Time/Life Press Release: Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In: The Complete Series

AndyMcKinney

Effects Supervisor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2004
Messages
2,932
Location
Kentucky, USA
Is this something that can be adjusted on a 4x3 set or is it only on HD? I would love to try this, especially on the season of All in the Family that Shout screwed up.
Last night I watched a Smothers Brothers Show episode from Time Life and it looked like it should!
If you're talking about the signal processing that makes stuff look shot-on-tape, I think that's only on HDTVs. Maybe some high-end CRTs had something like that, but I never had a professional tube TV to know.

It's that "motion smoothing" software stuff that's usually switched on by default at the store. Probably intended mostly for sporting events, but if left on for movies, it makes them look like they were shot on a camcorder instead of on film.
 

Lecagr

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
Messages
537
Real Name
Lee
The only real way to watch TV is with a Baird set which has a nipkow disc!
Well if that system happens to work great for you then that is indeed truly awesome. The system I have works great for me also.
 

BobO'Link

Lead Actor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 3, 2008
Messages
6,813
Location
Mid-South
Real Name
Howie
Incidentally I just checked out Time-Life's Season 4 set- they managed to get the frame rate right on ONE episode, the 22nd. Those who say they can't see the problem should look at this one to see how all of them should look.
I finally made time to check your claims of incorrect frame rate. You're wrong. I put a random disc from S4 in my computer's DVD player and launched VLC. It's *not* the 22nd episode (I believe it's #11). Here's what VLC says:
1588472255647.png


The Frame rate is 29.970029. That's what you expect to see on a video taped production. Just to make sure, I did a random check on another half dozen or so episodes from S4. *All* of them have the same 29.970029 frame rate.

I also just finished watching that entire season and all of the episodes look quite good - exactly like I'd expect them to look having come from 1970s era Quad (2") video tape. Episode #22 looked no worse nor no better than any other episode from the set.

I think you need to get your setup checked. You have something misconfigured.
 
Last edited:

Tony Bensley

Producer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2013
Messages
6,202
Location
Somewhere in Canada
Real Name
Anthony
I finally made time to check your claims of incorrect frame rate. You're wrong. I put a random disc from S4 in my computer's DVD player and launched VLC. It's *not* the 22nd episode (I believe it's #11). Here's what VLC says:
View attachment 72096

The Frame rate is 29.970029. That's what you expect to see on a video taped production. Just to make sure I did a random check on another half dozen or so episodes from S4. *All* of them have the same 29.970029 frame rate.

I also just finished watching that entire season and all of the episodes look quite good - exactly like I'd expect them to look having come from 1970s era Quad (2") video tape. Episode #22 looked no worse nor no better than any other episode from the set.

I think you need to get your setup checked. You have something misconfigured.
The video also looks rather good, I will say! :)

CHEERS! :)
 

AndyMcKinney

Effects Supervisor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2004
Messages
2,932
Location
Kentucky, USA
I finally made time to check your claims of incorrect frame rate. You're wrong.

I think you need to get your setup checked. You have something misconfigured.
Bob:
Thanks for looking into that. This thread is so old, though, were the claims of incorrect framerate for the Season 1 and/or 2 sets? I don't recall anything being mentioned for the later ones.

Do you have the earlier seasons sets to check a few episodes? I think the thing was that no one knew whether to trust the reviews or not, since most people don't want to risk buying a flawed product until someone actually checked things out.

Laugh-in related...I saw part of a season 3 episode on a streaming service (Xumi, I think) which had a dedicated Laugh-In channel. That episode "looked" interlaced/shot-on-tape, not like it had been improperly processed for a film-look. That was comforting to see. Would still like a definitive answer for the DVDs, though, given all the conflicting info out there.
 

BobO'Link

Lead Actor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 3, 2008
Messages
6,813
Location
Mid-South
Real Name
Howie
Bob:
Thanks for looking into that. This thread is so old, though, were the claims of incorrect framerate for the Season 1 and/or 2 sets? I don't recall anything being mentioned for the later ones.

Do you have the earlier seasons sets to check a few episodes? I think the thing was that no one knew whether to trust the reviews or not, since most people don't want to risk buying a flawed product until someone actually checked things out.

