Herc’s Popular Pricing Pantry
The first two seasons of “Mr. Show” (starring Bob “Breaking Bad” Odenkirk, David “Arrested Development” Cross, Mary-Lynn “24” Rajskub, and Sarah “The Sarah Silverman Program” Silverman), $29.99 in 2008 and $14.49 last month, is now $6.40!! (74% Off!!)
New This Week
I contend there’s never been anybody funnier than Steve Martin, and Steve Martin: The Television Stuff could be the best $30 you spend this year.
DISC ONE INCLUDES:
* “On Location With Steve Martin,” an ancient and hilarious Home Box Office special taped Oct. 31, 1976 (exactly eight days after Martin’s first appearance on SNL), that captures Martin’s stand-up act in its late infancy.
* “A Wild And Crazy Guy,” an often Kovacs-y and wildly uneven 1978 NBC special featuring Strother Martin as a turtle ranch boss and Johnny Cash as an astronomer.
* “Comedy is not Pretty,” a super-wobbly 1980 affair co-written by Martin, future SNL icon Jack Handey, screenwriter Robert Garland (“The Electric Horseman,” “No Way Out,” “The Big Blue”), “Head of the Class” creator Michael Elias (“The Frisco Kid,” “The Jerk,” “Serial,” “Young Doctors in Love”) and “Home Improvement” creator Carmen Finestra. It features appearances by Paul Reubens and Regis Philbin.
DISC TWO INCLUDES:
* “All Commerials,” a fairly terrible 1980 enterprise written by Martin, Finestra, “Police Academy” co-creators Pat Proft (“The Star Wars Holiday Special,” “The Naked Gun,” “Real Genius”) and Neal Israel (“Americathon,” “Bachelor Party,” “The Brady Bunch in the White House”), Michael McManus (“Jane Austen’s Mafia”), longtime National Lampoon editor Sean Kelly, Martin’s old “Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” boss Mason Williams, comedian Denny Johnston, and longtime Bob Hope and Red Skelton writer Jeffrey Barron. It co-stars Proft, Paul Reubens, “Galactica” babe Anne Lockhart, Antonio Fargas, Louie Nye, Avery Schreiber and Julie (Mrs. Rick Dees) McWhirter – and features a real British wristwatch commercial starring John Cleese.
* “Best Show Ever,” easily the best of the non-concert Martin specials. Essentially a supercharged Nov. 25, 1981, primetime reunion episode of SNL, broadcast live from SNL’s Studio 8H, written by departed SNL writers Lorne Michaels, James Downey, Al Franken, Tom Davis, Tom Gammill, Max Pross and Alan Zweibel, and starring departed SNL cast members Bill Murray, Laraine Newman, Franken, Davis, Downey, Paul Shaffer and Dan Aykroyd (playing departed SNL characters like Irwin Mainway and Georg Festrunk) and produced by departed SNL mastermind Lorne Michaels (who was only 18 months into his five-year hiatus from producing the real SNL). The highlight is a parody of David Lynch’s 1980 sensation “The Elephant Man,” featuring Martin as a vain, conceited John Merrick; Bill Murray is a blast as the Spangleresque carnival owner. John Belushi’s fleeting appearance as female Czechoslovakian artist Zhelezna Postruk (an associate of the Brothers Festrunk) was his last screen role ever, performed less than four months before his death in Los Angeles.
* 1984’s “Homage To Steve” begins with seven minutes of comedy perfection, the indispensable, Oscar-nominated, Martin-scripted 1977 short “The Absent-Minded Waiter,” co-starring Martin, Teri Garr and Buck Henry. It’s followed by a masterful bit co-starring David Letterman, Paul Simon, Alan King and Henny Youngman before we get to the meat of the special: Martin’s Sept. 29, 1979 performance at the Universal Amphitheater. It turns out the size of his venues grew enormously, but the act itself didn’t change a ton in the three years since the HBO special. (Interesting that he used to impersonate someone dying from speaking French before he merely described such a tragedy. Equally interesting that Henry Winkler – The Fonz! – appears near the end of both the 1976 and 1979 performances.) I’m pretty sure I paid $30 for just the “Homage To Steve” on laserdisc a decade or two ago!
