Well, their orginal comedy series may have been over, but the Ricardos & Mertzes were back in the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour! These episodes were 60 minutes long - twice the length of their first series and continued to air on CBS. If you liked the "Road Trip" episodes of the I Love Lucy Show, you'll be happy to know that the Ricardos & Mertzes traveled a lot in this one! Little Ricky was seen more here too! Too bad they didn't make more of these!
Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour Cast
Lucille Ball .... Lucy Ricardo
Desi Arnaz .... Ricky Ricardo
Vivian Vance .... Ethel Mertz
William Frawley .... Fred Mertz
Richard Keith .... Little Ricky
Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour Trivia
Desi Arnaz came from a fairly wealthy family in Cuba. His father was the Mayor of Santiago! During the 1933 revolution, his father was imprisoned for a while and the family lost everything. They fled to Miami and before becoming a famous bandleader, Desi cleaned Canary cages for a living!
Lucille Ball's father died before her 4th birthday. Her mother was forced to work several jobs so Lucille was raised by her Grandmother. She started her career as a model and a "Goldwyn Girl". Shorthly thereafter her film career took off!
William Frawley's first job was as a stenographer for the Union Pacific Railroad. By 1951 when he contacted Lucille Ball about a part on her original sitcom, he had already appeared in more than 100 films!
The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour was also referred to as "The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show" and in sydication as "We Love Lucy". Actually, the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour was just a name that CBS picked when they "reran" the episodes over 5 future summer seasons. Originally, these episodes were 1 hour long specials. That's why the original Air Dates are so far apart rather than one per week.
Vivian Vance absolutely hated the idea of playing the wife of William Frawley. When they first appeared together on the original series, Frawley was 64 years old and she was only 39! They didn't get along very well either.
The day of filming the final episode of the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, Lucille & Desi were hardly speaking to each other. The production crew and other Cast were doubtful that they would be able to get the series finale finished! None of them were aware that Lucy & Desi would be filing for divorce the very next day! Yes, they ended their working lives together one day and ended their marriage the following day!
After finally finishing the filming of the final episode, some reporters snuck onto the set to interview Lucille Ball. One of them said that she shouldn't have any trouble without Desi as she was the driving force behind her television shows and Desilu Studios. She immediately fired back at him saying that that was simply not true! She said that Desi had never received the credit he deserved ... that he was one of the greatest "straight-men" to ever appear in movies or on television ... that he was the "brains" behind Desilu Studios and all of their other business ventures. She went on to say that she would never have had her own television series without Desi but with him, she owned the studio!
If you're a Lucille Ball fan, you might want to check out our other Lucy pages: "I Love Lucy", "The Lucy Show", and "Here's Lucy".
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