Laugh-in related...I saw part of a season 3 episode on a streaming service (Xumi, I think) which had a dedicated Laugh-In channel. That episode "looked" interlaced/shot-on-tape, not like it had been improperly processed for a film-look. That was comforting to see. Would still like a definitive answer for the DVDs, though, given all the conflicting info out there.
I have a copy of every season but S1/S2/S3 are somewhat buried in some totes (we had some work done on the house and I had to remove all my discs - I've not taken everything out yet). I don't have an index of what's in which tote so getting them out would be rather laborious at this time. I don't recall any complaints about those early seasons and recall them looking good. S5 and S6 are on the shelf awaiting my viewing.

What Jessie seems to describe is something you can see on incorrectly transferred PAL video. You get a "bounce" of the frame and things just don't move in a natural way. I saw *none* of this when watching S4 of Laugh-In.

I worked in broadcasting for over 20 years as a director of commercials and programs with extensive hands on experience with various tape machine formats. For at least half that time we mastered on 2" video tape (Ampex machines - the same model most of the networks used). I know how it should look.
 

Jesse Skeen

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 24, 1999
Messages
4,872
The Frame rate is 29.970029. That's what you expect to see on a video taped production. Just to make sure, I did a random check on another half dozen or so episodes from S4. *All* of them have the same 29.970029 frame rate.
That's the frame rate they're ENCODED in, but the rate they display in is botched. That's the frame rate of all digital broadcast TV, but material will still display at a lower frame rate if it's processed or intended to be seen that way. I remember flipping by Laugh-In on the Decades network (with its annoying onscreen logo of course) and they had botched the frame rate on those as well. The Laugh-In channel on Xumo is also at the wrong frame rate, I've never seen any of those channels deliver a proper frame rate on anything- it's still quite rare on streaming video in general but I've noticed the free ABC News channel through Sling is delivered at the right frame rate while the same channel on Xumo is not.

I think you need to get your setup checked. You have something misconfigured.
The only thing I could possibly have misconfigured is my Oppo player- it has an option to output all DVDs at 24fps which I never use. If I had my TV's motion smoothing on, these would actually look closer to how they're supposed to be- one of the few practical uses of that "feature". This is the kind of thing I can see a mile away. I wanted to work in TV a long time ago, but would never do so the way it is now. I don't know exactly how the frame rate on these discs was botched, but I've seen it quite often on a few other broadcast channels- some episodes of Home Improvement on Laff, Carol Burnett and Mama's Family on MeTV, and Sonny and Cher on GetTV (thankfully the recent Time-Life DVDs of that were fine, aside from being heavily cut.)
 

nobajoba

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 11, 2012
Messages
70
Real Name
Todd
Does anybody have any idea why Nancie Phillips dropped out of LI halfway through the fourth season? After about episode 18 she is not credited. Ann Elder seems to take her place. I'm just curious.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MartinP.

MartinP.

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 26, 2007
Messages
1,086
Real Name
Martin
^^^

I wonder about a lot of that with this series. I know why some people left, but not others.

Actually, Nancie Phillips was in Episodes 1-17 of Season 4 and then disappeared. I do not know why. Because of the nature of the show, you'll also find her in one joke or more in Episodes 18, 19, 22, 24 and 26 of Season 4, but she is not credited in the opening as part of the cast. After Judy Carne left, you'll also see her in some episodes here and there.

Ann Elder was credited in Episodes 2, 4, 6, 7, and then 9-26, so Nancie wasn't really replaced by her as she was in all but 4 episodes of the entire season.

Do you happen to know why Chelsea Brown left after Season 2, her only season?

I am most curious about the casting/leaving reasons for Season 3 which had 4 new regulars at the start: Pamela Rodgers, Teresa Graves, Jeremy Lloyd and Byron Gilliam. They were all gone at the start of Season 4.

I've read the reasons for Jeremy Lloyd's departure. On hiatus he went back to England and he married, or was in love with, Joanna Lumley and didn't want to come back to do the next season, though he was invited to.

The other three I'm not sure why they left. Some people say Teresa left because she had an offer to do her series Get Christie Love, but that didn't air until Laugh-In was off the air, so that can't be right. And she did come back for a couple appearances later on in Season 4 and at least once in Season 5.

Byron Gilliam's an interesting case. He was a dancer on the show and then a regular in Season 3 for Episodes 1-13. Then he was out, but he still danced on the show, sometimes in the song numbers, always at the party segment, I think. By the way, is he related to Stu Gilliam, who appeared on the show several times? I have no idea why Pamela Rodgers left. I liked all 4 of those people on the show.