The third and final disc contains 16 short excerpts comprising about an hour and 11 minutes (featuring optional introductions from Martin):
Steve’s Lifetime Achievement Acceptance Speech The American Comedy Awards (2000) Martin admits he accepted this bullshit award because he couldn’t afford a Golden Globe. Goldie Hawn, who presented the award, literally doubles over onstage.
Steve Plays the Banjo in his 1st Television appearance – Dusty’s Attic (1966) Martin also does some lame gags as a character named “Tex.”
Music Video: “What I Believe” from The Steve Martin Brothers Album (1981) A monologue is recited as lots of funny and unexpected sight gags unfurl.
Music Video: “Freddie’s Lilt” from The Steve Martin Brothers Album (1981) is a series of sight gags and rope tricks filmed on an Old West backlot and set to a banjo instrumental.
Las Vegas Act Parody The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson (9/19/74) Martin was on Tonight previously but credits this particular appearance with “breaking the ice” for him nationally. (Worth looking at just for a glimpse of Carson’s insane sports jacket, and Sammy Davis Jr.’s pre-commercial lunge for some cigarettes lying on Johnny’s desk.)
Jean-Pierre Louey: The French Johnny Cash The Johnny Cash Christmas Special (1978) Cash and Martin have appeared a lot together over the years because they shared the same agent. I laughed hard at the eraser gag.
Steve Martin’s Holiday Wishes Saturday Night Live (12/6/86) This monologue is genius. Rosanna Arquette is name-checked.
Ode to a Loved One Saturday Night Live (5/20/89)
Steve’s Penis Beauty Créme Saturday Night Live (9/24/94) If Chris Elliott was ever a part of this sketch, he does not appear in the version on this set.
Steve’s Tribute to Gene Kelly AFI Lifetime Achievement: A Tribute To Gene Kelly (1985) Steve claims to have been closer to Kelly than anyone else in the rather large room. Jimmy Stewart is seen applauding with delight.
Best Actor In A Comedy Acceptance Speech The People’s Choice Awards (1992) It comes with a swell gag about where Martin keeps his trophies.
The Great Flydini The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson (5/6/92) This wordless routine about an enormously versatile crotch was revived for Carson’s final week hosting Tonight.
Steve’s Paul Simon Tribute The Kennedy Center Honors (2002) Steve takes credit for his contributions to Simon’s songs. (This features a startling shot of a 10-years-younger not-yet-governor Mitt Romney applauding!)
The Making of The Steve Martin Appearance The Late Show With David Letterman (12/1/95) Much ado about Steve and Dave’s duplicity. (Pity nothing is included from Martin’s Late Night appearances with Letterman, particularly a hilarious bit about fragile antiquities.)
Dave & Steve’s Gay Vacation The Late Show With David Letterman (10/2/98) Genius ending for this one.
Steve’s Acceptance Speech The Mark Twain Prize For American Humor (2005) Steve brings a very well-received Mark Twain joke.
All three discs contain several minutes of “Comments From Steve” recorded for this set. (Learn “The Absent Minded Waiter” was originally written by Martin for “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.” Learn also that “The Jerk,” which made a mint for Universal, was actually developed at Paramount.)
Another favorite of mine is writer and longtime David Letterman sidekick Chris Elliott, whose Fox TV series “Get A Life” has earned him, to quote the copy on the new DVD packaging, “a rabid and disturbing following.”
The great writer-director Charlie Kaufman (“Being John Malkovich,” “Adaptation,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Synecdoche, New York”) was a writer on “Get A Life” and appears in one of this set’s many new extras, a Paleyfest panel saluting the series.
Also of great interest is a 2012 featurette offering contributions by filmmakers Judd Apatow and James L. Brooks.
GET A LIFE: THE COMPLETE SERIES
STARRING CHRIS ELLIOTT
TO BE RELEASED BY SHOUT! FACTORY
FINALLY, ALL 35 UNCUT EPISODES OF THE ULTIMATE ANTI-SITCOM IN A FIVE-DVD SET!
