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FRED MERTZ, the kooky, cheapskate friend of the Ricardos, and also sometimes a warm hearted chump, willing to help in (a few) situations. It is fair to say that Fred Mertz received a lot of laughs, but mostly annoyed expressions and sighs from his wife, Ethel, and friends, the Ricardos.

   Fred's birth date is never actually mentioned on air, but it is hinted in many humorous ways...Ethel usually insists that Fred was born before the 1900s, and she always finds interesting ways to make him seem old.

   Fred is a vaudeville veteran, with singing and dancing abilities. One might say that he is old-fashioned, but that is only because the greatest days of his life were spent in the old times when things were very different, and Fred has a hard time changing.

Fred Mertz can be described by his friends and family with one word:
cheapskate.

Although Fred is financially moderate (since he and Ethel own the apartment building), he finds it necessary to save each and every single penny that he makes. This often annoys Ethel, who wishes she could buy a new dress for once in a lifetime.

   Tight old Fred gives in when it comes to serious situations, or, when it simply concerns making more money as profit. For instance, in "Oil Wells", Fred invests in 10 shares of oil property and has to let the Ricardos beg for 5. And, in "The Diner", Fred co-invests (with Ricky) in a diner as an alternate routine from the apartment building work, hoping to make some business.

   When Fred is run down and tired, he usually doesn't care much about his expenditures, as long as everything is fine when he wakes up...

   Overall, Fred gets along with everybody. He is most annoyed by Lucy's scatter-brain schemes and Ethel's nagging orders, but he usually finds time to relax with his pal Ricky, and, when he is not involved in any schemes, he often enjoys Lucy's humor.

   Fred provides an interesting contrast to the "I Love Lucy" gang. He helps bring in more 'vaudeville' essence to the show's musical numbers and offers a different perspective for the characters in the show.