Time Life Entertainment
1080 minutes, dir. by Greg Garrison, with Dean Martin, Johnny Carson, Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, and Don Rickles
The packaging of this six-disc DVD set warns viewers that some of the jokes and ethnic references contained in this collection would not be allowed on TV today due to the nature of the times in which these segments were shot. These roasts were shot in Vegas at the old MGM (where Bally’s stands today), and, truth be told, while TV might not allow these kinds of jokes, comedy acts in Vegas (or even the late-night cable roasts of today) certainly venture into these non-PC territories.
That being said, this collection is simply fantastic. Everyone is smoking cigarettes and drinking straight liquor, and some of the best entertainers of the era spring back to life as they poke fun at each other.
This collector’s edition features 12 complete unedited celebrity roasts featuring Bob Hope, Sammy Davis Jr., Lucille Ball, and Kirk Douglas, among many other. A few roasters to take note of who show up to throw their friends under the bus include John Wayne, Muhammad Ali, George Burns, Milton Berle, and Dom Deluise.
In addition to the 12 episodes, there are also two hours of special features including featurettes and interviews. Well worth the cash for the special features and the Sammy Davis Jr. roast. By far my favorite of the 12.