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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Relationships > Satire > Slapstick > Documentary > Moviegoing > History > Talk Show > Skits > Varie > Boy, Did I Get A Wrong Number! (1966/United Artists/MGM/Olive Blu-ray)/Drive-In Movie Memories (2001/Janson Media DVD)/The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson: Johnny & Friends featuring Jerry Seinfel

Boy, Did I Get A Wrong Number! (1966/United Artists/MGM/Olive Blu-ray)/Drive-In Movie Memories (2001/Janson Media DVD)/The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson: Johnny & Friends featuring Jerry Seinfeld (1985 - 1988/Time Life DVD)

Picture: B/C/C Sound: C+/C/C+ Extras: D/C-/C Main Programs: B-

PLEASE NOTE: The Drive-In Movie Memories DVD is now only available from our friends at Movie Zyng and can be ordered from the right-hand side sidebar or via the order button.

Here's a new set of classic comedy releases...

Boy, Did I Get A Wrong Number! (1966) is back, but this time on Blu-ray from Olive and as noted when we saw the DVD years ago, casts Hope opposite two unlikely female leads: sexy Elke Sommer (as an actress/model) and wacky comedienne Phyllis Diller (hamming it up as usual), who plays a telephone switchboard operator who mishears a phone conversation and the amusing idiot plot is hatched. Cesare Danova and Marjorie Lord also star in this decent A-list comedy from 1966 that makes for one of the better films Hope made later in his career. Even when its corny, its still amusing.

Clearer and cleaner, especially with the improved color range, the jokes that work work better, faster, while performances have more impact in general. Not a great comedy, but one worth a look, it might seem like a sitcom today, but some of the jokes (namely over Miss Sommer's sexiness) would have not been allowed on TV at the time. Now, that part seems really tame. I also like the cast and Hope is more in his element than usual, which does not hurt.

We were expected at least a trailer, but there are no extras here.

Drive-In Movie Memories (2001) is a very pleasant surprise. A fine program about the movie-going experience in the U.S., the rise of outdoor drive-in theaters, its culture, quirks, innovations (pizza was first introduced to millions at them back in the day) and how it helped the fun of B-movies, rise of independent film and even Hollywood survive the rise of television. Running about an hour, the show is crammed with great interviews, a ton of great clips, hilarious stories and a priceless history all serious film fans should know about.

I wanted to see this one just to see what they would come up with and how accurate they'd be, but the makers, fans and scholars (including Leonard Maltin) really hit the nail on the head over and over again. I hope at some point, we get a sequel and/or updated and expanded version, because this is that good.

Text info on the participants and a reel of general promo films promoting food and the drive-ins that played them are worth your time, especially if you've never seen any of them before.

The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson: Johnny & Friends featuring Jerry Seinfeld (1985 - 1988) offers three episodes with the King of Late Night showing off the up and coming talent who would eventually create a TV sitcom classic of his own. Though Carson's show was now only an hour-long format vs. 90 minutes, it was still impressive enough. The specifics of the three shows are as follows...

Show 1 (June 27, 1985) - Not only does this show feature an appearance by Jerry Seinfeld early in his career, but it also includes one of Johnny's most famous sketches by The Mighty Carson Art Players: "Mr. Rambo's Neighborhood" and a great interview with the irrepressible Shelley Winters. The King Singers are the musical guests.

Show 2 (February 21, 1986) - Seinfeld is joined by drag racer Shirley Muldowney (see the race she does against Carson), and that's not all, watch as the future "Queen of all Media" meets the "King of Late Night" during the first appearance of Oprah Winfrey on The Tonight Show.

Show 3 (June 9, 1988) - A star studded evening closes this DVD as Johnny's guests include Jerry Seinfeld, Arnold Schwarzenegger and an 18 year old Andre Agassi with a great story on the brink of becoming an all-time tennis legend.

This is supposed to be part of a larger planed collection and if the other discs are this good, we hope that rumor is correct.

Commercials are the only extra, but I again like them being there very much.

The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Number can show the age of the materials used, but this is superior to the previous DVD and really brings out the DeLuxe Color in a way the DVD never could hope to, even if it has some inconsistencies at times. Needless to say color is a highlight, part of the comedy and part of the fun of watching this one.

The 1.33 X 1 image on both DVD releases have some of the same softness and definition issues, though you would expect the Carson disc to look better, it cannot avoid analog videotape flaws including video noise, video banding, telecine flicker where applicable, tape scratching, some cross color, faded color and possibly tape damage. Memories has this more so, but not as badly as you might think.

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix on Number is a slight improvement over the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono from the older DVD we reviewed a while ago, but not enough to get a higher letter grade as the new clarity reveals new limits, so the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on the Carson episodes can compete, but the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on Memories comes form varied sources and was recorded in various location with audio inconsistency, so it is the poorest performer here, if not by much.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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