New Carson Collection?!?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Mike Frezon, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. David Rain

    David Rain Screenwriter

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    No, I don't agree. The Tonight Show like any variety-oriented show was inconsistent in quality. Why would I want to fast forward through useless segments of an entire episode when I could get wall-to-wall clips that are actually worth watching ? Besides, you aren't likely to see entire eps anyway as they would take up way too much space on a disc and only a few could be included. Plus music licensing rights would be a nightmare.

    They need to start putting out more box sets of the best individual segments.
     
  2. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I just don't see how complete episodes would make sense either...except maybe in special circumstances. But, then, they already seem to have done that with the "lost episode" disc of the 3-6-69 show. Maybe they could release some of the anniversary shows...but I'm not sure how much further ahead you would be than with these compilation discs.

    This new set will likely be under the Christmas tree for me.
     
  3. Bob Turnbull

    Bob Turnbull Supporting Actor

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    As a Stand-Up performer she was very sharp and funny and I'd love to have some of her routines.
     
  4. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Bob: Your mind is sharper than mine. That was exactly the trap I fell into. And, a little further research proves you are, indeed, right.


    So, "Tonight Show Memories" is just a condensed version of the Ultimate Collection. [​IMG] Hopefully, that is only a small portion of the new release. The damn "official" site is really sparse on details with their stuff.
     
  5. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    And that was not a complete episode (much to my disapppointment), but a highlight reel of that episode. It's less than half the length of a regular episode, if I recall right. Since it was recovered from a military film print (a "color kinescope" made from the original, now presumed destroyed, videotape master), the show was likely edited down quite a bit at the time. No idea if Carson's company did any further editing apart from monkeying with the credits sequences, which they've done on all their releases, even the few "complete episodes" from the end of Johnny's reign.
     
  6. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Andy: I'm very interested in this. Can you tell us more about that episode? Do they include the opening and monologue? Or is it just the guest segments? I only know what I've seen on the anniversary shows...and that was limited to the cigarette flicking and the infamous Gobel line which brought down the entire crew and house.
     
  7. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    I saw that clip with Gobel, Martin, and Hope and although I've enjoyed the comedy of each of those guys over the years, I didn't feel their Tonight Show joint appearance was all that great or funny.
     
  8. Elena S

    Elena S Supporting Actor

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    You had to have seen the original show to appreciate it. At the time it happened it was hysterical.
     
  9. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Thanks for sharing, Jeff.
     
  10. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    You're welcome, Mike. [​IMG]
     
  11. JasonPW

    JasonPW Stunt Coordinator

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    I received "The Best of Carson" volume 1 yesterday and was pertrubed to see the following note on the back of the box:

    "Features Material Previously Available Only To Carson Club Members!"

    A quick scan of the contents inside reveals that ALL of this material (save for the "bonuses") was previously released on those Carson Club DVD's...the ones you would get once or twice a month.

    Combine that with the "bonus material"--also previously released on DVD--and well, let's just say that if, like me, you're a big enough Carson fan to have bought alllllll those previous releases, this new boxed set is basically worthless.

    It's my fault for "buying blind" I guess...although the phrase "includes never before seen footage" would seem to indicate.....uhm....footage that has never been seen before.

    If you weren't a Carson Club member, there's some good stuff here....and even though it's butchered from a complete 90-minute episode, the "Return to Studio One" stuff is fascinating. The "Memories" thing is a rehash of rehash of rehash.

    Putting aside my own personal feelings of being screwed here...it really irritates me that Carson's heirs and R2 Entertainment are willing to engage in this kind of deception. Putting aside the arguments over "clips" versus "full episodes", to me it seems nearly criminal to have 30 years of classic "Tonight Show" archive and keep going back to the same stuff over and over again.

    If they don't feel like doing the type of research and editing that Johnny Carson himself did to ferret out the very best stuff for that first set of videos back in 1993, then just release anniversary specials...or "Carson's Comedy Classics" for heaven's sake!
     
  12. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    [​IMG]
     
  13. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    I don't have the "Carson Club" DVDs so I bought this set. It's been a wonderful journey so far, but there is one very bad thing to report:

    The classic Carson confrontation of Rickles over the cigarette box episode has been severely edited to show primarily Johnny's intrusion on the set and just a few seconds of banter. The hilarious segment where Carson "does Rickles" is gone. You can see the whole thing on You Tube which leads me to believe the entire segment was on the "Carson Club" DVD but was chopped down here.

    Aside from this, the laughs are plenty and the quality of the clips is pretty good. I do give a thumbs down for including a special feature which recycles clips from the prior collection and a double thumbs down for spelling Groucho's name "Marks". No, I am not making that up. Someone at R2 should be ashamed of themselves for that.

