Vintage 1950s-60s collections salute TV legends with rare episodes. Video quality is so-so; packaging is low-rent (discs in paper sleeves inside plastic case); and much-needed background info is nonexistent. But you can't beat the price -- $10 each for four discs -- all out Tuesday from Mill Creek.
THE BEST OF JACK BENNY Marilyn Monroe is among the guests on this enduringly self-aware sitcom built around Benny's penny-pinching persona. Humphrey Bogart, George Burns and Ernie Kovacs are among those playing off Benny's "Well!" pauses, eye rolling and other trademark reactions; 39 episodes (of course!) from his 1950-65 sitcom and TV specials.
BETTY WHITE: AMERICA'S FUNNY LADY She's still going strong, and this was where she started. Top-billed White plays a peppy young housewife in 1953's "Life With Elizabeth" and 1957's "Date With the Angels," neither among TV's most memorable sitcoms; 40 episodes from two shows.
JOHNNY CARSON: LATE NIGHT LEGEND Except much of the fun in this pre-"Tonight" collection comes from Carson's local shows (comedy in "Carson's Cellar"), daytime quizfests (contestant chat in "Who Do You Trust?") and prime-time guest shots. None of that, though, explains half the set being such unrelated (if welcome) '50s fare as Milton Berle's "Texaco Star Theater," "The Colgate Comedy Hour" with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, and 1952 curio "Stars in the Eye," an all-star comedy hour dedicating CBS' Television City studios; 35 episodes from 14 programs.