Shout! Factory Slates Home Dates for Anime Heist Film ‘Lupin III: The First’

GKIDS and Shout! Factory have announced home release dates for Lupin III: The First, a 2019 Japanese 3DCG comedy action-adventure heist anime film based on the “Lupin the Third” franchise.

The film will first be available for digital download on Dec. 15, followed by a Jan. 12, 2021, release in a Blu-ray Disc + DVD combo pack, as a standalone DVD, and as a Blu-ray Steelbook.

In Lupin III: The First, the iconic “gentleman thief” Lupin III returns with his colorful underworld companions as they race to uncover the secrets of the mysterious Bresson Diary, before it falls into the hands of a dark cabal that will stop at nothing to resurrect the Third Reich.

The release will be presented in both the original Japanese version and a new English dubbed version, featuring the return of the English cast that has voiced previous Lupin films and series.

Bonus features exclusive to the Blu-ray include interviews with director Takashi Yamazaki and the Japanese voice cast.

The Steelbook edition also includes a 16-page booklet featuring character concept art.

Fans who order the Blu-ray + DVD combo pack or SteelBook copies from ShoutFactory’s main website will receive an 18×24-inch lithograph, while supplies last.

4K Ultra UHD: Into the Vaults — Indies Go 4K

As the 4K Ultra HD market has expanded, independents have jumped in as well.

In early 2016, Shout! Factory was one of the first independents to offer movies in the 4K Ultra HD format with a slate of family-friendly releases shot in Imax technology, including Journey to Space, narrated by Patrick Stewart; Humpback Whales, narrated by Ewan McGregor; Wonders of the Arctic, narrated by Victor Garber; The Last Reef: Cities Beneath the Sea; Flight of the Butterflies; and Rocky Mountain Express. The Imax releases continued with Mysteries of China (2017); We, the Marines, narrated by Gene Hackman (2018); Dream Big: Engineering Our World, narrated by Jeff Bridges (2018); National Parks Adventure, narrated by Robert Redford (2018); and Guardians of the Seas (2019), among others.

SEE ALSO: Prepping Films for 4K Ultra HD is a Journey of Discovery

In May of this year, Shout! released D-Day: Normandy 1944 — 75th Anniversary Edition and The Deer Hunter: Collector’s Edition. There are several titles slated for later this year and early 2021, including the Japanese animated Weathering With You: Collector’s Edition (Nov. 17) and John Carpenter’s sci-fi horror classic They Live (Dec. 8).

“For the most part, action is the best genre for the format,” says Jeff Nelson, senior marketing director at Shout! Factory’s horror imprint, Scream Factory. “Since Scream Factory is such a big brand for us, we will be looking to our catalog for some horror and sci-fi titles.”

While most of the titles Scream Factory’s Nelson and Cliff MacMillan have been working on have existing 4K masters, “we will be doing Army of Darkness early next year, which will be the first title we have done from scratch,” Nelson says. “We will need to do more restoration on the new 4K title to make sure the picture looks its best.”

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At Well Go USA Entertainment, executives watched the 4K market share of tentpole releases closely and jumped in with their first 4K Ultra HD release, the martial arts action film Shadow, in August 2019. Well Go has released three titles in the past 12 months, with two more planned for the fourth quarter, including the complete “Ip Man” collection.

“We look for new releases that our growing fan base will appreciate and embrace on 4K,” says Well Go EVP Tony Vandeveerdonk. “We like action films that are visually stunning with a high production value. In the case of the Ip Man 4 4K release back in April, the decision to release a 4K was easy. ‘Ip Man’ is one of our most successful film franchises and has been touted as the best martial arts film franchise of all time. The [sellthrough] on this 4K SKU has been terrific.”

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Blue Underground, too, watched the growing sales in the 4K market and took the plunge.

“My company likes to be forward thinking,” says William Lustig, president of the indie that distributes through MVD Entertainment Group.

