Streaming Carol Burnett

The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes were never quite “lost.”

For decades, episodes from the CBS variety show’s first five seasons (1967 to 1972) were not made available for syndication or home video. (Why? You’ll have to ask the lawyers.)

Finally, in 2015, Time Life began marketing a curated selection from those years on DVD as “the lost episodes.” You can buy the ultimate collection – 45 episodes on 22 DVDs – from Amazon for the not inconsiderable sum of $136.50. The DVD collection also contains bonus features, including interviews with the cast and featurettes.

However, for those with budget and shelf-space considerations, Time Life is now making Volumes 1-3 available for streaming on both Amazon and iTunes.

Amazon and iTunes will sell the episodes for $1.99 each and entire volumes for $9.99. Time Life said the $9.99 price is an introductory one-week-only promotion, after which the regular price will be $14.99.

(Editor’s note: As of publication, only Volume 1 and Volume 3 were available on Amazon. The volumes had yet to appear on iTunes. Stay tuned.)

Each volume consists of 15 episodes. They don’t represent complete seasons, which ranged from 24 to 30 episodes per season.

The Carol Burnett cast included Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner and Tim Conway.

Volume 1 includes such classic sketches as “Carol and Sis,” “The Charwoman” and “As the Stomach Turns.” Guests include Lucille Ball, Eddie Albert, Chita Rivera, Bob Newhart, Jim Nabors, Paul Lynde, Bing Crosby, Don Adams, Phyllis Diller, Andy Griffith, Bernadette Peters and “Mama” Cass Elliot.

Volume 2 features a “Salute to Warner Brothers” with Mel Tormé and Soupy Sales, Burnett’s impersonation of Joan Crawford and the classic sketch “The Ham Actors.” Guests include Jonathan Winters, Dionne Warwick, Joan Rivers, Sonny & Cher, Nanette Fabray, Shirley Jones, Ken Berry and a cameo by Ronald Reagan.

Volume 3 offers more “Charwoman” and Burnett, Korman, Waggoner and Lucille Ball lampooning the hit movie Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice. There’s also Conway’s “Oldest Man” masterminding a jewelry heist. Guests include Ray Charles, George Carlin, Mike Douglas, Martha Raye, Lana Turner and Ricardo Montalban.

You can also get  The Best of the Carol Burnett Show, Volumes One through Four on iTunes, or watch Carol Burnett and Friends, half-hour compilations from the original series, for free weeknights at 11 pm ET via over-the-air channel MeTV.

Last December, Time Life also made The Best of Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts: Volumes One through Three available for streaming on iTunes. Each volume is priced at $14.99; individual episodes are $1.99.

 

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About Larry Greenberg

A former local beat reporter and film critic, co-founder Lawrence Greenberg has more than 25 years’ experience as a writer and public relations executive.

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