Friday, May 20, 2011

20 May 1957 “The Last Episode of I Love Lucy and now the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour”

The last episode of that quintessential 1950’s sit-com “I Love Lucy” ends this month, and aired on 6 May 1957. It was the highest rated show in the country at this time.

The last episode was entitled “The Minuteman and the Redhead”. I could not find it in its entirety, but here is a great recap of that episode.

The final episodes had Lucy and Ricky living in Westport CT. Of course, they actually lived in CA and it was all filmed there. Therefore, some of their information about Westport was not completely accurate. See today's Vintage Daily News below to see an article comparing the right and wrong of this final episode.


During the final season of I Love Lucy, the Mertzes moved to Westport to live near the Ricardos. This plot line was carried over into their new show the “Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show” which would be a monthly hour long special featuring famous guest stars. The show kept the characters as Lucy, Ricky, Ethel, and Fred and their home base of Westport, but for all intents and purposes it was the beginning of the comedy hours that would become the norm later in the 60’s and 70’s.


The very first episode. We even see here, what I would have seen myself in 1957, Desi Arnaz introducing the new show format. This even includes the above title as well as the commercial intro by Ford. You will notice that Desi says the new 1958 Fords. Of course, it is still 1957 when this airs, but the New cars would of course be the 1958’s.

Watch all five parts HERE ON APRON TV.

lucydesicomedyhourThis would later become the title sequence. The show began with popular ratings but could not hold up to changing times, a reduced viewing schedule (some times once a month or less) and the increased tension in Lucy and Desi’s real marriage.
“For the 1957-1958 and the 1958-1959 seasons of "The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show", the ratings were very good. However by the start of the 1959-1960 season, with the habit of viewing "Lucy" broken up every few months, as well as the obvious tension revealed between Ball and Arnaz due to their marriage unraveling, the ratings for the specials began to slip. Critics began to notice a lackluster quality not only with the scripts but also with the performances of the cast members as well. In fact, there were many episodes in which constant bickering between Lucy and Desi was noted. Because of their personal problems (and Desi spending more time trying to maintain the Desilu "empire"), the live studio audience was replaced with a laugh track by the final season. In the penultimate episode of the series, titled "The Ricardos Go to Japan", Lucy appeared on screen red-eyed due to her crying during the arguments between herself and Desi (although not seen on camera due to the show being filmed in black and white). In the making of the last episode, Lucy and Desi did not speak directly to each other except when their characters were required to do so. The series ended April 1, 1960, and their marriage ended May 10, 1960. (Actually, the final episode was filmed March 2, with the divorce proceedings starting the next day.) The song "That's All", with its title taking on extra meaning, was sung by Edie Adams in that final episode.”
Here Edie Adams sings the farewell on the last episode of The Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Comedy hour and we can feel the sadness in the shows ending as well as the divorce of America’s favorite couple.

And so will follow many more Lucy shows, though without Ricky of course. But, I think America’s love affair with the 1950’s will always be tied up in the love of that TV couple :The Lucy and Ricky Ricardos.

Yes, Lucy, We DO LOVE YOU.


  1. I remember when the show started, Lucy and Ricky lived in a little apartment in the city. Then Rick became successful and they moved into a large Dutch colonial in Connecticut (according to the show). I remember the episode where Lucy spent $3,000 on furniture for her house. The show wasn't as fun to watch when they became rich. This was probably about the time all Americans became dissatisfied with little houses or apartments and wanted those large Colonials and split-levels and more. I think the media is responsible for a lot of our dissatisfaction in our country.

  2. And don't forget before their move to CT they moved to Hollywood and hob nobbed with famous people. It was still good ole' Lucy, but it really did reflect the growing post war move to home ownership and then the desire to keep 'movin up' to larger and better.

  3. I so enjoy I Love Lucy! I watch the old episodes in the mornings as I get dressed for work.

    I've also been enjoying your Apron TV 50s Gal! The kids and I have been watching The Supersizers series.

    Mary Ellen
    The Working Home Keeper

  4. I watch them also as I get ready for work. Love starting the day with a good laugh. The shows are as funny now as they were 50 years ago. It is my number one all-time favorite TV show. When my son was nine we used to watch Lucy at 6am together and he thought it was the funniest show. (He even liked, "Keeping Up Appearances", too.

  5. I love all the I Love Lucy shows. I always watch them in the mornings as I get ready for work.


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