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DVD Review: The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes
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The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes

Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes
6-DVD set
Starring Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Tim Conway
TML Entertainment
Release date: September 15, 2015

The Carol Burnett Show was a sprawling, hilarious variety program which was a staple of television during the late 1960s to the 1970s and hosted a virtual A to Z of guest stars, not to mention a highly talented and memorable repertory cast of regulars. All these years later, Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes is being released as a 6-DVD set, which showcases the Queen of Television comedy.

For decades in syndication, scores of audiences watched, watched, and watched again the half-hour program which siphoned down the original hour-long episodes which aired from mainly the show’s second half of its run on CBS. Entitled Carol Burnett and Friends, it was to many that Carol Burnett and her zany cast of regulars (Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, and Tim Conway among them) performed in scores of sketches and variety numbers, many of which satirized popular culture and showcased a wide array of characterizations, ranging from the sublime to the absolute ridiculous.

But now, as part of releases that started during the Summer, Time-Life — pretty much the monarch of classic television distribution for the home market — has released episodes from the first half of the program’s run. These are episodes that haven’t been seen in over 45 years, now presented in uncut, pristine quality copies, chock full of guest stars ranging from Lucille Ball (one of Burnett’s true icons and influential peers) and old school Hollywood A-listers as Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Don Rickles, Steve Lawrence, Carol Channing, and many others.

Comprised of 16 episodes cherry picked by the Burnett herself, audiences can get the one-two visual delight punch of seeing the entertainer and the show in its embryonic forms, right at the very beginning. When the show originally premiered in 1967, Burnett at that point was already a renaissance woman of television, having racked up Emmy Awards and making appearances as a regular on Garry Moore’s program and stints on one-off specials with Julie Andrews, all of which showcased her rubbery, limber, can-do-it-all and did brash, goofy, silly, and sharp panache style of comedy was primed for her own program. And for the next 11 years on CBS, she spearheaded a comedy ship that audiences howled at week after week. By the time it was all over in 1978, due to the fact that the variety show in itself was becoming a waning genre on television and less to do with the star or her earnest and hard-working stable of cat and crew, Burnett and her program had accumulated scores of Emmy Awards and praises, not to mention a firmly deserved slot in the annals and history of the television medium itself.

As mentioned in the extremely informative liner notes included with this DVD package, which gives a complete breakdown of the episodes and the sundry amount of extras included on most of them, Burnett regales a tale of how her cast mate and crazy partner in crime Tim Conway had “hidden” these episodes for decades. In truth, it was probably more akin to the same manner in which Jackie Gleason had lovingly preserved and hoarded all those “lost” Honeymooners episodes for so many decades until their re-release in the 1980s; it was simply a matter of timing, as Gleason had put it, and something that was probably the same here with Burnett, to corral their release finally, he was “waiting for the phone to ring.”

And now with the release of the best of the first five seasons of The Carol Burnett Show, it’s a cause célèbre indeed for any fan of comedy, the variety genre, the sketch comedy genre, and the legend herself.

With over five hours of bonus materials like backstage tours, unseen bloopers and various outtakes, and new exclusive interviews with television legends and stalwarts past and present — like Alan Alda, Julie Andrews, Jim Nabors, Queen Latifah, and Bill Hader — and more rounding out this already wonderful package, the ear-tugging, funny-faced, confident, and side-splitting antics of Carol Burnett and her wonderful motley crew of expert comedians can now be enjoyed by old and new fans alike, bridging and keeping a kind of comedy style that while somewhat antiquated in today’s day and age, still hasn’t really lost one iota of charm, hilarity, mirth, and merriment.

As she used to sing at the end of her program, after viewing The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes, you’ll be glad you “had this time together.”

Check out the list of bonus features here below, along with come clips from this 6-DVD set.

Note, there’s also a 1-disc LOST EPISODES DVD that’s also being released as well that includes 3 episodes and an hour of bonus features, interviews, and outtakes.

Bonus Features

6-DVD SET:

  • A backstage tour of CBS Studio 33 where the show was originally taped
  • 13 exclusive new interviews with stars of yesteryear and today, with Alan Alda, Julie Andrews, Vikki Carr, Carol Channing, Bill Hader, Jack Jones, Jim Nabors, Queen Latifah, Gloria Loring, Don Rickles, Lesley Ann Warren and more!
  • Never-Before-Seen Bloopers & Outtakes
  • Newly produced featurettes
  • Bonus sketches including “Morton at the Movies” and the all-time classic “The Dentist”
  • The opening number from the historic Julie and Carol at Lincoln Center TV special with a new introduction by Carol

Video

Carol Burnett Lost Episodes Exclusive Clip – Instant Replay

Carol Burnett Lost Episodes Exclusive Clip – Undercover Couple

Carol Burnett Lost Episodes Trailer


For the first time on DVD, you can now own the best episodes from the groundbreaking years of Carol’s beloved variety show. You’ll see the first episode aired, the first performances of many of her famous characters, legendary guest stars, and show-stopping musical performances.

Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes – Your Best Tarzan Yells!


Warm up those vocal cords! Post a video of your best Tarzan yell on our Facebook page or to Instagram with #CarolBurnettTarzan for the chance to win the The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes Ultimate Collection!

Carol Burnett Lost Episodes Exclusive – Tina Fey on Carol’s Influence


Tina Fey shares the impact her comedic “lady hero,” Carol Burnett, has had on her career in celebration of the release of long-lost episodes of the epic Carol Burnett Show.

The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes DVD

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