StarVista Shines Again With Its New Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts Sets

Courtesy: StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment

Courtesy: StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment

Every year or so cable network Comedy Central airs a new celebrity roast, honoring and poking fun at a different celebrity. The celebrities in question come from every avenue of the entertainment world. There’s no denying that the roasts in question are entertaining. However, there is also no denying that they are also nothing new when examining the annals of television’s history. From 1973 to 1984, Dean Martin and NBC ruled the airwaves with Martin’s hit series of celebrity roasts. Just as with Comedy Central’s celebrity roasts, Martin’s roasts playfully poked fun at some of the biggest names of the day from every avenue of entertainment. Despite more than four decades having passed since The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts first hit the airwaves, the series of roasts remains just as entertaining today as it was so many years ago. One could even argue that The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts are even better than Comedy Central’s celebrity roasts, having set the precedent so long ago. Thanks to StarVista Entertainment, that argument has been supported quite well in recent years thanks to the release of The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts on DVD. Five separate box sets featuring episodes of the hit broadcasts have been released since 2013. Now two more collections have been released by StarVista Entertainment; one an eight-disc set titled The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts: Stingers and Zingers, and the other a single disc collection focusing on three of the sports world’s greatest names titled The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts: Hall of Fame. Both sets were released in stores and online April 14th. And both are well worth the purchase for anyone that wants a good laugh. The guest honorees and their roasters are obviously the heart of the discs’ enjoyment and success. The jokes that the guests shoot at one another and the honorees are of course at the heart of the sets’ success. They and the guests’ timing in delivering said jokes will leave audiences in stitches, making for even more reason for viewers to purchase either set. On another level, the production values presented in both Dean Martin Celebrity Roast sets presents one more reason that they are so enjoyable. The episodes presented in both sets have been masterfully re-touched. They look and sound wonderful across the board. Such laudable work on the sets’ restoration is deserving of its own share of praise. It proves to be one more reason for any viewer and lover of classic TV to purchase either set. Together with the guests and the nonstop jokes across the board it proves to be one more reason that both belong in the library of any comedy lover and lover of classic TV.

StarVista Entertainment’s latest Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts sets are two more fine examples of everything that once made comedy (and television in larger part) great. They show just how far comedy and television have strayed from their former greatness. One could even go so far as to say that both are so enjoyable that they are deserving of a spot in the library of any comedy lover and classic TV lover alike. The central reason for such praise is the collective list of guests and honorees presented across both sets. The guests featured throughout both sets is a who’s who of the sports and entertainment worlds. Ruth Buzzi, Don Rickles, Bob Hope, Red Button and so many other greats roast their friends Jack Kulgman, Mr. T., and Evel Knievel among so many others. Younger audiences might recognize some of the celebrity guests and honorees. However, older audiences are more apt to know the names featured in each episode. Of course, for those that might not be so familiar with those names, being introduced to them could actually prove beneficial. It could teach said audiences about the figures that remain today some of the most respected in their respected fields. So to that extent, it could be argued that the featured celebrities could actually serve as the starting point for a lesson on the history of American entertainment. Such a rich representation of Hollywood’s greatest ages and of the sports world’s equally rich history is just one reason that audiences will enjoy both of these new Dean Martin Celebrity Roast sets. The jokes lobbed at the honorees and guests alike make for even more enjoyment from both presentations.

