I am thrilled to finally have great episodes of the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour available on DVD! I loved these shows as a child and thirty years later they are still funny, charming and full of great musical numbers! How lucky we are to have this set available! This collection includes nine complete episodes (six from the original run of the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour and three from their reunited run on The Sonny & Cher Show). Laverne at the Launderette, Raggedy Sonny and Raggedy Cher, and the classic V-A-M-P segments are just a few of the great regular series features represented in this collection. Just a partial list of guest stars includes: Don Knotts, Farrah Fawcett-Majors, Tina Turner, then Gov. Ronald Reagan, Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, Carroll O’Connor and Glenn Campbell. There are many great musical numbers by the weekly guests and of course Sonny and Cher! Many Sonny & Cher hits and Cher’s solo hits are spotlighted in this collection, including: “All I Ever Need Is You”,”Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves”, “The Way of Love”, “A Cowboy’s Work Is Never Done”, “Half-Breed”, “Dark Lady”, “The Beat Goes On”, and “I Got You Babe”. Each show’s opening segment was a bright musical duet from Sonny and Cher and always included one of their famous dialogue exchanges. The openers to each of these shows are priceless and remind me of just how much I love The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour and how happy I am to be able to view it again! This collection also contains a great amount of bonus material highlighted by audio commentary (on select segments) by Cher. This commentary was recorded in August of 2003 and is a wonderful addition to the collection. Recent interviews with the shows producers, and Sonny & Cher’s 1969 pilot spot on the Barbara McNair Show, are just two of the other great segments included in the bonus material. The visual and audio quality of “The Sonny & Cher Ultimate Collection” is outstanding! I hope this is the first of many editions!
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When I think of early 70s pop culture, nothing embodies and virtually SCREAMS the early 70s for me as much as this show. During an era when variety shows ruled, this one has always been the king of them for me, and I’ve dreamt of owning episodes like this for 30 years now. This set does not disappoint and really delivers the goods.
One of the very best things about it is that you get FULL and unreedited episodes, exactly the way they were broadcast, right down to those memorable animated sequences with the ball-creature at the commercial breaks. BRAVO to the people who brought us this DVD collection for giving us exactly what we wanted!
Looking at this show again for the first time in 30 years, it seems even sillier and schmaltzier than I remembered. Younger folks raised only on Saturday Night Live might find it hard to appreciate, and it’s significant that this show’s initial run ended in 1974, just a year before the debut of SNL. I feel it symbolizes the end one of one era in comedy and the beginning of another. What we have here is humour in the old-school, high camp Vaudevillian tradition.
Yes, some of the jokes are downright groan-worthy, and for anyone else this show might have flopped, but what makes it work here is the undeniable talent, charisma and charm of — and chemistry between — Sonny & Cher, who I consider one of the great couples of the 20th century. Sure the jokes are silly, but here are two people just literally having the time of their lives making this show, and their enthusiasm and enjoyment is infectious.
The guest list on these shows is a star-studded who’s-who of 70s pop culture including Burt Reynolds, Howard Cosell and even Ronald Reagan from the early 70s and Donny & Marie and Farah Fawcett-Majors from the later 70s. And I’ll bet today’s young’uns will have a hard time recognizing a very young Michael Jackson as he performs with his brothers the Jackson 5 and on his very first solo hit “Ben”.
Disc 1 gives us 3 episodes from the first season, while Disc 2 gives us 1 episode from the second and 2 episodes from the third season. Funnyman Ted Ziegler (what ever happened to him?), a young Terri Garr and Steve Martin (before his hair went grey and still sporting a hippie beard!), and Canada’s own late great Billy Van (fresh from Hilarious House of Frightenstein) round out the gags.
The best thing for me was seeing that great ol’ cheesy weekly V-A-M-P sketch that I’ve carried fond memories of in my head all these years again. And in the third season Cher introduces her greatest character of all, Laverne the laundromat lady. (Can somebody please explain what a “yenta” is?)
Disc 3 features 3 episodes from their short-lived reunion series from 1976-77 (after divorcing and each having separate variety shows of their own). The show gets off to a rough start due to the absence of producers Blye & Beard. The first episode is pretty terrible, but don’t give up on this second series and keep right on going to the second and third shows on this disc. They get better. One has a priceless sketch with Cher and Don Knotts which shows Cher at her naughtiest, cheekiest best. All I can say is, this lady must be some~ fun for any man to be with!
The 2003 commentary by Cher is brief, but we really gain some insight into what interests her, as we hear all about the costumes she wore, little tidbits about Sonny, and even why she seemed to lose her eyebrows for a while. Great stuff!
The interview with the producers is also good, although they come off as a little smug. But hey, I guess if they could make a show which has stayed as close to my heart as this one has for the past 30 years, they deserve to be a little proud.
“But wait, that’s not all…” I don’t know what mouldy old vault they dug this out of, but an amazing bonus treasure for Sonny & Cher fans here is a 20-minute segment of them on the long-forgotten 1969 Barbara McNair Show. The picture is crystal clear and looks like it was just made today. It gives us a good idea of what their lounge act must have been like in the 60s, and the segment ends in a great medley with a cookin’ version of “The Beat Goes On” featuring classic Question Mark & the Mysterians-type 60s organ in the background. Groovy~!
You also get videos for Cher’s 70s solo mega-hits like “Half-Breed” and “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves”, Sonny & Cher karaoke, and the extra audio CD that comes with this is just pure icing on the cake, baby. This set would easily have been worth the price even without it.
This show was such a part of my life in the early 70s that looking at it again is like seeing old movies of long-lost relatives who used to come over each week for a visit with their little family. — And then suddenly they were gone… never to reappear on my TV screen again… Until now!! I have to confess that seeing Sonny & Cher with Chastity at the end of their show again brought a little lump to my throat. I have REALLY, really missed you,…
This may not be the show’s entire run, however, it is a massive contribution, which is well thought through and beautifully presented.For me, one of the greatest highlights is Cher’s recent contribution of commentary made during her farewell tour!!!With the songs listed below and the Bonus CD, this is a great product. If we support this, we may have hope of the entire series being released!!!
FEATURED MUSIC PERFORMANCES:
“All I Ever Need Is You” “Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves” “The Way of Love” “A Cowboy’s Work Is Never Done” “Half-Breed” “Dark Lady” “The Beat Goes On” “I Got You Babe”
Commentary from Cher on select segments – recorded in August 2003 during her Farewell Tour !!!!Newly filmed interview with Comedy Hour producers Allan Blye and Chris Bearde 1969 TV Pilot (very rare from the Barbara McNair show) Sonny & Cher karaoke Sonny & Cher album Discography Original network promos and more!
SPECIAL BONUS: Exclusive 15-track Sonny & Cher CD featuring favorite songs from the era of their TV show. This CD comes FREE with every DVD purchased. Not available in stores, I Got You Babe: The Sonny & Cher 70′s Collection is a great companion to this first-ever Sonny & Cher DVD release!