Ten hours of outright hilarity make up this 5-disc Ednathon, The Dame Edna Experience: The Complete Collection. Every program from Dame Edna's hysterical and historical series plus over 4 hours of side-splitting extras mak... more »e this collection a must-have for Edna's legion of die-hard fans!« less
Tracy Hodson | Middle of Nowhere, OR United States | 09/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Now you can get it all in one space. How spooky! And how gorgeous.
Dame Edna's talk show, which she explains is actually a monologue interrupted by total strangers, must be seen to be believed. Not for the faint of heart (she can find a double-entendre hiding inside of silence), her guests are sent up without mercy by this genius of the stage. They range from a "terrified" Sean Connery to Joan Rivers to Larry Hagman to Germaine Greer (an old school chum, actually) on an all-girls night, to former Ministers (including Prime), all of whom struggle to keep up with Dame Edna's wit and energy (you will hang on to your chair for dear life when she begins to dance), and manage to laugh at their own failure to do so--I have yet to see someone manage to hold their own when face to face with her. With a crack research staff, she manages to know and confront her guests with what they seemed to have thought were secrets from dim memory--if you've ever caught her on Jay Leno's show, you'll have seen the deer caught in the headlights look her guests end up wearing as she drops some piquant morsel "just between us," on national television, lovingly says the most appalling things to her "celebrity guests," all in the name of "caring and sharing" with her "adoring public." I guarantee that you'll be laughing so hard it hurts, especially when she uses her state-of-the-art technology to abort interviews in astonishingly final ways.
To understand the genuine genius behind this character, read John Lahr's book, "Dame Edna and the Rise of Western Civilization" and you will be impressed by the thought and purpose of Barry Humphries work in the creation of Dame Edna. Frequently mis-labeled a "transvestite" and rather strangely slotted into "gay-themed" entertainment in this country, while adored in Britain by all sorts (I once had an hour-long discussion with one of the Beef-Eaters at the Tower of London about which interview was the funniest), Dame Edna is a character so thoroughly and consciously created that her autobiography, "My Gorgeous Life," was shelved at bookstores in the Non-Fiction department, helping to further blur the line between character and real person. First appearing about 30 years ago in Australia as a satiric commentary on the aspiration to mediocrity that Barry Humphries observed in his country, Dame Edna was at first merely an "ordinary housewife" who appeared on stage and on telly to indict what Humphries felt was his countryman's complete oblivion to art, literature, and in fact anything beyond the acquisition of goods that personified what we in America call "keeping up with the Jones'". Eventually the character emigrated to England, where she became a Housewife and Superstar, friend to the Queen, advisor to the Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and long-distance confidant to the bewildered president, Mr. Reagan, who has phoned her while she was taping to ask if he was still the President. In Thatcher's brutal England where the poor were mercilessly cut loose and the emphasis on middle-class consumption was at an all-time high, Edna came into her own, receiving her status as a Dame of the Empire, and taking Ms. Thatcher's own words, "care and share," and using them to draw attention to the ultimate hypocrisy and cruelty of the PM's regime. With her silent Bride's Maid and Traveling Companion," Madge (played by Emily Perry, who is one of the world's greatest mimes--no, not the leotard & white-faced sort--the silent actor sort), who is used to receive her mistresses' most pointed barbs and to be a foil to Edna's blatant self-absorption, she finds a way to decimate her guests while never once losing their good-will towards herself. Nor does she lose ours, as her genius is saying that which we are all thinking, but would never dare to utter. By doing this, she takes us along on the ride of our lives, as both celebrities and we willing serve ourselves up to her gratefully, glad to bask in the reflection of her glory for just a few moments.
See her live in a city near you--she tours constantly--but don't sit in the first 6 rows, unless you're willing to end up on stage yourself at the end of the show, and see for yourselves what it is to serve yourself up!-- but until then, enjoy watching her treat celebrities like ordinary people, just as she treats the ordinary people in her audiences as celebrities. This Mega-star of the extraordinary face furniture, 100% natural Wisteria-colored hair, and razor-sharp mind will keep you entertained to within an inch of your life."
You're gonna love this Possums!!!
