The Late Show-The Best Bits of: Champagne Edition (1992)
Audio Commentary-Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner, Jane Kennedy, Tony Martin et al
Featurette-Some More Bits (3)
|Year Of Production||1992|
|Running Time||356:15 (Case: 370)|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Joe Murray|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, During and After|
The Best Bits of the Late Show: Champagne Edition is a double disc set containing the three previously released video compilations from The Late Show as well as an additional fifty minutes of previously unreleased footage.
The Late Show was a television series that screened on the ABC on Saturday nights at 10 p.m. in 1992 and 1993. Despite running for only two seasons, the show gathered a loyal following and produced many memorable moments. The series were originally written and produced by Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner, Jane Kennedy, Tony Martin, Mick Molloy, Rob Sitch and Jason Stephens. After a brief appearance during the first series, Judith Lucy joined the cast for the second series. The Late Show was initially developed as a series for Channel Nine, but after producing five pilots the series moved to the ABC. Many of these original sketches and some of the footage shot for the pilots were later aired during the first series.
These discs contain numerous sketches that will bring back fond memories for viewers of the series. Various clips from Street Interviews, Shirty The Slightly Aggressive Bear, Sh*tscared, Pi**weak World, Graham and the Colonel and Charlie the Wonderdog are included on both discs. Unfortunately, due to licensing issues, no episodes of Bargea*se, The Olden Days, Toilet Breaks or Commercial Crimestoppers are included. As I have lost my recipe for carp but seem to remember that it did involve pelting lemons at the fish, there a couple of other sketches I would have liked to see included.
The material presented remains extremely funny nearly ten years after it first aired and truly is Champagne Comedy. Clearly this collection shows viewers that The Late Show was a series written by the doyens of Australian comedy.
Many of the sketches presented on The Late Show were shot by the team on consumer grade equipment and consequently the video quality was not extremely high. The quality of source material ranges from VHS to film and this is quite obvious while watching the discs, but this is never really distracting to the viewer. Considering the original source material used for the show, the transfer presented on this disc is of very high quality.
The transfer is presented at its original full frame ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.
The level of sharpness does vary depending upon the original source material but remains acceptable at all times and during the studio footage is quite high. Some low level noise is visible during many segments but this is due to the original material and is not a fault of the transfer. Shadow detail is also rather varied throughout but considering the sources the levels displayed are surprisingly high.
The colours displayed throughout the transfer are quite natural and accurately reproduced but some of the fashions featured do push the technology to the limits. Some cross colour artefacts may be seem at various points throughout the transfer. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 5:27 and 5:50 during Volume 1 and at 78:14 and 88:44 during Volume 3 but these are not distracting to the viewer.
No MPEG artefacts were detected during the transfer.
Numerous instances of aliasing are visible during the transfer. The majority of these artefacts occur during Volume 1 and some examples of these may be seen at 8:56, 13:08, 13:21, 14:26 and 15:21. Despite their frequency, these artefacts are only minimally distracting. Some instances of Moiré artefacts may also be seen at 22:39 and 23:40 during Volume 1.
As only a very small percentage of the footage was shot on film, very few film artefacts are present during the transfer. All of the film artefacts visible, such as those at 44:26 during Volume 1 and at 61:53 during Volume 3, are very small and are not distracting to the viewer.
Numerous analogue tape errors may be seen throughout the transfer. Some of these artefacts would have been present during the original airing of these sketches and are due to the source material. Examples of these artefacts may be seen at 11:26, 19:50, 21:56 and 24:33 during Volume 1, at 47:41, 57:04, 59:56 and 72:32 during Volume 2, at 16:27, 17:18 and 17:28 during Volume 3 and at 33:56 and 39:02 during Some More Bits. Due to their frequency and the severity of some of these artefacts, they are moderately distracting.
Some small instances of dot crawl may be seen at various points including 19:54 in Volume 1 and at 14:46 and 29:36 during Volume 3. These artefacts are only slightly distracting to the viewer.
No subtitles are included on these discs.
The layer changes for both discs are placed at slightly inappropriate times. On the first disc, the layer change occurs at 2:03 during the opening credits for Volume 2. The layer change for the second disc occurs at 87:47 part way through Chapter 31. As Volume 3 contains 45 chapter points, there are numerous less distracting alternatives that could have been found.
The dialogue is always clear and easy to understand.
No problems with dropouts or audio sync were detected during the transfer.
During the commentary it is revealed that a few segments presented on the discs have had the original backing music changed due to licensing issues. These changes are well done and do not distract the viewer. Musical licensing issues are also responsible for the exclusion of various sketches.
The surround and subwoofer channels were not utilized during the transfer.
|Surround Channel Use|
Some viewers may find that navigating the menu system is a little slow and this is quite noticeable when viewing the photo gallery.
The minimally animated menus are presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.
The full length commentary features the entire cast and has a number of guest appearances including Joan Kirner and Pete Smith. Despite its almost six hour running time, this commentary is always entertaining and has surprisingly few gaps. During the commentary, various aspects of the show are discussed including locations, original inspirations for sketches and the exhaustive preparations that they made each week for the show.
This is a short segment from Tommy G's news desk and features some comments by Mick Molloy regarding cricket.
This is the fourth episode of Charlie the Wonderdog featuring some city hikers that do not follow the local's advice.
This is one of the closing musical segments featuring Jimmy Hannan performing a version of Working Class Man.
This is a trailer for the series The Olden Days that has previously been released on ABC Video.
This is an extensive collection of over 150 images from the series and includes production stills, behind-the-scenes shots, scripts, letters, set designs and press reviews.
A 10 page booklet containing comments from the cast as well as numerous photos from the commentary recording session is included. The back cover of this booklet also includes a complete chapter listing for each of the three volumes and Some More Bits.
This disc is not currently available in any other region.
If you are a fan of The Late Show or just a fan of Australian comedy I can thoroughly recommend that you add this disc to your collection.
The video is acceptable and well presented considering the source material.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack accurately reproduces the original audio.
The main extra included on this disc is obviously the exhaustive feature length commentary and that will definitely appeal to all fans of the show, but viewers should also not miss the photo gallery.
|DVD||Toshiba 1200, using S-Video output|
|Display||Sony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Front left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)|
|Speakers||Front left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259|