35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Full season sets preferred but...
According to Shout this "Best of" set will consist of 16 (out of 58 total) episodes "with vintage musical performances, including Devo, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Cars, The Clash, KISS, Graham Parker and The Rumour and more, as well as the show's infamous guest appearances by stars such as Andy Kaufman, Billy Crystal, Valerie Harper, and William Shatner..."...
Published 6 months ago by Howie
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sketch comedy simply does NOT age well...
And I mean all of it, not just "Fridays". It's easy to say that this is a poor man's "Saturday Night Live", and yes, at its best, "Fridays" wasn't much better than even the dreaded Jean Doumanian season of "SNL", but even if it was, sketch comedy is something that constantly evolves as the envelope is pushed, to the point where whatever passed as shocking and offensive 33...
Published 1 month ago by The Scenario
Most Helpful First | Newest First
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Full season sets preferred but...,
This review is from: Fridays: The Best Of (DVD)According to Shout this "Best of" set will consist of 16 (out of 58 total) episodes "with vintage musical performances, including Devo, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Cars, The Clash, KISS, Graham Parker and The Rumour and more, as well as the show's infamous guest appearances by stars such as Andy Kaufman, Billy Crystal, Valerie Harper, and William Shatner..."
Andy Kaufman appeared on the show 3 times. Those were S2E19 with the infamous marijuana sketch, S2E20 with the taped apology for the prior weeks' program, and S3E1 where he hosted for the second time.
Here's a update with a full list of episodes included. Unfortunately it's now reported that some musical performances have been cut. They are indicated in the list:
S1E1 (April 11, 1980): Musical guest Kenny Loggins performs "Keep the Fire"
S1E3 (April 25, 1980): Musical guest The Clash performs "London Calling", "Train in Vain", "Guns of Brixton", "Clampdown"
S1E8 (June 6, 1980): Musical guest Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers perform "Shadow of a Doubt", "American Girl"
S1E10 (June 27, 1980): Musical guest Graham Parker and the Rumour perform "Stupefaction", "Empty Lives"
S2E3 (September 19, 1980): Musical guest The Cars perform "Touch and Go" (cut songs: "Shoo Be Doo" and "Gimme Some Slack")
S2E7 (October 31, 1980): Musical guest Dire Straits perform "Skateaway", "Romeo and Juliet"
S2E8 (November 7, 1980): Musical guest Devo perform "Whip It" (cut song: "Uncontrollable Urge")
S2E9 (November 14, 1980): Musical guest The Bus Boys (Performance is not on the DVD and would have been "KKKay," "Johnny Soul'd Out" and "Minimum Wage.")
S2E11 (December 5, 1980): Musical guest Pat Benatar perform "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" (cut song: "Hell Is For Children")
S2E12 (December 12, 1980): Musical guest Steve Forbert (Performance is not on the DVD and would have been "Romeo's Tune," "Lonely Girl" and "Get Well Soon.")
S2E19 (February 20, 1981): Guest host Andy Kaufman, musical guest Sir Douglas Quintet (Performance is not on the DVD but would have been "You're Gonna Miss Me," "Mendocino" and "It Was Fun While It Lasted.")
S2E20 (February 27, 1981): Guest host Billy Crystal, musical guest Randy Meisner and the Silverados perform "Hearts of Fire", "Gotta Get Away"
S3E2 (September 25, 1981): Guest host William Shatner, musical guest Kim Carnes perform "Miss You Tonight" (cut songs: "Bette Davis Eyes", "Under My Thumb")
S3E4 (October 16, 1981): Guest host Karen Allen, musical guest Stray Cats perform "Stray Cat Strut", "Rock This Town" (cut song: "Runaway Boys")
S3E12 (January 8, 1982): Guest host Valerie Harper, musical guest the Cars perform "Shake It Up", "Since You're Gone" (cut song: "Think it Over")
S3E13 (January 15, 1982): Guest host Tab Hunter, musical guest Kiss perform "A World Without Heroes", "I" (cut song: "The Oath")
There was no "Guest host" on any episode until S2E14.
I'm somewhat disappointed that musical performances have been cut and even though I watched more for the sketches and probably will not miss those missing performances I'd rather have unedited episodes for historical accuracy.
Three of these episodes had cuts done for re-runs/syndication (1 skit for gory content, 1 skit for unlicensed use of material, 1 instance of a "bare behind"). There's no word yet on whether or not those cuts have been restored.
