"Tennessee Ernie Hangs On"
Season 3, Episode 28
#95 in Series
Network: CBS-TV
Air date: May 10, 1954
Written by: Bob Carroll Jr.
Madelyn Pugh
Jess Oppenheimer
Directed by: William Asher
Production code: 3-28 / 095
Episode guide
IMDB Tennessee Ernie Hangs On
Episode chronology
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"Tennessee Ernie Visits" "The Golf Game"

Tennessee Ernie Hangs On was the 95th episode of I Love Lucy, also the 29th episode of Season 3 of the series. The episode, was directed by William Asher, originally aired on CBS-TV on May 10, 1954.


Lucy pretends she and Ricky have gone broke to get visiting Cousin Ernie (Tennessee Ernie Ford) to leave.

Plot summaryEdit

There's no sign that Cousin Ernie plans to leave the Ricardo residence any time soon, so Lucy and Ricky try to think up more ways to get rid of him. Since Ernie is too proud to accept a bus ticket, Ricky buys a ticket to Bent Fork and leaves it in the middle of the hallway for Ernie to find. But Ernie asks around town for the ticket's rightful owner, and he ends up giving it away to a homeless man. So, it's back to the drawing board. Lucy next pretends that Ricky's lost his job and they're dreadfully poor, too much in the red to keep feeding Ernie. But Ernie refuses to leave family in a time of need. Ernie ends up having the Ricardos, Mertzes, and himself appear for money on the TV show Millikan's Chicken-Mash Hour. They all sing as the Red-Hot Chicken Pickers, and Ernie goes home afterwards.


  • Ernie breaks the Ricardos' TV set when he tries to slap Cousin Lester Byke on the back during an episode of Millikan's Chicken-Mash Hour.
  • "Poverty-stricken" Lucy tells Ernie that half a piece of bread is to last a person through both breakfast AND lunch.
  • Once the Ricardos return all of the money Ernie collected from the neighbors, just 42 cents was left, which was all the money Ernie had in the world.
  • Ernie and his Chicken Pickers received $200 for appearing on Millikan's Chicken-Mash Hour.


Guest starringEdit

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