IN STORES SEPTEMBER 18
Los Angeles, CA - Get A Life, starring Chris Elliott as America's most lovable psycho, will finally be made available in its entirety on DVD when Shout! Factory releases Get A Life: The Complete Series on September 18! All 35 episodes of the show are included in the 5-Disc set along with an essay written by Tom Shales and bonus features with the cast and crew, including interviews, audio commentary, a Paley Center panel from 2000, deleted scenes and alternate versions of select episodes without the laugh track.
Get A Life: The Complete Series is based on the surreal, twisted, gratuitously violent, hilarious misadventures of Chris Peterson -- a 30-year-old paper boy with an ever decreasing grasp on reality. Starring Chris Elliott (Eagleheart), Executive Produced by David Mirkin (The Simpsons) and created by Chris Elliott, Adam Resnick and David Mirkin, Get A Life has earned a rabid and disturbing cult following. Costarring Bob Elliott, Robin Riker, Elinor Donahue, Sam Robards and Brian Doyle-Murray, the show aired on Fox from 1990 - 1992.
Get A Life blazed new trails in television with its absurd plotlines and offbeat humor, following Chris Peterson as he lives above his parents garage (with Chris Elliott's own father playing Chris Peterson's father), and engages in activities like enrolling in the Handsome Boy Modeling School, getting stuck upside down for hours on the Hell Loop 2000, JOINING A STREET gang, befriending a FOUL, SPEWING alien, becoming a male escort, FIGHTING the homicidal killing machine that is the unnecessarily huge 17-Ton Paperboy 2000, using time travel to keep his friend Gus from peeing on his police captain, and VIOLENTLY dying in MANY episodes.
Get A Life was a brilliantly designed anti-sitcom, its ingenious and disturbing comedy influencing many of those that would follow. As Tom Shales writes in the essay accompanying Get A Life: The Complete Series, "...Get A Life wears the 'cult classic' badge with honor, with pride and, shall we say -- as the hero of the show might say in his predictably pretentious way -- with a certain air of absolute uncertainty." Get A Life, Shales concludes,was "a laugh-your-bleep-bleep ass off show -- one impeded by as few commercial compromises and patronizing precedents as possible.... Get A Lifeinfluenced far, far more comedy than it was influenced by."
Shout! Factory is a diversified entertainment company devoted to producing, uncovering and revitalizing the very best of pop culture - The Stuff You Grew Up On But Never Outgrew. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their careers sharing their music, television and film faves with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory's DVD offerings serve up classic, contemporary and cult TV series, riveting sports programs, live music, animation and documentaries in lavish packages crammed with extras. The company's audio catalogue boasts Grammy(r)-nominated boxed sets, new releases from storied artists and lovingly assembled album reissues. These riches are the result of a creative acquisitions mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. For more on Shout! Factory, visit www.shoutfactory.com.
A Conversation With Executive Producer/Co-Creator David Mirkin And Writer/Producers Jace Richdale And Steve Pepoon
Paleyfest 2000! Featuring David Mirkin, Elinor Donahue, Brian Doyle-Murray, Robin Riker, Charlie Kaufman, Bob Odenkirk, Steve Pepoon And Jace Richdale
Alternate Audio Version Without Laugh Track On Select Episodes
Program Running Time: +/- 14 hours
Aaahh!!! Real Monsters 3.x
Absolutely Fabulous: 20th Anniversary Specials
The Big Bang Theory 5.x
The Big Bang Theory 5.x (Blu-ray)
Blue Bloods 2.x
Cagney & Lacey: The Menopause Years
Doctor Who: Planet of Giants
Doctor Who: Vengeance of Varos
Goosebumps: One Day At Horrorland/Go Eat Worms!
Hammer House of Horror: The Complete Series
Power Rangers Samurai: Monster Bash Halloween Special
Private Practice 5.x
Spartacus 2.x (Blu-ray)
Terra Nova: The Complete Series
American Horror Story 1.x
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part I <--- NEW!!
Charlie's Angels: The Complete Five-Season Series
The Crimson Petal And The White: The Complete Miniseries <--- NEW!!