“Maniac and Zombie [released in May] were our first titles, as they are both historically strong sellers and, as we own them in perpetuity, we have a long time to recoup the costs if we misjudged the market,” he says. “Both sold well above expectations.”

In choosing titles to release in 4K, “we look for our best sellers,” he says.
Among the 4K projects the company is working on are Daughters of Darkness, Vigilante, Maniac Cop 2 and 3, Dead & Buried, The Final Countdown and Fire and Ice.

Disc Sales Charts Led by Season 5 of ‘Outlander’

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Outlander: Season Five debuted at No. 1 on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart the week ended Sept. 19.

The popular Starz series stars stars Caitriona Balfe as a World War II nurse who finds herself transported back in time to the 18th century.

Disney’s Hocus Pocus jumped up to No. 2, from No. 18 the previous week. The perennial Halloween-season seller got a bit of a boost from a new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition, which comprised 18% of the title’s total unit sales. It was No. 4 on the Blu-ray chart.

Warner’s Beetlejuice, which topped the charts a few weeks earlier after the release of its own 4K disc, was No. 3 on the overall disc sales chart and No. 10 on the Blu-ray chart.

New release Weathering With You, an anime movie distributed in America by Shout! Factory, debuted at No. 4 overall and No. 2 on the Blu-ray chart.

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The previous week’s top seller, Warner’s direct-to-video animated movie Superman: Man of Tomorrow, slipped to No. 5 overall and No. 3 on the Blu-ray chart.

The No. 5 Blu-ray was Lionsgate’s new Vestron collector’s edition of David Cronenberg’s 1975 horror movie Shivers. Similarly, Lionsgate’s Vestron Blu-ray of the 1989 comedy Little Monsters was the No. 6 Blu-ray.

Warner’s Cats & Dogs 3: Paws Unite!, which arrives on Blu-ray and DVD Oct. 13 but is available for sale early at Walmart, was No. 14 overall. The Blu-ray version comprised 29% of its Walmart sales.

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The Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Sept. 20 had at No. 1 for the third straight week the Universal political comedy Irresistible, which on the disc sales chart has never cracked the top 50.

Lionsgate’s Rogue moved up to No. 2, swapping with Universal’s The King of Staten Island, which dropped to No. 3.

Redbox’s Hard Kill climbed a spot to No. 4, and Warner’s Scoob! moved up to No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 9-19-20
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 9-20-20
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 9-19-20
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 9-19-20
Sales Report for Week Ended 9-19-20
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 9-21-20

‘Outlander: Season 5’ Jumps to No. 1 on ‘Watched at Home’ Chart

The fifth season of the fantasy TV series “Outlander,” distributed by Sony Pictures, was the top title on the weekly “Watched at Home” chart for the week ended Sept. 19.

The Blu-ray and DVD edition of the season arrived in stores Sept. 15.

Also new to the list at No. 7 is the anime movie Weathering With You, released on Blu-ray and DVD Sept. 15 by Shout! Factory.

No. 12 saw the debut of Lionsgate’s The Secret: Dare to Dream, which became available for digital sellthrough Sept. 15. Based on the 2006 self-help book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, the movie stars Katie Holmes as a widowed mother of three who meets a handyman (Josh Lucas) who inspires her with the power of positive thinking.

The other new release on the list, at No. 15, is Magnolia Pictures’ Alone, a thriller about a recently widowed woman who flees the city only to be kidnapped by a strange man and held captive in his cabin.

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The three seasons of Paramount’s drama series “Yellowstone,” which the previous week took the top three spots, dropped to second, third and fourth on the “Watched at Home” chart, which tracks transactional video activity (both digital and on DVD and Blu-ray Disc) compiled from studio and retailer data through DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group. Season three was No. 2, followed by season two then season one.

Warner’s eight-film “Harry Potter” collection rounded out the top five.