The guest and honoree lists that make up both of StarVista Entertainment’s new Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts sets by themselves prove to be plenty of reason in themselves for audiences to purchase either set. Of course, those guest and honoree lists can only do so much in encouraging viewers to pick up either et. The jokes lobbed back and forth between the guests and honorees add even more enjoyment for audiences. In terms of the jokes, Mickey Mantle and other athletes and celebs throw some real heaters at baseball legend Joe Garagiola including jokes about his batting average, and even his ability to swing both on the field and off among other topics. Yes, there is some blue material. And Garagiola isn’t the only victim of that material, either. Needles to say not all of the jokes are proper for some younger viewers. Older audiences though, will get a real laugh from all of that material and more. Gary Coleman dresses up just like Mr. T for Mr. T’s roast. And his joke about wanting to be big like Mr. T gets its own share of laugh, especially with Coleman dressed just like Mr. T. And the jabs thrown at TV legend Monty Hall will have viewers in stitches. These are just some of the examples of how the guest and honoree lists presented in each of StarVista’s new Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts set work in conjunction to make both sets equally enjoyable despite one being a single-disc set and the other an extensive eight-disc set. There are so many examples that could be listed that there is simply neither enough time nor space to go into everything. Needless to say regardless of which example(s) is/are chosen, every one proves to be as entertaining as any others. That in mind, the combination of the guest/honoree lists featured throughout both sets coupled with the jokes makes for all the reason in the world to add either one to any lover of real comedy and/or classic television.

The combination of the guest/honoree lists that compose both of StarVista Entertainment’s new Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts sets make for more than enough reason for any lover of true comedy and classic TV to purchase either set. They will put smiles on any viewer’s face and draw nonstop laughs from any viewer’s mouth. Taking that into consideration, there is only one other element of both sets to examine. That final element is the collective production values of both sets. The production values in question refers to the look and sound of the episodes culled for the sets. StarVista Entertainment made completely certain once again with these sets to note the possibility that there may be some issues with the sets’ production values and for audiences to essentially bear with StarVista. As with StarVista’s previously released Carol Burnett Show releases (and others), audiences will be pleased to know that the disclaimers in question were hardly needed. Those charged with re-mastering each episode for the sets are to be commended for their efforts. That is because as old as the footage is, every episode looks and sounds wonderful, thus making for all the more reason to add either set to any true comedy and classic TV lover’s home library. There are no real noticeable impurities or other issues with any of the footage. It is yet another testament to those responsible for resurrecting this and so many other classic series for StarVista Entertainment and for audiences. Their efforts have resulted in footage that maintains the series’ classic look without sacrificing anything along the way. The end result is footage that will create a welcome sense of nostalgia both among those that grew up with Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts and those that might be first time viewers. It is a feeling that will make any of said viewers want to watch these episodes again and again.

StarVista Entertainment’s new Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts sets may differ in the number of discs that make up each set. It is the only difference between the two sets, though. Audiences will agree in viewing both sets that there is plenty to appreciate in both sets. The guest/honoree lists themselves serve as a great starting point for a lesson about Hollywood’s history and that of America’s sports world. The stingers, zingers, and otherwise laugh-inciting jokes served up by the guests and honorees make for even more enjoyment from both sets. Thanks to the efforts of those charged with re-mastering the classic footage, every episode looks and sounds as good as it did in its original broadcast so many decades ago. Each episode looks and sounds so good that the sets’ disclaimers regarding the episodes’ production values prove to be just as unnecessary as with StarVista’s past classic TV releases. Each element proves highly important to the enjoyment of both of StarVista’s new Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts sets in their own way. Together they make both sets welcome additions tothe home library of any lover of true comedy and classic television. Both sets are available now online and can be ordered online direct via Amazon. More information on this and other titles from StarVista Entertainment is available online now at:

Website: http://timelife.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TimeLifeUS

