"Ragtime Band"
Season 6, Episode 21
#174 in Series
Network: CBS-TV
Air date: March 18, 1957
Written by: Bob Carroll, Jr.
Madelyn Martin
Bob Schiller
Bob Weiskopf
Directed by: William Asher
Production code: 6-20 / 174
Episode guide
IMDB Ragtime Band
Episode chronology
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"Lucy Does the Tango" "Lucy's Night in Town"

Ragtime Band was the 173rd overall episode of I Love Lucy, also the 20th episode of season 6, the final season of the series. The episode was directed by William Asher, originally aired on CBS-TV on March 18, 1957.


Lucy promises that Ricky will play at a local benefit, but he refuses. So she and the Mertzes put together their own combo—featuring Ricky Ricardo, Jr.

Plot summaryEdit

Lucy promises to have Ricky and his orchestra perform for the PTA event coming up. Of course, Ricky wants no part of this. So, Lucy says that she'll just have Ricky Ricardo, JR. perform a musical number. To add some more instruments to Little Ricky's drum playing, Ethel, Fred, and Lucy decide to join in the band, playing the piano, violin, and saxophone, respectively. Little Ricky is the only one with any musical talent, and everyone starts complaining to Ricky, asking if he'll help improve their band. Lucy, Fred, and Ethel all think that THEY are good musicians, blaming the other two for playing so poorly.

Ricky doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings by saying that, in reality, ONLY Little Ricky is doing well, so he tells the band that the world is not ready for their type of music yet. He agrees to do a number for the PTA event, with Little Ricky on bongos. To include the other three poor musicians and make them feel like they're participating somehow, he gives Lucy, Ethel, and Fred a very easy but very unusual instrument each to play minimally during the performance. They all perform "Woman Is Smarter," and it's a smash success.


  • A huge continuity error is included in this episode. Ever since Lucy's saxophone playing was introduced in early season 2, she has been able to only play "Gloworm." But in this episode, she says she can only play "Sweet Sue"! Even worse, the "flubs" section on the DVD does not even include this error! They've included very small errors before, ones that don't even really matter, but how did they possibly miss this blatantly obvious flaw?!
  • This is the first time we learn that Fred has a history playing the violin.
  • Ethel supposedly has very minimal piano skills in this episode, but we've seen her play piano mutliple times since season 1.
  • When Ethel says that she only knows where middle "C" is on the piano, Lucy insists that she has to have an "A." Strangely, despite the huge "Gloworm"/"Sweet Sue" continuity error, the much smaller detail of an "A" note fits with how Lucy played "the craziest 'A' you've ever heard" at her saxophone audition in episode #40.
  • Before the part where Fred shakes out the violin confetti, you can see little bits of the confetti fall out whenever he tries to play.
  • We learn that Lucy is a member of the PTA, and that Lucy, Betty, and Grace Munson are all members of the Westport Historical Society.
  • At the performance, the "rhythm section" consisted of Little Ricky on the bongos, Lucy on the cuica, Ethel on the cencerros, and Fred on the quijada.


Guest StarringEdit

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