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After I Love Lucy ended its run, the cast carried on with The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour specials -- essentially long "I Love Lucy" episodes (airing as monthly specials rather than a regular weekly series) with greater emphasis on famous guest stars and exotic locations. Over the course of the specials, the Ricardos and the Mertzes encounter Milton Berle, Danny Thomas, Ernie Kovacs and Tallulah Bankhead, and visit Mexico, Las Vegas, Sun Valley and Japan. The specials are often considered to be inferior to the original series, and the later episodes particularly suffered from the rapid deterioration of Lucy and Desi's marriage. Often seen in syndication under the moniker We Love Lucy which splits the hour long segments into two episodes with the first one ending on a "To Be Continued". The DVD boasted the title, "I Love Lucy: The Final Seasons."
This series provides examples of:
- Crossover: "Lucy Makes Room for Danny" has the Ricardos renting out their house to the characters from Danny Thomas' Make Room for Daddy.
- Jump the Shark: If it didn't happen with the Connecticut move, it happened here. The hour length was particuarly detrimental to the pacing, but the constant focus on visiting celebrities also helped drag it down.
- Reality Subtext: Lucy and Desi's relationship was falling apart during the filming of the last specials. This is said to be evident in the Japan episode, where Lucy's eyes appear to be unaccountably red and teary. Their arguing was also said to be the reason why the Studio Audience was eliminated in favor of a Laugh Track.
- 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.
- Syndication Title: In the 70s the episodes were syndicated as one hour specials under the title We Love Lucy. When Nick at Nite aired them, they restored the Comedy Hour title (minus the Ford/Westinghouse sponser tags, of course). A recent (March 2012) marathon on the Hallmark Channel had them back to We Love Lucy.
- Title Drop: In the very last episode, "Lucy Meets the Mustache", Ernie Kovacs says the phrase 'take a good look'. Take A Good Look was the name of a comedy/GameShow Koacs hosted at the time.
- Vacation Episode: Frequently
- Whole-Episode Flashback: The first Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour detailed how Lucy and Ricky first met each other and how they met Fred and Ethel.