Saturday, February 8, 2020

For Cher-lovers everywhere, I GOT YOU BABE: The Best of Sonny & Cher, 5-disc set hits DVD

Those of us who watched The Sony & Cher Comedy Hour back when it was originally aired on CBS in the early 1970s probably remember it somewhat fondly -- as a platform for the fine singing voice and comedic talent of Cher, as well as one for the much more mediocre performer known as Sonny Bono. Of course, the mediocrity was a large part of the fun, as Cher razzed her then-husband about everything from his looks to his singing voice to, well, you name it.

If you plan to partake of the new five-disc set entitled I GOT YOU BABE: THE BEST OF SONNY & CHER, I suggest you space out your viewing of the segments with some time in between. Binging on this series, no matter how much you love the lady in question, may leave you a tad annoyed, as so much of the banter between the two performers comes down these constant and eventually tiring put-downs. Sure Sonny was mediocre. But enough already.

Instead, concentrate on things like just how good

Cher looked even pre-plastic surgery and her former nose, and how terrifically well she could sing, clown, and act in the various sketches in which she plays all kinds of people -- including Pat Nixon, in a skit set in the 1960s, as Pat visits a would-be swami high in the Himalayas to learn if her husband is going to win the next election. This is one of the funnier sketches to be seen in the series, with a punch-line ending that is simply terrific. (Sonny even holds his own here!)

And of course you'll appreciate the fabulous Bob Mackie-designed costumes Cher wears -- amazing in both their numbers and their looks -- and the many guest stars who appeared on the show. (That's Tony Curtis, above, left, already looking a little long-in-the-tooth.) You'll see everyone from Carol Burnett to Carroll O'Connor, Jimmy Durante to Jerry Lewis, Joe Namath to The Supremes -- without Diana Ross, however.

You'll hear The Righteous Brother sing one of the greatest songs ever recorded, You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling, as well as watching what may be the least-comfortable-on-camera child-of-the-famous (above, center) being made to take part in her parents' TV show. Yikes.

All told there's 503 minutes of material here (nearly 8-1/2 hours), with most of it in reasonably good shape -- visual- and sound-wise -- although much of the humor will be relatable only to folk who lived through this particular time period. (Look closely and you'll even see Steve Martin in a very small role on one of the shows.)

From Time-Life, for purchase (and, I hope, somewhere, for rental, too), the five-disc set arrives on DVD this coming Tuesday, February 11. (That's Jerry Lewis, shown above, second from left, in a third-rate parody of The Three Musketeers, from one of the 1973 shows.)

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