BOOTLEG FILES 601: “Jack Benny’s First Farewell Special” (1973 television production featuring Bob Hope, Johnny Carson and Dean Martin).
LAST SEEN: It can be found on YouTube.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: No one wants to put it out on commercial DVD.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: There is no great push to get this released.
I don’t know who came up with the term “special” to define the one-shot variety productions that pockmarked television broadcasting from the 1950s through the mid-1980s. For the most part, these offerings were anything but special – most were forgettable, some were dreadful, but only a handful possessed the emotional or artistic quality that truly deserved to be called special.
For the Mill Creek compilation “Scared Silly,” the company brings together the roots of horror comedy with a thirteen movie set that’s well worth the cash. Some of it is the same old material you’ll find in other collections, but considering the sub-genre, that’s nothing to sneeze at. On Disc One there’s 1961’s Creature from the Haunted Sea starring the googly eyed sea weed monster, as directed by Roger Corman. It’s a classic you can’t help but giggle through.
Before pseudo-celebrities and tabloid bait became the new trend for the Friar’s roasts, Dean Martin was a bonafide MC who roasted some of his favorite celebrity friends, and iconic actors with much hilarity. From 1973 to 1984, the celebrity roasts were priceless, and Dean Martin never failed to deliver with laughs, antics, and some of the most famous celebrities hob knobbing and riffing on one another. The 6 DVD Set from Time Life features a dozen celebrity roasts, along with some extra footage for fans looking for more laughs for people actually worthy of roasting.