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The Joey Bishop Show - The Complete Second Season



DVD Release Date: September 28, 2004 (Questar Entertainment)
color, 780 minutes - approx. 13 hours
MSRP: $34.99
Number of Discs: 6
Number of Episodes: 34 (plus the series pilot)
Language and Subtitles: English
Special Features: Meet the Rat Pack, The pilot episode of "The Joey Bishop Show" which aired on "Make Room For Daddy", Theatrical trailers for Joey Bishop film favorites: "Ocean's 11,", "Texas Across the River," and "Sergeant Three"

Review (out of 5 stars):

Video Quality: 4.2/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 4.3/5
Menu Navigation: 5/5
Overall: 4.2/5


Joey Bishop, the famed "Frown Prince of Comedy," and co-star of the original Rat Pack classic "Ocean's Eleven," stars as New York talk show host Joey Barnes in this witty, smartly-written sitcom.

The Joey Bishop Show ran from 1961-1965 (1961-1964 on NBC and 1964-1965 on CBS). The series produced 123 episodes over 4 seasons, 58 in black and white and 65 in color. This second season marked a new beginning for the series, with new cast members and hilarious new characters, including Abbey Dalton as Joey's new wife, Ellie, Guy Marks (The Dick Van Dyke Show) as Bishop's conniving manager Freddie, Joe Besser (The Three Stooges) as high-strung building superintendent Jillson, and Corbett Monica (Broadway Danny Rose) as comedy writer Larry Corbett. Joey is at his deadpan best as he juggles his professional life with married life.

This six-disc set hits the jackpot with all 34 color episodes of the second season (1962-1963) and archival rarities, including the series pilot. In the first episode of this season, Joey marries his longtime girlfriend Ellie, played by Abby Dalton. Guy Marks was starring as Joey's manager, but only stayed about halfway through the second season. When Guy Marks left the show, a new character, Larry Corbett, played by Corbett Monica replaced his character's role. Starring as Mr. J.J. Jillson, the superintendent was Joe Besser. Also starring, but not yet a member of the cast was Mary Treen who played Joey's maid, Hilda. Near the end of the second season, Abby Dalton came up pregnant, and it was written into the show that Joey and Ellie have a baby. In the final episode of the second season, Ellie gives birth to Joey Barnes, Jr. whom was played by Abby Dalton's infant son Matthew David Smith. (source: Joey, Joey, Joey).

The packaging for this set is simple yet convenient. The dvd cover art features a color photo of Joey Bishop and the back features various smaller photos of the cast and a summary of the show and a listing of the features of the set. The discs are arranged like a book and you can flip through the discs. There are 2 additional photos of the cast on the inside cover. There is, however, no indication of what episodes are on what discs. A reference sheet with the episode titles and and original broadcast dates sorted by disc would have been better. Each disc has the same drawing of Joey Bishop with his hand on his chin in the classic pose and indicates what episode numbers are on the disc. Disc 1 is yellow and contains episodes 1-6, disc 2 is gold and has episodes 7-12, disc 3 is red and has episodes 13-18, disc 4 is purple and has episodes 19-24, disc 5 is blue and has episodes 25-30, and disc 6 is a blue-green color and contains episodes 31-34 plus the special features.

When you first play the disc, the opening theme intro credits are played. This is the only time the opening intro is played, there are no opening credits at the start of any of the other individual episodes. The main menu screen has the ending instrumental theme playing in the background with various clips from the series playing on the left hand side of the screen in a 30 second loop. The right hand side of the menu has a sidebar with the episode titles and a drawing of Joey. There is a "Play All" option, but there are no chapter stops within the episodes.

This set makes it clear that it is an "autorized" set, which means that the show is owned and copyrighted by Bellmar Enterprises, and authorized for release by Joey Bishop. The video and audio quality for this set is quite good for a series that is now over 40 years old. The episodes likely have been cleaned up a bit. The episodes from this season were filmed in color, but the colors do not look especially vibrant which is typical of early 1960's color tv. There are no major issues with the audio which is in mono, it is typical of other sitcoms of the early 1960's. There are no subtitles or closed captioning for this set.

All episodes would be appear to be unedited, running around 24 1/2 to 25 minutes. The running time does not include the opening theme credits since those are only played when you first start the disc.

Several special features are included in this set on the sixth disc. The series pilot, "Everything Happens To Me," which aired on March 27, 1961 as an episode of "Make Room For Daddy" is included. The episode opens with a short text scroll that says the show was launched by fellow comic and producer Danny Thomas. Fans of Leave it to Beaver will recognize Richard Deacon (Fred Rutherford) and Madge Blake (Mrs. Mondello) in this episode. This episode is not the best quality and it appears that it came from a syndication print as it runs only about 22 minutes. It's nice they included it in the set though as it's fun to see how the series was started. Also included are 3 theatrical trailers for Joey Bishop films - the last surviving member of the original Rat Pack. The theatrical trailers run a total of about 10 minutes and include "Ocean's Eleven," "Texas Across the River," and "Sergeants Three". The final special feature is a 5 and a half minute feature on the Rat Pack which included Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Joey Bishop. Joey Bishop was the standup comic of the group and wrote the jokes. The feature gives a good general background on the Rat Pack and shows some various vintage photos of the group.

Overall, this was a pretty nicely produced set for what seems to be a forgotten show. It lacks a few of the little touches that people expect to see when they purchase a tv show on dvd: there is no listing of what episodes are on each disc without playing the actual disc and the opening theme intro credits aren't presented at the start of the episodes. There is good value in this set as you get 34 episodes plus the special features. I don't think the series has been in syndication that much over the years. The last time I remember seeing it was on TV Land several years ago. As a fan of Bill Bixby, I'd like to see the first season of the show released to dvd but that seems unlikely as I've read that Joey Bishop did not like the first format and those episodes have not been shown since their original run.

If you are a fan of classic tv, you may want to check out another release by Questar: Make Room For Daddy - The Complete Fifth Season.

Son of a Gun!

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 10/12/04

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