Search

moviemavenspeaks

It's a dirty job but someone has to view 'em!

Tag

Steve Carell

More Than a Tennis Match – BATTLE OF THE SEXES Serves on Bluray

 

 

Battle of the Sexes Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray, DVD and Digital from directors Valerie Faris, Jonathan Dayton and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is the BATTLE OF THE SEXES.

This film tells the story of two tennis players in 1973 – Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) who is frustrated by the treatment in pay of women players and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) who is frustrated by life!

When King discovers that women players are still being overlooked when it comes to the tournament winnings, she confronts Jack Kramer (Bill Pullman). Kramer tells her that people want to pay to see men play more than they do women which enrages King to the point of a mutiny.

Deciding to break away, she recruits other women players to start their own tournaments and find companies willing to make the winnings worth while. That means more time away from home as husband Larry (Austin Stowell) cheers on her career. Riggs is watching all of this with interest much to the irritation of his wife Pricilla (Elisabeth Shue) who wants him to forget the court life.

battle 2

Stopping before a tournament in San Diego, King meets Marilyn (Andrea Riseborough) and finds herself drawn to her. Dealing with her feelings of betraying her marriage and who she truly is comes with a price for King. Someone who notices is teammate Margaret Court (Jessica McNamee) who predicts doom.

Riggs decides he wants back in to the tennis life and comes up with the idea to take on the top women’s tennis player in a battle for court superiority. Thinking it is King he will be playing, it quickly becomes clear that Court is woman he will play. The media turns the match into a frenzy that hits women players the hardest at its end.

Not to take it, King agrees to play Riggs next and another frenzy begins both on and off the court. Riggs marital life has hit an all time low and King’s husband realizes that their life together is fracturing.

Neither one of them is going to let anything stop what is to come for game, set and match!

Stone as King is actually quite stunning in this role. She totally made me forget that she wasn’t King and I don’t mean just in the haircut and glasses. During this era it was clear that the majority believed a woman’s place was in the kitchen (a saying used many times by Riggs) and Stone plays this duality with strength and grace.

battle 1

Carell as Riggs is just crazy with his ability to rev up a crowd. We are use to seeing Carell in roles that are quiet, contemplative or hilarious but never as a man who couldn’t stop himself from grabbing attention any way he could. He also gives an uncanny performance that brings Riggs front and center but also reminds us of how far we’ve come from such a display.

Riseborough as Marilyn clearly lives her life as openly as one could in the early 70’s and wants King to do the same. When she meets Larry in the hallway scene I can honestly say my jaw dropped not knowing what was to happen next. Shue as Pricilla thought she had tamed her wild tennis player/gambler/womanizer but clearly the caged animal escaped. It was good to see Shue in the film.

Other cast include Wallace Langham as Henry, Ashley Weinhold as Kristy Pigeon, Mickey Summer as Valerie Ziegenfuss, Fidan Manashirova as Judy Tegart Dalton, Martha MacIsaac as Peaches, Natalie Morales as Rosie Casals, Sarah Silverman as Gladys Heldman and Alan Cumming as Ted Tinling.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment brings award-winning global product and new entertainment to DVD, Bluray, and Digital HD. There amazing collection offers fans an opportunity to expand their own home libraries with the best films. To discover what other titles they have please visit www.fox.com.

BATTLE OF THE SEXES brings fantastic performances by Stone and Carell who carry this film from beginning to end. Yes this is about a tennis match watched around the world but more importantly it is a closer look at the lives of these two amazing tennis players.

battle 3

King’s life began to change in so many different ways because she decided to stand up for herself. Knowing that her work & sport was not being valued, I wonder if she knew that it would also change her personal life as well. What an time to be living a double life and Stone’s performance gave us that look.

Riggs was just a man wanting to find a place for himself when the world his wife created for him just didn’t fit. Taking the chance of putting himself as the loud-mouthed bad guy in the early 70s, it worked and allowed him to find his own life. Carell brought all of that out and showed us the insecurities as well.

This is a story that needed to be told and directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton dared to take it on. A story that delves into the lives of sports figures could be touch and go but the two directors gave it humor, tension and a peek at the world in the 1970’s and not just in sports.

In the end – he made a bet and she made history!

