Category Archives: DVD

The Best of Sonny & Cher — Now on DVD

collector's booklet from Sonny & Cher DVD Collection
The included booklet tells the story of Sonny & Cher in text and photos.

OK boomer, it’s finally here: I Got You Babe, The Best of Sonny & Cher DVD Collection from Time Life. This is the first time these episodes have ever been available on DVD. In this collection: 18 episodes + extras on 10 DVDs. Plus, there’s a 36-page booklet that tells the story of Sonny & Cher and their TV shows, with rare photos and wardrobe sketches to accompany the text. Picture quality and sound are excellent, and the extra interviews and clips are a real bonus.

I was a teenager when The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour premiered in August of 1971. Being a busy high school student with a healthy interest in girls, cars and illicit substances, I wasn’t watching a lot of prime time TV at the time. I only caught an episode here and there, so it’s really fun to watch them now and look back at a very interesting period in popular culture.

Photo of The Best of Sonny & Cher DVD Collection
Here’s what you get with this collection.

Sonny & Cher were a hard musical act to pigeonhole. They weren’t rock and roll exactly, but they also weren’t pop like Andy Williams or Dean Martin. They were an odd couple — a young dark-haired beauty possessing a deep sultry voice, paired with a dweeby guy eleven years her senior. They always seemed more showbiz, not hippies or part of the counterculture like other L.A.-based acts like the Byrds or even the Mamas and the Papas. Cher finally let her freak flag fly after she broke up with Sonny and married rocker Gregg Allman, but as a duo they were a mainstream act that was not at all threatening to middle America. I for one was not surprised when Sonny Bono ran for and won a seat in congress as a Republican. Sadly, a skiing accident ended his life in 1998. Cher is still performing and recording, and tweets frequently on a range of subjects.

Shop I Got You Babe: The Best of Sonny & Cher at TimeLife.com! Order Now!

Although rock stars like Elton John do pop up from time to time in this collection, most of the guest stars were the same tried and true performers you’d see on The Carol Burnett Show or The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. The special guest for the very first show was septuagenarian vaudevillian Jimmy Durante. So the producers were obviously targeting an older audience.

Photo of the DVDs included in The Best of Sonny & Cher DVD Collection
It’s quite ingenious how 5 DVDs are able to fit in each of the cases.

When I did tune in, it was definitely to see Cher in the revealing gowns created for her by iconic costume designer Bob Mackie. I’m not sure I was even aware of Sonny & Cher’s divorce, their separate solo TV variety shows, and how they professionally reunited for the revamped Sonny & Cher Show that aired in 1976-77. But now, boomers like me all across America can grab a snack and relax on their comfy couch or recliner and travel back in time to the 1970s, when TV variety shows ruled the airwaves. Click here to order or learn more about I Got You Babe, The Best of Sonny & Cher DVD Collection. Free standard shipping is available.

Wall Street Journal Wonders if “The Wonder Years” Will Be a Big Hit on DVD

The  Wonder Years complete TV series is now available on DVD from Time Life, and The Wall Street Journal wonders if fans of the 80s show will shell out big bucks to own the complete series on DVD. Continue reading

Masters of Heavy Metal Parody Spinal Tap’s 1978 TV Debut

The idea for the cult classic Spinal Tap gestated from a conversation overheard by co-creator Christopher Guest in 1974, according to Legs McNeil’s excellent blog, Please Kill Me. Guest was hanging out at the chic Hollywood hotel Chateau Marmont when he heard:

Manager: All right, well, we’ll take our instruments up to the room.

Bassist: Don’t know where my bass is.

Manager: I beg your pardon.

Bassist: I don’t know where the bass is.

Manager: Where is it?

Bassist: I think it’s at the airport.

Manager: You have to get back there, don’t you?

Bassist: I don’t know, do I?

Manager: I think you better.

Bassist: Where’s my bass?

Manager: It’s at the airport.

Spinal Tap the band made its debut on a late-night ABC sketch comedy called The TV Show, in which they parodied NBC music show The Midnight Special, complete with Spinal Tap writer and director Rob Reiner introducing the band in his best Wolfman Jack impersonation.

“To relieve the tension of that moment, we started ad-libbing these characters.”

“We were shooting a takeoff on ‘Midnight Special,’ just lying on the ground waiting for the machine that was supposed to make the fog effect to stop dripping hot oil on us,” says Harry Shearer, who plays Spinal Tap bassist Derek Smalls. “And to relieve the tension of that moment, we started ad-libbing these characters.”

To relive the glory years of this great fake band, get the Special Edition DVD or Blu-ray for less than 10 bucks at Amazon, or stream it there for a few dollars less.

Shirley Temple Dead at 85, Leaves Behind Classic Film Legacy on DVD

Iconic child star Shirley Temple Black, who sang signature hits like “On the Good Ship Lollipop” and starred in movies like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Heidi and Bright Eyespassed away at age 85 in the San Francisco suburb of Woodside, Calif.

The adorable curly-haired Temple was a top box-office draw between 1935 and 1938, and saw a cottage industry of products featuring her likeness flood store shelves. A nonalcoholic cocktail was even named after her. The movie-going public largely lost interest in Temple after she grew out of childhood, and she retired from acting at age 21. She then pursued a successful career in conservative politics, eventually becoming a U.S. ambassador.

For the most comprehensive look back at Temple’s short-lived but meteoric career, check out the Shirley Temple Little Darling DVD Collection, featuring restored versions of 18 of her classic films, in both color and black-and-white.

‘Secret Project’: ‘Seinfeld’ Reunion Confirmed

It’s unclear exactly what form it will be in, but the cast of Seinfeld has definitely reunited to film . . . something. Creator and star Jerry Seinfeld called it a “secret project.”