H. R. Trigg | Swindon, Wilts United Kingdom | 02/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I remember watching this series at the time, and thinking it was one of the funniest shows I'd ever seen. When I bought this collection, I was a little worried that it would have dated so much it would no longer be funny. I was very wrong. It is as hysterical as when it has was originally aired - classic TV; un-politically correct, disrespectful to her guests, ejecting boring guests, awful song & dance numbers (that she does so well) and general hilarity. Many guests including, Mel Gibson, Grace Jones, Julio Iglesias, Charlton Heston, Jerry Hall, UK politicians (in particular Jeffery Archer), Larry Hagman, Germaine Greer, and so many more, accompanied by her downtrodden bridesmaid Madge Allsop. These 5 discs are brilliantly put together; the first 2 include the 6 episodes from series 1, the second 2 series 2, and the third disc the Christmas Specials. Not much for 5 discs you may ask! However... I have never seen a box set that includes so many extraordinary extras before. It's literally jam packed; including 3 `audience with Edna' shows (each nearly an hour long) from over the years, UK TV interviews with Edna (one hilarious one including Whoopi Goldberg), and also with Barry Humphries, Comic Relief appearances, and my favourite and absolute gem - `Disco Matilda' which is a very slim Edna performing Waltzing Matilda live in 1979 on Top Of The Pops! And look for the `Madge' button! It's hilarious... I would imagine a lot of the extra material is unseen in the U.S. If you love Edna, this is truly a fans delight. "
Worth the money possums!!!!
Daryl B | Nashville, Tennessee United States | 12/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dame Edna is a riot....quick witted and well worth the purchase of this set of dvds. This trio of dvds include both her "Dame Edna Experience" series from the 80s with guests such as Jeffery Archer, Jerry Hall, Larry Hagman and more. Each of the dvds includes extras such as "An Audience with Dame Edna" with celebrity audience members asking the wickedly funny Megastar housewife questions about her personal life. The Christmas dvd includes two different Dame Edna Xmas specials with loads of guests such as Mel Gibson, Julio Iglesias and Charleton Heston. There is also a funny Address to the Commonwealth from the great Dame. And, as usual, her New Zealand bridesmaid, Madge Alsop, is along for the ride. (Don't forget to press Madge's Badge for an interesting segment with Madge!) My only complaint is that I want MORE!!! I hope they'll re-release her "Neighborhood Watch" series as well. It would be also nice to get the couple of series she did here in the states. Dame Edna is like a good wine, she just gets better with age! A must for any Dame Edna fan or anyone who enjoys British humor. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!!"
Even better than I remembered it
Polo Guy | CA USA | 09/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In an A&E interview Robin Williams was asked to name the funniest person alive, and without hesitation he responded: "Barry Humphries". That's a mighty substantial reference, and it's a safe bet that if you like one of these comedians, you'll like if not love the other as well. Both performers are at their absolute best in off-the-cuff, impromptu situations, and fortunately "The Dame Edna Experience" provides a near-perfect format for Humphries.
The heart and genius of these shows is the level of emotional honesty Dame Edna constantly presents us with. E.g. as Sean Connery is droning on about his poor childhood, just at the very moment we start to think, "what a bore this guy is", the camera cuts to Dame Edna -- and there's the exact same thought sitting clear as day on her face. It's absolutely hysterical and, as viewers, rewarding. In her own inimitable way, Dame Edna constantly reminds us of just how ridiculous celebrity really is."
Isn't she GORGEOUS?!
N. Thomas | 12/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I honestly confess there are many times in viewing the wonderment that is Dame Edna Everege when I must remind myself "That is really a MAN named Barry Humphries" (!).
But who could fail to embrace and adore Dame Edna? Her scathing wit, brilliant double entendres, and magnificent facial contortions are all signature of her placement among the "Super-Mega-Stars" and "Squillionairesses" of the world.
Her booming salutation "HELLO POSSUMS!" and her astonishing array of "party frocks" are but two signature themes to her "Experience". And any human who can both balance and ambulate in such fierce pumps is deserving of respect at the very least! Not to mention the dismally silent, perpetually suffering bridesmaid, Madge Alsop -- what a presence she manages to exude without making so much as a murmur! "Quick sticks, woman! The BADGE, Madge -- the BADGE!"
While some of the guests Dame Edna interviews are unknown to modern American viewers, this collection is still worth every moment -- our privilege is to partake of the Dame's "Niceness", to "care and to share", and to be amused no end by her antics."