Advertisements

DESPICABLE ME 3 Expands the Family Fun on Bluray!

despic 3

Jeri Jacquin

Get the family together because they family is back on Bluray & DVD from directors Eric Guillon, Kyle Balda and Pierre Cofflin along with Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment with DESPICABLE ME 3.

Gru (Steve Carell) and Lucy (Kristen Wiig) are on their next mission for the Anti-Villain League going after Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker), a once child star who took his role into adulthood. With his keytair and 80’s dance moves, Bratt gets away with a diamond as large as his head!

Returning to the AVL headquarters, Silas Ramsbottom (Steve Coogan) announces that he will be stepping down. Taking his job is Valerie Da Vinci (Jenny Slate) and her first move is to fire Gru. Lucy threatens to walk if she follows through with the firing and now both are out of a job. The Minions aren’t happy when Gru refuses to return to villainy and stage a walk out.

Going home to explain it all to Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and Agnes (Nev Scharrel), the parents assure the girls it will all work out. That’s when a stranger shows up and announces that Gru has a twin brother names Dru (also voiced by Steve Carell). Not believing it Gru forces his Mom (Julie Andrews) and he learns the truth about his family.

des 1

Packing the family up, they fly to Dru’s luxurious estate and Gru learns more about who his father was. He also learns that Dru wants to be villainous and it’s Gru’s chance to capture Bratt while Lucy works on her Mom-skills. Bratt isn’t about to make anything easy as he has plans for tinsel town.

In their efforts to strengthen their family, Gru, Lucy and Dru along with the girls learn that love of family is amazing and there is no bad guy big enough to break them apart!

Recently at CinemaCon, Steve Carell spoke about his iconic work as Gru saying the DESPICABLE ME franchise is filled with “characters that are funny for adults as well as kids and that’s what has made it all successful”. How did the voice of Gru come to be? Carell says, “I tried voices on my daughter and when I did the voice of Gru they told me that was the one. Gru’s voice was like I flew over Eastern Europe and Dru’s voice had to be different. It had to be very fun, free and giddy in a way”.

Wiig as Lucy is trying her best to be a good Mom and it takes being herself to let everyone know that no one messes with Mama Bear! I just think the character of Lucy is crazy cool. Cosgrove, Gaier and Scharrel as Margo, Edith and Agnes are just girls growing up in a different household that is filled with unexpected adventure and they roll with it.

Parker as Bratt had me cracking up! His shoulder pads, keytar and dance moves along with a balding mullet and bubblegum means he isn’t about to let Gru, Dru, Lucy or anyone else stop him from a little Hollywood payback.

des 3

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has just added an amazing film to their library and making it available for us all to experience and re-experience in our own home theatres. There are films of every genre available from scary to drama to family films. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.uphe.com.

The Bluray & DVD also includes the Bonus Features Deleted Scenes, Minion Moments, Character Profiles, The Making of Despicable Me 3, Developing Dru, The AVL Files, Freedonia Visitors Guide, Despicable Me TV, “Doowit” Sing-Along, “Yellow Light” Music Video and the All New Mini Movie: The Secret Life of Kyle.

DESPICABLE ME 3 is going to give families over and over again everything they have come to love about Gru, the girls and even the minions. This may not be the average family but it sure is one filled with love, excitement, understanding and fun. One would have thought that completed the family.

des 2

Of course not, Illumination expands their family with Dru and a unicorn, well of sorts, which means a double dose of excitement. There are the usual jokes with the minions trying to be jail house rockers but they know where they truly belong. The animation is strong, vibrant and has such creativity that I am always surprised yet not surprised.

Gru and Dru have found one another which means Lucy and the girls have their hands full. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing but if Illumination wants one more story line I have a few ideas that I wouldn’t mind sharing!

So gather up your own minions, fill up the popcorn bowl and cuddle on the sofa with holiday family fun of the family kind with DESPICABLE ME 3.

In the end – ohhhhhhhh brother it’s good to be bad!

Three Men Come Together Again for the LAST FLAG FLYING

last poster

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from writer/director Richard Linklater and Amazon Studios is a journey bringing the past and the present today for the LAST FLAG FLYING.

It is 2003 and Larry Shepherd (Steve Carell) walks into the bar of Sal Nealon (Bryan Cranston) who at first doesn’t recognize him. Eventually Sal realize he is talking to Doc, a man he served with during the Vietnam War they are both happy to see one another. After a night of drinking, he asks Sal to join him on a little adventure.

