I have no idea, because the only old TV commercial songs for cereals that I remember are for Cheerios from the 1970s and Honey Nut Cheerios from the 80s.
But one of the Abbott & Costello themes sounded like an old-time movie about a football hero, but it could just as easily be a vaudeville tune. The other theme sounds like a classical music piece. The second season was better visually because the opening theme also featured scenes of Bud & Lou, although the clips displayed were from their movies -- not the TV show.
I feel they could have done a better job, to be honest. I see no improvement in either video or audio quality over the previous release of this same series from Shanachie Entertainment Corp. True, when Shanachie put them out they mixed the episodes from both seasons, releasing 4 episodes per disc. However, they at least broke down each show in chapters in order to access certain scenes, to name one: the famous "Who's On First?" routine from the "Actor's Home" episode. Also, for some odd reason, 2 of the episodes on this release are time-compressed, speeded up to a point where even the most novice video viewer would notice it. They are episode #6 on disc 1, and episode #4 on disc 2. Listen and watch the opening theme and montage....if you can tell me you hear no difference between them and the other shows, I'll make an appointment with my doctor! LOL!
The Abbott & Costello Show was rerun on WPIX -- Channel 11 from New York in the early 1980s very early in the morning 5 days a week. It was back then and on that channel when I viewed this series, and the video and audio quality were excellent. These shows were remastered a quarter century ago for TV syndication just as The Twilight Zone and Star Trek were. There was no need to do anything more to these prints if they were the same ones used for this current disc release.
Well, I grew up watching these shows originally on WPIX, channel 11, during the 50's and 60's when they ran them in the late afternoon (followed by The Three Stooges) LOL! I know that somewhere during the mid to late 80's or very early 90's they were being run by WOR-TV, channel 9 at 10 AM. At that point they had been cleaned up considerably for video and audio quality, however, instead of cutting 3-4 minutes out of them to fit into the modern 22 minute time frame, they time-compressed every episode......actually speeding up the projection of the program, a process that was said to be invisible to the eye and ear. Unfortunately that isn't true. Those familiar with the timing and pacing of the routines of these 2 great comedians could easily see and hear the difference. As I said in my previous post, 2 of the episodes on this new set have been time-compressed in the very same fashion. It just shouldn't have happened. WPIX was showing "The Honeymooners" the same way, and it just ruins the comedy effect and takes away from the intended perfect timing of each line and bit of business.
Jeff, I believe it was the first season that featured the opening montage of the Abbott & Costello movie clips. I always felt that season 1 was the best of the 2 as they contained the majority of the boys' routines from their movies done to the TV show. The second season concentrated more on the plots of the episodes themselves, rather than their routines from the movies.
On a side note, I have read on an Abbott & Costello messageboard that the Shanachie discs actually look better than this set because this set has compressed the picture quality more, and in doing so, more video artifacts are noticeably present than on the Shanachie set. Can someone confirm that this is true? Also, I distinctly remember the episode "Jail" (or "Mrs.Crumbcake's Bucket" as I call it) on the Shanachie set apparently seemed to be mastered from a 16mm print as it was very grainy and scratchy. Can someone confirm whether that episode on this new set is in better condition, or did they use the same print. Thanks.
Well, if any of these episodes are sped up, then that's a horse of another color and I'll just keep the old Shanachie sets. So I hope we can get more people to report back on their findings. By the way -- did Shanachie eventually release ALL of the episodes? I'm of the belief they never finished the whole series.
When I saw these on WPIX in late night reruns in the 1980s, they were definitely played at normal speed. I had never been a big fan of Bud & Lou, but as a kid in the 70s I saw all of their films on TV so their TV series played normally also. It is easily possible that a couple of minutes were cut from the syndicated episodes, but in this case that wouldn't bother me.
Carlos, I think you're correct about the movie clip montage opening being from the first season. You'd think it would be the other way around though, with the 2nd season opening showing an ordinary stage curtain.
Carlos, I can verify (unfortunately) everything that was said on the other board. The two episodes in question have indeed been sped-up. And in a very obvious way. It's not even close. These two episodes are "ALASKA" & "CHARITY BAZAAR." On top of that the episode you are asking about, "JAIL", is still grainy. Definitely came from that inferior 16mm print.
Overall, I think the Shanachie set looks a tad better, but not by a whole bunch. And I still think the extras on this set make it a must buy for any fan of the boys work. I bought my set from Overstock.com for a great price (which included using a coupon) and it got to me the day of release. Not too many other folks seem to have received their sets yet so in this one instance Overstock did me good (which is a rarity).
Gary "I'm not throwing out my Shanachie dvds - I paid too much for them" O.
There was quite a delay with Shanachie releasing the volume containing "Jail". I had called them to ask why there was a delay, and it seems they had to obtain a print from The Library of Congress, as no other print was available as the other 51 episodes were. There is a noticeable difference in the quality of "Jail" over the others, and yes, I believe it is the very same print used in this new set.
Maybe the editors of tvshowsondvd.com could contact the company that transferred this set to see if they could do something about the 2 discs containing the sped-up discs. They seem to get replies and/or action regarding problem discs, and this may be worth a try.