On paper, it sounds like a horrible idea for a talk show: Take a guy,
put him in women's clothes, (the more outlandish the better) and have him
interview stars. It would be a wretched show, if it wasn't for the
quick wit and comic genius of Barry Humphries, the man behind the dress.
His Dame Edna character has been around for decades, and these shows from
the second season of The Dame Edna Experience demonstrate why the
character has had such a long life. The six shows that comprise the
second season are outrageously funny, as you would expect from a star of
If you've never seen Dame Edna before, she's the self described housewife-superstar
who is living a life of a mega star, basking in unparalleled luxury and
glamor. She interviews her famous guests from her magnificent penthouse
apartment, treating the stars like they were ordinary people, but more
often like they were trailer trash. In one episode she wouldn't allow
Jane Fonda on the set because she didn't meet the show's dress code, and
in another closes the door on Tom Jones because he was too boring.
This show is wonderfully offbeat. Edna's outrageously gaudy dresses
(I loved the outfit with a giant stuffed lizard that could stick out its
tongue) and purple tinted wigs are funny, but they only set the tone for
the antics that are to follow. The guests are really only there to
allow Edna to showcase her extraordinary wit. The master of the double
entendre, Edna can turn most statements into a dirty joke, but she's not
afraid to be blunt when the situation calls for it. When Douglas
Fairbanks Jr was on the show, Edna asked him about his first wife:
"Joan (Crawford) became a bit of a rat bag didn't she? And I mean
that in the nicest way."
Being a British show, there were some guests that I'd never heard of,
but the guests aren't the point of the show, Edna is. As it was once
described, her shows are "monologues interrupted by total strangers." Pretty
funny monologues at that.
The two channel audio was adequate for the show, though not outstanding.
There was some distortion and crackling at parts which was disappointing,
and at times this became distracting. There were no subtitles.
The full frame video looked appropriate for this type of show.
The show was videotaped, as opposed to being filmed, and the background
details are a little fuzzy. There is a good amount of edge enhancement
too, which was disappointing. Overall, the show looked okay, but
This set comes with a good set of extras. First off is Another
Audience with Dame Edna Everage, this 50 minute UK TV special won the
British Academy Award for Best Entertainment Program. An entertaining
show where Edna takes questions from the audience.
"Disco Matilda" is the 1979 appearance of Dame Edna on Top of the
Pops where she preformed her hit single which was a disco version of
Waltzing Matilda. (Yes, it's as bizarre as it sounds.)
Dame Edna chats with Sue Lawley and Whoopi Goldberg is an eleven minute
excerpt from Edna's appearance on the BBC talk show Woogan, from
Sarah Greene interviews Barry Humphries: A 1996 interview with Edna's
alter-ego from a 1996 appearance on the BBC show Pebble Mill.
This was my first experience with Dame Edna, and I found her show to
be very funny. A talk show where the humor doesn't stop after
the guests are introduced. A wonderful concept that more shows should