I'd still prefer full seasons but hopefully this will sell well enough to warrant further releases.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Series! Support it for More Fridays DVDs!,
This review is from: Fridays: The Best Of (DVD)According to all the early information...Shout Factory has assembled a nice release here for Fridays! Fans of the show and those new to it will enjoy this collection of 16 shows and good amount of extras such as a cast and write reunion from early 2013, behind the scenes photos, recollection of the Andy Kaufman incident & More.
Some may wonder why we only see 16 of the 58 shows - when Shout currently plans release the full several year series of the old Dobie Gillis show... Shout has had to invest more for the music rights behind the Fridays shows - and has had a lot more red tape to deal with in general with this series. It is one of the reasons the show has taken this long to be released.
Fridays was originally on during my childhood and is a long time favorite of mine. I enjoyed it more than SNL at the time. I'm not affiliated with Shout Factory but I would like to see more of this series released on dvd, so please support this dvd release by pre-ordering it and hopefully Shout will continue to release more or all of the Fridays episodes before too very long! I also encourage you to visit Shout Factory's website and send them feedback on Fridays and let them know you'd like to see more shows on DVD!
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than zip, which is what we've had up till now!,
This review is from: Fridays: The Best Of (DVD)Was hoping like many fans of the show to see it come to light in it's entirety but I suppose this will have to suffice. I do understand it's difficult when it comes to music clearance, just happy to see SHOUT! step up and get it out finally!
Many were speculating if the music performances would be cleared ever since the announcement that SHOUT! had aquired the rights to the show. Now we know.
SHOUT! did a great job on many sets including SCTV and I like the fact there's a studio out there that will put out what most won't even touch.
Here's hoping that they pick a great selection of skits but I'm sure there will be some good ones and fan favorites that will not make it.
Still glad to see at least some of the show out on a legit set. I guess this is good as it gets!
When Fridays first debuted it knocked out SNL as my favorite show on TV, but I still watched SNL regardless. Having no car back then staying home on the weekends was more fun with those two shows to entertain me.
Tried very hard never to miss Fridays no matter what was going on that evening. The summers were great too seeing the re-braodcasts of the show and watching them all over again. I could never get enough.
So this is definitely a release day purchase for me.
Would have given it 5 stars if it was released in it's entirety.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MUCH funnier than SNL!,
This review is from: Fridays: The Best Of (DVD)THIS one I'm excited about! After having purchased bootlegs of "Fridays" of dubious quality from maybe NOT not the most..."reputable" vendors, I'm anxious to see how the "restored," blah-blah-blah "Best Of" will be. I outgrew SNL about the time "Fridays" was, more or less, peaking, because "Fridays" presented material infinitely funnier than SNL; and even though I, an ardent Republican, didn't always appreciate the disrespect either SNL or "Fridays" afforded President Reagan, "Fridays" could be excused because, otherwise, the material was...well, better, for lack of another adjective. The musical guests were of about commensurate quality/desirability than were SNL's (Kenny Loggins? Kim Carnes? "Frankie and the Knockouts?" Oh PLEASE), but still: "Fridays" afforded me my absolute, very FAVORITE "television-moment" of the year 1980, when, that wonderful Friday evening, Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson performed "We Gotta Get Out Of Here" (WITH Ellen Foley doing the same thing to him that she had done Meatloaf several years earlier on "Paradise By The Dashboard Light") AND "Once Bitten Twice Shy." Thank you, "SHOUT!," whoever you are, for making the "Holy Grail" of "late-nite TV" finally available. But still: I dimly remember a "late nite comedy show" in either 1980 or '81, doing a brilliant faux/"Marx Brothers" skit about the then current situation in Iran, and I've yet to find it, perusing my current DVD collection; do any of my "fellow reviewers" remember such a skit? 8/21/13 happy update: The "A Nite In Tehran" sketch IS on DVD #2 here. Just ignore the "musical" guests, that one sketch - and episode #1 - are worth whatever you can buy this for. Go for it, and remember, SNL has sucked since about the first year of Fridays.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a slice of thirty year old late night comedy...,
This review is from: Fridays: The Best Of (DVD)Back in 1980, Fridays was ABC's attempt to emulate the late night success that Saturday Night Live had achieved, with their sketch comedy program. Similar to SNL, the cast consisted of a group of relative unknown talents, who performed live before a national audience. Fridays ran for three seasons (1980-82), and produced 58 episodes.
