Carol Burnett is one of television’s greatest entertainers. You don’t have to go far to find someone, young or old, who has been influenced by her. The Carol Burnett Show lasted first aired in 1967 and lasted until 1978. Since then, select episodes from various years have been released either in syndication or on home media, but due to a dispute with the production company, the first five seasons have remained locked away until now. The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes Ultimate Collection features 45 hand-picked episodes from Burnett herself along with more than 20 hours of bonus features. It truly is the ultimate collection for any Carol Burnett fan.
The 45 episodes selected come from 1967-72 and are the first time they’ve been released outside of their original airing. For those that are unfamiliar with The Carol Burnett Show, it was a variety and sketch comedy show that aired on CBS. Comedian Carol Burnett would first come out on stage and have a casual Q&A session with the audience and announced what guest stars would be featured that evening. Then there would be a variety of comedy sketches, musical numbers, and performances that would fill the 1-hour timeslot. Act, sing, dance; Burnett can do it all. At the end, she’d have her special guest sign her guestbook as the credits rolled passed. This may all seem like nothing new nowadays, but back in the 60s and 70s she was groundbreaking.
The first thing I noticed was that the quality of the episodes is superb. The colors are vibrant and the sound is crisp. There are the occasional blemishes that will pop up, but that is to be expected for a show that is close to 50 years old. Honestly, it’s just nice that fans are finally getting to see these episodes in their original format once again.
Watch the episodes was like taking a trip into the past. It was fascinating to see CBS’s old logo and introduction. Even classic announcements for things like Colgate toothpaste and sparkplugs are still attached to the promos. One of the more interesting things I noticed was seeing a choreographed dance routine to “Yakety Sax.” It’s strange to see the song in a context that doesn’t involve people running around making a fool of themselves, but this was a time before the song was solely associated with The Benny Hill Show. It’s wonderful to be able to experience this era of The Carol Burnett Show, whether it’s for the first time like myself or reliving the days of watching it live on TV.
The Ultimate Collection includes hours upon hours of bonus features ranging from interview from the past and present, bonus sketches, outtakes, episodes of The Garry Moore Show, and even the television movie Once Upon a Mattress. If it’s related to Burnett, you can bet it’s included in this collection. It great to hear celebrities like Alan Alda, Julie Andrews, Steve Carell, Bill Hader, Queen Latifah and many, many more talk about her influence on the entertainment industry. Even the DVD inserts are filled with trivia and quotes. Also included is a 40-page replica Guest Book filled with signatures and photos and notes. The Ultimate Collection is clearly made for the most die hard fans of the show.
The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes Ultimate Collection is the perfect reminder for just how talented and amazing Carol Burnett is. She commanded the stage and brought an amazing blend of humor and intelligence to television screens all across America. It’s great to finally be able to own these early years of the show and fans shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity of this set. The Ultimate Collection has clearly been assembled with the love and respect the show rightfully deserves.
You can order the collection at lostcarolepisodes.com. Additionally, a 6-DVD and single DVD set will be available in stores on September 15, 2015.