CSI 12-Season Pack
CSI Miami 10.x
CSI NY 8.x
Desperate Housewives 8.x
Desperate Housewives: The Complete Series
Elvira's Movie Macabre: Bloody Madness
Family Guy Vol. 10
G.I. Joe Renegades 1.x (Blu-ray)
G.I. Joe Renegades 1.x Vol. 2
Gossip Girl 5.x
Iron Man: Armored Adventures 2.x Vol. 2
Key & Peele 1.x
Key & Peele 1.x (Blu-ray)
Lawless Years: The Complete Series
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 13.x
Midsomer Murders: Mayhem & Mystery Files <--- NEW!!
Special Branch Vol. 1 <--- NEW!!
The Thick Of It 1.x-3.x
Touched By An Angel 6.x
Van Dyke and Company: The Complete Series
The Abbott and Costello Show 1.x
Adventure Time: Jake Vs. Me-Mow
Alvin And The Chipmunks: Christmas With The Chipmunks
Batman Supervillains: Catwoman
Batman Supervillains: Killer Croc
Big John, Little John: The Complete Series
Downton Abbey 1.x/2.x
The Six Million Dollar Man 2.x
Thundercats 1.x Vol. 3
Transformers Rescue Bots: Roll to the Rescue
VR Troopers 1.x Vol. 1
Care Bears: The Original Series Collection
Combat: 20 Episodes
Doctor Who: Ambassadors of Death
Happiness Is Peanuts
Holliston 1.x (Blu-ray)
It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia 7.x
Alcatraz: The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
Batman Super Villains: The Joker’s Last Laugh
Big Bad Beetleborgs 1.x Vol.1
Broadway: The American Musical (Blu-ray) <--- NEW!!
Chappelle's Show: The Series Collection
Columbo: The Complete Series
DeGrassi 11.x Vol. 2
The Firm: The Complete Series
Flashpoint 4-Season Set
Gunsmoke 6.x Vol. 2
Gunsmoke 6-Season Pack
The Ice House: The Complete Miniseries
Last of the Summer Wine: Vintage 1995-Reserve
The Office: Secret Santa Pack
Pound Puppies: Super Secret Pup Club
Power Rangers Super Samurai: Christmas Together, Friends Forever
The Red Green Show: The Complete Series
Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales
The Fugitive: The Complete Series
Law & Order: Criminal Intent 8.x
Lost Girl 1.x
Lost Girl 1.x (Blu-ray)
Meet The Browns 7.x
Perry Mason 7.x Vol. 2
Perry Mason 7-Season Pack
Sanctuary: The Complete Series
Star Wars: The Clone Wars 4.x
Copper 1.x (Blu-ray)
Metalocalypse 4.x (Blu-ray)
My Favorite Martian 3.x
The Streets of San Francisco 5.x
Alvin And The Chipmunks: Christmas With The Chipmunks (Blu-ray)
Call The Midwife 1.x
H2O Just Add Water: The Complete Series
Law & Order 11.x
The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams 1.x
Porky & Friends
Regular Show: Best DVD
Sesame Street: Old School Vol. 3
SpongeBob Christmas! (Blu-ray)
Wolf Lake: The Complete Series
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?: The Complete Series
SpongeBob SquarePants 4.x
SpongeBob SquarePants 5.x
SpongeBob SquarePants 6.x
Ancient Aliens 4.x
Ancient Aliens 4.x (Blu-ray)
Diff'rent Strokes 4.x
The Dust Bowl: The Complete Miniseries
The Dust Bowl: The Complete Miniseries (Blu-ray)
Game of Thrones 1.x Collector's Edition (Blu-ray)
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 1.x Vol. 2
Transformers Prime 2.x
Hot In Cleveland 3.x
Luck 1.x (Blu-ray)
Perry Mason 8.x Vol. 1
Transformers Prime 2.x (Blu-ray)
Angry Boys: The Complete Series <--- NEW!!
Hazel 4.x <--- NEW!!
UltraSeven: The Complete Series
Downton Abbey 3.x <--- NEW!!
Downton Abbey 3.x (Blu-ray) <--- NEW!!