I know Lily Tomlin came on the show in Episode 15, maybe that's why Byron was out. But he stayed as a dancer so maybe he wanted out? I don't know.
 
  • Like
Reactions: nobajoba

AndyMcKinney

Effects Supervisor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2004
Messages
2,932
Location
Kentucky, USA
I've read the reasons for Jeremy Lloyd's departure. On hiatus he went back to England and he married, or was in love with, Joanna Lumley and didn't want to come back to do the next season, though he was invited to.
It's all in his autobiography, Listen Very Carefully, I Shall Say This Only Once. If you get a chance, pick it up. It's an interesting read!

He was either engaged, or newly-married to Joanna Lumley. She, naturally, wanted him to stay home in England with her. As it's an autobiography, one can only wonder how accurate this is, but he said George Schlatter made several phone calls, pleading with him to stay, "We still want you! We still need you!"

As some of you may know, Lloyd went on to greater success as a sitcom writer with David Croft. The duo created Are You Being Served? (and its sequel, Grace & Favour) and 'Allo 'Allo!

He also revealed years later that he had been invited to dinner at Sharon Tate's house on the very night she was murdered by the Manson family.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mark Y and MartinP.

nobajoba

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 11, 2012
Messages
70
Real Name
Todd
Thanks for the input MartinP. I appreciate it. I have no idea why Chelsea Brown left. She was so pretty. I know LI had many comings and goings of cast members, it just seems like Nancie was only in half of season 4. I guess we'll never know. I saw she has passed.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MartinP.

MartinP.

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 26, 2007
Messages
1,086
Real Name
Martin
By the way, if anyone wants some more laughs from re-watching these episodes, do it with the subtitles on.

I've turned them on before when I was interested in some song lyrics I couldn't make out some of the words to.

I've been watching some season 5 episodes and had the sound down low very late so as not to disturb the neighbors, heh, so I turned the subtitles on one night and now I've done it a few other times.

I don't envy having to do subtitles for this series, with so much going on and references to some things in the past it's probably a chore, but for anyone who really needs subtitles they are not accurate in numerous instances.

I mean, you'd think they'd get the names of the cast right ALL the time. But you'll find they misspell them all the time. Lilly Tomlin. Dan Rowen. (!) Nancy Phillips. Edy McNab (Edith Ann!). Edith Ann routines get the most mistakes it seems, they just don't understand her speech patterns. Heh! Whenever they use the word "Mod" it's often subtitled as Maude. Maude's World!

Subtitles often describe sound-effects and music. I love in one 1968 episode when they described some as "70's dance music." Laugh-In was ahead of its time!

(On one of the original Rhino releases they had the sub-titles for a "different" episode on one of them.)

I can't speak to those who really need the subtitles, I don't really mind the mistakes and often find them amusing, or, like the Church Lady, I'll feel superior because I know what it should be, heh!, but for those that do...

The booklets that come with the DVD's also have some inaccuracies. I was watching the episode recently with Three Dog Night as the guest stars. The notes for the episode say "Three Dog Night sings the Laugh-In news song." No they don't. The Laugh-In News song is sung by the ladies in green pilgrim costumes. (Which is odd because in the initial song lyrics they describe themselves wearing brown. I should point out in Season 5 the news song's first verse usually had different lyrics each time before the recognizable lyrics.)

Both the subtitles and the booklets also mostly spell the red haired family's name as Farkle, too. Yet any time they show the name of the family in a graphic on screen it's The Farkel Family.

That Three Dog Night episode also lists Tom Williams as one of the cameos/guest stars. Does anyone know who that is? (It isn't one of the band members as far as I can tell.) Nor did I see anyone else in the episode that I didn't recognize.
 

nobajoba

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 11, 2012
Messages
70
Real Name
Todd
By the way, if anyone wants some more laughs from re-watching these episodes, do it with the subtitles on.

I've turned them on before when I was interested in some song lyrics I couldn't make out some of the words to.

I've been watching some season 5 episodes and had the sound down low very late so as not to disturb the neighbors, heh, so I turned the subtitles on one night and now I've done it a few other times.

I don't envy having to do subtitles for this series, with so much going on and references to some things in the past it's probably a chore, but for anyone who really needs subtitles they are not accurate in numerous instances.