That leads both men to the doorstep of a church where Rev. Mueller (Laurence Fishburne) much to the amusement of Sal. When the three have dinner with the Reverend and his wife, Doc asks the two men if he will go with him to retrieve the coffin of his son who was recently killed in Iraq.

last 1

Absolutely stunned, the two men agree and on their trip the discussion of what happened to the three of them in Vietnam is hinted at. Arriving at Dover Air Force Base, Doc learns from Larry’s buddy Washington (J. Quinton Johnson) how his son died. That changes everything as Doc decides to take his son home for burial much to the aggravation of Col. Wilits (Yul Vazquez).

It is on the train ride home that Sal and Mueller talk about what happened in Vietnam, Doc keeps himself together and Washington escorts Larry home. The thirty years between Vietnam and Iraq brings about conversations that needed to be had and closure to souls wounded by it all.

Some friendships go on forever.

Carell as Doc is absolutely stunning and that’s the only word for it. There isn’t a lot of dialogue for his character but then again I wouldn’t expect there to be. Every emotion that pours out of Carell is heartbreaking and endearing in different ways. As a man who has lost a son, it isn’t the only thing he has lost in his life. There doesn’t seem to be a resentful bone in his body and even when he shows a moment of anger, it is justified.

last 3

Fishburne as Mueller is a Reverend who has embraced a different life. Once a wild Marine, he is now a settled man with a wife who holds him true to the collar he wears. There are moments where Fishburne completely lets loose and it sends the audience into fits of laughter. When he embraces his faith, he reaches out to Doc and shakes his head at Sal.

Cranston as Sal is completely out of control! He doesn’t like it when people play games, believes in shooting straight from the hip and doesn’t give a damn if he drinks from dusk till – well dusk again. Thrilled to be with his Vietnam buddy Doc, he is shocked to discover the life that Mueller chose after their time in war. He calls everything out, embraces the insanity of life and finds that he has been missing out once he gets his hands on a cell phone. As Carell is the emotion of the film and Fishburne is the spiritual guide, Cranston is all the chaos with no filter in between the two men and he rocks it from start to finish.

Johnson as Washington is a young soldier that is trying to do what is right both as Larry’s best friend and as a Marine. He gets to know Doc, Mueller and Sal which helps him understand so much more about being a soldier. Vazquez as Wilits is a man on his own mission who clearly doesn’t understand what being a parent is all about.

Other cast include Deanna Reed-Foster as Ruth, Graham Wolfe as John Redman, Jeff Monahan as O’Toole, Richard Robichaux as Anorak and an appearance by the wonderful Cicely Tyson.

last 2

LAST FLAG FLYING is an emotional roller coaster and I am not kidding. One minute the audience is laughing so hard they are crying to the next minute of crying so hard they can’t breathe. These three actors are so different yet in this film are perfection with the story they are telling.

The heartbreak that the character of Doc experiences can never be understood and I don’t think I could even try but that doesn’t stop us all of embracing every bit of his love, anger and laughter. Asking two men he hasn’t seen in 30 years to join him doesn’t require an explanation because I personally feel that all is revealed as it should be in the film.

One of the two best scenes of the film is when they are all in the back train car and the laughter is strangely contagious with Carell’s Doc having a laughing fit that had me in tears. The second is the scene as Sal convinces Mueller and Doc that it’s time to come to terms make that one event in Vietnam and make it right.

Of course I’m not being specific because the entire film is an experience that drains every emotion and I gave every bit of that willingly. LAST FLAG FLYING reminds us that war, no matter how many years in between changes young men that eventually become older men with regrets.

These three actors couldn’t have performed any better if they tried and LAST FLAG FLYING is beautifully told and excels in every way.

In the end – their last mission wasn’t on the battlefield.

DESPICABLE ME 3 Expands the Family Fun!

Des

 

Jeri Jacquin

Get the family together because coming to theatres this Friday from directors Eric Guillon, Kyle Balda and Pierre Cofflin along with Illumination Entertainment is DESPICABLE ME 3.

Gru (Steve Carell) and Lucy (Kristen Wiig) are on their next mission for the Anti-Villain League going after Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker), a once child star who took his role into adulthood. With his keytair and 80’s dance moves, Bratt gets away with a diamond as large as his head!

