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TV on DVD: Make ‘Em Laugh

In dvd, television, tv on 01/13/2009 at 10:48 am

Make ‘Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America is a new television miniseries on PBS that looks at the evolution of humour in the U.S. I, having been raised in front of the tube in the 1960s by Clem Kadiddlehopper and Carole Burnett, am keen to see it: it starts Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET on most PBS stations and continues for a few Wednesdays.
But what does this have to do with DVDs you ask? Well, bizarrely, the series is being released on DVD today (Jan. 13), a day before its broadcast premiere. It contains all episodes, listed below, and I might just spend the money and buy it. Part of the reason I am so enthused, other than the promise of interviews with the great George Carlin and Burnett, is that I’ve been able to preview the series on the show’s excellent website, which also provides a half-hour episode called Teh Internets*. The episode is hosted by Amy Sedaris, who I must admit I don’t always get, but this mini-doc is a great and edifying look at how the Internet has influenced comedy, culminating in the phenom of viral videos (regarding 2 Girls, 1 Cup, I am inept and depraved enough to say I’ve looked and can’t find the real vid, but the viral reaction videos featured in this doc are absolutely great).
Watch the episode online. And then check out the rest of the excellent website’s interviews with many but not all of comedy’s greats.
And then turn to the good old fashioned TV to watch the series, Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on most PBS stations, starting Jan. 14 with the episode Would Ya Hit a Guy with Glasses? Nerds, Jerks & Oddballs. Here are the Montreal listings.

*(Wondering about the spelling? Oh, it’s correct all right, and it’s also some of that wierd Internet lingo that I don’t even bother investigating anymore. pwns? I mean really. But I digress.)

Here are some other TV-on-DVD releases new this week, starting with an online video hit in its own right. Enjoy.

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
Reba: Season 5
Dallas: The Complete 10th Season
Little Britain USA
Matlock: Season 2
Walker Texas Ranger: Season 6
Lovejoy: The Complete Season 4
Man vs. Wild: Season 2
Black Lagoon: Season 1 Box Set
House of Payne: Vol. 3
Til Death: The Complete Second Season
Made in Spain (with Jose Andres): Season 2
Meerkat Manor: The Story Begins
The Best of Benny Hill
The Best of Benny Hill: The Early years
The Lucy Show Collection, Vol. 1
The Beverly Hillbillies: Vol. 2
The Best of TV Comedy: Vol. 1
The Best of TV Detectives: Vol. 1
The Best of TV Westerns: Vol. 1
The Bonanza Collection: Vol. 2
— Denise Duguay


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