BOOTLEG FILES 673: “The Jack Benny Birthday Special” (1969 TV special).
LAST SEEN: On YouTube.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It fell through the cracks.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Unlikely.
During the mid-1960s into the early 1970s, Jack Benny made a number of TV specials that aired on NBC. Most of these offerings were pleasant but entirely forgettable, and Benny often seemed to be dialing in his performances.
You have to give it to Lucille Ball. While there are countless stories about her latter years in show business and how much of a tyrant she was, she seemed to show a lot of respect for Carol Burnett. Burnett was prompted by network executives to build a big time television special. Burnett recruited Ball, who was more than happy to co-star. Burnett, an old school queen of comedy, shared the stage with Ball, another titan of comedy.
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.