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The Carol Burnett Show: Carol’s Crack Ups DVD Review

The Carol Burnett Show- Carol's Crack-Ups DVD

“The Carol Burnett Show: Carol’s Crack Ups” offers up an eclectic mix of episodes from the variety comedy series.

Comprised of a random assortment of 17 episodes, “The Carol Burnett Show: Carol’s Crack Ups” is sort of a best of DVD set of the classic 70’s sketch/variety comedy series. Throughout the episodes, viewers will see Carol’s amusing Q&A’s with audience at the start of the show, musical numbers and performances by the likes of Helen Reddy, Jack Cassidy, Charo, Steve Lawrence and Petula Clark, goodnight songs to close out the show, plenty of movie and TV show parodies for films like “San Francisco,” “A Star Is Born,” and “Password,” and a plethora of guest stars that include Andy Griffith, Charo, Dick Van Dyke, Ruth Buzzi, and Roddy McDowall.

While a huge hit at the time, “The Carol Burnett Show” feels very much like a snapshot from a different era. While there have been similar shows since, you don’t really see this type of show anymore unless you count “Saturday Night Live.” Luckily, thanks to the magic of home video, you are able to relive the comedic stylings of Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Tim Conway, Lyle Waggoner, and, of course, Carol Burnett.

While the show may not be flawless (many sketches fall flat or go on too long), it’s easy to see why “The Carol Burnett Show” was so beloved with riotous sketches like “The Peeping Tom,” World’s Oldest Orphan” (with Tim Conway as the old orphan), “Interview With Chiquita” (featuring Carol Burnett and Charo), “The Dater’s Game” (which sees Tim Conway as an accidental bachelorette in a dating game), “The Firing of Donald Duck” (self-explanatory), “Silents is Golden” (a touching tribute to silent films), and, of course, “Mama’s Family” sketches (then known as “The Family). Sketches aside, however, the show’s cast is what really made the material shine. Whether you were seeing Harvey Korman’s inability to keep it together at times, Vicki’s iconic Mama character or one of Tim Conway’s many weird characters, the cast was nothing if not comedically gifted. Unlike many shows of today, “The Carol Burnett Show” was notable for giving each and every cast member their chance to shine here. Carol’s name may have been on the title, but they were all stars on this show.

Note: There are 6 disc and 8 disc versions available for this set. I reviewed the 6 disc version. It’s all very confusing considering the booklet contains info about the 8 discs as well as a disc holder for 2 discs that aren’t there.


Presentation: Fullscreen. How does it look? The episodes have not been remastered and, as a result, you can expect to see faded colors and an assortment of other video issues.

The unspecified audio track sounds like a flat Mono track, but it still does the job.

* A booklet featuring an episode guide.
* 6 bonus sketches.
* “Almost Live”- Cast members and celebs chat about the tapings and improv.
* “Breaking Up Is Hard…Not To Do”- Carol Burnett and others talk about laughing during sketches.
* A 14 ½ minute interview with Tom Conway.
* “Tim Conway: Cracker Upper In Chief”- A featurette on Tim Conway.
* “We Love You, Harvey”- A tribute to the late great Harvey Korman.
* “Tim on the Street”- Footage of Tim Conway  by his star in Hollywood.

Overall Thoughts: Whether you want to rewatch episodes or see what all the fuss is about, “The Carol Burnett Show: Carol’s Crack Ups” is a solid collection of episodes.


October 12, 2014 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , ,

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