TITLE: LOTSA LUCK - THE COMPLETE SERIES
DVD Release Date: November 29, 2005 (S'more Entertainment, Inc.)
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 22 + Pilot Episode
Running time: Approx. 550 minutes
Audio Tracks: English Mono
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; none; English Closed-Captioning
Special Features Include:
• Lotsa Luck Pilot Episode
• Dom DeLuise Interview
• Dom DeLuise Bio
• Dom's Bird Tricks
• Lotsa Luck Trivia Quiz
• Breakfast with Dom
• Lotsa Luck Photo Gallery
Dom DeLuise stars as Stanley Belmont in his first major TV role in the hilarious 1973 sitcom "Lotsa Luck". Stanley's job
as custodian at the New York City bus company's lost-and-found department was tough enough, but the real comedy
took place once he got home each night. America loved watching the easily-annoyed Stanley as he bumbled his way
through one problem after the other, with his bossy mother (Kathleen Freeman), goofy sister (Beverly Sanders) and her
unemployed husband (Wynn Irwin), all under one roof! Making ends meet without making everyone crazy was always
a struggle, but together with his best friend "Bummy Pfitzer" (Jack Knight), Stanley always succeeded in getting the laughs
and giving America some of its zaniest sitcom moments. Look for cameo appearances by the likes of Suzanne Somers, Harold
Gould and Ruth Buzzi in these classic "Lotsa Luck" episodes, especially compiled to bring back loads of memories
and lotsa laughs!
Lotsa Luck aired on NBC from September 10, 1973 until May 24, 1974. A total of 22 episodes
were produced during the show's one and only season. Dom DeLuise received a Golden Globe
nomination for Best TV Actor - Musical/Comedy. It was based on the London Weekend
TV Series "On The Buses," which was created by Ronald Chesney and Ronald Wolfe.
This 4-disc set contains all 22 episodes of the series plus the original
Some guest stars to look for include Harold Gould, Mel Carter,
Alex Rocco, Ruth Buzzi, Helen Page Camp, Johnny Brown, Louisa Moritz, Ronnie
Schell, Alan Oppenheimer, and Suzanne Somers.
The DVD cover art features a color photo of Dom DeLuise in his custodian
uniform with his hand on his chin. It has a yellow background with Lotsa Luck
written in white. The packaging is a standard movie-style snapcase that has
clear outer edges. The back of the case lists a summary of the set, and it
gives some of the credits of the cast and a list of the bonus features.
When you open up the case, there
are over-lapping disc holders on each side. The discs have Lotsa Luck written
on them with a black & white photo of Dom DeLuise. They comes in various colors.
Disc 1 is yellow, Disc 2 is red, Disc 3 is light blue, and Disc 4 is neon orange.
I thought that was a nice touch as sometimes discs
on dvd sets fall out easily and are scratched. It would have been nice for them to include
a little sheet with the episode titles listed, original airdates, guest stars,
Menu Design and Navigation:
The main menu features the Lotsa Luck logo in white with a photo of Dom DeLuise on the right
hand side of the screen. It has a yellow and orange curtain background. The instrumental
ending theme can be heard, and it loops after about 30 seconds. There are options
for Play All and Episodes. The bonus features are listed on each disc's menu.
The Episodes sub-menu feature the vocal theme song in the background, and they
have the episode titles listed on lockers. Disc 2's main menu has a photo of the
cast with a gray and red background. Disc 3 has the same photo as Disc 1 with a blue
curtain background. Disc 4 has the same photo as Disc 2 with a green curtain
background. There are no scene selection menus or chapter stops within the episodes.
Video and Audio Quality:
I was pleasantly surprised with the video and audio quality. The back
of the packaging says the episodes were "Carefully Re-Mastered For Best Possible
Picture Quality." The picture is
quite clear for being over 30 years old now. Lotsa Luck was filmed on tape before a live
studio audience. It looks similar to All in the Family, That's My Mama, Chico and the Man,
and other sitcoms from the early 1970's that were shot on tape. There was a tiny white speck
in the first episode in several scenes that I watched, but it wasn't too distracting. The
second episode had a few very minor video glitches. All episodes appear to be unedited
running over 25 minutes in length.
The audio is your standard mono track from the early 1970's. The volume is at a good
level and the dialogue is easy to hear. Lotsa Luck had a catchy theme tune written
by Jack Elliott and Allyn Ferguson. They also did the theme for Barney Miller.
