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The Best Of The Electric Company - Volume 2 (1971)

Jim Boyd , Morgan Freeman  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

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The Best Of The Electric Company - Volume 2 + The Best of the Electric Company + Schoolhouse Rock! (Special 30th Anniversary Edition)
Price for all three: $76.45

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jim Boyd, Morgan Freeman, Judy Graubart, Skip Hinnant, Rita Moreno
  • Writers: Elaine Laron, Jim Thurman, Paul Dooley, Sara Compton, Thad Mumford
  • Producers: Andrew B. Ferguson Jr.
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Shout Factory
  • DVD Release Date: November 14, 2006
  • Run Time: 630 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000H6SY1E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,955 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Best Of The Electric Company - Volume 2" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "Remember The Electric Company" featurette
  • New episode intros
  • Trivia
  • Bill Cosby on  The Dick Cavett Show segment
  • "Play All Songs" feature

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

With roots in the Motown Sound, Broadway and "The Carol Burnett Show", The Electric Company became a cultural phenomenon in the ‘70s as the wildly popular educational television show with big laughs and an even bigger message…teaching children basic reading and grammar skills, with the emphasis on fun. Now, even MORE of your favorite episodes are all here in true nostalgic glory, for the first time ever on The Best Of The Electric Company - Volume 2 4-DVD Set!

An impressive cast (such as Bill Cosby, Morgan Freeman, Rita Moreno and many others) embodied characters and enlivened skits the whole world knows and loves: Easy Reader, Fargo North Decoder, Jennifer of the Jungle, J. Arthur Crank, Paul The Gorilla, The Adventures of Letterman, Love of Chair, The Short Circus, Spider-Man, and much more!

Each episode was an explosion of creativity. From 1971-1977, The Electric Company made learning to read not just fun, but downright hip. Designed more as a complement than an alternative to Sesame Street, that means skits, animated segments, musical interludes, and funky fashions--always a plus. (Dig those fringed jackets and snakeskin stretch pants.) The cast includes Emmy winner Bill Cosby, Oscar winner Rita Moreno, Fame star Irene Cara (a member of the Short Circus), and a skinny beanpole named Morgan Freeman, who would pick up his own Academy Award a few decades later. In this 20-episode set, cast members Judy Graubart, Luis Avalos, Skip Hinnant, Jim Boyd, and Hattie Winston provide introductions. In addition, pop-ups dispense fun facts, like the show's original title: The Reading Program. As in the first four-disc collection, episodes appear out of sequence, but work fine as stand-alones--although it would be nice to have all of them available at some point. Musical highlights include Freeman's hobo lament "Shoo Shoo Sunshine" (episode 12), Short Circus funk jam "Knock Knock Rock" (35A), and let's not forget that "empowering" theme: "We're gonna turn it on / we're gonna bring you the power!"

Watch carefully or you'll miss quick-as-a wink cameos from the likes of I Dream of Jeannie’s Barbara Eden (150), Bonanza’s Lorne Green (223), and All in the Family’s Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton (166). Other notables to contribute their talents include Tom Lehrer, author of the "Silent E" song, Mel Brooks, voice behind "Blond-Haired Cartoon Man," and Producers pals Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel, voices behind The Adventures of Letterman (with Joan Rivers as narrator and Mostel as the evil Spell Binder). The Electric Company set its sights on children aged 7-10, but there's plenty of fast-paced fun here for younger kids and adults, too. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars better than anything you'll find on TV today for kids November 29, 2006
It's amazing how well this show has held up. I never missed it growing up and am so thankful that unedited episodes are available on DVD. If there is a volume 3 (I think there will be since volume 1 suprisingly sold well, and vol. 2 will do likewise), there should be a Friday episode from season 4 so we can see the production credits. They haven't been seen since their original airing so it will be worth it. Also, more season 1 Friday shows with the now classic Love of Chair segment over the credits. Apparently, the boy (Skip Hennat), does different things over the credits (including falling asleep!!). I will stick by that this show (and Sesame Street) are FAR better than any show you will find for kids. From Barney to Bob the Builder to Spongebob; these shows are idiotic and I would rather die than show these shows to kids. Shows produced by CTW are the ONLY shows that I would recommend to kids. I have learned though that some of the episodes have been slightly altered (particularly some of the Spidey segments) but that shouldn't stray people away from this set.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
If your children are learning to read, then you owe it to them to buy one or both both DVD sets of the Electric Company. It's hard to exaggerate how much my daughters (ages 4 and 6) enjoy watching these episodes, or how much they have learned as a result. When volume 2 arrived at my home last week, my girls were screaming and jumping up and down with excitement.

And while they certainly enjoy the comedy and the music, it's very clear that the lessons have been sinking in; just a few nights ago, my 6-year-old wowed us with a demonstration of "dinner" vs. "diner." She has similarly learned to handle punctuation, silent E, and common letter combinations, long before these subjects were introduced in school. I'm generally quite skeptical of claims regarding "educational television," but the Electric Company demonstrates that it can work.