I mean, you'd think they'd get the names of the cast right ALL the time. But you'll find they misspell them all the time. Lilly Tomlin. Dan Rowen. (!) Nancy Phillips. Edy McNab (Edith Ann!). Edith Ann routines get the most mistakes it seems, they just don't understand her speech patterns. Heh! Whenever they use the word "Mod" it's often subtitled as Maude. Maude's World!

Subtitles often describe sound-effects and music. I love in one 1968 episode when they described some as "70's dance music." Laugh-In was ahead of its time!

(On one of the original Rhino releases they had the sub-titles for a "different" episode on one of them.)

I can't speak to those who really need the subtitles, I don't really mind the mistakes and often find them amusing, or, like the Church Lady, I'll feel superior because I know what it should be, heh!, but for those that do...

The booklets that come with the DVD's also have some inaccuracies. I was watching the episode recently with Three Dog Night as the guest stars. The notes for the episode say "Three Dog Night sings the Laugh-In news song." No they don't. The Laugh-In News song is sung by the ladies in green pilgrim costumes. (Which is odd because in the initial song lyrics they describe themselves wearing brown. I should point out in Season 5 the news song's first verse usually had different lyrics each time before the recognizable lyrics.)

Both the subtitles and the booklets also mostly spell the red haired family's name as Farkle, too. Yet any time they show the name of the family in a graphic on screen it's The Farkel Family.

That Three Dog Night episode also lists Tom Williams as one of the cameos/guest stars. Does anyone know who that is? (It isn't one of the band members as far as I can tell.) Nor did I see anyone else in the episode that I didn't recognize.

I have no idea who Tom Williams is LOL. I have noticed some mistakes in the booklet too. But the important thing is that they included and have all of the correct original air dates.

As for Tomlin, as a long time hard core Lily Tomlin fan it has always been a pet peeve of mine when people spell her first name with the extra L. Grrrrrrr. But Edith Ann I can understand a little bit more. She has a definite way with her speech and for anyone unfamiliar with the character I could see where it could be a challenge sometimes.

I suppose the sub title people are very young and hadn't even heard of this show or any of the cast or characters before they were assigned the job.

Oy vey!
 
  • Like
Reactions: MartinP.

MartinP.

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 26, 2007
Messages
1,086
Real Name
Martin
I suppose the sub title people are very young and hadn't even heard of this show or any of the cast or characters before they were assigned the job.
I was wondering if they used some sort of computer program to do the subtitles, at least that would be an excuse! Heh!

I, too, have been a Lily Tomlin fan since I first saw her on Laugh-In! I actually saw her first on the Letters to Laugh-In afternoon show that aired the week before her Laugh-In debut.
She's one of the first celebrities I ever saw in person, maybe the first. She came to our college in 1974 or 75 and did two shows and I, of course, went to both of them!

Todd, check out Season 5, Episode 18 (#110) at 36:36. Lily Tomlin does a longish sketch as a Finance Company executive where she's wearing her hair very long and acting a bit bold and brassy. She reminds me of a character in a film noir...someone like Marie Windsor. It's very appealing and I was thinking, I wish she'd done that character or one like it more times!
 

BobO'Link

Lead Actor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 3, 2008
Messages
6,813
Location
Mid-South
Real Name
Howie
Considering all the misspellings and flat out incorrect words used I believe the SDH was done by a computer. Even if it wasn't you'd think *someone* would check them before finalizing the discs!
 

TJPC

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2016
Messages
3,840
Location
Hamilton Ontario
Real Name
Terry Carroll
I was wondering if they used some sort of computer program to do the subtitles, at least that would be an excuse! Heh!

I, too, have been a Lily Tomlin fan since I first saw her on Laugh-In! I actually saw her first on the Letters to Laugh-In afternoon show that aired the week before her Laugh-In debut.
She's one of the first celebrities I ever saw in person, maybe the first. She came to our college in 1974 or 75 and did two shows and I, of course, went to both of them!

Todd, check out Season 5, Episode 18 (#110) at 36:36. Lily Tomlin does a longish sketch as a Finance Company executive where she's wearing her hair very long and acting a bit bold and brassy. She reminds me of a character in a film noir...someone like Marie Windsor. It's very appealing and I was thinking, I wish she'd done that character or one like it more times!

