| Season 2, Episode 4 |
#39 in Series
|Air date:||September 15, 1952|
|Written by:|| Bob Carroll Jr.|
|Directed by:||William Asher|
|Production code:||2-4 / 039|
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Job Switching was the 39th overall episode of I Love Lucy, which first aired on CBS-TV on September 15, 1952, also the 4th episode of Season 2. It was directed by William Asher.
After Ricky and Fred get upset about the girls' spending, Lucy and Ethel go to work in a candy factory while the boys do the housework.
Ricky learns about some of Lucy's bounced checks, and blows his stack. The girls minimize the problem while the boys chide them "for lying around the house" and "playing canasta." Both think the others have it easy, so Lucy challenges Ricky and Fred to swap roles with her and Ethel for a week. The bet is on. In his role as a house husband, Ricky serves an almost perfect breakfast the next morning... eggs, ham, potatoes, orange juice, and exquisitely brewed coffee. But Lucy's amazement quickly turns to disdain when she answers the phone and tells Ricky to pick up his hat, witch he left at the corner drugstore lunch counter after picking up the two breakfast orders. Ethel walks in and the two march out the door to go job hunting. At the employment agency, Mr. Snodgrass grills Lucy and Ethel about their work qualifications, and finally settles on candy making. At home, Ricky and Fred aren't coping very well with the house hold chores. Fred has dropped the dishes on the floor, both of them have left iron shaped burn marks on the clothing, and Ricky starches Lucy's nylons into a piece of cardboard. At the candy factory, the forewoman sternly instructs Lucy in the candy-dipping department. Lucy watches the woman next to her as she deftly picks up a cream center, drops it into a puddle of chocolate, rolls it, covers it with chocolate and sets it aside, making a swirl design on top. With a big smile, Lucy tries to imitate the woman and smears her fingers in the chocolate on the slab of marble with the abandon of a child making mud pies. She finally manages to complete one and drops it into the finishing tray with a flourish. It's a misshapen mess. "Hey, this is fun!" she says. A fly lands on the other woman's face, and Lucy, her hand covered with chocolate, takes a swipe at it, leaving a brown splat on the woman's face. Her coworker promptly smacks Lucy back, leaving her face completely covered with chocolate. They exchange more and more swats until they are both dripping. The boys, meanwhile, have completely ruined dinner. Fred makes a "seven-layered chocolate cake" that is flatter than a pancake, while Ricky's chicken and rice concoction sends several poultry carcasses into the ceiling. Back at the candy factory, Lucy and Ethel have been demoted to the wrapping department. As the candy enters the room by way of conveyor belt, their job is to wrap each piece of paper and return it to the belt. "If one piece gets past you and into the packing room unwrapped, you're fired." warns the forewoman. "Let 'er roll," she yells. At first the candy comes through at an easy pace, but the belt speeds up and the pieces double in volume. To keep up, Lucy starts to put some of them next to her, and she gulps down others. Mercifully the belt stops, but the two hear the forewoman coming-they frantically gather up all the loose pieces, dropping them into their cook's caps. Scrutinizing their progress, she says, "Fine, you're doing splendid. Speed it up a little!" she shouts. The speed and quantity of chocolate on the conveyor have become preposterous as Lucy and Ethel each gather up all the pieces and stuff them down their blouses. Holding their aching stomachs as they walk through the front door at home, Lucy finds a note. "Please do not go into the kitchen until we explain. We'll be back in a few minutes." Lucy can't resist going in, and a primal scream comes from the kitchen as she runs back out, describing the mess on the floor, the walls and the ceiling. When Ricky and Fred return, they admit that they're lousy housewives and want to call the whole thing off. When the girls agree, Fred and Ricky show their appreciation by presenting each of the girls with... a five pound box of chocolates.
- This classic episode is considered to be the second-most-famous episode of the series, behind the Vitameatavegamin scene of episode #3o.
- Most people call this the "chocolate factory episode," but the girls' place of employment was named Kramer's Kandy Kitchen, not Kramer's Chocolate Kitchen, indicating that all types of candy were made there.
- This episode is usually considered to be #39, which indicates when it was filmed. However, it was the season 2 premiere, making it #36 if going by when it was broadcast. This is one of many times throughout the series where there's a discrepancy between filming and broadcast order.
- When Ricky/Desi slips on the rice for the first time, that was an accident, not planned. Desi saw what a great reaction he got from the audience, and he proceeded to slip on purpose several more times. Unfortunately, he painfully bruised his ribs from all this slipping.
- A real candymaker from a nearby See's Candy was hired to play the part opposite Lucy in the dipping department.