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TimeLifeUS

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

StarVista’s New Carol Burnett Set Is A Good First Set For Any Fan’s Collection

Courtesy:  StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment

Courtesy: StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment

StarVista Entertainment released its latest collection of classic episodes from The Carol Burnett Show last week in the new single-disc DVD presentation The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again.  The DVD features three classic episodes from what is one of television’s greatest sketch comedy/variety shows.  While the episodes have already been presented in StarVista’s previous Carol Burnett Show box sets, there are those audiences that have not picked up said box sets to this day or have not been able to add those box sets to their own personal collections.  Keeping that in mind, The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again proves to be a good starting point for any viewer regardless of said viewer’s familiarity with The Carol Burnett Show.  While it is for all intents and purposes a re-issue of three previously released episodes the episodes presented on The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again serve as a good starting point for anyone that has yet to start their collection of Carol Burnett Show episodes.  The reason that the episodes included on this disc prove to be a good starting point is the collective work of the show’s writers and its cast.  The largely family-friendly sketches will leave audiences of all ages in stitches at some points and move them deeply at others thanks to the work of all involved.  And the inclusion of a fully in-detail episode guide completes the presentation.  The guide in question has been a standard of every one of StarVista Entertainment’s Carol Burnett Show releases.  They have always been a highly important part of each presentation, too.  That is still the case even in this presentation.     Because it has been included once again here along with so many wonderfully entertaining moments, it is one more part of the whole of The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again that makes this DVD a welcome watch for anyone looking to start their Carol Burnett Show collection.

The episodes that have been collected for StarVista Entertainment’s new Carol Burnett Show compilation are nothing new for many fans of the classic sketch comedy/variety series.  There are those out there that have wasted no time criticizing StarVista for this.  Those same people have not taken into consideration that not every fan of The Carol Burnett Show own any of StarVista’s previous Carol Burnett Show compilations or even the show’s complete series collection.  Anyone that takes this into consideration will hopefully see that even though the episodes on this disc have been previously released, they make for a good start for any Carol Burnett Show fan that has yet to start their collection of episodes.  Because the episodes culled for this compilation have already been presented before, it can obviously be said that they are presented exactly as they were presented in their original broadcasts on CBS back in 1973 and 1978.  And just as in their previous resurrections, all three episodes look and sound just as good as they did in their original broadcasts.  So anyone that has not yet started their collection will understandably be impressed at least by this much.

The quality presentation of the episodes chosen for The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again is by itself plenty of reason for the series’ fans to pick up this DVD or order it online.  It’s just part of the reason for fans that are looking to start their collection to purchase this collection.  The work of the writers across all three episodes gives even more reason for fans to pick up this DVD if they haven’t already purchased any of the series’ previous DVD sets.  Even roughly thirty years or so after their original broadcasts, these episodes will still have audiences laughing uproariously at some points, and moved almost to tears at others.  Some of the laughs even come as a result of the writers’ tributes to Hollywood’s golden era as in the set’s final episode “High Hat.”  The skit pays homage to the great films of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.  It actually takes its name directly from the pair’s 1935 hit film Top Hat.  Ken Berry even provides a surprisingly entertaining tap number and his own singing performances.  Anyone that is a fan of Top Hat or classic song and dance films in general will truly appreciate this sketch for both its historical and its comic value.  The sketch “Raised To Be Rotten” offers just as many laughs as it spoofs all of the trashy soap operas of the day.  Ironically enough, it could even be considered a spoof of many of the soap operas of the past twenty years or more.  That continued relevance and comic value make it yet another prime example of how the work of the writers on this show makes these episodes so entertaining even today and in turn why their work makes this collection so enjoyable for anyone looking to make the first of maybe many additions to their Carol Burnett Show collections.  On the opposite end of that spectrum, Carol’s portrayal of her beloved Charwoman character in Show # 705 is certain to put both a smile on fans’ faces and maybe even a tear in their eyes.  The Charwoman discovers in this episode’s sketch “Silence is Golden” an old seemingly abandoned room loaded with classic silent films and even a projector that magically seems to work.  When turned on, the projector seems to transport the Charwoman into what is supposed to be a classic Charlie Chaplin film.  In this case, actress Gloria Swanson (Sunset Boulevard) plays the part of Chaplin.  And she does so quite convincingly, too.  There’s something about both Swanson and Burnett’s acting here that makes this sketch enjoyable and charming in so many ways.  The Charwoman’s reaction in realizing she might actually have been in the film and her interaction with “Chaplin” in realizing it makes for a truly sweet moment that is sure to have any viewer tearing up at least a little bit.  Whether for that moment and the more lighthearted laughs offered in the sketch, the smiles and laughs brought on by the tribute to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, or any of the laughs and smiles brought on throughout the presented episodes, every single episode and every sketch proves in its own inimitable way why the work of the writers behind The Carol Burnett Show makes this compilation just as worth the purchase as any of the show’s previous DVD releases.  This is especially the case for anyone that has yet to start their collection of Carol Burnett Show collections.