Like SNL, the format of Fridays would also come to include guest stars, and live musical performances. The Best of Fridays features 16 episodes. Guest stars include Valerie Harper, Billy Crystal, William Shatner, and a controversial appearance by Andy Kaufman. Musical performers include The Cars, Devo, Kiss, The Clash, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Fridays did feature a cast with some talent, notably Michael Richards and Larry David, who both went on to work on Seinfeld. Rich Hall and Stuart Pankin, both later appeared on HBO's Not Necessarily the News. Also featured were Mark Blankfield, Melanie Chartoff (Parker Lewis Can't Lose), Maryedith Burrell (Throb), and Bruce Mahler (Police Academy films).
My memories of Fridays are pretty misty, although Michael Richards' over the top antics, playing war with his army soldiers in a sandbox, is an exception. Richards, Blankfield, Chartoff, and Burrell, do standout as being the most memorable to me, in this program that aired back when Reagan was serving his first term as President.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sketch comedy simply does NOT age well...,
This review is from: Fridays: The Best Of (DVD)And I mean all of it, not just "Fridays". It's easy to say that this is a poor man's "Saturday Night Live", and yes, at its best, "Fridays" wasn't much better than even the dreaded Jean Doumanian season of "SNL", but even if it was, sketch comedy is something that constantly evolves as the envelope is pushed, to the point where whatever passed as shocking and offensive 33 years ago is simply tame now. And if you didn't have any solid jokes underlying the shock value, your material simply isn't going to be regarded as funny decades later. This is why "Fridays" hasn't held up terribly well over the years. It's interesting as an artifact of its time, but anyone looking for classicly funny sketch comedy from the era would be best served by checking out "SCTV" (which is still funny in part because they DIDN'T rely on gross-out humor) or some of the better stuff from the original era of "SNL". Even then, don't count on "SNL" being nearly as funny as you remember it.
Some of the highlights (both good and bad) here:
"Diner Of The Living Dead", a sketch which got the show removed from six ABC affiliates in the Bible Belt because of its macabre premise - a restaurant with zombies feeding on human flesh. Drinks available include blood, spinal fluid, and contaminated water (which is...somehow associated with dead people?). The big "oh no they DIDN'T!" moment in the sketch comes when one of the non-zombie customers (John Roarke) takes a big bite out of a human foot. Not really gross anymore, and not funny in the least.
"Battle Boy", where the world got its first glimpse of Michael Richards, prompting people watching "Seinfeld" a decade later to go, "Oh, that's the guy that used to set fire to the army men on `Fridays'!" (typical response: "What's `Fridays'?"). This was a wickedly funny bit in its day, and it's still worth a laugh or two (the nursery music soundtrack is amusing), but again...it just feels like the whole "child psychopath in the making" thing has been done to death since then. Still, this is probably the bit people remember the most from "Fridays".
"Dick", Michael Richards' other recurring character, a wannabe swinging single who loosely holds his cigarette while bobbing his head and smiling vacantly with an air of cool as he approaches women, who are of course instantly creeped out. Again, funny in its day, a good vehicle for Richards' physical comedy, but the sketches tend to run longer than they need to.
"Nat E. Dred, The Rasta Gourmet", woefully underused cast member Darrow Igus plays a Rastafarian Chef whose recipes always include cannibas (or "ganja" as it's called here). His crowd-baiting chants ("Do we fry it? No, no, nooo, no. Do we bake it? No, no, nooo, no. We SMOKE IT! Yes, yes, yeess, yes!") were the sole draw to this recurring bit, which only underscores the fact that "Fridays" culled most of its humor from constant drug references and a whooping audience ready to pounce on every oversold line.
"Enter the Matzoi". I only list this as a highlight because it inexplicably gets three entries in this "best-of" DVD. A young Larry David (easily the worst actor of the "Fridays" cast, but obviously smart enough to realize this shortcoming by staying behind the camera on "Seinfeld", where he reaped millions) and Bruce Mahler play mellow monotone rabbis with deadly martial arts skills. Didn't laugh once in any of the sketches.
