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Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
The Best of the Muppet Show: Bob Hope / Dom DeLuise / George Burns (1976)

Statler: I wouldn't mind this show if they just got rid of one thing.
Waldorf: What's that?
Statler: Me!

- Statler, Waldorf

Review By: Rich Rosell and Sammie Rosell (age 15)   
Published: February 01, 2004

Stars: Kermit The Frog, Miss Piggy, George Burns, Dom DeLuise, Bob Hope
Other Stars: Fozzie, Gonzo, Animal, Rowlf, Dr. Teeth, Statler, Waldorf, Scooter, The Swedish Chef, Dr. Bunson Honeydew, Beaker
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:19m:25s
Release Date: February 03, 2004
UPC: 043396017771
Genre: television


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A B-BB- C-

DVD Review

"...on the most sensational
inspirational,
celebrational,
Muppetational,
This is what we call the Muppet Show!"


That's a great song. Especially the whole "muppetational" part, but I'm sure you're not reading this to hear all about the theme song, so I'll get on with it. The Muppet Show ran from 1976-1981 on CBS. It was a nutty show with crazy puppets (you know, Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, etc). Every week, Kermit invited a guest star to be on the show. Personally, I never had heard of any of them. But, that's just me. I wasn't around when dinosaurs...I mean...my dad roamed the Earth. All the shows have people from that time period. Hmm...imagine that. Anyway, on this DVD, The Best of the Muppet Show, the guest stars were George Burns, Dom DeLuise, and Bob Hope. Good ol' Bob Hope. Well, I had at least heard of him. All of the episodes were introduced by Brian Henson, Jim Henson's son. It came as a shock to me to learn that Jim Henson had died, but that's just me, too.

Wait, who's George Burns? Well, he's the guest star for the first episode on the DVD, but what's his claim to fame? He's old and he played God. Those are my dad's words exactly. I didn't know who he was! But before I make myself look any more "anti-pop culturey," I'll start talking about the show. George Burns sings two songs, one solo, and one with the cast, featuring Gonzo and his ever-famous "didn't want to do it" line. I guess I'm a sucker for any Muppet that sings or has any musical talent, so I loved Miss Piggy's stunning song and Rowlf playing a serenade on the piano. But, back on the subject of guest stars: George Burns wasn't the only one making a guest appearance. Fleet Scribbler (a Muppet) is a nosy gossip-hound who writes for the local tabloid and causes mischief on the Muppet set. So, basically, what this paragraph was trying to say, was that I, Sammie Rosell, loved this episode. Well, almost. I liked everything but the fact that George Burns smoked. Even though I guess that is kinda funny, considering his last name is Burns.

Before I even start writing this next paragraph, I want to say something. This was my favorite episode out of the three! Dom DeLuise, the guest star, is hilarious! The first scene he's in takes place on the planet Koozebane. Within the first ten seconds I was cracking up! Not only at the "merdely-dop" aliens (the fuzzy, pink, circular, ground-dwelling inhabitants of Koozebane), but at Dom's wacky replies to whoever was at the other end of his walkie-talkie. But, a lot more happens to Kermit and the crew in this episode. Miss Piggy becomes desperate for "Kermie's" affection, and somehow (I won't say how), he finds out. It's really funny. I can't even describe how many times I laughed at the dancing Muppets in this episode. I don't want to say too much more. Knowing how many times I laughed, I wouldn't want to take that from you! Go buy the DVD and watch it!

Finally, the last episode. I thought this one (featuring Bob Hope) was way more serious than the others. I'll start with the negative stuff, so we can end this review in a nice way. I wanted to cry. Yep, you heard me, I wanted to cry. There's this song with opossums and they're being hunted by crazed hillbillies. They sing a remake of Buffalo Springfield's For What It's Worth. It doesn't have a Bambi ending, and we never find out what happened to our poor, forest dwelling friends. That was really the only bad thing about this episode, though.

In this last episode, there were two, yep two, backstage happenings. I have to say my favorite one was Animal. Kermit tells him he needs a hobby. Bad move, Kermie. Animal goes nuts trying to find his perfect hobby. Alligator wrestling, bowling, hunting...what will he think of next? Also, Bob Hope keeps missing important benefits, like one with the Flying Zuchinni Brothers, a cannonball act. And the fact that Mr. Hope is supposedly so busy is not a crazy thought, because you'll find when watching this that he was not in a lot of it. Brian Henson tells us that he was too busy to even have a starring role! But, I guess that's why the Muppets were still on. It wouldn't be a very fun show to see Bob Hope talk for 5 minutes and then it's over!

I have to say my favorite Muppet in this episode is Kermit's nephew. He has a very brief appearance, no speaking lines; they're all singing and he's sitting on the floor. Basically, he looks like a little, fat Kermit. He's adorable! Also, this is the only episode on this DVD that features the ever-famous BEAKER!!!!!! So, if you've never seen Bob Hope talking to a frog, riding an imaginary horse, or dancing, then you should really rent this DVD. Even if you have seen him do the above, still watch it.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: All three episodes are presented in their original 1.33:1 full-frame, and considering the age of these shows, the transfers look decent enough. Colors are relatively bright, and not nearly as washed out as a lot of mid-1970s television looks today. No major blemishes or defects were evident.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: Audio is provided as it was originally, in basic 2.0 English stereo, and while it is not a particularly robust presentation, it is more than adequate for the material. Some sequences do sound a bit hollow, but in general character voices and music are all clearly discernible.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 18 cues and remote access
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Swan Princess Collection, Annie:SE, Berenstain Bears, Matilda
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Muppetisms
  2. Movie Mania
  3. From the Archives
Extras Review: The so-called "special bonus materials" are a little weak here, with lots of promise but not much payoff. The "From The Archives Photo Gallery" is a single concept drawing of the horse Bob Hope rode in the third episode on this disc. "Muppetisms" features Kermit doing a "frog in the throat" joke, while "Movie Mania" features a fictitious (and brief) screen test of Kermit, Fozzie, and the Swedish Chef reading for the part of Desi Arnaz on I Love Lucy.

In addition to four kid-friendly trailers, each episode is cut into 6 chapters.

Extras Grade: C-

 

Final Comments

Overall, this was good. Really good. Even if you don't like the Muppets, even if they disturb you greatly, you should still rent and/or buy The Best of the Muppet Show.

After all, where else will you see the celebrities of yesterday talking to Kermit, who in my mind is still a star of today.

 


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