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George Burns - The TV Specials Collection

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

George Burns was a legendary comedian and actor and arguably the greatest straight man of the 20th century. His arched eyebrow and his cigar smoking became his trademarks in an illustrious career that spanned over three-quarters of a century. This collector's- DVD- set- preserves- his- most- memorable- TV- specials- and- features- many- of- the- greatest- names- in- entertainment including: Bob Hope, Ann-Margret and Johnny Carson.

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It's all about Old Skool, and just old, period, in George Burns - The TV Specials Collection, a four-disc set featuring nine shows recorded from 1976-1986. In nominally celebrating various milestones in the veteran comic's long career (there are commemorations of his 80th birthday, his 90th birthday, his 80 years in show biz, and his "100th birthday"--the last of which was taped in 1979, when he was actually a mere 83), these shows all rely on pretty much the same formula: Burns, with his big round glasses, toupee, and ever-present cigar, cracks a few jokes (some quite funny, many pretty stale), tells stories about his Vaudeville days, half-sings a few jaunty tunes, interacts with a parade of celebrity guests, and leers at beautiful, well-proportioned young women. There are old pros like Bob Hope, Milton Berle, Walter Matthau, Shecky Greene, Don Rickles (inevitably), a mummified George Jessel, and Johnny Carson (whose few ad-libbed asides with Burns are among the more amusing moments), along with some then-hot TV stars (Linda Evans, John Schneider). There are performances by some of the era's most homogenized pop singers, like the Osmond Brothers, Andy Gibb, and the Captain and Tennille. There's even a trip to Nashville (coinciding with Burns' early-'80s quasi-country hit, "I Wish I Was 18 Again"), where the kitsch runs rampant and and the corn is ripe. On the plus side, Burns, whom Hope calls "the Peter Pan of the prune juice set," is surprisingly sharp throughout, his timing and rapid-fire New York delivery intact. There's a nice bit with Madeline Kahn standing in for Gracie Allen (Burns' longtime wife and partner) that serves as a reminder that he was one of the all-time great straight men, and a few entertaining dance numbers. By and large, this is TV at its most bland and middlebrow, but celebrity gazers looking for few easy laughs won't be disappointed. The set includes no bonus material. --Sam Graham


Special Features

  • Nine TV Specials on four discs

Product Details

  • Actors: George Burns, Ann-Margret, Daryl Dragon, Toni Tennille, Gladys Knight
  • Directors: Bill Hobin, Stan Harris
  • Writers: Elon Packard, Fred S. Fox, Seaman Jacobs
  • Producers: Bernard Rothman, Gayle S. Maffeo, Irving Fein
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Standing Room Only
  • DVD Release Date: October 31, 2006
  • Run Time: 450 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000HC2LJO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,340 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "George Burns - The TV Specials Collection" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Robert A. Howe on October 12, 2006
As someone who was not only a friend of George for over seventeen years, but also had the opportunity to work for him on several occasions, and attended the tapings of most of the specials in this collection, I can tell you, you're in for a real treat! George never made any bones that it wasn't until he teamed up with his Beloved Gracie, that he had any kind of success in show business.

But, the truth is, George did all of the writing in the early years and supervised all of the writing during the years of the Burns & Allen TV show.

The shows in this collection, show that, even in his eighties and ninties,

George's timing was as sharp as ever. The trademark cigar puncuating ever joke or story and that sweet impish smile that made you feel warm all over. Along with Bob Hope, Ann Margret, Bernadette Peters, Walter Matthau and many more, make this a history of show business that no longer exists.

My personal favorites are the Christmas Special and the Sex Symbols special. George is in fine form singing with his old vaudeville partner Billy Lorraine and dancing in a line with his "Old Girlfriends".

Sit back, pour yourself a martini, fire up that El Producto and watch a master at work.

Say Hello George!

Robert Howe
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jeff F. on January 14, 2007
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This is a wonderful collection of 9 of George Burn's specials during his later years of renewed stardom during the 70's and 80's. In the first special, George is 80 and he is 90 in the last. During these 10 years, you see how versatile a performer he was by doing comedy, singing, and even having hits as a country singer. You also get to see lengendary stars perform with him such as Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, Milton Berle, and Ann Margaret.

In particular, three shows were my favorite. There is a show called "George Burn's 100th Birthday Party" which was acutally done when he was 83. Although he did live to be 100, he was not well enough to do a show. This show gives us a glipse of what his real 100th birthday special would have been like if he could have done it. There is also a wonderful bit with Goldie Hawn that you will enjoy.

Second, I liked the "George Burns and Other Sex Symbols" show. There are several sexy women from the 70's such as Linda Evans and Ann Margaret. It makes one understand why George Burns had so much fun doing these shows. You can really see his enjoyment flirting with these women.

Finally, I really loved the "George Burn's 90th Birthday Special" when he was really 90. A tribute by some of the best old timers is provided along with clips of his earlier years with Gracie Allen.

Get this box set, and it will bring back wonderful memories or provide the younger set with a glipse of why George Burns was so special.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Volunteer of America VINE VOICE on September 27, 2007
George Burns is truly a class act. I love his subtle humor and terrific sense of timing. He comes across as a warm, witty human being and it's very easy to see why he had so many friends and fans; including, in this very comprehensive collection, Ronald Reagan and Billy Graham. This DVD set is a wonderful compendium of his later work, and makes a great addition to his Gracie Allen pieces. It's the golden age of network tv variety shows, last of its kind. Sure the humor is lightweight and low key, innuendo as opposed to obscenity; well, what's wrong with a kinder, gentler time? Watch, for example, his interplay with Madeline Kahn in the "girlfriend Rover" piece; the pacing and mood couldn't be more professional and amusing. Proof that talent and a great attitude will inevitably take you to the top.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TaxiDrivin' Daddy on May 31, 2010
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In comedy, TIMING IS EVERYTHING. Subject knowledge comes in a close second.
George Burns' decades of entertainment experience allowed him to master both both aspects of comedy. Whether working alone or with a partner (Gracie Allen, Walter Matthau, Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Fred Astaire, Brooke Shields, etc...) George often slipped bits of wisdom in with his punch lines. Sometimes those were the punch lines. I could say he was at his best with this collection of TV Specials, but the truth is he was at his best each decade since he partnered with Gracie in 1923. We can only be thankful George continued working after Gracie's passing in 1964. The show did go on, and these shows can be enjoyed many, many times - good jokes, no matter how old, never get stale.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By James E. Suman on December 12, 2008
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The specials are well worth the money. I stumbles upon this collection by accident. If you love George Burns, classic comedy, and who's who of Showbiz and little seventies cheese, you're gonna love this collection. I just wish they would have included his 95th birthday special as well. But this set is excellent.
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George Burns - The TV Specials Collection
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