‘I Love Lucy’: The Hilarious ‘Gag Gift’ Vivian Vance Brought Lucille Ball in a 1975 Interview

by Keeli Parkey
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While working together on the classic sitcom “I Love Lucy,” stars Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance made viewers laugh a lot thanks to their on-screen antics. Based on a television appearance the two made years after the show came to an end, they made each other laugh a lot off-screen.

“I Love Lucy” ended its original television run in 1957. In 1975, Lucille Ball was being honored for her work during her career by “The Dinah Shore Show.” Vance’s appearance on the show came as a surprise to Ball. The two had not seen one another for several years. However, according to Vance, the two talked on the phone “a lot.”

The two former costars and friends exchanged pleasantries and shed a few tears of joy. Then Vance produced a gag gift Ball had given her while they were working together on “I Love Lucy.” Unsurprisingly, the gift is pretty hilarious.

It was a mock contract. And what Ball wrote in it had both her and Vance laughing when Vance read it on television in 1975.

“Now, this is material that Lucille wrote and I’m going to read it,” Vance said as Ball laughs. “I love it! I love it!” Ball exclaims before her “I Love Lucy” costar begins to read.

Mock Contract Lucille Ball Gave to Vivian Vance During ‘I Love Lucy’ Days Includes Some Pretty Funny Stipulations

Being a mock contract, the contents of what Vivian Vance read in 1975 were full of jokes. It also shows the sense of humor she shared with her “I Love Lucy” costar Lucille Ball. Turns out, their chemistry off-screen was as good as it was on-screen.

“This is my employment contract,” Vance said. “Yes. I gave her a new contract,” Ball chimed in.

“After a certain number of years, Lucille wrote me this contract,” Vance then said.

Here’s part of that contract: “Party of the first part must promise to never dye her hair within five shades either way of the party of the second part,” Vance read as Ball broke out into laughter. “Also known as the lovable natural redhead.”

The second part of this “employment contract” also dealt with Vivian Vance’s appearance.

Vance then continued: “Part two. Party of the first part must also agree to put on an additional five pounds every month for the next year.”

This statement caused both her and Ball to break out into laughter yet again.

The contract Vance read concluded with: “Otherwise, this contract shall be terminated at the whim of the party of the second part by one – a phone call – or the more generous option of 30 minutes notice. Lucille Ball.”

It sounds like Vivian Vance and Lucille Ball had a lot of fun together behind the scenes! You can watch the “I Love Lucy” stars laugh together on “The Dinah Shore Show” in 1975 below. The story about the special gag gift begins around the 1:15 mark of the video.

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