If you’re a fan of the hilarious world of Carol Burnett et al., you’re in luck with two new spring releases from Time Life:
First we have The Carol Burnett Show: The Best of Tim Conway, which includes four episodes (ranging from 1969 to 1978) from the Emmy-winning series highlighting the comedic exploits of timeless funny man Tim Conway. Conway began as a guest star on The Carol Burnett Show in 1967 and became a regular member of the cast in 1975, remaining until the series’ final season in 1978. In addition to the five Emmy Awards he won for his work on the show, Conway brought to life some of its most iconic characters and sketches. This collection’s episodes (three of which have never been previously released) feature his much-loved characters “Oldest Man” and “Mr. Tudball,” in addition to lesser-known (but equally amusing) appearances as an untraditional fairytale prince, a man with canine identity confusion, and the Lone Ranger. Fans will also be pleased to see that Episode 513 (December 1, 1971) includes the famous Dentist sketch featuring Tim Conway facing off against Harvey Korman as the latter struggles to maintain self-control in the face of Conway’s targeted and epic goofiness. No special features on this one (which is a shame, since Time Life is pretty great at those), but fans will appreciate the content nonetheless. The set is scheduled for release on April 4 and is available for pre-order on DVD on Amazon for $12.95.
Next we have the Carol Burnett Show spinoff Mama’s Family, which originated from “The Family”, one of Burnett’s favorite sketch series on the show which was even made into a TV movie (Eunice) in 1982 before breaking out as its own series. After a somewhat rocky start (being cancelled after its first season), Mama’s Family was put back on the air in 1986 and enjoyed a successful run (even earning the distinction of being the highest rated sitcom in first-run syndication) until its completion in 1990. The storyline revolves around homespun Southern matriarch Thelma “Mama” Harper and her somewhat dysfunctional family as they come to a head over weddings, money, education, sex, death, chili recipes, and more. Now out is Mama’s Family: The Mama’s Family Favorites Collection, which includes 37 complete episodes over six discs selected by the show’s star Vicki Lawrence. The DVD set (which, like the set above contains only the episodes, no bonus content) is currently available on Amazon for $49.99. Do be aware that this is not a comprehensive collection; there was a Complete Collection set released in 2014 (which you can currently grab on Amazon for $84.91) that included all 130 episodes plus 12 hours of Time Life’s signature awesome bonus content. The question, then, is whether you prefer the “Mama’s Favorites”, which gives a good sampling of episodes spread over all six seasons and has a lower price point, or the all-inclusive Complete Collection option for $35 more. Decisions, decisions!