TV variety shows were a whole ‘nuther thing—as was the medium of television itself—in the ‘60s and ‘70s, as two new DVD box sets make clear. “Here’s Edie: The Edie Adams TV Collection” gives us the songstress better known as Mrs. Ernie Kovacs in her prime. Not only are her 1962-64 shows—guest-starring the likes of Duke Ellington, Spike Jones, Allan Sherman and Sammy Davis Jr.—delightful in and of themselves, they remind us Ms. Adams was not only a famous comedian’s missus but a great entertainer herself.
Several of Adams’ co-stars from “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World” are among her guests; Dick Shawn has a hilarious spot where he demos a new dance, "The Cockamamie." This 4-DVD box set (available from MVD Visual) also includes Adams’ classic Muriel cigar commercials, musical sketches from the Kovacs shows, and a lavish booklet.
“The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts” is a wildly entertaining a 6-DVD set (available from StarVista Entertainment) casting the debonair actor-singer in the role of Roastmaster General. Honorees on these ‘70s TV specials include Jack Benny, Jimmy Stewart, Lucille Ball, Jackie Gleason and Martin himself; John Wayne, George Burns, Bette Davis and Don Rickles are among the roasters. Three hours of bonus features include Dino’s home movie.
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More Ernie Kovacs video rarities, Edie Adams’ found Xmas album http://www.examiner.com/article/more-ernie-kovacs-video-rarities-edie-ad...
Cinerama & Cinemiracle revived on Blu-ray, convos with cameramen http://www.examiner.com/article/cinerama-cinemiracle-revived-on-blu-ray-...
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“Cinerama Holiday,” a delightful 1955 travelogue I chanced to see at this year’s TCM Classic Film Festival, makes its home video debut in deluxe Blu-ray/DVD combo edition (available from Flicker Alley). The premise is as simple as the film is innovative: a Swiss couple vacations in the U.S., while a pair from Kansas City travel through Europe. This Smilebox Curved Screen Simulation includes breakdowns, deleted scenes and many other bonus features.
“South Sea Adventure,” the last of the original 3-panel Cinerama travelogues from 1958, is also out in a Blu-ray/DVD combo (Flicker Alley). Orson Welles narrates this island- hopping jaunt that takes us from Hawaii to Tahiti to Fiji to Australia. Even Robert Louis Stevenson would find this enchanting if he were here to see it.
Hot tip: My new ebook, “Writing for Al Jolson and Fanny Brice: Interviews with Comedy Writers,” is now available:
More from Jordan:
Vintage TV recall: Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, Gale Storm, June Foray
The ultimate Carol Burnett DVD set, overdue bio of comedian Ed Wynn http://exm.nr/NQ3DQq
Jerry Lewis, Mel Brooks, classic TV sitcoms, Joe McDoakes on DVD http://www.examiner.com/article/jerry-lewis-mel-brooks-classic-tv-sitcom...
Visit my Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Jordan-R.-Young/e/B001K8E7NW
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