    Those interested may want to check Costco which is selling both Carson sets for $22.xx apiece.

    Steve
     
  14. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Well...here we are a few months later and TVShowsonDVD.com is heralding yet another new release from the Carson estate.

    Unfortunately...a close look at the covers shows the same old stuff that's already been released a bunch of times. [​IMG]

    Those covers clearly show "Animal Hijinks", "Tonight Show Memories" and "Final Show". Four shows on 2 DVDs. The other release is "Stand-Up Comedians."

    How much effort can it take to cull that vast library and come up with some really funny stuff. Not much...that's how much! Just think what some talented people at certain production houses could put together with material of this quality.

    Both releases are MSRP'd at $24.99 and are due out June 5. [​IMG]
     
  15. David Deeb

    David Deeb Supporting Actor

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    That's ridiculous. They have about 30 years of material & about 5,000 episodes to choose from. Plus the first time I bought this stuff, I had to pay around $80 for the set!!!!!!

    If they had a monkey randomly pick 6 episodes and put them on bare bones release, we'd be better off.
     
  16. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Completely agree with Mike and David above. Very disappointing news. With all the material they have to choose from, why does the same stuff keep getting rehashed and repackaged?

    Not every clip has to be an animal relieving itself on Johnny's desk, a "civilian" doing incredibly dopey things, or a comic in their "pre-famous" years. There's a reason why Carson was the "Gold Standard" for so many years and the Estate should let today's generation see some of the many interesting and thought provoking guests who appeared on the show, especially in those 90 minute episodes.

    If doing a comic collection, let's go back and get some appearances of Benny, Burns, Hackett etc. from the 70s. They were still in fine form then. Even Hope was a delightful guest through most of the 80s.

    Johnny also had a lot of visits from actors who were wonderful storytellers even if they weren't "stars". Let's get some Sterling Hayden, Richard Harris, William Demarest, etc. on disc.

    Music rights might be a problem with some acts, but surely there's enough "clearable" material to put together a wonderful collection of Buddy Rich, Sammy Davis, etc. material. There's a reason why Johnny had some acts on repeatedly over the years. They were great entertainers and rather than let them be forgotten, let's give them some exposure here.

    I have nothing against Jay or Dave (both men are extremely talented), but, in my opinion, there is no comparison to the dumbed down and trite modern version of Late Night to the excitement that surrounded those Carson years.
     
  17. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    Jimmy Stewart was seen a lot on The Tonight Show in the 1980s when Stewart himself was in his 80s, and it wasn't to plug anything. It was just to read his collection of poems.
     
  18. David Rain

    David Rain Screenwriter

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    Crap ! At least 2/3 or the Tonight Show run supposedly still exists but they can't get more of it released to the public ? Aside from the DVD's and a brief run of edited eps that aired on PPV, the legacy of this show has truly been wasted. Why oh why isn't someone going through all the old eps and creating a syndicated package of the interviews and stand-up comedy performances ? I would expect the musical performances to be few and far between because of music rights. How about highlighting the eps that featured guest hosts such as the infamous (and higher rated) Joan Rivers era. Not to mention guest host runs by Burt Reynolds, Garry Shandling, Bill Cosby, etc.

    Who the hell is in charge of Johnny's estate ? And how hard can I bitch-slap them ?
     
  19. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    The last I heard Jeff Sotzig (spelling?), who was Johnny's nephew, was in charge of the estate.

    Perhaps he needs to bring in an outsider with experience in these matters to fully exploit the marketability of their holdings. In some previous cases where an artist or their family controls their works, we've seen disasterous results. Examples include the handful of Hope films that he owned. They were not properly stored over the years and the DVDs of them are sub par. Hitchcock owned 4 of his films and they were out of circulation for years and existed only in subpar elements until Katz/Harris restored some of them. The entire Roy Rogers filmography is owned by his estate which has not done it justice. They even sold off the masters to his legendary TV show to a private collector thus ensuring we will probably never get an authorized, high quality release of it.

    Steve
     
  20. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I think of what some companies such as Image or Shout Factory have been able to put together of TV shows without nearly the amount of quality material to work with as this situation presents.

    This is shameful. What a chance to give a new generation of fans the opportunity to get "up close and personal" with one of the greatest all-time legends of television...a man who defined an entire genre of broadcasting. (My teenage son is captivated whenever I spin one of the discs from the Ultimate Carson Collection.) [​IMG] Not to mention a lost opportunity for the survivors to be making barrels of money. [​IMG]
     

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