You'll Be Glad You Had This Time Together with Carol Burnett's Lost Episodes

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Carol Burnett Lost Episodes Classic Television

One of the staples of my childhood television schedule was THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW. I was often too young to get some of the humor, and I'd sometimes watch the dance numbers and wonder what was supposed to be funny about them (because I expected the entire thing was meant to be comedy, not variety). But even so, it was something I watched as often as I could catch it.

Now grown (and with a greater appreciation of the arts), I can catch it whenever I wish, thanks to the sorcery of digital video discs. And while the entire series has yet to see any sort of collection, TIME LIFE has put together quite a few mini-collections, including this one: THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW: THE LOST EPISODES -- so called because they come from the first five seasons, and are episodes that had very few -- if any -- reruns.

This set of six discs contains sixteen of these early episodes, supplemented with several bonuses. On one hand, it's a classic collection of comedy featuring skits with some of the greatest guest stars, including Paul Lynde, Don Adams, Phyllis Diller, Andy Griffith, Don Rickles and others. At another level, it's a time capsule that takes viewers into the issues of the day which made the comedy topical. There are several "Carol and Sis" skits, featuring Carol, Harvey Korman, and Vicki Lawrence; a send-up of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE with Flip Wilson end with a surprise walk-on by Peter Graves, Leonard Nimoy, Peter Lupus and Greg Morris from the actual cast; similarly, a dance number spoofing a regular LAUGH-IN skit gets upended by a visit from Ruth BUzzi and Artie Johnson.

The bonuses on this set include a backstage tour of the set where the show was filmed, a sketch featuring Carol with Julie Andrews at the Lincoln Center from 1971, the classic Harvey Korman / Tim Conway skit, "The Dentist," and several interviews with guest stars.

Remastered from the original footage, there are nonetheless some visual blips and scratches. Some episodes are tinged in the corners with purple or pink hues, due to deterioration of the masters. However, this doesn't detract from the shows. Be sure to add this one to your collection of classic television archives. You'll be glad you had this time together.

4.5 / 5.0