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That Show is a half-hour 1968 day-time talk show hosted by Joan Rivers and her two guests (one the topic expert (?) and the other a celebrity). The 3 disc set is bare bones with no extras or liner notes, which is disappointing, as it would be great to know more about this series. The 18 shows range from sometimes interesting and entertaining, to downright boring. Through it all a fresh-faced Joan is gracious, though production-wise more than one anecdote is cut off by mis-managed timing. The shows improve but topics can be dated (from wearing a hat to men's fur fashions). A good episode has a behavioural psychologist to discuss ''industry'' children which instead changed to Jerry Lewis argueing (adamantly) for physical discipline (remember Gary Lewis?). Then there's the one where Joan (with her original face) interviews a plastic surgeon. Overall, That Show is an early attempt at a now recognized format, but suffered mainly from a live audience that didn't know they could laugh - and a nervous Rivers bravely carried on like the pro she always was. I expected too much from this set and am mildly disappointed it wasn't funnier. Still it's refreshing to see her kind approach, and That Show will be appreciated by hardcore fans of Rivers and TV nostalgia.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Great Time Capsule of 60s TV talk show with great River's monologuesMarch 5 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
Fans of 1960s TV and fans of Rivers' early days as a standup comic will find this "time capsule" fascinating, though there are some dull moments too.
As pointed out in an earlier review here by Terry Richard, Rivers had a daily 30-minute LOCAL TV "talk show" in New York in 1968, produced by her late-husband Edgard Rosenberg (who had sense to store copies of the videotapes for the future). Being in NYC, Rivers had access to many well known personalities who came through the City and each day she'd pair one of those "personalities" with an unknown expert on a subject that might interest the daytime audience. The "expert" was the focus of the discussion with the "personality" joining Rivers in asking questions. And the "personality" was not chosen as a "match" for the subject. It was just whoever was available that day.
Every show had the same format - not unlike what continues today on "Regis & Kelly" (now just Kelly) or "Ellen": Rivers would do a monologue (rarely on the day's "topic"), then introduce the "expert" and finally introduce the "personality". They would chat for maybe 15 minutes and then the audience (which looks a lot like Kelly's audience if she did her show 45 years ago). Commercials have been removed.
This set contains 18 episodes on three DVDS from a six-week period August - September 1968. Even though they are presented chronologically, you can see how Rivers changed her hair-do nearly daily.
The subjects covered are listed in Richard's review so I won't re-hash them. But the "guests" include Jerry Lewis - (arguing with a child psychologist about raising kids in show business - Lewis's son Gary was having a pop music career at that point)), Soupy Sales (with an "etiquette" expert) and Johnny Carson (with the head of a nudist retreat. Other "personalities" include Joel Grey, David Susskind, gossip columnist Earl Wilson, actresses, Kitty Carlisle, Carol Lawrence, and Nancy Walker plus many more).
The monologues are pure early Rivers and - at least for me - these were the highlights. But it was fun to go "back in time" and watch these COLOR episodes that are in pretty good shape visually too!
I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.
Steve Ramm "Anything Phonographic"
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
"A Classic Time-Line of the Late Sixties"Jan. 30 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
Long before she became a houshold name as one of the funniest and most controversial comediennes of all-time and before she hosted her 1990's daytime chat fest, Joan Rivers had her very first daytime talk show in the 1968-1969 televison season which was syndicated to most NBC stations. Although only lasting one year "That Show with Joan Rivers" is available now in this 3-disc DVD set after being originally released in three different individual sets.
"That Show" featured some of the biggest names of the day in showbiz, everyone from Johnny Carson, Florence Henderson, ED Sullivan and Soupy Sales and Joan was her old self, the one with the mouth that wasn't afraid to say what was on her mind. Each episode covered a certain topic in which both Joan and her guest discussed.
The series was broadcast over most NBC-owned stations at 9:30 am Eastern for a half hour was became a huge success. However, half way through the season many stations began airing "That Show" at different times of the day to compete with soap operas, game shows and other afternoon fare. As a result "That Show's" ratings plummeted and Joan, fed up with the bad numbers and being exhuasted, decided to call it quits.
The episodes have never been seen on television since it went off the air in 1969. Since the shows themselves are being released in volumes I would suspect that if sales are good more volumes will be made available.
The following is a list of topics covered in each volume:
Volume 1 covered "Nudism", "Interior Decorating", "Natural Childbirth", "Children in Show Business", "Women's Hats" and "Social Director".
Volume 2 covers "Cosmetic Surgery", "Etiquette", "Are You In Shape?", "Hypnosis", "Catering", and "Teenagers Today".
Volume 3 has "Does Your Child Love You?", "The Jetset", "Do You Need A Maid", "Fan Magazines", "Speed Reading" and "Men's Furs".
