Just to have a laugh or sing a song.
If there’s one thing Carol Burnett knew how to do, it was take care of her fans.
At the top of several of “the lost episodes” that make up The Carol Burnett Show: Classic Carol DVD set, the house lights come up and Carol engages in Q & A with her studio audience. The segments are unscripted and sometimes prove to be a particular show’s highlight, but never fail to entertain.
Imagine a world wherein just for asking, a studio audience member is allowed to march up to the stage and receive a kiss from the superstar hostess. You want solid parenting advice? Try this: “I don’t believe in putting my kids on television. My mother didn’t have a television show…so let them work for it!”
So you’ve written a song especially for your favorite variety show star to sing, have you? Well, give her the sheet music and two weeks and she’ll be performing it on TV in a witty and elaborately choreographed arrangement. (True story! Just ask former housewife Sue Vogelsanger of Morley, Missouri, who got invited back to watch her ditty, “Just Talkin'” performed on Episode #310, included herein).
And who else would bring out her special guest–legendary comedienne Totie Fields–so that a fan from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, can introduce her to his wife, who is a great-Grandmother?
It’s all here and there’s plenty more:
DOUBLE-DIPPER ALERT: This latest six disc release is actually a chunk from the previously released 22 disc Lost Episodes Ultimate Collection. In fact, the discs herein are actually numbered from 13 to 18-the more you know.
“Show #518”– Original Air Date: January 26, 1972–Guest stars: Tim Conway, Ray Charles.
“Show #310”– Original Air Date: November 24, 1969–Guest stars: Lucille Ball, George Carlin.
Bonus content: A Writer’s Roundtable with The Burnett Show’s Writers; An interview with Burnett Show dancer Randy Doney.
“Show #424”– Original Air Date: March 8, 1971–Guest stars: Mike Douglas, Bernadette Peters.
“Show #419”– Original Air Date: January 25, 1971–Guest stars: Martha Raye; ballet dancers Edward Villella and Violette Verdy.
Bonus content: An interview with Edward Villella.
“Show #509”– Original Air Date: October 27, 1971–Guest stars: Tim Conway, Diahann Carroll.
“Show #304”– Original Air Date: January 12, 1970–Guest stars: Nancy Wilson, Nanette Fabray.
“Show #018”– Original Air Date: January 8, 1968–Guest stars: Frank Gorshin, Lana Turner.
“Show #408”– Original Air Date: November 2, 1972–Guest stars: Ricardo Montalban, Cass Elliott.
“Show #414”– Original Air Date: November 30, 1971–Guest stars: Debbie Reynolds, John Davidson.
“Show #507”– Original Air Date: October 13, 1971–Guest stars: Ken Berry, Cass Elliott.
“Show #125”– Original Air Date: April 7, 1969–Guest stars: Imogene Coca, Robert Goulet.
“Show #421”– Original Air Date: February 15, 1971–Guest stars: Ken Berry, Cass Elliott.
“Show #110”– Original Air Date: November 25, 1968–Guest stars: Garry Moore, Durward Kirby.
“Show #524”– Original Air Date: March 29, 1969–The Family Show.
Bonus content: A pair of episodes from The Garry Moore Show. It was her five year run as a supporting player on this popular CBS variety hour that Carol first became a household name. These classic episodes originally aired on June 27th and October 10th, respectively, in the year of our lord: 1961.
The episodes are presented in their original full-frame aspect ratio and as for the audio/visual quality, you can’t say they didn’t warn you. Several episodes have disclaimers about best–or more specifically,only–available source materials and we all know what that means, don’t we? More troubling for me was the indiscriminate editing. Running times are all over the place, I’m afraid.
So we’ve got some some technically iffy moments and other moments are missing altogether–there’s the glass half empty. There’s also the matter of television’s unparalleled queen of comedy variety–on display in her prime here–dispensing laughter (the best medicine, don’t you know) in large doses.
Keep ’em coming.
Make it two tugs on an earlobe.
[box title=”Tech Specs” icon=”legal” icon_style=”border” icon_shape=”circle” align=”center”] The Carol Burnett Show: Classic Carol (DVD) Time Life, 869 minutes, Not Rated (1968) VIDEO: 1.33:1 AUDIO: Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English) SUBTITLES: None EXTRAS: Bonus Episodes, Featurette, Interview ACCOMPLICES: IMDB [/box]