On September 11, 1967, Carol Burnett and her madcap cast took to the airwaves on CBS for a new variety series that combined sketch comedy, singing and dancing. Little did they know that The Carol Burnett Show would become an Emmy Award-winning program and survive the changing tastes of TV audiences to last eleven seasons. Available at retail for the first time, THE BEST OF THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW: 50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION brings together the best of the best — 60 hand-picked episodes covering every season — into one singular and uproarious set. Available on August 6, 2019, this ultimate Burnett-lovers collection is priced at $249.98 srp, and contains 21 discs and incredible, exclusive bonus features specially-created by the Time Life TV DVD archivists including exclusive interviews, a cast reunion and backstage tour of Studio 33, never-before-seen outtakes and featurettes.
What We Thought:
Also out this week is another monster box set from Time Life, The Best of The Carol Burnett Show 50th Anniversary Edition. The show aired well before I was born and I had seen some reruns later on TV, but I’ve grown to love the show because of these releases.
Besides the huge guest stars, my favorite part of the show is watching everyone trying not to laugh or break character. Between Harvey Korman, Tim Conway (guest in earlier seasons, regular in later seasons) and the woman herself Carol Burnett, seeing this trio go back and forth trying to get the others is priceless. Vicki Lawrence could do pretty much anything and Lyle Waggoner was the perfect “good looking” man for the show. Each had their own brand of humor including voices, characters and of course physical humor and they all made each other laugh. The bloopers are still funny today 50 years later.
Heck the show itself is still funny. It’s timeless comedy unlike the stuff we get today which is timely and pointless 6 months later. There’s a reason the show is iconic, these were incredibly talented people doing legendary characters that still fit the bill. Mrs. Wiggins is 100% believable today. Everyone knows someone that incompetent at their job. “Went with the Wind” still plays strong. Conway as a Nazi interrogating Waggoner with a Hitler puppet is gold.
The Final Show is definitely up there with series finales as well. Johnny Carson’s last episode of The Tonight Show could rival this in terms of laughs, tears and more. You get the full uncut double-length episode here and it’s definitely a highlight of the collection.
The Best of The Carol Burnett Show 50th Anniversary Edition is remarkable. I’ve seen bits and pieces released over the years in smaller collections, but this is a huge set. The packaging is cool and looks like a gift and has some great photos in the booklet. This is a must-own for Burnett fans and TV historians.
THE BEST OF THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW: 50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION is comprised of three volumes:
THE BEST OF THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW (10 Discs) — Celebrate the golden anniversary of this TV institution with 32 of the series very best episodes. “Mrs. Wiggins,” “Carol and Sis,” “The Oldest Man,” “The Family,” As the Stomach Turns, and a marathon of movie spoofs are back, along with commercial spoofs and some amazing bloopers, great guest stars, and lavish stage productions. Carol’s question-and-answer openers with the studio audiences are no less entertaining. She might offer a hug or a shout out, or flee from a rampaging gorilla after letting loose with one of her Tarzan yells. Audiences loved Carol, and she loved them. Watch any show and you’ll agree, she’s still crazy and funny after all these years.
11 YEARS, TOGETHER AGAIN (10 Discs) — This comprehensive 10-DVD set opens up the CBS archives to experience Carol’s glory days. All your favorite routines are back, along with the movie parodies and joke commercials. There’s also loads of bonus material, including special interviews with Carol, Vicki Lawrence and Tim Conway. It was a tough job to entertain America each week and keep TV viewers satisfied. Somebody had to do it, and for eleven years, nobody did it better than Carol Burnett.
THE FINAL SHOW (1 Disc) – On March 29, 1978, the curtain came down for good. The Final Show, billed as A Special Evening with Carol Burnett, takes a two-hour stroll through the show’s glory days. It’s presented here in the uncut double-length episode, as Carol, Vicki and Tim present a video scrapbook of unforgettable moments from their routines and movie spoofs. The love was never more heartfelt than in this long, emotional goodbye.;