The Sept. 18 death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg inspired viewers to revisit two 2018 films about her: the documentary RBG, from Magnolia, at No. 10, and the biopic On the Basis of Sex, from Universal, at No. 16. In the latter, Felicity Jones plays a younger Ginsberg making a name for herself as a civil rights attorney.

  1. Outlander: Season 5 (Sony Pictures)
  2. Yellowstone: Season 3 (Paramount)
  3. Yellowstone: Season 2 (Paramount)
  4. Yellowstone: Season 1 (Paramount)
  5. Harry Potter Complete 8-Film Collection (Warner)
  6. The Tax Collector (RLJ Entertainment)
  7. Weathering With You (Shout! Factory)
  8. Trolls World Tour (Universal/DreamWorks)
  9. The King of Staten Island (Universal)
  10. RBG (Magnolia)
  11. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Warner)
  12. The Secret: Dare to Dream (Lionsgate)
  13. Irresistible (2020, Universal)
  14. Hocus Pocus (Disney)
  15. Alone (Magnolia)
  16. On the Basis of Sex (Universal)
  17. Guest House (Lionsgate)
  18. The Silencing (2020, Lionsgate)
  19. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Warner)
  20. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Warner)

 

Source: DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group
Includes U.S. digital sales, digital rentals, and DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD sales for the week ended Sept. 19.

Shout! Factory Slates Month-Long Streams of Horror Films During October

Shout! Factory TV and Scream Factory have announced “31 Nights of Horror,” featuring a daily selection of macabre films available to stream each evening throughout October.

Starting Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. PT or 10 p.m. ET, fans can tune in for a daily selection of horror movies such as Witchboard, Bad Moon, the cult classic Sleepaway Camp, The Exorcist III, Clive Barker’s Nightbreed: Director’s Cut, and many more. Viewers will also be treated to a double feature every Saturday during the month, as well as a distinctively eerie episode of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” for every MSTie Monday. There will also be an announcement of a special presentation for Oct. 30.

The livestream can be viewed on Shout Factory TV’s main website, Shout! Factory TV’s Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV and Android apps, and on the following digital streaming platforms: Twitch, Samsung TV Plus, Comcast Xfinity, Xumo, Vizio, Redbox, IMDB TV, and STIRR.

The featured films will also be available for viewing on Shout! Factory TV’s main website, Shout! Factory TV’s Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Android apps; and on various Shout! Factory TV branded channels including Tubi TV, Amazon Prime Channels, and the Roku Channel

The schedule for “31 Nights of Horror” is as follows:

  • Oct. 1: Nosferatu the Vampyre
  • Oct. 2: Body Bags
  • Oct. 3: Deadly Double Feature: Mermaid: Lake of the Dead / Night Tide
  • Oct. 4: Cannibal Girls
  • Oct. 5: MSTie Monday: Mystery Science Theater 3000: Hobgoblins
  • Oct. 6: The House That Dripped Blood
  • Oct. 7: Werewolves on Wheels
  • Oct. 8: Shakma
  • Oct. 9: How to Make a Monster
  • Oct. 10: Deadly Double Feature: Witchboard / Witchery
  • Oct. 11: The Beast Must Die
  • Oct. 12: MSTie Monday: Mystery Science Theater 3000: Night of the Blood Beast
  • Oct. 13: Q: The Winged Serpent
  • Oct. 14: Saturday the 14th
  • Oct. 15: Chopping Mall
  • Oct. 16: The Howling III: The Marsupials
  • Oct. 17: Deadly Double Feature: Bad Moon/ The Howling: New Moon Rising
  • Oct. 18: Nightbreed: Director’s Cut
  • Oct. 19: MSTie Monday: Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Touch of Satan
  • Oct. 20: Jackals
  • Oct. 21: Itsy Bitsy
  • Oct. 22: Bloodsucking Bastards
  • Oct. 23: The Exorcist III
  • Oct. 24: Deadly Double Feature: Sleepaway Camp / The Final Terror
  • Oct. 25: Horror Hospital
  • Oct. 26: MSTie Monday: Mystery Science Theater 3000: Werewolf
  • Oct. 27: Class of 1984
  • Oct. 28: The Monster Club
  • Oct. 29: Asylum
  • Oct. 30: TBD
  • Oct. 31: Deadly Double Feature: Ghosthouse / The Evil

