I loved The Carol Burnett Show. When I was a kid they would show it in reruns on a daily basis and when I was home sick from school or home for summer vacation I spent many an afternoon eating Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches and laughing along with Carol and her friends. I could not get enough.
Over the years a few Burnett DVD sets and VHS tapes have floated in and out of my life and I have greedily watched and re-watched them. But I always wanted more. So when I heard that Time Life was releasing an Ultimate Collection, I got excited.
Now at first I was disappointed, I thought Ultimate Collection would mean an all encompassing collection with every episode. THAT would be ultimate. Sadly this is not that, but it is still very exciting. This 22 DVD collection consists of 50 episodes. Each episode hand-picked by Carol Burnett, along with a slew of extras for a total of twelve hours of exclusive bonus features, including:
- Three episodes from The Garry Moore Show where Carol got her start, including the “Supergirl” episode, where Carol did her Tarzan yell, for the first time on television.
- Rare sketches from the first five seasons of The Carol Burnett Show, not seen anywhere in over 40 years. Included are guest appearances by Lucille Ball, Jerry Lewis, Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, plus one of the most beloved sketches in the history of the show– “The Dentist,” with Harvey Korman and Tim Conway.
- A raucous 100-minute Cast Reunion with Carol, Vicki Lawrence, Tim Conway and Lyle Waggoner.
- “I Want to Push That Button…”—The History of The Carol Burnett Show (featurette)
- Leading Lady–Carol as a Television Pioneer (featurette)
- “Bring Up the Lights” – Carol’s Q&As (featurette)
- Focus on “The Family” (featurette)
- “Ahhhh, Mrs. Ha-Wiggins?”—As in “Tudball and Wiggins” (featurette)
- Starlet, Mildred, and More – A Celebration of the Movie Parodies (featurette)
- Next Stop, Broadway – About the “Mini-musicals” (featurette)
- Breaking Up Is Hard…Not to Do—The Ensemble Chemistry and Famous “break-ups” on The Carol Burnett Show (featurette)
- “Where Do You Get Your Ideas?”—A Tribute to the Writers on The Carol Burnett Show (featurette)
- Gags and Gowns—A Tribute to Designer Bob Mackie (featurette)
All together, Time Life interviewed over twenty people as part of the Bonus Feature production—including guests from the show (Betty White, Carl Reiner, Jerry Lewis, Ken Berry, Rita Moreno, Steve Lawrence, Lainie Kazanand Joel Grey); writers (Kenny Solms, Gail Parent, Kenand Mitzi Welch); designer Bob Mackie; and current performers influenced by Carol (Ellen DeGeneres, Jane Lynch and Amy Poehler). Complete interviews of all cast-members, crew, guests and fans will be included in the bonus features of The Ultimate Collection.
I would have preferred that they release all 278 episodes of the show as an “Ultimate” collection, but 50 episodes plus all the extras and a bonus Memory Book is not a bad dose of Burnett for watching. It will certainly keep me busy throughout the autumn and if you are a Carol fan it just might be a good fit for you as well (especially with all the extras). So check out The Best of The Carol Burnett Show over at Time Life and join the TV watching party.
Note: I am very happy right now with this collection, but talk to me in a year when they release the ULTIMATE ULTIMATE Collection and I might have a different opinion. :)