Episode one, the pilot of Dame Edna Everage's first American talk show from her Bel Air Mansion, with Cher, Bea Arthur, Jack Palance, Mel Gibson, Larry Hagman, Doc Severison & of course Madge Allsop, was a good, strong funny show, and an excellent inroduction of the brilliant Dame Edna to American viewers. Edna & Cher sing "I've Got You Babe" together in the show's highlight. Larry Hagman is dropped through a trapdoor into the swimming pool, Mel Gibson is left outside, begging for admittance, and Bea Arthur is relegated to dog grooming duties. The second episode, with Kim Basinger, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Chevy Chase, Burgess Merideth, Rue McClanahan, Robin Williams, Ringo Starr, George Hamilton & of course Madge Allsop, was even better. I was present at the taping and the comic interplay between Edna and all her guests, though especially with Williams, was top-notch. Edna flirts with Basinger, has a trick sofa fling Chase out the window, fails to rescue George Hamilton who is trapped in his sunbed and says that bandleader Starr is "Twirling his baton in my vestibule". Episode 3, with Sean Young, Barry Manilow, Robin Leach, Burt Reynolds and the ever present Madge Allsop is the least of the series, though still funnier than anything anyone else is doing on American TV. Lackluster guests Young, Manilow & Reynolds bring the fun quotient down, especially the smarmy Reynolds whose charms have hardened into boorishness, so the flirting from Edna is slightly creepy, rather than funny. Manilow sings "I'll Be Seeing You" and Edna sings Manilow's "Can't Smile Without You". Actually the second show shot, it was held back as the later shot episode with Robin Williams run first, as the Williams show was so clearly better than the one with Reynolds. Edna has Robin Leach tossed off a balcony though, so you've got to love her. All told, a great, far too short-lived comedy/variety series. Edna, come back! American TV NEEDS you!
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