‘Cats & Dogs 3’, ‘The Secret: Dare to Dream’ Top New Digital Releases; ‘Roman Holiday’ Makes Blu-ray Disc Debut

The family film Cats & Dogs 3: Paws Unite!, from Warner Bros., and Lionsgate’s The Secret: Dare to Dream top the slate of new digital releases available for purchase Sept. 15, while a flurry of independent films arrive on disc the same day.

Also out Sept. 15: the classic 1953 film Roman Holiday, arriving for the first time on Blu-ray Disc as part of Paramount Home Entertainment’s new Paramount Presents line. The film was subjected to an extensive 4K restoration by the studio, which showed off some of the results at an online press event July 15.

In the film, Audrey Hepburn stars as a European princess who escapes her secluded lifestyle and spends an adventure in Rome with an American journalist played by Gregory Peck. “I don’t know anybody who doesn’t like Roman Holiday,” said famed critic and film historian Leonard Maltin. “It’s an irresistible movie.”

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Also new in stores, Best Buy has an exclusive Steelbook of the camp comedy classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show, from 20th Century Fox. The studio, now owned by The Walt Disney Co., is also offering consumers the chance to buy a new 4K Ultra HD edition of the holiday classic Home Alone to celebrate the film’s 30th anniversary.

Paws Unite! is the second sequel to 2001’s Cats & Dogs, a spy action-comedy film starring Jeff Goldblum that grossed more than $200 million in global ticket sales. Unlike the two other films, Paws Unite! is a straight-to-home release, except in the UK, where it opens theatrically on Oct. 9. In the U.S., the film will be released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on Oct. 13.

The Secret: Dare to Dream is new drama based on the 2006 self-help book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. The film stars Katie Holmes and Josh Lucas and was directed by Andy Tennant, from a screenplay by he wrote with Bekah Brunstetter and Rick Parks.

New independent films arriving in stores Sept. 15 on DVD and Blu-ray include Mill Creek Entertainment’s No Safe Spaces and Shout! Factory’s Weathering With You.

No Safe Spaces finds comedian and podcaster Adam Carolla and radio talk show host Dennis Prager taking the audience on a journey to expose threats to free speech taking place on university campuses, in social media, and at the workplace.

Weathering With You is a new anime film from director Makoto Shinkai. It follows a boy named Hodaka, who runs away from his remote island home in Tokyo the summer of his high school freshman year. He quickly finds himself pushed to his financial and personal limits, and notices the weather is unusually rainy and gloomy every day (a sign of his troubled future). He lives his days in isolation, finally finding his place as a writer for a mysterious occult magazine. One day, he meets a bright and strong-willed girl named Hina, who possesses a strange but wonderful ability: the power to stop the rain and clear the sky.

A complete list of new disc and digital releases, compiled each week by the Media Play News market research team, can be found here.

Shout! Factory Releasing ‘They Live’ on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Shout! Factory’s horror imprint, Scream Factory, will release director John Carpenter’s They Live on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Dec. 8.

The 1988 sci-fi allegory will be available as a two-disc They Live: Collector’s Edition combo pack with the 4K disc and a regular Blu-ray. This marks the first time the film will be available in 4K in North America.

The film stars Rowdy Roddy Piper as Nada, a drifter in Los Angeles who comes across a pair of sunglasses that allows him to see a hidden society of aliens living among humans and systematically taking over Earth by luring society into submission.