Returning to the AVL headquarters, Silas Ramsbottom (Steve Coogan) announces that he will be stepping down. Taking his job is Valerie Da Vinci (Jenny Slate) and her first move is to fire Gru. Lucy threatens to walk if she follows through with the firing and now both are out of a job. The Minions aren’t happy when Gru refuses to return to villainy and stage a walk out.

des 1

Going home to explain it all to Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and Agnes (Nev Scharrel), the parents assure the girls it will all work out. That’s when a stranger shows up and announces that Gru has a twin brother names Dru (also voiced by Steve Carell). Not believing it Gru forces his Mom (Julie Andrews) and he learns the truth about his family.

Packing the family up, they fly to Dru’s luxurious estate and Gru learns more about who his father was. He also learns that Dru wants to be villainous and it’s Gru’s chance to capture Bratt while Lucy works on her Mom-skills. Bratt isn’t about to make anything easy as he has plans for tinsel town.

In their efforts to strengthen their family, Gru, Lucy and Dru along with the girls learn that love of family is amazing and there is no bad guy big enough to break them apart!

Recently at CinemaCon, Steve Carell spoke about his iconic work as Gru saying the DESPICABLE ME franchise is filled with “characters that are funny for adults as well as kids and that’s what has made it all successful”. How did the voice of Gru come to be? Carell says, “I tried voices on my daughter and when I did the voice of Gru they told me that was the one. Gru’s voice was like I flew over Eastern Europe and Dru’s voice had to be different. It had to be very fun, free and giddy in a way”.

des 3

Wiig as Lucy is trying her best to be a good Mom and it takes being herself to let everyone know that no one messes with Mama Bear! I just think the character of Lucy is crazy cool. Cosgrove, Gaier and Scharrel as Margo, Edith and Agnes are just girls growing up in a different household that is filled with unexpected adventure and they roll with it.

Parker as Bratt had me cracking up! His shoulder pads, keytar and dance moves along with a balding mullet and bubblegum means he isn’t about to let Gru, Dru, Lucy or anyone else stop him from a little Hollywood payback.

DESPICABLE ME 3 is going to give families everything they have come to love about Gru, the girls and even the minions. This may not be the average family but it sure is one filled with love, excitement, understanding and fun. One would have thought that completed the family.

des 2

Of course not, Illumination expands their family with Dru and a unicorn, well of sorts, which means a double dose of excitement. There are the usual jokes with the minions trying to be jail house rockers but they know where they truly belong. The animation is strong, vibrant and has such creativity that I am always surprised yet not surprised.

Gru and Dru have found one another which means Lucy and the girls have their hands full. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing but if Illumination wants one more story line I have a few ideas that I wouldn’t mind sharing!

So gather up your own minions and head to the theatres to begin your summer with family fun of a different kind with DESPICABLE ME 3.

In the end – ohhhhhhhh brother it’s good to be bad!

THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW bring the Lost Episodes and a Chat with the Hilarious Ms. Vicky Lawrence

carol cover

 

Jeri Jacquin

On DVD from the ever awesome Time Life is a fantastic and funny collection of a time when comedy was everything with THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW:  The Lost Episodes.

During the late 1960’s, CBS was The Carol Burnett Show (making jokes about the lettering) network giving the show great popularity and bring huge ratings. Want to know a secret? In the technology age you would think the first five seasons of the show would be readily available? Not so! They couldn’t be found on reruns, streaming, DVD’s or anywhere else.

But Carol Burnett and Time Life have changed all that with The Lost Episodes of the show. Finally crazy moments can be shared in what are now known as the ground breaking years of the show.

carol and vicky 2

This 7-DVD set features 15 uncut episodes that you have to see to believe (and get your funny bone ready for some exercise in laughter) that are the originally aired episodes. Some of the moments include The Old Folks, The Ham Actors, Carol and Sis, Alice Portnoy and my all time personal favorite As the Stomach Turns.

Carol and friends loved doing television and movie parodies including Valley of the Dollars, Bony and Clod and Guess What’s Coming to Dinner. They also did a Salute to Warner Bros. Studios with Bugs Bunny in the every clever Mildred Fierce.