The episodes that StarVista chose to include as part of the whole that is The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again, their presentation, and the work of the writers in each episode collectively shows why this new DVD release is a good starting point for anyone looking to take the first step in starting their collection of DVDs from what is one of the greatest series in the modern history of television. While the noted elements each make for so much enjoyment, one more element should be noted of the whole package that adds to its enjoyment. The element in question is the disc’s companion booklet. The booklet included with the DVD is, like the episodes themselves, nothing new for StarVista’s Carol Burnett Show DVD sets. The companion booklet outlines each show in just enough detail to give viewers a relatively vivid idea of each episode and sketch. It outlines the highlights of each show and notes the title and cast of each sketch within the episodes. It even notes each show’s original air date as part of the full outline. All of the details noted of the disc’s companion booklet are also part of the booklets included with each one of StarVista’s previously released Carol Burnett Show collections. This is so significant because it shows once more the careful approach taken by those charged with assembling the episodes and the package in whole. It shows that those people wanted to pay proper respect to the show and its legacy one again as well as to the show’s legions of fans, too. So many television shows’ DVD collections either come with standard, straight-forward episode listings or nothing at all. Those that do include the list include no background or any other extras for fans. That’s not the case for any of StarVista’s Carol Burnett Show DVD sets including this single-disc presentation. And it continues to show in this situation, too. The end result of such lengthy efforts being taken to honor both the legacy of the Carol Burnett Show and the fans of The Carol Burnett Show is one more layer of depth to what on the surface seems a simple DVD yet is a DVD in which audiences and critics alike will find plenty to like.

The fact that those charged with assembling The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again would go to such lengths to continue paying homage to both the legacy of what is one of television’s great modern series and to its fans says plenty about those individuals and of StarVista in whole. The same can be said of all involved merely by examining the episodes included in the set in terms of their writing and their production values. By themselves, each of the noted elements plays an important role in the enjoyment and success of the DVD in whole. Collectively, they prove once and for all why this disc is a wonderful starting point for anyone looking to take that first step in building their Carol Burnett Show collections. The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles available from StarVista Entertainment is available online at:

Website: https://timelife.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TimeLifeUS

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TimeLifeUS

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Time Life, StarVista Announce Release Date, Specs For New Carol Burnett Show Compilation

Courtesy:  StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment

Courtesy: StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment

StarVista Entertainment and Time Life Entertainment will release another new set of episodes from the beloved Carol Burnett Show next month.

The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again will be released Tuesday, February 24th on DVD. The single-disc release will boast three more episodes from the classic variety/sketch comedy series. All three episodes are presented exactly as their aired in their original broadcasts on CBS in 1973 and 1978. This means that all three episodes will be completely uncut. The included episodes in question are Episode #705 (Original airdate: September 29, 2973), Episode #712 (Original Airdate: December 15, 1973), and Episode #1115 (Original Airdate: January 8, 1978). The episodes included in the upcoming DVD feature some of the greatest names from television’s golden era. Those stars include: Roddy McDowell (Cleopatra, Planet of the Apes Series, Fright Night), Ruth Buzzi (Laugh-In, The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts), Gloria Swanson (Sunset Boulevard, The Gloria Swanson Hour), Richard Crenna (Judging Amy, JAG, Rambo series), and Ken Berry (Mama’s Family, F Troop, The Andy Griffith Show).