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The 4K combo pack will include a new 7.1 Dolby Atmos audio mix, Dolby Vision HDR, and all the previous bonus features from Scream Factory’s 2012 Blu-ray of the film:

  • Commentary with Carpenter and Piper;
  • “Independent Thoughts” — an interview with Carpenter;
  • “Man vs. Aliens” — An interview with actor Keith David;
  • “Woman of Mystery” — An interview with actress Meg Foster;
  • “Watch, Look, Listen: The Sights & Sounds of They Live” — A look at the visual style, stunts and music with director of photography Gary B. Kibbe, stunt coordinator Jeff Imada, and co-composer Alan Howarth;
  • Vintage “The Making of They Live” featurette;
  • Footage from commercials created for the film;
  • Original theatrical trailer;
  • TV Spots;
  • still gallery.

 

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The ShoutFactory.com store also features five exclusive offers tied to the They Live 4K release.

Fans who order the 4K disc (priced at $34.98) directly from ShoutFactory.com will receive an 18×24-inch rolled poster reproduction of the film’s original one-sheet, while supplies last.

ShoutFactory.com also has an exclusive limited-edition NECA 8-inch clothed action figure of Keith David’s “Frank,” who joins Nada in the fight against the aliens. Limited to a run of 4,000 units, the figure will be housed in retro box packaging featuring original theatrical art, and  comes with two accessory machine guns, a purple shirt, khaki pants, and a pair of the special sunglasses. The figure is meant as a companion to NECA’s Nada action figure due in November 2020.

The Frank figure can be purchased on its own for $39.99.

A bundle of the 4K disc, poster and the Frank figure is available for $74.99.

Scream Factory will also have an exclusive 7-inch bubble gum pink vinyl record via Sacred Bones, limited to a run of 2,500 units and featuring music from They Live composed by Carpenter. The ‘A’-side includes the 2017 version of the main title and the ‘B’-side contains a never-before-released recording of “Wake Up” recorded by John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies in 2019.

The 4K disc with the poster and vinyl is available for $58.99.

Finally, a deluxe bundle of the 4K disc with the poster, Frank figure and vinyl is offered for $94.99.

Shout! Factory, Anime Limited Announce Deal to Bring ‘Bartender’ to Blu-ray, Digital Home Entertainment Platforms

Shout! Factory and U.K. animation distributor Anime Limited Sept. 4 announced a new North American distribution partnership for the popular anime series “Bartender.”

Based on the best-selling Japanese manga books by Araki Joh, “Bartender” was adapted into an anime series in 2006 and a live-action Japanese television drama in 2011. The anthology series was directed by Masaki Watanabe, written by Yasushiro Imagawa, and produced by Palm Studios.

This multiyear distribution deal provides Shout! Factory with distribution rights to “Bartender,” including digital, video-on-demand, broadcast and home entertainment for cross-platform releases in the United States and Canada.

Shout! Factory, in collaboration with Anime Limited, plans to bring the anime series to the home entertainment marketplace in early 2021, with a special 15th anniversary multi-disc collector’s edition Blu-ray Disc set, and a digital launch across major entertainment platforms.

“We’ve been enjoying our ongoing collaboration and couldn’t be more excited about this new opportunity with Anime Limited,” said Melissa Boag, SVP of family entertainment at Shout! Factory. “This truly unique and highly entertaining anime series is a very exciting addition to our anime library. We look forward to bringing the ‘Bartender’  collector’s edition to fans and collectors in North America.”

“Bartender” is centered on a bartending prodigy named Ryū Sasakura (voiced by Takahiro Mizushima) known for his spectacular cocktails. He opens his own bar, the Eden Hall, in downtown Tokyo, which soon becomes a gathering spot for customers who share their troubles and seek advice from the young bartender as they indulge in his “Glass of Gods” — the right drink for whichever situation they happen to find themselves in.

 

Shout! Factory Bringing William Shatner’s ‘Captains Collection’ to Blu-ray

Shout! Factory Oct. 20 will release The Captains Collection, bringing together for the first time on Blu-ray four documentaries by William Shatner that take fans behind the scenes of the “Star Trek” franchise. The documentaries will also be available for digital purchase.