"Friday Edition", the show's take on "Weekend Update", with infinitely less funny jokes. I did actually laugh out loud though at a bit from the last episode on this collection, in which Rich Hall (quite funny in his few appearances towards the end of the series) shows courtroom sketches from a murder case in which the courtroom sketch artist is pegged as the real killer, and continues to draw sketches of himself expressing shock at being ratted out and led away by police.
"The Ronny Horror Picture Show". The booklet and cast/writer interviews desperately want you to believe that this was the pinnacle of their acheivements in "biting political satire". Because it combined "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" with commentary on our newly-elected president. Didn't laugh once. Not even during the hamfisted "You shouldn't have smoked that joint earlier" line that of course got a huge reaction from the audience. Gotta give them an "A" for effort though, as this was quite the elaborate production.
"The Hollywood Cubes". An actual funny premise for a sketch in which instead of the "Hollywood Squares" sitting in a giant tic-tac-toe grid, the celebrities are in a giant Rubik's Cube that gets rotated with every correct answer. Predictable, but humorous.
The Music Performances. "Fridays" didn't skew nearly as ecclectic in their musical guests as "SNL", but that doesn't mean they went for the middle-of-the-road crowd either. The Clash made their first-ever stateside television appearance on the show, playing a mutli-song set of "London Calling" selections that will remind you why this band is so well-regarded by critics and fans. The Stray Cats (possibly my most-loathed band ever) made an appearance before they ever had a U.S. recording contract, and the announcer makes a point to tell that to any record company executives watching. Elsewhere, performances from Pat Benatar, the Cars, Devo, Kiss, Dire Straits, Kim Carnes, Graham Parker, Kenny Loggins, Randy Meisner, and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers show these classic rock artists in their prime (well, except for Kiss, appearing at their career nadir doing their only live performances of material from their much-slagged "Music From `The Elder'" album).
And of course...the Andy Kaufman on-air meltdown. Even at age 13, I knew this whole thing was staged. It was pretty easy to tell who was in on the joke and who wasn't. Jack Burns isn't exactly known for his thespian abilities (this is the guy who only lasted nine episodes on "The Andy Griffith Show"), and it shows the way he goes up swinging to Andy, as if the producer is going to do that with the cameras rolling. A lot of hype about not much.
The main contention of this DVD of course is the fact that it's not complete, that many sketches and musical performances are missing from these 16 shows, not to mention the many other episodes missing, surely do to clearance issues. I would certainly give it a higher rating as well if it were a complete collection, but I can't imagine I would find it any more satisfying beyond having full closure on the series.
A must-have for collectors of pre-"Comedy Central" sketch comedy shows, but for those looking for tons of laughs...look elsewhere.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still (mostly) funny after all these years!,
This review is from: Fridays: The Best Of (DVD)By a miracle of timing ABC's made-to-order "Saturday Night Live" clone "Fridays" took to the air (in 1980) just as SNL's classic original cast (with Bill Murray having long replaced Chevy Chase) and producer called it quits. SNL's new cast and producer were its worst ever, opening the door for the new Fridays group of upstarts to take the lead in presenting edgy social and political satire in an election year. Despite its lack of breakout stars of SNL's Eddie Murphy-Mike Myers-Adam Sandler-Tina Fey ilk (which was over a 25-year period!), I would contend that, between the two shows, this Fridays cast over its three-season run was the best top-to-bottom of any besides that 1975-1980 SNL ensemble. Ditto for the production and the writing. I also think that by not promoting certain cast members over others as SNL would blatantly do, the Fridays ensemble was all the more cohesive for it - just about from the start. Also, not using guest stars during the early part of its run gave the sketches greater rein and provided for more of an edge. When they brought in the Hollywood types to host, the show became more about them and its satirical force flattened out considerably. Fortunately, very few of those shows made into this so-called "best-of" collection.
Five favorite Fridays funny offerings (from this collection):
-"A Night in Tehran" -- A mash-up of the Marx Brothers' "Duck Soup" and the contemporary politics of Iran. John Roarke's Groucho impression is flawless. The writing is brilliant; the timing, energy, choreography and music - in short, everything about this sketch simply amazes.
-"The Ronny Horror Show" -- Like "A Night in Tehran," another spectacular opening sketch - and this one at an unheard-of length (for commercial TV) of 17 minutes. It's a dazzling and devastating satire of the new administration, and Roarke's Reagan impersonation is scary good (literally, in this case). Another tremendous production. The audience, whose breath has been taken away (figuratively) goes wild at the end. Probably big "Rocky Horror Picture Show" fans who could barely believe the stunning display of talent they just witnessed.