The guest appearing on the show are what always captivated me and the list of names are like the stars in the sky, almost endless with Jonathan Winters, Joan Rivers, Sonny & Cher, Paul Lynde, Art Carney, Betty Brable, Mickey Rooney and a host of others along with surprise appearances by Ronald Reagan and Bob Hope!

There is also over six hours of bonus features and interviews with Julie Andrews, Tony Bennett, Steve Carell, Kristin Chenoweth, Tina Fey and Burt Reynolds (oh that laugh of his!).

If this isn’t enough, how about bonus sketches, Featurettes of The Song and Dance: Crooners, Hoofers & Balladeers; Expecting the Unexpected; and The Making of a Mackie. The never-before-seen outtakes had my sides aching trying to catch my breath from laughing so be prepared for that! It’s over one thousand one hundred and seventy nine minutes of outrageous fun that you don’t want to miss.

carol and vicky

Now, to tempt you further, how about a chat with the one and only Ms. Vicky Lawrence? Well, here it is in all its glory and let me just say that occasionally I do a quasi-controlled-geek-out when speaking to certain people and this fine lady definitely wins hands down.

Good morning Vicky.

Good morning Jeri, how are you?

I’m fine but I have to tell you I’m about to have a geek out moment and I apologize in advance. I am so thrilled to be talking to you right now I can hardly stand it! How are you?

I’m fine thanks <laughing>

I’m letting you know that the word has spread that I’m talking to you today so if you ever wondered if you have a huge fan base in San Diego I’m telling you right now the answer is yes. Absolutely yes!

That’s wonderful.

I have been watching your forever and I’m sure you get this question to the point of madness but I’d really love to know the full story of how you met Carol Burnett. Can you share that?

I should bring my show down to San Diego. It is the first story I tell because a lot of people know I wrote a fan letter and there was a contest involved but many don’t know the details. I feel like it’s always the story I tell over and over. Everybody said I looked like her when I was a freshman in high school and in my senior year I entered a contest called Miss Fireball. The newspaper gal put in the paper that I looked like Carol Burnett. My Mom said ‘you know you should write her a fan letter’ because I was a big fan letter writer when I was a kid. Of course they were always to every cute young guy that was on television then. I had their autographs on their wall from Clint Eastwood to Johnny Walker to Fabian to Bobby Rydell and Paul Peterson – all these young guys I was in love with. I honestly, looking back, I had only seen her do Once Upon a Mattress on television and she was doing a show at the time called The Entertainer with Bob Newhart. John Davidson was a young singer on the show then and I kind of had a crush.

Oh stop it – the hair was sexy amazing!

I know! So I did write her a letter and saying ‘I hope to meet one day because everyone says I look like you’ and I enclosed the article from the newspaper with a picture. The letter actually managed to hit her desk the day of the Miss Fireball contest. She got my Dad’s name out of the article, looked up our number and managed to call me to arrange for her to come and see the contest at Hollywood Park. That’s weird because Hollywood Park isn’t even there anymore. It’s hard for me to reference it because it’s going to be the Rams stadium at some point. That’s where I lived and learned how to drive in that parking lot. So Carol came out to the racetrack and her husband said ‘what is she – a jockey?’ <as a side note – I’m cracking up> She had two seats in the back asking that no one announce her but of course once they discovered Carol Burnett was in the stands I thought ‘well there goes my whole career’. I won the contest and we took this picture and Carol is writing a new book and she wants me to find the picture. It’s of her crowning me and I’m in my little outfit and she’s pregnant and huge with a turban on handing me my prize with the mayor next to us and that’s the picture that ended up in the paper. She sort of disappeared and it was my senior year of high school. So I’m going right along and its January when my Mom says they announced on the radio that Carol had her baby and she was in the hospital in Santa Monica. I was on my way to a recording session where I sang then with The Young Americans and I said to my ride let’s stop at the hospital on the way and I’ll run in and say hi. He said ‘you can’t run in and see Carol Burnett!’ I said I knew her married name and was going to give it a try.

Oh my!

So we went to the hospital and I got some flowers, went up to the maternity ward where there was nothing going on and two nurses sitting there all quiet. As quietly as I could I said to them, “I’m here to see Mrs. Hamilton” and they burst out saying ‘oh my gosh you must be her sister Chrissie, wait till you see her and the baby!” and they took me right into her room. Yea, I mean in hindsight I suppose I would have been considered a stalker because I certainly wouldn’t have gotten away with it now. You would certainly get arrested <we are both cracking up now>

That is one heck of a stunt!

