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» » Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse K.O. Kitty (1958–1960)

Short summary

Dance teacher Kitty Williams is delighted when she learns that she has inherited a boxer from her late Uncle Charlie. But the boxer turns out not to be a canine, but a prize fighter named Harold Tibbetts, a muscle-bound country boy.

In the title, "K.O" is boxing term short for "Knock Out," when a fighter has hit his opponent so hard that he hits the mat and cannot get up again.

This is the first time that Lucille Ball acted on television not playing Lucy Ricardo. Lucille Ball was supposed to do several more non-Lucy Ricardo roles on the series, but this was the only one that ever materialized.

Quinn Martin (Producer / Story) was married to "Lucy" writer Madelyn Pugh Davis from 1955 to 1960.

A country boy out of his element, Harold Tibbetts (Aldo Ray) is reminiscent of when Tennessee Ernie Ford visited the Ricardos on "I Love Lucy." Like Cousin Ernie, Harold has an enormous appetite and can't return home because he has no money. He also tends to speak with homespun wit.

"K.O. Kitty" most closely resembles a 1967 episode of "The Lucy Show" titled "Lucy, the Fight Manager" (S5;E20) starring Don Rickles as a washed-up boxer named Eddie who Lucy Carmichael decides to train at home. Lucy dubs herself 'Killer Carmichael' and even jumps rope in tandem with Eddie, a stunt she learned to do for "K.O. Kitty." Despite being by different writers, both scripts contain characters named Louis.

Lucille Ball also played characters named Kitty in the films "Follow the Fleet" (1936), "Without Love" (1945), and "The Facts of Life" (1960).

Eight months later "The Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse" did another story about prizefighting titled "The Killer Instinct" starring Rory Calhoun and Janice Rule. It was based on the career of ex-boxer Joey Barnum.

The dance lesson scene between Kitty and Harold is nearly identical to when Lucy Ricardo taught awkward Arthur Morton (Richard Crenna) to dance in "The Young Fans" (S1;E20) in 1952.


Episode credited cast:
Desi Arnaz Desi Arnaz - Himself - Host
Aldo Ray Aldo Ray - Harold Tibbetts
William Lundigan William Lundigan - David Pierce
Jesse White Jesse White - Barney Snyder
Sid Melton Sid Melton - Louis
Harry Cheshire Harry Cheshire - Mr. Brubaker
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lucille Ball Lucille Ball - Kitty Williams
Freddie Beshore Freddie Beshore
Frankie Van Frankie Van
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