I noticed the font in the credits looked very similar to what was used on Barney Miller.
My guess is that there were a number of people that were involved with both shows.
Here is the episode breakdown by disc:
1. Olive's Present
2. The Bare Facts
3. Trial Separation
4. Stanley and The Librarian
5. The Suit
6. Mom's Secret
7. The Winning Purse
8. The Family Plot
9. The Shrink
10. The New Stan
11. Arthur's Inheritance
12. The Belmont Connection
13. Will You Marry Me?
14. Do Me A Favor
15. Stan and The Wealthy Widow
16. The Talent Show
17. A Little Order of Law and Order
18. You Oughta Be in Picturea
19. Stan's Assistant
20. Arthur Makes His Move
21. Bummy's Girl
22. Get Off My Back
There are a few, short special features that add some enjoyment to the set.
Here is a breakdown:
Disc 1 - Lotsa Luck Pilot - This pilot episode is not nearly as good quality
as the other episodes. It appears to be from a videotape source. It even has
a voiceover for "The Girl with Something Extra - next on NBC" in the
closing credits. It's nice they included it to complete the series.
Disc 1 - Dom DeLuise Interview (19:11) - Dom sits at a table for the interview. He
talks about being raised in Brooklyn and how he got bit by the acting bug. He
tells a few stories about Milton Berle and Herbie Gardner. For about the last 8 minutes
or so, he talks about Lotsa Luck. He mentions a variety of topics including the cast, writers,
how they ad-libbed some of the show, and how one of the episodes they did was pretty
Disc 2 - Dom DeLuise Bio (5:49) - This features a narrator talking about Dom's life from
the start to the present. A number of still photos and video clips from Lotsa Luck
are shown. It talks about his life as an actor, author, and chef. Many of his
tv appearances, film roles, and voice work for animated features are mentioned.
He has written 2 cookbooks and a number of children's books. He has even developed
his own spice line which is available from his website - http://www.domdeluise.com
. This was a nice feature, but not very detailed like an A&E Biography would be.
Dom and his bird on Hollywood Squares - June 2003
Disc 3 - Dom's Bird Tricks (3:10) - Dom's multi-talented bird performs a variety of tricks
including playing dead. A lot of talent in this family.
Disc 3 - Lotsa Luck Trivia Quiz - An interactive section that gives you 6 multiple
choice questions. If you answer 5 correctly, it takes you to expert mode
where the questions get even more difficult.
Disc 4 - Breakfast with Dom (3:43) - Dom eats breakfast and talks about how they actually
ate all that food and drank coffee on the show.
Disc 4 - Lotsa Luck Photo Gallery (2:34) - This features a variety of still images that look
like they were taken from the dvds. The photos are shown in a tv set while some
music is played in the background.
I never expected to see a rare 1970's sitcom like That's My Mama available on DVD.
Lotsa Luck seemed like more of a longshot, but these one-year wonders are
made for DVD even if they have smaller fan bases. I think Lotsa Luck may have aired
on Ha! or The Comedy Channel in the early 1990's. The show was pretty funny and had a good
supporting cast. It seemed like a mix of All in the Family and The Honeymooners. It's nice
for fans of Dom DeLuise and the show to have the complete series on DVD. The bonus
features are pretty short, but they are entertaining. It would have been nice
to hear some commentary by Dom on a few of the episodes since he was available
to do the interviews. S'more Entertainment,
which produced this set, has already released 1950's sitcom Mister Peepers and
has plans for Good Morning, World (Goldie Hawn) in upcoming months.
They will be a company to keep an eye on for some of these rarely seen gems.
UPDATE: Our good friend Arny Schorr of S'more Entertainment asked us to let you all know that if you purchased DVD sets of classic sitcoms Mister Peepers and Lotsa Luck and had some problems, replacement discs are available now for free. For Lotsa Luck, an incorrect pilot episode was placed on original sets. It was given that way to them by the distributor. When the problem was identified, they went to work and discovered the correct pilot episode. They subsequently remastered Disc One to include the right pilot. There are a number of people who've contacted them for a replacement disc but in the interest of making sure no consumer is offended we are spreading the news that buyers of this set can get a replacement disc, for free!They are also replacing discs for Mister Peepers where Sony, on the initial manufacturing run, placed two of the same discs onto each box set. To learn how you can get replacement discs of each, click here. And don't forget to visit the S'more website for information on their classic TV series on DVD.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 2.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
--Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 11/06/05 (updated on 05/05/06)
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