The Carol Burnett Show- The Lost Episodes: Treasures From The Vault DVD Review
Time Life releases yet another DVD set of “The Carol Burnett Show.”
In “The Carol Burnett Show- The Lost Episodes: Treasures From The Vault,” there are 15 episodes from various seasons. In addition to the usual Burnett opening Q&A’s, comedic sketches, and music and dance numbers, the episodes are loaded with guest stars that include: Jonathan Winters, Dionne Warwick, Barbara Feldon, Joan Rivers, Sonny, Cher, Nanette Fabray, Eileen Farrell, Marilyn Horne, Shirley Jones, George Chakiris, Ken Berry, Dyan Cannon, Paul Lynde, Soupy Sales, Mel Torme, Art Carney, Gwen Verdon, Pat Boone, Mickey Rooney, John Davidson, Peter Lawford, Minnie Pearl, Martha Raye, Betty Grable, and yes, even Ronald Reagan.
“The Carol Burnett Show” might seem foreign to today’s youthful audiences. Not only is this type of variety show a relic of the past, but a lot of the period piece jokes and parodies would likely go over people’s heads. However, to a section of the population, this was THE show in the 60’s and 70’s. People tuned in in droves to see the titular comedian, Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner and Tim Conway as well as musicians in their prime (ala Cher). On top of that, Burnett was clearly an ahead of her time inspirational innovator in the comedy TV scene. In fact, she is so beloved that she was just honored with a lifetime achievement award at the SAG Awards. Even if the series is dated and some of the sketches fall flat, it’s not hard to see why she is so revered. Between her bubbly and personable Q&A’s and her acting to her singing and dance, she could do it all.
If you need evidence as to how and why this show has stood the test of time, I’d recommend paying close attention to the “As The Stomach Turns” segments on episodes #022, #302, #413, #426, the charming ode to Warner Brothers Studios cartoons, and the Academy Awards spoof. The real highlights (for me at least) are seeing the cast members trying to stifle laughter. This improvisational live element really added to the show and made scenes funnier than they ever would be.
Presentation: Fullscreen. How does it look? Don’t expect greatness. The episodes probably looked like they did when they aired faded colors and all.
Unspecified Audio Track: How does it sound? It’s adequate.
* Interviews with Tony Bennett, Kristin Chenoweth, Steve Carell, Shirley Jones, George Chakris, Vikki Carr, Burt Reynolds, Pat Boone and Tina Fey.
* Bonus sketches “Carol and Sis,” “As The Stomach Turns,” and “Alice Portnoy.” The ‘Stomach’ sketch here is actually one of the highlights of the entire set. It’s a funny “As The World Turns” soap opera spoof segment with plenty of accessible humor.
* 4 minutes of outtakes (AKA crack-ups).
* “The Song and Dance: Crooners, Hoofers, and Balladeers”- A featurette about Burnett and the music and dancing in the series. Expect to see many interviews with various guest stars.
* “Expecting The Unexpected”- A half hour featurette on the improvisational nature of the series.
* An episode of “The Garry Moore Show” featuring Carol Burnett.
* “The Making of a Mackie”- A 19 minute featurette about Bob Mackie’s clothes featured on the show.
Overall Thoughts: Whether you’re curious about “The Carol Burnett Show” or have a fondness for it, this new DVD set should do the trick.
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