The Best of the Best of Electric Company
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The Best Of The Best Of The Electric Company
FEATURING BILL COSBY, MORGAN FREEMAN, RITA MORENO and More!
"Were gonna turn it on.
Were gonna bring you the power."
If you were between six and ten years old during the years 1971 through 1985, then there is a good chance you learned to read with help from The Electric Company.
Comedy sketches, music, animation and special effects were the tools of this "video" classroom. The show was so terrific that it attracted major talent. In addition to stars Bill Cosby, Morgan Freeman and Rita Moreno, Joan Rivers, Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel were the characters in "The Adventures Of Letterman." Mel Brooks was the voice of the animated Blond-Haired Cartoon Man. The satirist Tom Lehrer wrote ten songs for the shows.
The Electric Company was a product of its time perennially cool and hip, while never wavering from its educational goals; it was full of wit and energy and made learning to read fun.
So, take a trip back in time with Letterman, Easy Reader, J. Arthur Crank, Fargo North, Decoder, the Short Circus, Jennifer of the Jungle, and all the rest with THE BEST OF THE BEST OF THE ELECTRIC COMPANY.
5 GREAT EPISODES, INCLUDING SERIES PREMIERE
Rita Moreno Remembers
New Episode Intros by Rita Moreno
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About the show though, it's been said that it was a show for kids to help them learn, and be interested in, reading. The reason why so many adults like it now and can still appreciate it though(outside of it being a nostalgic 70's time capsule), is because it taught its lessons through clever, interesting, or hip comedy skits and animations. It helps that you had a great cast of regulars too like Bill Cosby, Rita Moreno, Morgan Freeman, etc and even Spider-Man! And the list of memorable, long-running skits and animated segments is just too numerous to mention here. And that theme song...catchy as heck. And the ever-changing, opening montage credit sequences set to that theme song...cheesy and fun as heck.
Ok, the dvd. It comes with a few minutes of outtakes, trivia to open and close the episodes, and a nice Rita Moreno interview(who also does the episode intros). I'm not a dvd-expert, but the picture quality looks great considering this is a 70's public broadcasting show. The mono sound you're gonna have to turn up, but hopefully you've got some type of enhanced audio system anyway(some good musical bits plus the theme song demand that you have a stereo hook-up at the very least). Overall, if you're unfamiliar with this show, the 5-episode $10 version is a great intro and highly recommended. But i can almost guarantee you're gonna want to see more and you're probably going to purchase the 20-episode $40 version at some point so keep that in mind. Die-hard fans(esp with kids) should go straight to the box set, or hope they release season sets soon.
If you know anything about the "Electric Compnay," you know that it is geared towards helping children learn to read. But it's more than that. These lessons make it not only funny, but they hold your attention with a clever exchange of wits, and the lessons often end on a joke to make sure we retain the lesson.
Because children often have short attention spans, the lessons are usually quite short. (Sometimes even shorter than the length of a commercial.) "This word will self destruct in 10 seconds. Can you read it before it does?"
Another good thing about this show was that it divided itself well between adult actors, and the children actors. The Short Circus is not exactly made up of Hollywood Polished children, but they are really talented. And while the adult cast may not look like Hollywood Picked actors, they do their job really well.
Another thing I should point out about this show is that it doesn't shove diversity in your face and ruin the messge. Many other films (even today) feel a need to shove it in your face and expect a loud applause whenever a white man, a black man, and a hispanic man do something together. Here, you just have whites, blacks, and hispanics working together without expecting an applause.
This DVD has 5 good episodes. Without going through everything, I'll try to point out some highlights.
(1) "Fargo North Decoder"
(2) "The Frog Price"
(3) "China Salesman, Don't Break Anything" "The Creature-Preature" "Letterman" 'A Jarring Experience.'
(4) "Spencer's Spanking," "My New Loud Speaker," "Marching Song," "Short Circus 'Who Was?' "The Super Is Having His Supper," "The Blob"
(5) "Short Circus-'Why,'" "Cinderella 'If You Wash the Dishes,'" J. Arthur Crank explains Punctuaton to an obnoxious woman. "Goodbye...Goodbye? Goodbye!"
I'll finish by saying there are 2 reasons to buy this.
(1) If you have chilren who are still learning to read, this is a great way to help them.
(2) If you are looking for some 70s nostalgia, this is a nice thing to have.