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Series / The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour

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After I Love Lucy ended its run in 1957, the main cast — Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley — carried on with The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show: essentially a series of hour-long I Love Lucy episodes (airing as monthly specials rather than a regular weekly series), with a greater emphasis on celebrity guests and exotic locations. Over the course of the specials, the Ricardos and the Mertzes encounter such stars as Tallulah Bankhead, Fred MacMurray, Betty Grable, Milton Berle, and Ernie Kovacs, and visit such locales as Mexico, Las Vegas, Sun Valley, Alaska, and Japan.

CBS aired 13 shows between 1957 and 1960 the first five as standalone specials and the other eight as episodes of the Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse anthology. From 1962-65, and again in 1967, CBS reaired the episodes as summer replacements under the new title The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, which is what they've been largely known as ever since.

Often seen in syndication under the moniker We Love Lucy, which splits each of the specials into two half-hour episodes (with the first ending on a To Be Continued). The DVD release boasted the title "I Love Lucy: The Final Seasons".

This series provides examples of:

  • As Himself: Starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnez, Vivian Vance, William Frawley... and Little Ricky.
  • Continuity Nod: In “Milton Berle Hides Out…”, Ethel tells Milton they once hid a horse upstairs. This was a reference to episode four, “Lucy Wins a Racehorse”.
  • Crossover:
    • "Lucy Takes a Cruise to Havana" has an appearance from Susie MacNamara, Ann Sothern's character in the sitcom Private Secretary.
    • "Lucy Makes Room for Danny" has the Ricardos renting out their house to the characters from Danny Thomas' Make Room for Daddy.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The second Comedy Hour special, "Lucy Meets Tallulah Bankhead", showed that the writers hadn't quite gotten the feel for writing one-hour episodes yet, as the plot resembles two half-hour shows welded together (Lucy continually embarrasses herself in front of the star, and Lucy must get her to play in the PTA).
  • Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: The first episode is a flashback of how Lucy and Ricky first met, which also features Fred with a full head of hair, which he is immensely proud of. Ethel, at one point, suggests he'll lose it one day, but he insists that'll never happen.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: Vivan Vance and William Frawley received this (they weren't in I Love Lucy's original opening titles, though they are in the syndicated "heart" credits).
  • Road-Sign Reversal: Ethel does it in the episode "Lucy Hunts Uranium." When everyone gets into a madcap race back to town to claim the money for the uranium they've discovered, Ethel moves a detour sign to throw off the Ricardos.
  • Shout-Out: In the very last episode, "Lucy Meets the Mustache", Ernie Kovacs uses the phrase "take a good look". Take a Good Look was the name of a comedic Game Show Kovacs hosted at the time.
  • Syndication Title: In the '70s the episodes were further split into half-hour segments and shown under the title We Love Lucy. When Nick @ Nite aired them, they restored the Comedy Hour title (minus the Ford/Westinghouse sponsor tags, of course). A recent (March 2012) marathon on the Hallmark Channel had them back to We Love Lucy.
  • Vacation Crossover: In "Lucy Makes Room for Danny", the Ricardos rent out their Connecticut house for two months to Danny Thomas and his Make Room for Daddy family, as Ricky is filming a movie in Hollywood. Unfortunately, the job falls through at the last minute and the two families are forced to live together.
  • Vacation Episode: Frequently. This is reasonable considering that In-Universe only about three or four episodes took place in a given (original broadcast) year.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Fred (the dog) is missing from the hour-long episodes. In the episode "Lucy Makes Room for Danny", Little Ricky lists his dog.
  • Wheel Program: The later Comedy Hour episodes rotated with other Desilu Studios productions and pilots as part of the Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: The first Comedy Hour episode details how Lucy and Ricky first met each other and how they met Fred and Ethel.