The documentaries, which were previously released on DVD, include 2011’s The Captains, 2012’s Get a Life!, 2013’s The Captains Close Up, and 2014’s Chaos on the Bridge: The Untold Story Behind Trek’s Next Generation.

In The Captains, Shatner, who famously starred as Capt. James T. Kirk on the original “Star Trek,” interviews five other performers who played the headlining captains on various “Star Trek” shows and movies up to that point: Patrick Stewart of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” Avery Brooks of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” Kate Mulgrew of “Star Trek: Voyager,” Scott Bakula of “Star Trek: Enterprise,” and Chris Pine, who plays a younger alternate reality Kirk in the 2009 Star Trek movie and its sequels.

The Captains Close Up is a five-episode miniseries featuring expanded interviews from The Captains.

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In Get a Life!, Shatner explores “Star Trek” fandom and his own influence on it. The title is based on a famous “Saturday Night Live” sketch in which Shatner jokingly implores the crowd at a “Star Trek” convention to stop bothering him with mundane questions about the series and “get a life.”

Chaos on the Bridge recounts the story of making “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” featuring interviews with several of its creators and producers.

The Captains Collection will be widely as a standard four-disc set. Extras include trailers, additional stories, “The Making of the Captains” featurette, and a “Ponder The Mystery” music video.

The ShoutFactory.com store is also offering an exclusive special-edition version with a fifth disc containing the 2009 documentary William Shatner’s Gonzo Ballet for the first time on home video.

William Shatner’s Gonzo Ballet chronicles a ballet called “Common People” that was set to the music of a 2004 album called Has Been by William Shatner and Ben Folds. “Common People” was one of the songs on the album and is a cover of a song from the 1995 Different Class album by the band Pulp.

The Shout! Exclusive bonus disc also offers an additional hour-and-a-half of interviews, including bonus episode “Still Kicking: A Conversation Between William Shatner and Christopher Plummer.” Extended interviews from The Captains include Walter Koenig, Grace Lee Whitney, Gary Lockwood and Sally Kellerman from the original series. The disc also includes extended interviews from Chaos on the Bridge, including former CBS president Les Moonves.

The special-edition Blu-ray is limited to a run of 2,000 copies.

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The ShoutFactory.com store also has an exclusive bundle, limited to 1,000 units, pairing the special-edition Blu-ray with the Has Been album on vinyl — a  variant featuring a green, yellow and black splatter design.

‘The Carol Burnett Show’ Headed for Pluto TV

Shout! Factory TV on Sept. 1 announced the launch of “The Carol Burnett Show” channel on Pluto TV, a free ad-supported television streaming service.

The 24/7 linear channel presents episodes from all 11 seasons and can be viewed on Channel 516 in Pluto TV’s newly-launched Classic TV section, available on all leading digital streaming devices and services, as well as major smart TVs and gaming consoles.

Additionally, fans looking to stream content on demand can stream episodes on Pluto TV and Shout! Factory TV.

Many of the episodes included in the linear streaming release have been rarely seen since the show’s original broadcast more than 40 years ago. The comedy legend worked with Shout! Factory to find the long-lost masters of these episodes for their on-demand streaming debut on Shout! Factory TV.

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Content ranges from season one’s first “Carol & Sis” sketches, with a teenage Vicki Lawrence playing a character based on Carol Burnett’s real-life sister, and “As The Stomach Turns,” a soap opera parody which ran for all 11 seasons, to the evolution of Tim Conway’s “Oldest Man” character, which he introduced in Season two and performed nearly 20 times over the course of the series.

“I am so thrilled about the launch of the new ‘Carol Burnett Show’ channel on Pluto TV,” said Carol Burnett in a press release. “When the show started in the 1960s, there were only three or four channels to watch and now there are hundreds on Pluto TV alone. I can’t wait for new fans to discover the show and see how the comedy holds up today.”