The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again will be available in stores and online Tuesday, February 24th. It will retail for MSRP of $12.95. It can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Carol-Burnett-Show-Together-Again/dp/B00NUSWZ9I/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1421421317&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Carol+Burnett+Show+Together+Again. More information on this and other releases from StarVista Entertainment and Time Life Entertainment is available online at:

Website: http://www.timelife.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TimeLifeUS

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TimeLifeUS

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

MLB World Series Takes Top Honors In The Phil’s Picks 2014 List Of Best New Box Sets For Grown-Ups

The days are officially ticking away to the end of another year. That means that all of the critics out there are now putting out their annual “Best Of” lists. This critic is still working on some of those lists while others are official. The jury’s still out on some right now such as the year’s Best New Documentaries, Independent Movies, Re-Issues, and Best New Movies overall. The lists for all the new music are still in the works, too. So while those lists are being completed, Phil’s Picks offers to everyone to start off the year, a look at the Top 10 Best New Box Sets for Grown-Ups. This year’s list is capped by a box set featuring the entire 2014 World Series, courtesy of Lionsgate, A&E Home Video, and MLB Productions. Also on this year’s list are some blasts from the past and some imports from our neighbors across the pond, and one surprise entry in the Honorable Mention list. The box sets’ packaging, bonus material and more were collectively taken into account in building this (and the other lists to come). Only 15 titles total could make the list. So there were some that didn’t make the list such as the sixth and seventh seasons of Star Trek The Next Generation on Blu-ray or the full six-season run of Ancient Aliens among others. It goes without saying that this was not an easy list to build. But it feels right. So without further ado, here is the list of 2014’s Top 10 New Box Sets For Grown-Ups.

2014 Best New Box Sets For Grown-Ups

1. 2014 MLB World Series Collector’s Edition

2. Endeavour: Series 2

3. Here’s Lucy: The Complete Series

4. The Carol Burnett Show: Carol’s Crackups

5. The Dean Martin Show: Fully Roasted

6. The Roosevelts

7. Inspector Lewis: Series 7

8. Psych: The Complete Series

9. Secret Agent (A.K.A. Danger Man): The Complete Series

10. The Wonder Years: Season 1

Honorable Mention

11. The Red Skelton Show: The Early Years–1951 – 1955

12. The Almighty Johnsons: Season 1

13. Hell on Wheels: Season 3

14. The Definitive WWI & WWII Collection

15. I Love Lucy: Ultimate Season 1 (BD Re-Issue)

Tomorrow, Phil’s Picks looks into the list of the year’s best new box sets for Children and Families. Stay tuned! To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The Midnight Special’s Re-Issues Will Have Audiences Singing, Dancing Well Past Midnight

Courtesy:  StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment/NBC

Courtesy: StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment/NBC

StarVista Entertainment and Time Life Entertainment have made quite the name for themselves over the course of recent years.  Releases of classic series such as The Carol Burnett Show, Mama’s Family, The Dean Martin Show, China Beach, and most recently The Wonder Years have taken a company that for years was the butt of many people’s jokes to a place in the upper echelons of home entertainment companies.  For years, Time Life was known mainly for the not-so-well-known products that it pushed through extended advertisements on television.  Now it has carved out even more of a comfortable place in that upper echelon with the release of The Midnight Special on DVD.  The classic late night live concert series was released in a number of formats last month, resurrecting one more important piece of television and music history.  The show’s six-disc collector’s edition is one of the best of the sets that any fan of classic television and music can add to their own home library.  That is because it is one of the best examples of what made this series so great during its nine-year run on NBC.  It presents ninety-six total performances from bands, artists and groups across the music industry’s spectrum.  The acts that make appearances throughout the set’s six discs are the center of this box set’s enjoyment and success.  Just as important to note is the quality of the footage.  More than four decades have passed since the Midnight Special first debuted in 1972.  In that time, the footage presented in these performances has stood the test of time quite well.  And last but not least worth noting in the set’s success is its companion booklet.  The booklet serves as an episode guide for viewers.  That is the central point of its importance.  It also features personal insight from the series’ creator Burt Sugarman. Sugarman’s retrospection on the series and its importance adds one more layer of appreciation for this series.  Together with the acts that appear on each set and the quality of the footage, all three factors together make The Midnight Train another wonderful release from Time  Life Entertainment and StarVista Entertainment.

