Time Life releases 'The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes' 6-DVD collector's set

Carol Burnett and her wacky variety show hold a firm spot in the fabric of my childhood. I started watching The Carol Burnett Show as a youngster, on and off throughout my formative years. As a teenager, I recall racing to a friend's house after school to catch the show all over again in reruns, which were still hilarious to me. Perhaps even more so as by then I'd matured a tad and caught on to some of the innuendo that went right over my head as a child.

Now, as an adult—a grandmother, in fact—I noticed even more adult-only references when chuckling my way through the fabulous six-DVD collection from Time Life, The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes, which I recently received free for review.

The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes

The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes ($59.95 suggested retail price) features original broadcast episodes from Seasons 1-5 (1967-1972), unseen for more than 40 years and hand-picked for inclusion in the set by Carol herself. The treasures from the vault reveal the begnning steps of the show and the magic of Carol’s cast coming together. An incredible array of guest stars make appearances, too: Carol’s hero, Lucille Ball, along with Carol Channing, Bing Crosby, Phyllis Diller, Steve Lawrence, Bob Newhart, Don Rickles, Chita Rivera, Burt Reynolds, Flip Wilson and many, many more.

I hadn't watched reruns of The Carol Burnett Show in years, so these first five seasons of the show—seemingly "lost" and not seen since aired—were a fabulously fun flash from the past. And an eye-opener on the fashions, humor, social issues, and musicians of a time I originally viewed through the eyes of a child that are now surprisingly engaging in entirely different ways as an adult.

As a child I adored Carol Burnett. Her kind smile, sweet yet silly voice, her goofiness and funky (sometimes flowing) fashions. I still adore Carol Burnett for all that as well as goofy bits I may have laughed at as a kid but actually get now. Watching now as an adult, I was surprised to find while watching the various skits on the various DVDs in the collection that I really, really adore Harvey Korman. What a nut! Included in The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes is the first time Harvey did the Mother Marcus skit (air date Nov. 3, 1971). So funny.

The classic Undercover Cops skit featuring Harvey and the inimitable Tim Conway is there, too. As Tim plays up his role as an undercover cop dressed as the female half in a partnership with Harvey, Harvey turns red, does his best to not crack up—and sometimes can't help but do exactly that.

The Harvey Korman skits are now my favorite of the set. Each disc includes a couple original shows, including the opening Q&A Carol always did (to be honest, I skipped through those as the first one I watched was a tad boring), plus musical numbers from stars of the period, popular celebrities doing silly skits, dance numbers from the show dancers, and many times the beloved regular skits "Carol and Sis," "The Old Folks," and the over-the-top soap opera "As The Stomach Turns."

Some of the special features on The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes:

  • Extra backstage tour of CBS Studio 33 where the show was originally taped
  • 13 exclusive new interviews with stars of yesteryear and today, with Alan Alda, Julie Andrews, Vikki Carr, Carol Channing, Bill Hader, Jack Jones, Jim Nabors, Queen Latifah, Gloria Loring, Don Rickles, Lesley Ann Warren and more!
  • Never-Before-Seen Bloopers & Outtakes
  • Newly produced featurettes
  • Bonus sketches including “Morton at the Movies” and the all-time classic “The Dentist”
  • The opening number from the historic Julie and Carol at Lincoln Center TV special with a new introduction by Carol.

The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes 6-DVD Collector's Edition from Time Life ($59.95 srp) went on sale in stores today, Sept. 15, 2015. Find out more—including details on two "ultimate collections" of the Lost Episodes—LostCarolEpisodes.com.

Disclosure: I received this product free for review; opinions are my own.