"The Lucy Show"
Character: Joan Crawford (A fictionalized version of herself)
Episode: "Lucy and The Lost Star" (aka "Lucy and Joan Crawford")
Duration: 30 minutes
Premiered: February 26th, 1968 (CBS)
After Lucy and Vivian have car trouble and seek help at a nearby house, they discover Joan Crawford (portraying herself) in an empty house scrubbing the floors. Unbeknownst to Lucy and Vivian, Joan is happily cleaning her own house preparing for new furniture to be delivered, however they think she's broke and has had to sell all of her belongings. Later that day, Lucy and Vivian visit Lucy's boss, Mr. Mooney (Gale Gorden), to ask for his help in assisting Joan to become a star again. They decide to give Joan a "good samaritan" package of groceries for her earlier help. While delivering the groceries, the three pretend to suddenly recognize Joan, and ask her to perform in a charity show at the local playhouse, thinking it will help her to get film work.
In the play, set in a 1920s speakeasy, Joan dances the Charleston before being shot by her rival, "Rusty," played by Lucy.
The following morning, Lucy, Vivian and Mr. Mooney go to Joan's house after hearing how successful the play was with encouragement to her that she should now be able to get new film offers. Joan informs them she doesn't need to work and that she's not broke.
Cast & Crew:
Joan Crawford - Herself
Lucille Ball - "Lucille Carmichael"
Vivian Vance - "Vivian Bunson"
Gale Gordon - "Theodore Mooney"
Lew Parker - "Joan's Agent"
It's reported that Lucille Ball caused much distress to Joan during the show's production, and insisted on firing Joan from the episode and replacing her with Gloria Swanson. According to Ball, she endured Joan arriving late to rehearsals, and drinking vodka on the set.
Webmaster's Note: Ball accused Joan of drinking alcohol excessively while on the set, which in the opinion of this Webmaster, Joan was most probably engaging in doing. Upon viewing of the episode, Joan slurs her speech in several scenes, and does appear inebriated throughout the episode. However, Joan was also battling the flue prior to this episode's taping, and it's possible the mixture of her regular consumption of alcohol combined with her medication created this more-pronounced inebriated appearance.