The inclusion of some classic bits, including Julia Grownup and the LY song, is greatly appreciated. And of course, we're enjoying Letterman and (the surprisingly small number of episodes with) Spiderman.

For most of my family, the second set of DVDs means that we now have 40 fabulous episodes to choose from, rather than just 20. But for me, as someone who grew up with this show, it was nice to see interviews with many of the cast members. And yes, it was a bit surprising to see how they've aged -- but I'm also 30 years older than I was in the 70s, so it's only fair! The documentary about teachers' use of the show was a bit long and dry, but still a worthwhile addition.

Even without the extras, this DVD set would be well worth the price. Your kids will learn to read, and they'll laugh and sing as they do so. I can't recommend The Electric Company highly enough; buy it, and you'll see what I mean.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but Vol. 1 is Better! April 2, 2009
I bought both Volume 1 & 2 for my three preschool-age sons (ages 4 & 5 ). While both are EXCELLENT in every respect, I think the Volume 1 compilation is slightly better than Volume 2. Volume 1 has a bit better variety. Volume 2 spends too much time with some of the more boring skits. That being said, my boys love both sets and are taking leaps and bounds in their reading ability. This series is amazing in its ability to educate and entertain ALL age ranges. As a parent, I genuinely enjoy watching it too.

PS...I wish the new Electric Company series would take lot more cues from the original series. It pales in comparison to the original.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So great to see these again! June 8, 2008
Verified Purchase
These episodes of The Electric Company not only conjure up wonderfully nostalgic feelings in me, but they are wildly educational for my 5 year-old son. He loves them! What a wonderful series that was way before it's time!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet Another Great Volume of TEC!!! January 28, 2007
Last Year I showed my gr. 7 and 8 kids pieces of eps from Vol One...and they really like the music skits of even the regular comedy skits...and picked up quickly on what skills were being taught...although some did not ...which means they NEED this show more than they think they do.

Now with Vol 2...I am GLAD that they have a separate songs sections...My *OLD* kids LOVE the songs...Sweet Sweet Sway, Boom, Knock Knock Rock, and Whimper and Whine are their fivs...while the Greedy Greg segment and The Short Circus and Rita Moreno song about the E on the End is my favorite.

Sometimes we bring the first graders up to watch with us....THEY REALLY get enthralled in it!

Bring on the next volume!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And the Reading FUN Continues January 18, 2007
Volume 2 of "The Best of the Electric Company" shows the last few original broadcasts of the children's show from the '70's and early '80's. Having worked with each other for a long time, the skits are tighter and the comedy is even better. We see less of Bill Cosby, as his career has taken off by this point. "The Adventures of Letterman", narrated by Joan Rivers, is still there, as well as Molly, the Rita Moreno character who screams "Hey you guys!!!" at the top of her lungs at the bginning of each show. What impressed and continues to impress me about "The Electric Company" is how technologically simple it is, in present day standards, that is. Yet, and perhaps because of this simplicity, the child who watches these shows is able to learn, and WANTS to learn to read. I believe that the secret of the success of the show lies in the fact that kids are watching adults who could very well be their teachers enjoy themselves thoroughly while not only learning, but also by teaching how to learn effectively while still having fun.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved it
Published 15 days ago by Holly Solem
4.0 out of 5 stars Yep, it's good
We already had the first volume; this is more of the same, which is to say that it's just as good & just a welcome. Read more
Published 3 months ago by F. J. PRISCO
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect
My 7 year old granddaughter is a HUGE fan of Volume 1 and was not at all disappointed with Volume 2. Thank you.
Published 4 months ago by Junior
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
Just like volume one, this brings back lots of great memories and is a wonderful teaching aid for my daughter.
Published 9 months ago by William J Horan, Jr
5.0 out of 5 stars Hey You Guys.!!!!!!
All time classics!! You can't go wrong brings back great memories from my child hood. No brained to get this shows on did for prosperity.
Published 11 months ago by duane nixon
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
My son is learning to read. The school system is failing him so I have to rely in Electric company to teach him to read. I can not because english is not my first language.
Published 12 months ago by Lori Adriana
3.0 out of 5 stars frustratingly not as good as it should be
Best of Electric Company Volume 1 is really great. There is a lot of great stuff in Volume 2. But it could have been so much better. Read more
Published 13 months ago by JL
4.0 out of 5 stars Season 1 was better
These old-school Electric Company shows are still a crack-up, and kids love them. Morgan Freeman did a wonderful job.

Letterman, Spiderman, the phonics profiles... Read more
Published 18 months ago by M. Heiss
2.0 out of 5 stars Love the Electric Company but...could be so much better
The Electric Company is just one of the most amazing shows ever made. It is such a great way to help children who love to learn and those who don't love to learn. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Scifi/Fantasy Fan
5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless classic!!!
They may wear funky clothes and use words like "groovy" but The Electric Company still rocks when it comes to making reading FUN! Read more
Published 19 months ago by Kristin
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