-"Diner of the Living Dead" -- This nightmare-inducing but genuinely clever and comical human-flesh-eating zombie sketch caused a half-dozen ABC affiliates to drop the show - and this was only the third episode! Possibly the single most memorable line of dialogue from the series: "I think I'll have the feet. Hold the toenails. [And] oh yeah, a side order of bunion rings."
-"The Hollywood Cubes" -- It's Larry David as Dr. Erno Rubik hosting a "Hollywood Squares" rip-off game show. Hilarious lampoon of the worship of showbiz celebrities of dubious talent.
-"Matzoi!" -- Larry David and Bruce Mahler as orthodox rabbis who moonlight as martial artists and secret agents. Mahler reprised his rabbi character 15 years later on "Seinfeld," co-created by David.
More of a curiosity piece than it is actually funny: Andy Kaufman dropping out of the lame "Marijuana" skit in progress and getting into a brawl with the show's co-producer Jack Burns, an ex-Marine. This event is explained in the bonus disc, but then we are left to ponder if they are telling the whole truth three decades later.
Michael Richards specialized in weirdo sketch characters, presaging his Kramer role on "Seinfeld." A number of these become tedious as does the glut of early one-joke sketches featuring spitting and dribbling and grossly freakish behavior that somehow made it to air. Worse, there is far too much pandering to their drug-obsessed young LA live audiences that whoop like crazy at every drug reference no matter how gratuitous. The "Friday Edition" segments (their unabashed rip-off of SNL's "Weekend Update") have not aged well and completely tanked when Rich Hall joined Melanie Chartoff as co-anchor and proceeded to maul all his punch lines with his halting, marble-mouthed delivery.
As for the musical guests (yet another lift from SNL), real value is added to this set by the memorable performances of The Clash (four songs in their U.S. TV début), Devo ("Whip It" - classic!) and Stray Cats (outstanding on "Stray Cat Strut" and "Rock This Town" - their two big hits). I could do without KISS, and Kenny Loggins's "Keep the Fire" (the first guest musical performance in this set) is unimaginably lame and awful. The other performances fall somewhere between just okay and good.
This is less a "best-of" than a "here-are-among-the best-episodes-(or-partial-episodes)-we-could-get-legal-clearance-for-at-this-time." In any event, there is more than enough good-to-great stuff here to make this a worthwhile acquisition.
The bonus disc includes hour-long reunions of the cast (sans Larry David, unfortunately) and the main writers. The chemistry that made this show work is still there.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delight!,
This review is from: Fridays: The Best Of (DVD)Spectacular, multi-talented cast. Loved the guest hosts and musical performers. For the most part the skits in this collection are hilarious and innovative, though the writing is sometimes uneven and there are even a few duds.
I was particularly wowed by the recently recorded interviews with cast and writers. In addition to 'getting to know' the real performers beneath their personas, I had not fully appreciated how groundbreaking this program has been in the history of TV comedy. The element of this being live, of the risks the cast and crew had to continually face, engendered great appreciation for their ballsy courage and raw talent. It was an experiment which sometimes worked, sometimes didn't, but always had you wondering, "What's gonna happen next!" I highly recommend The Best of Fridays!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I WANT MORE FRIDAYS!,
This review is from: Fridays: The Best Of (DVD)Wow, I can't believe how long I have waited to see this great show again. I saw these episodes allll the way back in 1980.
The show has a very heavy Los Angeles vibe as opposed to SNL's NY style. You can see it not only in the fashion of what they wear(the audience). But at what the audience laughs at. The shows have a feel of a late night 80's party. Drug humor is cheered for and the bands are mostly all rock n roll. It's great to see a silly side of a younger Larry David as well. With all the music licencing rights I'm not surprised it took this long to come out on DVD. I hope SHOUT can release a second best of Fridays soon.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST OF FRIDAY'S ON DVD,
This review is from: Fridays: The Best Of (DVD)I was going to buy this item until I realized that my favorite skit was not included.
I love Melanie Chartoff in this show. She is beautiful.
I hope they release the complete three seasons.
Until that day I'll wait on the digital video disc of this classic show.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Fridays: The Best Of by John Moffitt (DVD - 2013)