The Midnight Special was one of the most famed and beloved series on television during its day.  Unlike so many other series of the time, acts that came on the series in its heydey actually sang instead of lip synching.  What’s more, unlike American Bandstand, The Midnight Special focused on more than just the big pop acts of its day.  The acts that came to perform on NBC’s live overnight concert series spanned the music world’s ranks.  That is the most important aspect of this recently released classic series.  The acts that performed on The Midnight Special included the likes of John Denver performing alongside Linda Rondstadt and Aerosmith performing alongside Barry White, The Stylistics, and ELO.  It also featured acts the likes of: B.B. King, Frankie Vallie, Sammy Hagar, The O’Jays, BeeGees, and so many other greats that are still remembered today.  Even the show’s host himself, radio host Wolfman Jack was a celebrity in his own right.  Even today, he and those acts noted here are just as beloved as they were decades ago.  In an era when so many musical acts are little more than flash-in-the-pan pop acts and rarely radio worthy rock bands, musicaians and audiences alike need to be reminded of what once made music great and could again–originality and real talent.  That in mind, it makes sense that the list of performers that came on The Midnight Special is the central point of this series’ success whether in its six-disc box set or its other formats.

The list of artists, bands, and groups that graced The Midnight Special’s stage during its nine-year run on NBC is the most important aspect of this series’ recent re-issue.  More than four decades have passed since it first debuted on NBC in 1972.  That makes for plenty of reason to be concerned about the quality of the show’s footage in its transfer from tape to disc.  Luckily for audiences of all ages, painstaking efforts were taken to present the performances as they appeared in their original broadcasts. Those efforts paid off in spades as both the audio and video of each performance have been well-balanced.  Any impurities in the quality of the footage whether in the audio or video are so minute that they are unnoticable.  The end result is a product that for the show’s original audiences will generate a much-welcomed sense of nostalgia.  Both for those same audiences and the show’s much younger audiences, it also serves to show just how far music has come (both in a good and bad way) and how far recording technology has come, too.  So in the end, the quality of the footage in these performances makes Time Life and StarVista’s new re-issue of The Midnight Special even more enjoyable for audiences of all ages.

The efforts taken to transfter The Midnight Special’s master tapes to disc have definitely not been for nothing.  The show looks and sounds just as good as it did in its original run all those years ago in its rencet re-issue.  The acts that appeared on the show (and that are featured on the new six-disc compilation) are just as important to the overall presentation.  Both aspects together more than make the series worth a watch or two in any of its three re-issue formats.  The last aspect of the series’ re-issue (at least in its six-disc compilation format) that makes it a success and so enjoyable is the set’s companion booklet.  The booklet serves primarily as an episode guide, pointing out disc-by-disc and episode-by-episode each artist, band, and group that appears.  That listing even includes the songs performed by said acts.  By itself, the episode listing more than helps the enjoyment of the series’ re-issue.  The added insight from series creator Burt Sugarman adds one more layer of enjoyment to the series’ various presentations.  In terms of the six-disc box set, Sugarman recalls how so few people had faith in the show and how great it felt to prove those naysayers wrong.  That insight along with other comments from Sugarman make for even more interest and enjoyment in watching the performances culled for the show’s different re-issues.  While being the last of the noteworthy factors that make The MIdnight Special so…well…special, it is hardly the least important of the factors that make the series’ sets such a joy.  This aspect, along with the quality production values and the performances culled for the releases, makes The Midnight Special a truly special experience for viewers of all ages.

The Midnight Special is available online now.  Its eleven-disc and sixteen disc sets can be ordered online direct from Time Life’s online store at http://timelife.com/products/the-midnight-special-collector-s-edition.  The six-disc collector’s edition can be ordered via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Midnight-Special-6DVD-Amaray/dp/B00L9OPJ5C/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1414009549&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Midnight+Special.  More information on this and other releases from Time Life Entertainment and StarVista Entertainment is available online at:

Website: http://www.timelife.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TimeLifeUS

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TimeLifeUS

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The Carol Burnett Show Cast To Appear May 20th On The Queen Latifah Show

Courtesy:  Sony Pictures Television, Inc.

