Join Judge Brett Cullum for a special Christmas Carol, as the queen of variety struts her holiday stuff!
A Christmas Carol!
Carol Burnett hosted The Carol Burnett Show from 1967 until 1977 on CBS, but amazingly enough, she never did a special dedicated just to Christmas. I suppose it never made sense to concentrate an entire variety show to the holidays. Still, each year right around December 25th, there would be a couple of Christmas songs or skits.
For StarVista's The Carol Burnett Show: Christmas with Carol, they've decided to take a simple approach, including two full episodes from late in the televised run and coupling them with some extras from the start of the series:
• Up first is Episode #813, which was aired originally on December 21, 1974. Alan Alda was a guest star, and included are the familiar Higgins family at Christmas and a skit with Alan and Carol starring as department store employees singing "Nobody Does it Like Me." There is also a funny dating skit about a man obsessed with movies, and then a medley of songs about New York City.
• The second show is # 1113 from the last CBS season in 1977. It aired a week before Christmas, and the guest stars were singer Helen Reddy and Ken Berry. The first Christmas segment showcases Carol as Mrs. Wiggins getting bombed on champagne with her boss Mr. Tudball (Tim Conway). Then there is a cute bit with Tim Conway and Vicki Lawrence creating a Christmas gift dress costume for their host. In the finale, there are some holiday songs that include a little more than just Christmas.
• To round out the set, StarVista and producers Time-Life have included a few more holiday themed tidbits. Bonus skits include three segments from 1967: a Q&A with Jonathan Winters, a short sketch about Carol fighting with her husband on Christmas traditions, and her Charwoman singing the Judy Garland version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." From 1968, we get "The Twelve Days After Christmas," which tells what Carol did with all those famous holiday gifts, including making a nice chicken soup out of the hens.
The DVD looks pretty much like television from 1967 until 1977. It's full-screen, not too clear, and lacking in detail. Colors look fine, though, and actually it appears some re-mastering was done to make all of this look okay for release. The audio is a nice monaural mix, which sounds crisp without any hissing or anything to distract you from the musical numbers. This is a DVD that will turn your fancy HD 3D TV into a click-dial rabbit ear set for just a while, which I find charming and sentimental.
There is another release out there simply entitled Christmas with Carol, and it should not be confused with this product. That DVD just has some interviews on it, while this The Carol Burnett Show: Christmas with Carol is just what fans are looking for. It's a sweet-natured release that will take you back to a time when variety shows were the norm, and Carol Burnett was queen of the format. She sings, dances, and does comedy—a true triple threat. If you're looking to snuggle up with some gentle reminders of a bygone era, here it is. It's priced well, and makes a fun holiday set to revisit annually.
Not guilty of anything other than being Christmas with Carol, a great gift.
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