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The Best Of The Ed Sullivan Show DVD Review

The Best of the Ed Sullivan Show DVD

“The Best of the Ed Sullivan Show” is packed with content.

While “The Ed Sullivan Show” was obviously before a lot of people’s time (myself included), there’s no denying the lasting impact the show has had. The influential and long running variety series has become a pop culture mainstay primarily due to its introduction of musical and comedic superstars. In this 6 disc set, viewers will get a taste of the variety that the show had to offer.

Disc one contains the Carol Burnett hosted 90 minute special titled “Unforgettable Performances.” The special touches on Ed Sullivan’s career and series and features a ton of show performance segments featuring Elvis Presley, comedian Jackie Mason, Jerry Lewis, Luci and Desi, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, James Brown, Janis Joplin, and Barbara Streisand. Of course, the historic Beatles performance of “I Want To Hold Your Hand”  is also included here. The special also contains interviews with formers guests and loads of behind-the-scenes stories of the show.

Disc two is the “50th Anniversary Special” which is essentially a 45 minute clip show special/tribute hosted by The Smothers Brothers. Truth be told, the “Unforgettable Performances” special covered most of this material a lot better, but it’s still worth a gander.

Disc 3 contains the 70 minute Mary Tyler Moore hosted “The All-Star Comedy Special” which is structured like the ‘Unforgettable’ special. Here viewers to get to see comedy legends and multiple forms of comedic stylings from the likes of Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Carol Burnett, Red Skeleton, Milton Berle, George Burns, ventriloquists, prop comics, Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor, and much more.

Disc 4 is entirely devoted to the “World’s Greatest Novelty Acts.” This special contains 18 acts featuring  jugglers, a quick draw expert, balancing acts, contortionists, bicycle, acrobats and gymnasts, and even a magician.

Disc 5 is a fun and silly affair titled “Amazing Animal Acts.”  If you want to see cute tricks involving dogs, birds, monkeys, bears, lions, and an elephant, this one’s for you. Well, not everyone is cute (see the freaky Clyde Beatty lion taming act).

Last, but not least, disc 6 contains 24 bonus interviews with Alan King, John Byner, Rich Little, Gwen Verdon, Flip Wilson, Phillys Diller, Will Jordan, Carol Lawrence, Jack Carter, David Crosby, Fick Martin, Ray Manzarek, Michelle Phillips, Joan Rivers, Steve Allen, Marlo Lewis, Sherri Lewis, Ella Fitzgerald, Milton Berle, Smokey Robinson, Shecky Greene, Johnny Mathis, Jackie Mason and Senor Wences.

As someone who appreciates art of all eras, it’s a blast to take a trip to the past with “The Best of the Ed Sullivan Show.”  Not only do you get to see some of the greatest music and comedy acts in their prime, but you also get to enjoy the stylings of musicians and comedians who are tragically no longer with us. One of the reasons this show is so important is that it preserves these important moments in art. While a lot of people tend to flock to what’s new and hot these days, people should not be afraid of discovering or re-discovering the icons of the past. Not only do MANY of the musicians and comedians stand the test of time here, but they are also hugely influential on many of the things people enjoy today. This might all seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many folks forget that.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: Fullscreen. Given the age of both the episodes and the specials, don’t expect high level remastered quality here. With that said, I think many people out there will just be glad to see this on disc.

Audio Track: Unspecified. How does it sound? It sounds like Mono level material, but it’s decent enough.

Excluding the bonus interviews, the only extra is a 5 minute interview with Ed and Sylvia Sullivan.

Overall Thoughts: “The Best of the Ed Sullivan Show” is a classic showcase of numerous art forms at their very best.

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June 3, 2015 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , , , , , ,

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