Yes, and she told me she hadn’t forgotten about me and it was like the end of my senior year in June when I got a call from CBS wanting me to come down. They wanted to know if I’d be interested in auditioning to play her little sister in a show she was doing called The Carol Burnett Show. It was kind of traumatic at the time because I had to bow out of The Young Americans summer tour. The director sat me down and said listen to me, if the audition doesn’t happen you are not coming back in the middle of the tour, you are just not. Back then it was a major decision to make and I rolled the dice and did the audition.

carol 1

The first time I saw the show I honestly believed you were sisters.

I think that’s why she thought it would be a novelty to have someone who looked like her.

What was that experience like to be working with the woman who crowned you?

It was a whirlwind! I started at my Dad’s alma mater which was UCLA and it would have broken his heart if I didn’t go. So I started and the deal was that I could go to college as long as I was on set by 11 a.m. every day. I took every class you could take at 7 or 8 a.m. then it was off to the studio. It was like going to the Harvard School of Comedy in front of American with all these amazing tutors. Saturday nights when the show would air it was like tutoring for me. I would watch it with my hand over my face peeking through my fingers. I was such a little geek. Harvey said in the beginning ‘forget stage right and stage left, you couldn’t even find the toilet’ so I think being the team player that he was, he went about training me to be a comedian.

They sent me THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW: The Lost Episodes and I feel like they weren’t lost, they were just waiting for the perfect time to come out and play once again. It reminds us of what good television and hilarious comedy really is.

It’s a television history lesson to watch those first episodes. It is watching the genesis and how it grew into The Carol Burnett Show. I wasn’t in a lot of those episodes because I was only contracted to play her sister then. A lot of the stuff is new to me and I hadn’t seen it. It has taken Carol all these years to negotiate the right to release these episodes and it’s finally happened.

You worked with some amazing people and you were so young at the time, did you take it all in then?

I don’t think I appreciated who they really were. I was such a little geek. I was more concerned with dating all the ushers and dancers then, they were all so adorable. I was too young to know where I was. I told Carol the question I get all the time is ‘did you guys know what you were doing or know that it was going to last so long’ and she said you don’t think about it while you are doing it. You think about the paycheck and doing a good job each week. If it’s horrible you want to do better the next week. When she’s asked if she knew she was a pioneer for women she says ‘no, I was trying to do a good job being funny!’ She was told that a woman couldn’t do this, that a woman couldn’t do a variety show. She felt under the gun in that respect.

carol 2

I understand that completely because my father never understood why I wanted to watch The Carol Burnett Show. He honestly didn’t understand how a woman would get her own show. Actually in order to watch the show and see all of you I had to do specific chores to earn time. I hung clothes outside to dry and did yard work.

Wow, that is really something yet that sentiment for women in television at that time existed. The thing is too back in those days there were only three networks. When I did my talk show in the early 90’s my daughter was going off to Stanford for college. During the summer she did an internship on my talk show. Everyday she would watch me go out and warm up the audience myself because Carol always said to do the Q&A and talk to the audience. She said it was an amazing way to feel comfortable around the people you are about to entertain. Everyday I was asked about how it all got started and every day she would listen to it again and again. One night after taping my daughter said, ‘Mom can I ask you a question”, I said sure. She said, “The Carol Burnett Show was really big huh?” because she was born at the very end of The Carol Burnett Show. I told her it was big. She said, “Everybody in the country watched it right?” and I said, “Well yes”. Her reply was, “You guys were part of television history weren’t you”, and I replied again, “Well, yes”. She said, “I missed it huh?”

Oh wow, that is actually pretty darn cool. That’s what is amazing about technology now though as much as it might drive us crazy. One of the good things is being able to obtain the DVDs and get to go back to that feel good laughable time. To see what brought joy and made people laugh. That’s what you’ve done for us and here’s my chance and probably my only chance ever to say thank you Ms. Lawrence, thank you for making me laugh then and for you and Carol making me laugh again now.