"That Show..." has been cleaned from their original network prints, comes in full screen and has mono sound.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Time Capsule!May 29 2014
- Published on Amazon.com
I didn't know this existed until I happened to see it here on Amazon. Joan's comedic skills were just getting honed on this talk show. The lineup of guests makes it worth it. Carol Lawrence (when she was married to Robert Goulet), Jerry Lewis, Johnny Carson and Soupy Sales just for starters. The topics of discussion weren't all that interesting but the old footage of these legends makes it worth it. Definitely recommended!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
FIVE STARS JUST ISN'T NEARLY ENOUGH!!Oct. 11 2014
- Published on Amazon.com
Firstly I am since Joan Rivers died I have become completely fascinated with her; prior to this horrible probably botched passing I have always thought she was hilarious and I saw her once with my mother in L.A. decades ago. I could not believe the ghastly news so I purchased her documentary A Piece of Work and it is so remarkable and Joan Rivers is so impressive I have since bought everything I could lay my hands on including Don't Start With Me and the movie she made with Melissa starring as themselves and all they went through together after Edgar committed suicide and how cathartic this was for Joan. GETTING TO THIS DVD IT IS LIKE GOING IN A TIME CAPSULE!! Even so very early on Joan was so, so funny and her timing as always just incredible. I love her monologues; she is a natural and the very first topic is nudist camps and Johnny Carson is a guest and while the whole thing is hilarious and incredible still I found it also particularly poignant and seriously sad that Joan is now dead and Johnny long deceased and that the rift was never healed; Johnny would not speak to Joan to his death and when you see how close they were back in the day. Joan has been criticized by some for becoming perceived as vulgar later on using profanity and joking about the darkest things but this is what made Joan Rivers Joan Rivers and also what made her stand apart, her absolute refusal to apologize in this world we now live in where anything slightly off color requires such was refreshing on Joan's part; and let's face it; it's really funny to see an older still really attractive (yeah yeah some) woman be so crude and equally fascinating to see that she needn't be to be funny as is orchestrated in these ancient clips....and let's be real, a nudist camp is not a big thing now but then it was practically unheard of; the woman who ran it I thought at first was transgender!! If you love Joan and I do (and you don't have to be obsessed with her as I am) you will be astounded at this DVD and tighten your seat belt because you most definitely will be strapped in to a time machine!! I HAVE BEEN WATCHING THESE ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT; WHILE THE TOPICS MAY LOOK BORING ON THE BOX DON'T LET THAT FOOL YOU; EVERY SPLIT SECOND IS A TIME WARP FASCINATION! A MAID AT THREE DOLLARS AN HOUR! RHODA'S TELEVISION MOTHER NANCY WALKER LIGHTING UP A CIGARETTE AND JOHNNY CARSON ALSO SMOKING, BOTH GREAT GUESTS BY THE WAY; CARSON STUNNED ABOUT NUDE BEACHES, GO FIGURE. JOAN WAS ALWAYS HYSTERICALLY FUNNY AND WHAT I REALLY HAVE COME TO RESPECT ABOUT HER IS NO MATTER HOW CONTROVERSIAL WHAT SHE SAYS BECOMES SHE STICKS TO HER GUNS; REALLY, REALLY GENUINE AND EVEN IN THESE EARLY STAGES SHE STILL INSISTS IT IS ALL ABOUT LOOKS; HAS MUCH THE SAME VALUES AND IT'S TRUE..MEN DO MAINLY CARE MORE ABOUT LOOKS THAN PERSONALITY AND WHETHER SHE'S DIRTY BUT CLEAN FOR THE TIME AND TELEVISION OR WAY OUT WICKEDLY FILTHY AS SHE BECAME LATER IN LIFE SHE ALWAYS HAS AMAZING JOKES, IMMPECCABLE (SPELT WRONG WILL FIX LATER I TRIED SIX DIFFERENT SPELLINGS, SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP ME OUT HERE!) TIMING, GREAT DELIVERY AND THIS ONE SHE ISN'T BELIEVING BUT ACTUALLY A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN!! I HUGELY MISS HER AND WATCHING EVERYTHING BECOMES HARDER BECAUSE SADDER IF I STOP TO THINK THAT SHE'S GONE BUT NEVER, NEVER FORGOTTEN AND SHE WILL REMAIN QUEEN OF COMEDY NO MATTER HOW LONG SHE STAYS DEAD!! IT'S JUST SO SAD AND SEEMS PROBABLY LIKE A BOTCHED THING WHICH MAKES IT ALSO REMARKABLY TRAGIC; I HEARD MELISSA SUED AND DO NOT BLAME HER; IMAGINING XMAS AND THANKSGIVING FOR HER AND HER SON IS HEARTBREAKING. WATCH THESE EARLY FILMS, OH, AND JOAN IF TODAY EVERYBODY WOULD INSIST IS ANOREXIC AND THROWING UP IN COMMERCIALS THIN DOESN'T BEGIN TO DESCRIBE IT AND FOR THOSE WHO COMPLAIN SHE THREW AROUND THE F BOMB TOO OFTEN LATER IT LIFE IT WAS SO FUNNY AT HER AGE EVEN PAST EIGHTY ALTHOUGH SHE STILL LOOKED HOT AND A LOT YOUNGER (YEAH YEAH SOME HELP I GET THAT) SO ANYWAY JOAN RIVERS RIP YOU ARE SO LOVED AND CERTAINLY HUGELY SO SPEAKING STRICTLY FOR MYSELF.
She was delighted. Will probably buy the set for myselfDec 28 2014
- Published on Amazon.com
Sent this as a gift to a friend who loves (as I do) Joan Rivers. She was delighted. Will probably buy the set for myself.