“I think it’s one-and-done.”

Seinfeld and costar Jason Alexander (George Costanza) were recently spotted walking into Tom’s Restaurant in New York City, the gang’s hangout for nearly a decade, for some sort of shoot. Larry David, a writer and creator of the show, was also there, Seinfeld confirmed on the sports talk radio show Boomer & Carton. Seinfeld was cagey about what exactly they were filming, but did answer in the affirmative when asked if it would be a one-time thing. “I think it’s one-and-done,” he said. 

“Very, very soon.”

Seinfeld also said that whatever they are making will be available for viewing shortly: “Very, very soon,” he said.

So does that mean they’re merely reuniting for a Super Bowl commercial? Nope. He said it’s definitely longer than 60 seconds.

Our favorite minor ‘Seinfeld’ characters

seinfeld j. peterman
J. Peterman

Elaine’s boss J. Peterman (played by John O’Hurley) was always smartly attired, even when hanging out in Far East opium dens.

 

 

 

Uncle Leo
Uncle Leo

Uncle Leo (played by Len Lesser, who passed away in 2011) was one of TV’s greatest cheapskates.

 

 

 

seinfeld mr wilhelm
Mr. Wilhelm

A shining moment of the series was when George’s boss Mr. Matt Whilhelm (played by Richard Herd) joined a carpet-cleaning religious cult.

 

 

 

seinfeld joe davola
“Crazy” Joe Davola

Perhap’s TV’s greatest sociopath is “crazy” Joe Davola (played by Peter Crombie, and named after a TV producer of the same name).

Get free shipping on Seinfeld: The Complete Series, now for $79.99 at Amazon.

Vince Offer’s ‘Inappropriate Comedy’ out on DVD

If you love the style and humor of the pitchman behind fan-favorite products Slap Chop and ShamWow, you might also enjoy his second grossout feature film, Inappropriate Comedy. Vince “Offer” Shlomi was somehow able to snag an Oscar winner for this outing, out now on DVD (buy it cheap at Amazon). He’s also trying to reclaim his pitchman throne by cleaning up with his new all-in-one InVinceable household cleaner.

The politically incorrect sketch comedy inexplicably features Academy Award winner Adrien Brody as hardboiled gay cop Flirty Harry, along with a character named the Amazing Racist, in a series of wildly offensive skits. The film also stars celebs like Rob Schneider, Michelle Rodriguez and Lindsay Lohan, all along on the ride with the infomercial king turned flailing shlock/shock auteur as he attempts (and continues to fail miserably) to stake his place in alt-comedy and pop culture.

The DVD release comes with plenty of  extras, including previously unreleased scenes featuring “Blackass” and the Amazing Racist, plus the unfinished extended version of the “Sperm Lake” sketch. But it’s doubtful that any addition to this sordid affair could change the minds of the critics who savaged Inappropriate Comedy upon its debut.

Inappropriate Comedy is nearly as wild as the life of the pitchman himself. You may recall that the Israeli-born Vince Offer, 49, was arrested back in 2009 after he got into a bloody scrap with a 26-year-old hooker. Vince claimed he hit the woman only after she bit his tongue and wouldn’t let go. They were both bloodied, and both ended up in the hospital. Charges were never filed against either party.

Before the hooker dustup, Vince was involved in a number of lawsuits, most famously against the Church of Scientology. In a 2004 suit, Vince accused the church of attempting to smear his reputation when he was a member in 1997. The suit claimed the church’s vendetta was sparked after he started funneling profits from his pre-Slap Chop “the Chopper” product away from the church and into his first feature, 1999’s The Underground Comedy Movie. Soon after the suit was dismissed and Vince left the church, he launched his well-known infomercials for the ShamWow and Slap Chop.

Along with the new DVD release, Vince is back pitching a brand-new product that he hopes to put him back on his pitch pedestal. The InVinceable all-purpose home cleaner promises to replace cleaning supplies used in the bathroom, laundry room and kitchen, saving households more than $500 a year.

Time will tell if Vince still has that old pitchman magic. Hopefully so, because his movie-director pretensions seem to be just that.

The Folk Years Captures Legendary Music of the ’50s and ’60s

10% Off and FREE Shipping for The Folk Years CD Collection from Time Life In 1965, The Mamas & The Papas’ fantastic harmonies got us all “California Dreamin'”, and John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” made us yearn for the Blue Ridge Mountains. Capture those beautiful songs again with Time-Life’s 8-CD Box Set Collection, The Folk Years. 120 all-original hit folk and folk rock recordings along with a free bonus DVD, “Legends of Folk” featuring full-length performances by artists including Simon & Garfunkel, Peter, Paul and Mary, Joan Baez and Bob Dylan.

These are not re-recordings or later versions, they are the original recordings that you loved back in the 50s and 60s. Remember these great hits: Continue reading

Carol Burnett Show DVD Box Set – New Product Tuesday

Carol Burnett Ultimate DVD Collection from Time-LifeThe Carol Burnett Show appeared weekly on CBS from 1967 to 1978, winning 25 Emmy Awards for its cast and crew. One of the last classic comedy/variety TV series, the show featured strong supporting cast members including Tim Conway, Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence and Lyle Waggoner. Each week, this talented cast performed outrageously funny comedy sketches and memorable musical numbers, assisted by guest appearances from almost every major star of screen and stage.

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New Product Tuesday with P90X2

P90X2 Extreme Workout New and ImprovedIntroducing the new and improved P90X2 extreme workout. You may have thought that sequels were for movies, books and video games only, but you’d be wrong. Now Beachbody has ramped up Tony Horton’s 90-day DVD fitness program to confuse your muscles even more with a new training technique called P.A.P., or post-activation potentiation.

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