Courtesy: Sony Pictures Television, Inc.

The cast of The Carol Burnett Show will re-unite for the first time in a decade this week.

Carol Burnett, Vicki Lawrence, Tim Conway, Lyle Waggoner, and Bob Mackie will re-unite for the first time in a decade tomorrow, May 20th, on The Queen Latifah Show. Latifah will sit down with the remaining cast members to discuss some of their favorite moments from The Carol Burnett Show. The cast will also be discussing the recently released complete Carol Burnett Show and the compilation DVD box sets that have been released by Star Vista Entertainment and Time Life Entertainment.

The most recent of those box sets is the recently released Carol’s Crack Ups. The six-disc box set retails for SRP of $59.95. The box set is available in stores and online. It can be ordered online from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Carol-Burnett-Show-Carols-Crack-Up/dp/B00HXWV2JQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1400545306&sr=1-1&keywords=the+carol+burnett+show+carol%27s+crack-ups. More information on this and other box sets from The Carol Burnett Show is available online at http://www.facebook.com/TimeLifeUS and http://www.timelife.com.

Audiences can find out when The Queen Latifah Show airs in their area online at https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Queen-Latifah-Show/322981017838350. Audiences can go online to http://queenlatifah.com to find out when The Queen Latifah Show will air in their region. Audiences can also get more information on The Queen Latifah Show online at http://twitter.com/iamqueenlatifah. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

StarVista’s New Carol Burnett Show Box Set Will Have Viewers Cracking Up

Courtesy: StarVista Entertainment/Time Life

Courtesy: StarVista Entertainment/Time Life

StarVista Entertainment has done it yet again. On Tuesday, April 15th, StarVista Entertainment will release the latest collection of episodes from The Carol Burnett Show in the form of The Carol Burnett Show: Carol’s Crack Ups. This six-disc box set is one of the few box sets this year that has earned itself a spot on this critic’s list of the year’s best overall new box sets. From the episodes collected for this set, to the equally hilarious bonus material, to the video’s once again high quality footage and the packaging, so much was done right concerning this set. So much was done right in fact that there is simply not enough time or space to discuss every single positive aspect of the set. All of these factors and more make The Carol Burnett Show: Carol’s Crack Ups a box set well worth purchasing for any fan of The Carol Burnett Show and more than worthy of a place on this critic’s list of the year’s best overall new box sets.

The primary reason for any fan of The Carol Burnett Show to pick up this latest compilation of episodes from Burnett’s landmark show is the episodes themselves. Each of the set’s seventeen total episodes is jam packed with hilarious jokes and gags, and enjoyable musical numbers. Make the deal even sweeter, StarVista Entertainment has once again given audiences the ability to choose not only given shows, but the separate segments within each show. While the jokes and gags have a certain edge about them, they are quite tame in comparison to the majority of what’s out there today. Their edge proves that comedy can still be funny even in the 21st century without being overtly blue. One of the prime examples of this comes in the bonus skit, “The Oldest Man: Firefighter.” This skit sees Tim Conway playing his familiar “Old Man” character once again. This time the old man is a firefighter dispatched to stop a fire at the home of Korman’s unnamed character. The physical comedy and the jokes shared throughout the skit will leave any viewer laughing so hard that they cry. It certainly did that with this critic. Bonus skit or not, it shows just why The Carol Burnett Show is still such a beloved show even decades after it ended its original eleven-season run on CBS.

