Actor:Ray Stevens Genres:Comedy, Music Video & Concerts Sub-Genres:Comedy, Country, Pop Studio:Rhino Format:DVD - Color DVD Release Date: 02/12/2002 Original Release Date: 01/01/2001 Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2001 Release Year: 2002 Run Time: 0hr 31min Screens: Color Number of Discs: 1 SwapaDVD Credits: 1 Total Copies: 0 Members Wishing: 5 MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated) Languages:English
"first off, Ray is a great singer and he's a wonderful pianist of all types of music. this home video of music videos is hilarious and properly closes with the serious "Everything Is Beautiful". three of the eight music videos were made prior to 1991/1992: "Sittin' Up With the Dead" and "Help Me Make It Through The Night" were released in 1990 and "Santa Claus is Watching You" goes back to 1987, the song was included on his 1985 album 'I HAVE RETURNED'. the other five music videos are first runs: "The Streak", "Everything Is Beautiful", "It's Me Again, Margaret", "Surfin' USSR", and "Mississippi Squirrel Revival". the novelty of selling music videos on home video made experts laugh and downplay Ray's ideas but as usual he proved the skeptics wrong by selling 2,000,000 copies of the project on his own label, CLYDE Records, over TV. an additional million was sold when it hit the stores in 1993. this home video single handedly revived the home video market for a time during the mid to late '90s. planning ahead, Ray almost abandoned audio for video when sales were so high. his next three home video releases (1993, 1995, and 2000) have all repeated the multi- platinum path the first one set. Ray's niche is novelty songs. novelty means unusual or strange. i'm sick and tired of reading people say that Ray isn't funny or he's too cornball with his humor. Ray is roped in with the country comedians because that's the only market. his songs are NOVELTY and all they have to be is zany and off the wall to please his fans. we don't always have to be pounded over the head with meaningful comedy with hidden messages...that's the job of brilliant satirists like Stan Freberg, Garrison Keillor, or Mark Russell...not NOVELTY artists like Ray Stevens and Spike Jones. there are different forms of comedy styles: satire, topical, parody, novelty, and country comedy...and Ray Stevens has touched them all at one point or another but novelty is his most recorded style. the most elaborate video is "Surfin' USSR". Ray adds on the opening sequence, which isn't part of the 1988 recording, involving a meeting between Reagan and Gorbechev, both voiced by Ray. in the background the two wives get in a fistfight as Reagan points out Gorbechev's red birth mark on his forehead...it's in the form of a country, prompting Gorbechev to exclaim: "ooh, a coincidence only...my mother must have been frightened by a map...". Ray's long-time songwriting partner, Buddy Kalb, appears as the cigar smoking woman from Moscow U. this home video was #1 for nearly a year and Billboard named it 'VIDEO OF THE YEAR' for 1993. get it if you can."
Love It? Yeeeeeah, I DID!
Kevin Cook | McDonough, Georgia USA | 05/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ray Stevens has been tickling America's funny-bone for over forty years, and I've been a fan almost as long. His gifts are many: skillful and prolific songwriter, brilliant comedian/humorist/satirist, and a pretty darn good singer who can switch gears from silly to soulful on a dime. Ray's extraordinarily well-crafted novelty songs are in a class by themselves: He's the undisputed Master of the genre, as far as I'm concerned. "Comedy Video Classics" is a tour de force of humor of the lowest brow, and I'm hear to tell you, it is funny. "Help Me Make it Through the Night" starts seriously, but soon turns into a free-for-all of outrageous sight gags and sound effects, with Ray playing about a dozen different parts. In the mildly risque "It's Me Again Margaret," Ray's an obscene phone caller who utters the immortal line "Are ya nekkiiiiiiid!" to his plus-size victim. (The video has an amusing twist ending.) "Santa Claus is Watching You," a rockin' early tune, isn't particularly funny (despite shamelessly exploiting a Little Person for cheap laughs), but it does showcase Ray's agility with witty lyrics. Ray is in very good voice on "Sittin' Up with the Dead" and has a field day making fun of a creepy Southern custom. The catchy "Surfin' U.S.S.R.," a Cold War send-up done Beach Boys style, has the video's best sight gag: Russian sailors holding up pictures of Communist leader Vladimir Lenin while Ray flashes one of John Lennon. Surely aimed at rigid Southern Baptists, "Mississippi Squirrel Revival" has Sister Bertha Better-Than-You and members of the First Self-Righteous Church getting their hilarious comeuppance one fateful Sunday. Ray's hugely popular "The Streak" makes a perfect transition to video, complete with cheesy animation, and gives Ray his best role as a Caterpillar-cap wearing redneck trying to protect his wife Ethel from the evils ("He was a-dribblin'!") of that Seventies fad. Finally, just to prove he has a serious side, Ray does his classic "Everything is Beautiful," a sentiment that's hard to argue with after you've laughed so hard.While obviously made on the cheap, the videos are smartly directed and edited and the production values are modest but professional. More importantly, the good time being had by cast and crew comes over like a tidal wave. It bears mentioning, too, that the musicianship on all the tunes is absolutely top-notch.I've owned this video for ten years, and everybody I've ever shared it with has near about rolled on the floor. It's
family-friendly and a sure cure for whatever ails you."
Ray Stevens-Comedy video classics
Kevin Cook | 07/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This video is side-splitting comedy at its' best! The entire video is hysterical, but "Sitting up with the Dead" will have you rolling on the floor with tears from laughing so hard."
Comedy At It's Very Best
Princess23 | Elon, North Carolina | 01/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ray Steven's Comedy Video Classics is the funniest video I've ever seen. The songs are funny in and of itself, but the videos are even funnier. My favorites are "It's Me Again Margaret", and "The Mississippi Squarrell Revival". I recommend this video to whoever needs a laugh."
Matt Kratz | Richardson, TX | 06/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Classics indeed! This was a hilarious collection of Ray Stevens's videos including "The Streak," "Santa Claus is Watching You," "Mississippi Squirrel revival," and "Everything is Beautiful." If you like Ray Stevens, you will love this collection. I loved it. Yeah, I did."