Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.
Preston Barta // Features Editor
THE BEST OF CAROL BURNETT SHOW
Not rated, about 58 hours.
Available today on DVD through Time Life.
It’s been nearly 40 years since The Carol Burnett Showwent off the air. At the age of 86, Carol Burnett is still asked by fans to perform some of her greatest skits, like her Tarzan yell or any line from the famous 1976 “Went With the Wind” episode (a hilarious parody of Gone With the Wind).
Now you don’t have to bother her anymore because Time Life has put together the ultimate greatest-hits collection of her 11-year show run for fans to watch again and again.
Carol Burnett holds a very special place in my heart. While other kids my age were trying to decide on their favorite Power Ranger (and I can’t lie, I did that, too), I spent a significant portion of my childhood staying up late watching I Love Lucy, The Munsters and The Carol Burnett Show. It was as if I was born in the wrong decade. I have always had a fascination with watching TV from the golden age.
Like Fred Rogers, Carol Burnett is a source of pure joy. Her show is timeless and represents all that is wonderful in this world. She was ruling the TV box at a time when comedy was man-centric, and women tended to be relegated to stereotypical roles. That wasn’t the case with The Carol Burnett Show, where female characters steered the program and got the last laugh. Although her work was in comedy, her impact painted broader strokes than laughs.
With Time Life’s stunning 21-disc collector’s set, fans can relive the history and imagine what it was like to sit back and soak up the hilarity of Burnett’s program. The CBS variety show — which combined sketch comedy, singing and dancing — served as a stepping stone between the traditional 1960s and ’70s variety hours and later shows like Saturday Night Live. It was innovative during its original run, and it still manages to amaze.
One of the key moments highlighted in the collection is the 1972 episode with guest stars Burt Reynolds and Nanette Fabray. I haven’t seen the late Reynolds light up the screen so much by humiliating himself. He sings, dances and falls around the set. He even flubs a few lines and messes up one of his character’s facial moles, but it only makes the show more charming and funny.
The Carol Burnett Show has all kinds of incredible guests — including Lucille Ball, Dick Van Dyke, Rita Hayworth and the Jackson 5. It’s astonishing to watch these talents step outside their comfort zones.
What makes watching these episodes even more fun are all the sponsors and ads around the skits. Commercials for Buick and other products will occasionally pop up to make you feel as though you’re watching the show during its original run. There’s also a slight discolorization around the borders of the frame to give it some character.
The collector’s set is placed inside a thick golden box that includes three DVD cases and a large booklet that provides a thorough timeline of the series. Two of the DVD packages are an inch thick and house about 10 DVDs each. With the discs is an additional booklet that offers episode summaries, including which skits were performed. If you’re familiar with the skit titles (such as “Went With the Wind”), you can search for one by year or picture to find it easily. The third disc is the two-hour final show.
Available to purchase through timelife.com, this is an unbeatable collection that will send you down memory lane.
The Best of The Carol Burnett Show features 33 episodes on 11 DVDs including exclusive new bonus features. You’ll get:
- 22 never-before-released episodes including the double-length series finale
- Plus 11 all-time classic episodes including the famous “Dentist” and Went with the Wind sketches
- Guest stars include Lucille Ball, Rita Hayworth, Rock Hudson, Ella Fitzgerald, Neil Sedaka, Carl Reiner, Ray Charles, Tim Conway and many more!
- Exclusive bonus features including featurettes, a brand new interview with Carol, and never-before-seen outtakes!