- The employment office Lucy and Ethel go to is named the Acme Employment Agency.
- Acme's motto is "people we place stay put."
- Besides "candymaker," the other jobs that A. Snodgrass offered Lucy and Ethel were stenographer, bookkeeper, comptometer operator, dental technician, insurance adjuster, and PBX operator, in that order.
- This is the third and final time that Lucy will be seen wearing her Vitameatavegamin dress. Curiously, although she only wore the dress three times (in episodes, all of the episodes are very famous ones.
- The look of shock on Lucy's face when the candymaker, Amanda Milligan, slapped Lucy was genuine. During rehearsals, Milligan refused to slap Lucy hard enough, afraid to injure such a huge star. Desperate to get the proper reaction during filming, Lucy slapped Milligan very hard. In response, Milligan gave Lucy a wallop of unexpected strength, taking Lucy aback, just as Lucy hoped would happen.
- Milligan not only said that the day she spent on the I Love Lucy set was the most boring day of her life, she also never had even seen the program. She told Lucy that she watched wrestling Monday nights at 9 pm.
- When sent to the conveyer belt, Ethel tells Lucy that this is the fourth department she's been in. She was initially kicked out of the boxing department, because she kept pinching the candy to see what kind they were.
- Even if Lucy and Ethel had managed to keep up with the out-of-control conveyer belt, they still would have gotten fired. After the women have been stuffing the chocolates down their shirts and hats, Ethel notices that she has let one of the chocolates pass unwrapped into the next room. It is unknown if Vivian Vance's panicked reaction to this unwrapped chocolate was scripted or not, as it is also not known if Ethel was supposed to make this slip-up or not.
- The official I Love Lucy Trivia Game by Talicor has two huge mistakes relating to this episode. On one card, it says that Fred said the chickens should be in the pressure cooker for "one hour," even though he clearly says "an hour-and-a-half." Worse, another card asks for the player to recite the "teller" quote written below, but it says the quote is from "The Business Manager"!
- In the Family Guy episode "The Courtship of Eddie's Father," in one scene where the characters are watching TV, it's obvious that "Job Switching" is on. Lucy is seen stuffing chocolates in her hat and then getting slapped with chocolate.
- In one episode of the Nickelodeon live-action series Drake and Josh, the two title characters go to work at a sushi factory called Ball and Vance. The famous conveyer belt scene is re-enacted, only with sushi instead of chocolate. At least the re-used plot gave credit to I Love Lucy by the tongue-in-cheek name of the factory. Also the episode is called ''I Love Sushi''.
- Lucy: I write a check out to the beauty parlor every month.
Ricky: Yes, I know that, but they don't always have a little note in the back like this one! (reading check) "Dear Teller, be a lamb, and don't put this through 'til next month!" Now, what do you gotta say for yourself?
Lucy: That's why they call 'em "tellers." They go around blabbing everything they know!
- Ricky: Every month, every single month, your bank account is overdrawn. Now, what is the reason?!
Lucy: You don't give me enough money?
Ricky: I don't give you enough money?!
Lucy: Well, we both agree. That must be the reason!
- Fred: [Ethel] spends money like I were printing it in the basement! Let's face it, Rick. When it comes to money, there are two kinds of people, the earners and the spenders. Or, as they are more popularly known, "husbands" and "wives"!
- Ethel: Well, Lucy, are you ready to go to the office? The employment office, that is.
- Ricky: How 'bout arroz con pollo?
Fred: Well, which is that? The main course or the dessert?
- Lucy: I'm a dipper from way back! They used to call me the "Big Dipper"!
Supervisor: There's no room in this plant for levity, however weak!
- Lucy: (to fellow candymaker) What do you do when your nose itches? (no response from candymaker) Is that so?
- Fred: Seven layers of luscious devil's food!
Ricky: (stares at hideous cake) What happened to the other six layers?
Fred: Well, they're all in there! Some of 'em just didn't rise very much!
Ricky: Well, you can put on a lot of frostin'!
Fred: What do you mean "put on"? The frosting's already in it!
Ricky: "In it"?!
Fred: Yeah, I mixed it all up together before I baked the cake!
Ricky: Well, maybe you'd better wait until breakfast and serve it as a pancake!
- Ricky: Hey, listen, by the way, what do you know about rice?
Fred: Well, I had it thrown at me on one of the darkest days of my life!
- Supervisor: Fine, you're doing splendidly. Speed it up a little!
- Lucille Ball ...as Lucy Ricardo
- Desi Arnaz ...as Ricky Ricardo
- Vivian Vance ...as Ethel Mertz
- William Frawley ...as Fred Mertz