: Three guesses who goofed.
Lucy: What did I do?!
Ethel: Not you. Fred, the boy wonder of Wall Street.
- Lucy: I just want to see what the casino looks like.
Ricky: No, no, no, no. Once you get in there, the temptation is irresistible.
Lucy: Oh? How do you know?
Ricky: I know. My father took me to Havana once.
Ricky: So, I couldn't sit down for a week.
- Fred: And you stay out of that casino, too, Ethel!
Ethel: Oh, with the money you give me, you don't have to worry.
Fred: It's not that. I'm afraid you might meet up with some prince and sweep him off his feet.
Ethel: Well, I could! I might, I might!
- Ethel: Is [Le Grille] near the casino?
Lucy: It's IN the casino!
- Lucy: Oh, well, Ethel, if you're gonna split hairs...
Ethel: Well, I'd rather split hairs than have the boys split our skulls!
- Lucy: Is it our fault if the best restaurant in town is in the casino?
Ethel: But we don't have to go to that restaurant.
Lucy: We do if we wanna see the casino!
- Craps table operator: It is your dice, madame.
Lucy: Je do not play-ez!
- Lucy: (about roulette number) Oh, fine, 18. I don't care!
- Lucy: The first chip- it was not mine.
Casino manager: Oh, very well. Voila! This [one chip] is for the house. The rest, she is yours!
Lucy: I was my hands of those chips! As far as I'm concerned they can stay right where they are. I don't care.
Casino manager: Then you let it right on the number 18?
- Lucy: If Ricky finds it, he'll kill me!
Ethel: Even after he finds out how much you won?
Lucy: Oh, honey, that would be worse- he'd be a rich widower!
- Lucy: How 'bout under the mattress?
Ethel: Oh, no, it would get all mixed up with Fred's money. I know, I know! I've got it!
(Ethel gets out her one suitcase)
Ethel: Right in here with my good lingerie. There's lots of room- I haven't much good lingerie!
- Fred: Hey, you got hold of the wrong suitcase.
Ricky: I'll say I did!
Fred: That's full of Ethel's unmentionables.
Ricky: There's a few of yours in here, too!
- Ricky: Just open the suitcase and 'splain what's in it!
Fred: Well, alright.
(Fred pulls out piece of lingerie from suitcase)
Fred: This is Ethel's girdle.
- Ricky: How did Ethel get all that money?!
Lucy (Hurriedly): Uh, her aunt died and left it to her!
Ricky: Her aunt left her French money?
Lucy: Oh, it was her French aunt. Her aunt Yvette, yeah, Yvette! (impressed with her lie) That's good..., uh I mean that's right!
Ricky: Are you telling me the truth?
Lucy: If I'm not, may I drop dead.
(Lucy nervously looks up towards God)
- Lucy: Ethel didn't want that old rooster to know about her nest egg.
- Fred: You mean my little honeybun is loaded?
Ricky: Yeah! Gee, Fred, I'm sorry I thought you were a crook.
Fred: That's all right, Rick. What are friends for?
- Fred: Sweetheart, it just dawned on me what a fascinating creature you are.
Ethel: The heat's got him.
Fred: No, no, no! Don't be silly! It's YOU, you doll! Why, when you walked into this room, if we weren't already married, I'd have asked you for a date. Come on, honey. Let's try and go someplace where we can be alone...
- Lucy: Well, I didn't want [Ricky] to think Fred was an embezzler, and I didn't want him to find out I'd been gambling, and you were the only one left. I ran out of people!
- Ethel: I just found out why you're "tootsie"-ing me. It's on account of that money in my suitcase!
Fred: Money? That money had nothing to do with my deep devotion to you!
Ethel: Well it's a good thing it didn't, because it isn't mine! It's Lucy's!
Fred: LUCY'S?! (Throws his wife off his lap to the ground)
- Ethel: And don't you say anything, you golddigger!
Fred: Don't you call me a golddiger, you pauper!
- Fred: Wiped out twice in one lifetime!
Ethel: What do you mean?
Fred: The Crash of '29, and now this!
- Ricky: What's the matter with Fred?
Ethel: He just found out I'm not Bobo Rockefeller.
- Ethel: [Lucy] just kept pushin' [the chips] away from her, and she pushed her way into a fortune!