If you’re in need of some lightness and laughter, check out the titles below:
When it came to late ending your day on a high note, nobody set the stage like Johnny Carson. For thirty years, Carson hosted The Tonight Show, setting standards for the genre that continue to this day and earning him the title “The Original King of Late Night”. Now out from Time Life is The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: The Vault Series, Volumes 1-6. This six-disc set spans two decades of Carson’s history-making tenure at The Tonight Show, including some of the best selections from the show chosen by Carson archivists. Notable guests featured in The Vault Series, Volumes 1-6 include Dean Martin, Jack Benny, Jerry Lewis, Don Rickles, Bob Hope, Dom DeLuise, John Denver, Peter Fonda, Michael Caine, Charlton Heston, Michael Landon, Billy Crystal, Paul McCartney, Orson Welles, Muhammad Ali, and many more.
The collection is comprised of twelve full, unedited shows from the seventies and eighties (including the original commercials, which in and of themselves are pretty awesome entertainment-wise). Among the shows featured are Carson’s tenth and eleventh anniversary shows and Johnny’s birthday episodes. Stand-alone bonus content includes interviews with Peaches Jones, Joe Piscopoa, and others, along with a stunt demonstration, a show opening, monologue and desk time with Johnny and Ed McMahon from 1976, and a performance by James Brown. The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: The Vault Series, Volumes 1-6 has a total run time of fourteen-and-a-half hours and is available on DVD on Amazon for $47.99. If you’re a mega fan (or know someone who is), you may also want to consider The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: Johnny and Friends: The Complete Collection, which includes the set above as well as two other sets for a total of ten discs and twenty-seven hours of classic Tonight Show entertainment (two hours of which is special bonus content). This set spans the entire four-thousand episode run of Carson’s time hosting the show and also includes a collectible 28-Page memory book. The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: Johnny and Friends: The Complete Collection is also available on DVD on Amazon for $104.95
Next up is the unabashedly tongue-in-cheek film version of Baywatch, starring Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron. Lt. Mitch Buchannon (Johnson) and his team of lifeguards, including second-in-commmand Stephanie Holden (Ilfenesh Hadera) and veteran C.J. Parker (Kelly Rohrbach), work hard every day to keep the beaches of Emerald Bay, Florida safe under their watch. When local drug activity threatens to invade the tranquility of their territory, the team takes matters into their own hands to clean up the bay and take down dirty business woman Victoria Leeds (Priyanka Chopra). Joining them in their task are three new lifeguard recruits—- Holden’s old friend Summer Quinn (Alexandra Daddario), lovable nerd Ronnie Greenbaum (Jon Bass), and disgraced Olympic gold medalist Matt Brody (Zac Efron). With personalities conflicting and egos clashing, the group must find a way to form a cohesive team in order to stop Leeds before they can do their own slow-motion run off into the sunset.
Baywatch is now out in 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Combo Packs, which include both the theatrical and extended versions of the film along with multiple bonus features. Extras include interviews with the cast, a look at the “Baywatch” legacy, a behind-the-scenes look at training and composition of the complicated stunts, as well as deleted and extended scenes. If there is one thing missing, I’d say it would be an audio commentary with Dwayne Johnson (who is awesome), perhaps along with Zac Efron or Director Seth Gordon— the cast is obviously having fun with this project and it would be quite entertaining to hear some commentary on the film itself. Even so, the set is fairly substantial considering you get both versions of the film along with the bonus features, so if it’s something that’s up your alley you can grab it on Amazon: the 4k Ultra HD set is $25.99 and the Blu-ray Combo Pack is $19.99 (there is also a DVD version available for $17.99, but it only includes the theatrical version of the film— no extended cut version and no bonus features). You can also get the film digitally on Amazon (rental for $5.99 or purchase for $14.99), so there is definitely a range of options depending on your pricing and content preferences.