Oh my gosh, that’s wonderful of you to say and it’s kind of cool. You know, when I started my one woman show we assumed my audience would be the people that were now older and watched the show. Actually there were so many college kids in the audience and we thought ‘what the heck?’ I was stopped during a performance one night by a bunch of young guys yelling at me and I said, “what?!” and they said there were so many things they wouldn’t have gotten through without Mama [Mama’s Family-1983 television series]. For those people who know Mama’s Family, they come to the show and listen to my stories about The Carol Burnett Show that I would tell and they find me backwards on YouTube. Carol said too that YouTube is largely responsible for the lifespan that the show has had because people found us that way and created this market where we can release these DVDs. They have a chance to experience the whole thing and be a part of it from the beginning the way it really was. It’s remarkable that it has held up like it has and has spanned this many generations, it’s incredible really.

Vickey Lawrence

One question I do have to ask because when I told people I was speaking to you, my friend Gina (Fontillas) who lives in Hawaii responded with “That’s the Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia”. <she laughs> That was huge when we were in high school (1973 – YouTube and enjoy – you’re welcome!). Did you every think in a million years that spending so much time on the show that you would have the opportunity to get back to music?

I was married for like about ten minutes to the guy [Bobby Russell] who wrote that song, yea that’s about it. I got the song and the dog! (yes, I’m cracking up so badly now) He wrote this song and didn’t like it. I kept saying – “but this song is a hit!” He wouldn’t demo it and I told him it was a smash. He said to me if I love the song so much I should do the demo. I did and took it to a producer in Hollywood. He tried to give it to everyone and no one wanted to do it because they thought it would offend the south and needed to be rewritten. Bobby said, “I hated the song when I wrote it so why would I do it again?” The producer said to go in with Vicky and we did and I was right, the dang thing was a huge smash! It was a dream come true.

Well the fact that so many people still know every word to the song is a true testament that girlfriend – you were right!

Yes, I was absolutely right on that.

Was there a basis for the song or an event that happened?
(Giving some readers a heads up about the terms “Hi-Fi” and “45” that’s a small shiny round black object with grooves in it an a big hole that plays on a device called a Hi-Fi that has a needle that fits into the grooves of the round shiny black object which lets the music out for those that are curious)

No, I don’t think so. To me that song was like the song that did it to me as a kid which was Ode to Billie Joe (Bobbie Gentry, 1967). It was just one of those great southern mysterious story songs. I remember buying Ode to Billie Joe on a 45 and putting it on the hi-fi in the living room. You know you had to keep putting the needle back every few go arounds so you could learn all the lyrics. I remember doing that trying to get every word. I be listening to a song now and just Google the words, back in the day you had to get the words all on your own! I remember the day I was doing it and my Mom screaming, “take that thing off you are driving me crazy!”

vicky mama

As much as I hate it I know we have to finish up so, for the readers, can you just share your feelings about the experiences you’ve had with two iconic shows and your career?

Oh my gosh, it is a wash of incredible memories doing The Carol Burnett Show and it was not something I had intended to do. I thought I was going to graduation high school, go to college, learn to clean teeth, be a dental hygienist, married a rich dentist and hang it up. That’s really what the plan was because back in the day you got married out of high school or you got a responsible job. It never occurred to me that I would be kidnapped by show business! For me it has been one big, fun, huge adventure.

And it is still going strong.

You never know what is going to happen. You just never know.

Again, I am geeking out on you one final time but thank you, thank you so much for talking with me today and I do hope you get your One-Woman show down here to San Diego. Me and my redhead will be in the front row! I might have to die my hair red for that.

Like I always say, dye your hair and you too can be a natural redhead!

 

I can not begin to tell you how difficult typing up this interview was because there was so much laughing. Vicky Lawrence reaffirmed (as if I needed it) that she is truly gracious with her stories and absolutely hilarious.

Hearing how she met Carol Burnett and became a part of such an iconic era of women in comedy is a pure joy. The release of THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW: The Lost Episodes is now available for everyone to enjoy and to find out how to get a set for your own home media library please visit www.timelife.com. Not enough Carol Burnett and company? Trust me; Time Life has that covered as well with more Carol Burnett DVD’s filled with more performances and more comedy!

Speaking with Ms. Lawrence supports THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW: THE LOST EPISODES – TREASURES FROM THE VAULT available only available at Costco beginning September 6th.

In the end – these truly are treasures from the vault!

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