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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Dame Edna Experience - The Christmas Specials
The Dame Edna Experience - The Christmas Specials
BBC Worldwide // Unrated // October 5, 2004
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted September 26, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
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P R I N T
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The Show:

Barry Humphries' alter-ego, the absolute megastar Dame Edna is back again with some special Christmas shows.  Edna, her ever suffering brides maid Madge, and the guests that pop in to just be in her presence, celebrate the holiday as only Dame Edna can.

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 stars and other famous personalities, but as where most talk shows are fairly humorless after the guests start coming on stage, that's just when Dame Edna's show is the most hilarious.  Since she is a self proclaimed mega-star the people on her show aren't her peers, she is superior to them in just about every way.  And she treats them like that.  She talks the Mel Gibson and Roger Moore the same way she'd address her hair stylist or mailman.  That's part of the humor of the show.  The other part is Humphries, or should I say Edna's, razor sharp wit. 'She' flings jokes with sexual innuendo and dual meanings fly throughout the course of the show, often cracking up her guests even more than the audience.   It is a wildly funny show that has to be seen to be believed.

This DVD contains two of Edna's hour long Christmas specials:

The Dame Edna Christmas Experience: Originally broadcast on December 26th 1987, this special has Dame Edna spreading the holiday cheer with her guests Lulu (from To Sir, With Love), Dennis Healey, Roger Moore, and The Wells Cathedral Choir.  This special was a little long on the songs, but the interview segments were funny for the most part.  Some of the best parts were watching the guests reactions to Edna's comments.  This may not be the best episode to show to someone whose never seen Dame Edna before.  There were a few too many bits with Edna's nemesis, Sir Les Patterson, and not enough of Edna's barbed tongue.  Still, fans of the mega star will be pleased.

A Night on Mount Edna: A TV special from 1990 with Dame Edna where she entertains in her exclusive Swiss Chalet.  Edna loves Switzerland since they've invented so many things: "Like cuckoo clocks and Valium" and has a wonderful time entertaining there.  Her guests include Mel Gibson, Charlton Heston, Julio Iglesias and Gina Lollobrigida.  Heston's intro wearing a pink apron made out of hearts is great.  Her interview with a Mel Gibson in a sauna room was classic Edna starting the interview with "You're huge, aren't you Mel?"  The double entendres fly thick through out the whole chat.  The whole show was funny, and sure to appeal to Edna's legion of fans.
 
While some of the jokes (and the occasional guest) will be unfamiliar to North American viewers, this show still has a great deal of laughs.  You wouldn't think a talk show could be so funny.

The DVD:


Audio:

The two channel audio was adequate for the show, though not outstanding.  There was some slight distortion in parts but this didn't became distracting.   There were no subtitles.

Video:

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 not great.

Extras:

The disc comes with a nice set of extras.  First off is One More Audience with Dame Edna Everage, the posh Dame's third appearance on the BBC show An Audience with... more than any other star.  Edna preforms some of her stage ac.

Also included is Dame Edna's Christmas Address to the Commonwealth, a Christmas Eve interview with Michael Parkinson from 2001.  In this spot Edna reveals that she's been writing the Queen's speeches for years. A very funny featurette.

Final Thoughts:

Another great set of shows from Dame Edna.  Though the first special was only mediocre, the second one and the extras make up for it.  Edna's Christmas Address along was worth the price of the disc.  (You didn't know Queen Elizabeth spoke with a slight cockney accent in private did you?)  A fun show that is Highly Recommended.

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