Vitameata-Jungle Juice: Lucille Ball Did Poppers for “Chest Pain”

I huff — Lucy

Poppers: Not just for bottoming anymore.

Poppers: When cocaine is too expensive.

Poppers: Gurl, where am I?

Poppers have never had an effective ad campaign, though one can argue that they never really needed one. Just throw on Cheryl Lynn’s “Got to Be Real” and they pretty much just show up. But the amyl nitrate industry may have just gotten a boon from the beyond.

According to the Reelz series Autopsy, The Last Hours of…, a 77-year-old Lucille Ball was using poppers to ease her chest pains.

“The street name for amyl nitrite is poppers. Poppers are a strong smelling inhalant often associated with sex,” says Dr. Michael Hunter in a preview for the episode airing Sunday. And while that’s common knowledge among literally every homosexual, the good doctor wants you to take a whiff of this factoid: “But it’s original purpose was as a prescription drug to treat pain in the chest.”

“As early as 1984, four years before her death, Lucille Ball was using this inhalant to ease pains in her chest and heart,” says Dr. Hunter. “And that could be a warning sign of already established cardiovascular disease.”

Autopsy: The Last Hours of…Lucille Ball dives deep into Ball’s history of cardiac trouble and the causes of her death. And it looks worthy of a watch just based on the Emmy-caliber pantomiming in the recreation of events—a hallmark of any great true-crime series.

Check out a preview of the episode to learn that poppers were “a sexual thing that certain people did back in the 80s” and other pertinent facts, below:

Lester Fabian Brathwaite is an LA-based writer, editor, bon vivant, and all-around sassbag. He's formerly Senior Editor of Out Magazine and is currently hungry. Insta: @lefabrat