Late Show, The Presents: Bargearse & The Olden Days (1992)
Main Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-Tony Martin & Santo Cilauro
More…-Olden Days Coda
More…-The1992 Street Theatre Awards
More…-Pete Smith Sings Aerosmith
More…-Watch This Afterwards
Short Film-The Last Aussie Auteur
Trailer-The Olden Days
Easter Egg-Seventeen hidden Easter Eggs
|Year Of Production||1992|
|Running Time||83:55 (Case: 135)|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.29:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.29:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||Yes|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
In the early nineties a new and innovative comedy program premiered on Australian television. By the time of the second series, the show had established a loyal cult following - one that still remains to this day. Simply titled The Late Show, it first aired live on the ABC in July 1992 and became a huge success for the national broadcaster. The show gave many people an excuse to stay at home on a Saturday night, or if going out was unavoidable, the family VCR would then come into play.
The principal cast of The Late Show consisted of the D-Generation radio team of Rob Sitch, Tony Martin, Mick Molloy, Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner, Jane Kennedy and Jason Stephens. (Judith Lucy joined the cast for the second series).
Each week The Late Show delivered hilarious satire on topical events of the previous week, as well as many other regular segments. Most of these segments, which included Graham and the Colonel, Charlie the Wonderdog and Shitscared became cult hits in their own right. After just two series of the program, the team decided to finish the show on a high and they disbanded to pursue other interests. (The Best Bits Of The Late Show - Champagne Edition is a great 2-disc set, which is still available. Click here to read Anthony Kable's review).
In the first series, one of the regular segments was The Olden Days. It consisted of footage from the 1970's, black-&-white ABC drama, Rush, which was re-edited and overdubbed with late show voices to form new and hilarious storylines with totally off-the-wall results. Each episode of The Olden Days and later, Bargearse, was only a few minutes long, with the story continuing each week.
The goldfields of Rush gave way to the mudfields of The Olden Days, with characters such as, Gov Frontbottom and Judge Muttonchops. Some of the jokes might be lost on a younger audience, as the occasional reference is made relating to people and events of the time. But generally the comedy is timeless, retaining a high laugh factor even after many viewings.
The second series of The Late Show introduced us to Bargearse. Using the same concept of re-editing and overdubbing the original voices, Bargearse perfectly transformed the mid-seventies, Crawford Productions police drama, Bluey.
The late Lucky Grills, who played Bluey in the original series, became an overnight cult hero, which in turn rebirthed his stand-up comedy career. While some actors were not at all impressed by The Late Show satirising their work, Lucky warmly embraced it. (See the " Watch This Afterwards" extra).
The premise of Bargearse sees the overweight, politically incorrect slob, Senior Sergent Bargearse, in various situations involving many of his obsessions. These include (in no particular order), junk food, beer, smoking, burping and farting. Of course, he also finds time for crime fighting, recording hit (should there be a S at the start of that word?) music and even a little romance.
As with The Olden Days, some of the jokes are based around particular people and events of the time, but overall, Bargearse is loaded with ageless anal humor, which provides big laughs time and time again.
Let me say from the outset, I had grave concerns that both of these features would not make the transition to DVD very well. If you look closely at the rear of the cover slick, you will notice a disclaimer which states, "Please note: due to the age of the program, sound and picture quality can vary ". Taking into account the age and origin of the source material, the video transfers for Bargearse and The Olden Days are surprisingly quite good.
Both features are presented fullscreen in an aspect ratio of 1.29:1, which is not 16x9 enhanced.
Sharpness and clarity levels vary considerably throughout both features. Generally speaking though, Bargearse and The Olden Days both display a degree of softness that was certainly expected, but is in no way problematic. Naturally, blacks and shadow detail is also inconsistent, especially the monotones of The Olden Days. This is also certainly an issue which is inherent in the original source material.
The colours in Bargearse are generally muted, which is consistent with what you would expect from mid-seventies video stock.
I didn't notice any MPEG artefacts in the transfer. Film-to-video artefacts were minimal and didn't cause any significant distraction, even when viewed on a larger screen. I'm confident that the best possible result has been achieved with this transfer.
English subtitles for the hearing impaired are available for both features. These are easily legible in bold white and are very accurate.
This is a single sided, dual layer DVD. The layer change is cleverly placed between extras and was not noticed at all.
The audio transfer is perfectly adequate for the content.
There are two separate audio tracks available. Each of the two features has an English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s) soundtrack and an English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).
I had no problems hearing and comprehending any of the dialogue in both features.
Given that the whole concept of Bargearse and The Olden Days is the overdubbing of original actors voices, any possible issues with audio sync would be inconsequential.
The original music in both features is credited to Craig Harnath, with vocals in The Olden Days provided by Bob Valentine and Susie Ahern .
Although the use of Pro-Logic spread sound across all the channels, there was no noticeable benefit of sound seperation.
The subwoofer was not used.
|Surround Channel Use|
Anyone familiar with Tony Martin's work on radio will know that he is a serious DVD enthusiast. Given that fact, you would naturally expect nothing but the best from a presentation that he himself has compiled. We have been presented with an outstanding array of extras, consisting of a comprehensive collection of Late Show gems to further delight the fans.
The menus are static, but each delivers a different audio surprise. The highlight is clearly the subtitle menu screen, which features Tony Martin's hilarious blues song from The Late Show, played in its entirety.
A highly entertaining commentary on both productions with Tony and Santo delivering anecdote after anecdote relating to many aspects of the productions. As you might also expect, as well as being informative, both commentaries are incredibly funny. An absolute must for fans.
Here's what happened immediately after the final episode of The Olden Days went to air...
Tony Martin presents an Italian version of Bluey and subsequently, Bargearse.
A very funny mocumentary on the life of that "legend" of Australian cinema, Warren Perso. This piece also features as an extra on the Bad Eggs DVD.
Mick Molloy and Tony Martin examine the world of street theatre and announce the 1992 awards for excellence in this field.
Each episode of the second series of The Late Show finished with a music performance from a surprise celebrity. Each week Mick Molloy would botch the booking, in this case getting Pete Smith instead of Aerosmith. Here, Pete sings Dude Looks Like A Lady.
The Late Show team is confronted by the "real" Bargearse.
That's right people, seventeen Easter Eggs! These are all sketches from The Late Show and are all quite easy to find. I'm not going to spoil your fun by mapping them out for you, but I will reveal what you are actually looking for.
With the copyright issues finally sorted, Bargearse and The Olden Days have made their long awaited arrival to DVD. It's obvious that some considerable time and effort has gone into the presentation of these features, which will no doubt, please The Late Show fans. A must for any collection.
All things considered, the video and audio transfers are surprisingly good.
As you'd expect from a Tony Martin compilation, there is an abundance of extras.
|DVD||JVC XV-N412, using Component output|
|Display||Hitachi 106cm Plasma Display 42PD5000MA (1024x1024). Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080i.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.|
|Amplification||Panasonic SA-HE70 80W Dolby Digital and DTS|
|Speakers||Fronts: Jensen SPX7 Rears: Jensen SPX4 Centre: Jensen SPX13 Subwoofer: Jensen SPX17|