The largely family friendly humor shared throughout each episode in this latest box set is just part of what makes the episodes the cornerstone of the set’s success. Audiences will enjoy just as much, the musical numbers included in each episode. The Carol Burnett Show was not the first, nor the last to incorporate musical numbers into its overall structure. The Smothers Brothers—Tom and Dick—incorporated musical numbers into their show in the late 1960s as did Sonny and Cher in their variety programs—The Sonny & Cher Show and The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour. This then raises the question what would make the musical numbers in The Carol Burnett Show so enjoyable. The answer to that is the same answer to what made the musical numbers in the other variety shows so enjoyable. Unlike a show such as Saturday Night Live, The Carol Burnett Show and its fellow variety shows didn’t stick just to pushing the most current radio hits of the day. The radio hits were there. But they weren’t all that got the focus. So simply put, the musical numbers were so fun because they weren’t part of the massive marketing machine that today’s talk shows are. The musical numbers included in The Carol Burnett Show: Carol’s Crack Ups sees the likes of And y Griffith (The Andy Griffith Show, No Time For Sergeants, Matlock) Gloria Swanson, Ruth Buzzi and more singing songs that are just as enjoyable today as they were decades ago. Those songs include: ‘Just Squeeze Me/Oh, You Beautiful Doll’, ‘Turn Your Radio On’ and ‘I’ve Been Around/A New-Fangled Tango.’ Those songs and all of the others included in each show serve to add even more enjoyment for viewers of all ages as they make their way through all six of the set’s discs.

The comedy and the musical numbers included in each of the seventeen total episodes on this set make for so much enjoyment. Making things even better for viewers is the fact that StarVista Entertainment has once again given viewers the option to choose not just from the episodes on each disc, but also to choose from specific skits and musical numbers within each episode. This option means that viewers will once again not have to sit through the entire episodes in order to their favorite segment in each episode. That in itself could be argued a bonus feature separate from the bonus features which will be discussed later. It is the finishing touch that makes the episodes included in this set such a joy to watch.

The episodes included in The Carol Burnett Show: Carol’s Crackups are the foundation of the success of the set in question. The bonus features included in the set make that foundation even more solid for audiences. This time out, StarVista has included as bonus material, special separate looks at the impact of both Tim Conway and Harvey Korman on The Carol Burnett Shows. Those examinations include footage of other classic Carol Burnett Show skits that really exhibit their talents both by themselves and together. Among the most memorable of those skits are “The Dentist” and Conway’s now famed “Elephant Skit” from The Family. It’s too bad that neither of those skits was included in this set in their entirety. That’s because of their level of hilarity. It was so funny to learn that in “The Dentist”, Tim Conway made Harvey Korman laugh so hard that he wet himself. And the bonus discussion on “The Peeping Tom” is definitely not for children, ironically enough. Carol and company discuss the comedy in guest star Dick Van Dyke and Tim Conway switching places in the skit and how Carol used a body suit with fake breasts to flash the peeper. Yes, that is what she did. And she shows the body suit, too. Again, it is not for children. It’s one of the rare moments that is not kid friendly. The other bonus material included in this box set is relatively safe for all viewers. And it is sure to have anyone watching laughing just as hard as ever.

Having discussed the role of the episodes themselves and the bonus features in The Carol Burnett Show: Carol’s Crack Ups, there is one last part of the set to examine in the set’s success. That last factor is its packaging. StarVista Entertainment has once again wisely packaged its set, placing each of the six discs on either side of three separate “plates” inside the box. Bizarrely enough, there is actually a fourth plate, which has been left empty. Perhaps this is only the case with review copies. But it was very much the case with previous Carol Burnett Show box sets, too. So it is definitely a head scratcher of sorts. That aside, the fact that StarVista has maintained that high standard of packaging, protecting the discs is one more reason the company is quite deserving of its share of applause. It is the last touch on a set that is more than worth the purchase for any viewer whether new to The Carol Burnett Show or not.

The Carol Burnett Show: Carol’s Crack Ups will be available Tuesday, April 15th. It can be pre-ordered now via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Carol-Burnett-Show-Carols-Crack-Up/dp/B00HXWV2JQ/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1396874564&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=The+Carol+Burnett+Show+Carol%27s+Crack+Ups. More information on this and other Carol Burnett Show DVD sets is available online at http://timelife.com and http://www.facebook.com/TimeLifeUS. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.