: : : Milton Berle's Buick Hour, Vol. 1

Story

When TV was taking its first baby steps toward becoming a national addiction, Milton Berle's Tuesday-night variety show was the reason a lot of people got hooked. The ex-vaudeville comic debuted as the host of the Texaco Star Theater in 1948 and quickly became so popular he earned the nickname "Mr. Television." This series of DVD reissues, six in all, collects episodes from the year Berle switched sponsors, in 1953, to Buick. Volume 1, like subsequent entries, contains two hour-long episodes, each of which is loosely structured around a central plot. The first has Berle playing host to Frank Sinatra (singing "I've Got the World on a String") and Tallulah Bankhead, and includes a bizarre, serious 15-minute "Broadway" playlet meant to showcase Berle's dramatic talent. The second episode allows guest Martha Raye to display her brand of rowdy comedy, and she and Berle pull off an engagingly show-bizzy duet on the acid-tinged Rodgers and Hart beauty "Everything I've Got." Picture and sound quality is generally rough, as expected from a '50s TV show, and Berle's brand of humor requires a taste for a certain brand of rim-shot comedy that was already gathering cobwebs when these shows were first broadcast. As time capsules, however, they're fascinating, from the jokes about Ava Gardner (at Sinatra's expense) to references to Sinatra's brand-new comeback movie, a little thing called From Here to Eternity. --Robert Horton
  • Genre: TV
  • Director:
  • Producer: Image
  • Length: 110 min
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaJan 1, 2000
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaFeb 16, 1999
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