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The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show: Complete Series
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Hey Margolis! For the first time on any format comes sixteen zany half hours of family programming from the 70's. It's the Hudson Brothers - Brett, Mark and Bill, shticking and singing through a full season along with series irregulars Ted Ziegler, Billy Van, Murray Langston, and Rod Hull and his Emu. Includes The Best Sketches from the Hudson Brothers Show and The Best of Chucky Margolis.
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Top Customer Reviews
As a few others have noted in their reviews there are some moments that fall flat and some that are treasures. Watching the late Rod Hull and his Emu brought back a lot of memories, but my favorites are the Chucky Margolis bits. I have to believe that they got pretty sick of hearing "Hey, Margolis" shouted at them in public, but as delivered in the show it is a wonderful catch phrase.
The supporting cast is good but I have a soft spot for Murray Langston. Who? If you ever watched The Gong Show, he was The Unknown Comic (with the paper bag over his head). I saw him once in Las Vegas and he funnier without the bag.
This may not be a DVD set that you watch over and over, but it is a great set for bringing back fond memories.
Have younger kids and don't like the junk on the air these days, this might be a great way to get them laughing and introduced to a time when things were much simpler.
When I put in the first DVD, I was quite worried that the quality of the video and audio might be abysmal, but was pleased to find them amazingly well preserved. As was noted in another review, there is one episode in particular that exhibits a few video faults early into the program, but these clear up relatively quickly. There are also some odd edits or issues in the final two or three episodes that make one wonder if something might be missing from them. My suspicion is that perhaps the network was just getting a bit slapdash in how these were assembled toward the end of the show's run.
I disagree with the comment in another review that there really isn't much here for adults to enjoy. The issue is just that such a show as this must be approached with the right perspective to enjoy it.
First of all, the DVD set presents us essentially with an artifact of 1970s kid's programming. We are given the show just as it was. Either the viewer will find this entertaining to witness again (as I certainly do) or may not be all that captivated.
Secondly, this is variety-show entertainment from a different era. This show, like other variety programs of the time, tends to aim at leaving the viewer with a pleasant experience, but the style of humor may seem simple (i.e. corny) to some modern viewers. Also, since this is a variety show aimed at kids, it is probably even a bit more gentle in its format that other variety shows of the era. However, the entire cast here is quite talented (e.g. Scott Fisher is an excellent child actor and does his bits like a pro), and the writers were good too, so there are some decent laughs in every episode.
Third, the show is indeed rigidly formulaic in the extreme. However, a strict formula worked very, very well for a kid audience who watched the program for exactly 30 minutes once a week with commercial breaks. As a kid, I looked forward to these different, predictable components of this show's formula as they came up after six days and 23.5 hours of time in between. I would have been rather disappointed if everything I had expected to see that week had not been there. (The highlight for me each week was definitely Rod Hull and Emu, and I also particularly enjoyed whenever there was a Chucky Margolis segment.) However, a formulaic program works less well for a modern adult audience who may attempt to watch several episodes in immediate succession from this DVD set. Again, the program was never intended to be seen in this way, so it doesn't seem entirely reasonable to fault it on those grounds. The fun of these episodes is lost if you overdose on them as modern DVD technology can allow you to do. Watch one episode a week every Saturday morning and you'll love them!
The bonus features from the Hudson Brothers' prime time show make me hope that the full episodes might also see separate release if the Razzle Dazzle set sells well enough. There were several segments that were quite good, including a funny twist on the Marx Brothers, Chucky Margolis, and another Rod Hull and Emu routine.
I also hope that the third show starring the Hudson Brothers -- Bonkers! -- will also see release on a DVD set. I know of this show, but have never seen it. I would certainly be intrigued to see these episodes as well.
The Hudson Brothers were an incredibly likable trio, especially when singing some silly 30-second song dressed in identical uniforms of one sort or another. Rod Hull could do more with what was essentially just his right sleeve than anyone in history. The entire supporting cast is also great with everyone contributing something good to the show. Lastly, I still find something really funny about how the Hudsons are treated like property in the opening and closing credits of the show (which make a sort of infinite loop out of their lives if you join up the end of each episode with the start of the next). It's a sort of surreal and slightly subversive humor that I really enjoy. Of course, the cleverness of it can easily be overlooked because of its slapstick execution.
In short, I'm so glad that this show has at long last been pulled out of oblivion and made its appearance on DVD! I hope others will give it a try too.