Her albums are still hilarious. Some like "Modern Scream" are very subtle. I remember listening to that one with a friend who did not crack a smile, while I was rolling on the floor. Anyone who has had a teenage daughter owes it to themselves to listen to the sketch where the parents discuss cake while the daughter listens upstairs.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JohnMor

nobajoba

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 11, 2012
Messages
70
Real Name
Todd
Her albums are still hilarious. Some like "Modern Scream" are very subtle. I remember listening to that one with a friend who did not crack a smile, while I was rolling on the floor. Anyone who has had a teenage daughter owes it to themselves to listen to the sketch where the parents discuss cake while the daughter listens upstairs.

You are so right TJPC. The "caked" bit is pure gold. Lud and Marie meet Dracula's daughter was the title given for the track on the album. One to the most brilliant bits Lily ever did.

I think in some ways Lily Tomlin was a little ahead of her time. On Modern Scream she used many sound effects to create an environment that the character was in. And the way Lily herself interacted with the characters. Not too many people were doing that then...were they? Also there is a little clip called Seven Free Women where Lily's characters are all in a car driving to NY for Lily's broadway debut. It is edited so cleverly you really think they're all together. Now, comedians do stuff like that a lot, but in 1976 or 1977 I'd never seen it before. Imagine all the time and work that went into getting in and out of the various costumes and shooting dialogue for each one and then having to edit together all the footage into one 3 minute video.
 

nobajoba

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 11, 2012
Messages
70
Real Name
Todd
I was wondering if they used some sort of computer program to do the subtitles, at least that would be an excuse! Heh!

I, too, have been a Lily Tomlin fan since I first saw her on Laugh-In! I actually saw her first on the Letters to Laugh-In afternoon show that aired the week before her Laugh-In debut.
She's one of the first celebrities I ever saw in person, maybe the first. She came to our college in 1974 or 75 and did two shows and I, of course, went to both of them!

Todd, check out Season 5, Episode 18 (#110) at 36:36. Lily Tomlin does a longish sketch as a Finance Company executive where she's wearing her hair very long and acting a bit bold and brassy. She reminds me of a character in a film noir...someone like Marie Windsor. It's very appealing and I was thinking, I wish she'd done that character or one like it more times!

Martin-tell me about the concert of Lily's you saw in the seventies!! I would loved to have seen one. But alas, I was too young.

I love that character she did in episode 18. It was great. Lily could have been the only cast member on Laugh In and I would've been fine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MartinP.

JohnMor

Producer
Premium
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
5,040
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Real Name
John Moreland
Her albums are still hilarious. Some like "Modern Scream" are very subtle. I remember listening to that one with a friend who did not crack a smile, while I was rolling on the floor. Anyone who has had a teenage daughter owes it to themselves to listen to the sketch where the parents discuss cake while the daughter listens upstairs.
I love “Modern Scream.” Lucille, the rubber freak is probably my favorite on it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MartinP.

MartinP.

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 26, 2007
Messages
1,086
Real Name
Martin
Also there is a little clip called Seven Free Women where Lily's characters are all in a car driving to NY for Lily's broadway debut. It is edited so cleverly you really think they're all together.
That was a filmed segment that was done for SNL when Lily guest hosted.

Martin-tell me about the concert of Lily's you saw in the seventies!! I would loved to have seen one. But alas, I was too young.
Well, let's see what I remember...I won't remember much specifically, I guess. The room she performed in could hold a thousand people (all college students) and both shows were sold out. She did routines of all her various characters. I recall that she did do Lucille the Rubber Freak, JohnMor! Didn't she say on the DVD interview that George Schlatter didn't want her to do that one on Laugh-In? They thought it was, too, well, freaky!

She did the beauty expert, I remember her saying, "Lines, lines, go away. Go and visit Doris Day." She also did her regular person doing a commercial character from Calumet City, IL.

She did an audience Q&A, but as Edith Ann. The only question I recall being asked was someone that wanted to know what Cher was really like. Edith: "Well, she has long hair...and sparkly dresses." Probably continued a bit.

I also remember at one point, as Edith Ann, she said, "I see someone smoking in here." (Then she rocked back and forth a bit.) "Student Government will have to pay extra for that."

I'm guessing in her contract for the event she required the environment she performed in would be smoke free. No smoking. And the penalty was that she'd receive some extra money if that wasn't the case! Heh!
 
  • Like
Reactions: JohnMor

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
344,464
Messages
4,710,816
Members
141,275
Latest member
naturabuhneha