Benny Hill: The Complete Megaset (1969-1989)

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

A lot of performers have been called icons, but few truly deserve to be called one. But one that more than deserves to be known as an icon is Benny Hill, a man who has given us decades of laughs in his own unique style. A blend of sharp jokes, outrageous slapstick, and beautiful women, his show has become a legend of the airwaves. I think we’ve all seen countless tributes to his show, with upbeat saxophone music playing as people chase each other back and forth across the screen. Hill’s show is best known for the parade of beautiful women and with good reason, as the shows were filled with hotties. Hill’s brand of humor was risque at the time, but quite playful and always hilarious. Hill was also able to create memorable characters, usually played by himself and these colorful folks would get into all kinds of comical mayhem. But whether you like the women, the banter, or the pratfalls, there is always something to laugh at when Benny Hill’s show is on.

This release isn’t called a Megaset without reason, with eighteen discs loaded with over forty-eight hours of content, covering a span of two decades. That means you could watch classic episodes of Benny Hill for two days straight, even without sleep, and you’d still have more content to watch. This incredible collection houses all 58 episodes of Benny Hill’s legendary television show, from 1969 until 1989. These hilarious, but often controversial shows were never broadcast in the United States in complete versions, but now they’ve been restored to the original, full length episodes. A&E had released in several volumes, but now you can pick up the entire run in one convenient box, complete with all of the supplements from the individual releases. The antics of Benny Hill are true television legend, an iconic program that has stood the test of time. This eighteen disc release allows us to revisit these hilarious, timeless episodes, in their intended form and free from censorship. Benny Hill: The Complete Megaset is a godsend for Benny Hill fans and earns a high recommendation.

Video: How does it look?

The episodes are presented in full frame, as intended. I was pleased with how the show looks here, as it looks much better than any television broadcast of the series I’ve seen. The visuals look clean and while the image is on the soft side, it isn’t worn, the softness is part of the inherent visual design. The colors look bright and contrast is good, but both suffer some moments of inconsistency, though nothing too severe. This is not a slick, polished production, it is a television series that is almost four decades old, so for what it is, the show looks quite good.

Audio: How does it sound?

The audio sounds fine, but won’t leave you raving about the depth and presence. The main element is dialogue of course, so it is important that the vocals are clear and crisp. As it turns out, no issues at all surface and every last one liner and innuendo come through just fine. The show’s wonderful, off the wall music sounds good too. The material here is a little thin and dated, but even so, it sounds more than acceptable.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This set delivers in terms of extras, starting with Benny Hill: The World’s Favorite Clown. This piece runs almost an hour and gives an in depth look at one of television’s most beloved icons. This was shot in the last year of Hill’s life, which makes it bittersweet, but it is an insightful piece. Hill himself discusses his career and interviews with those who worked with him supplement his own thoughts, on what is such a rich legacy of laughs. Even more insight on Hill can be found in the A&E Biography episode on his life and career, which is an excellent inclusion. A trio of Hill’s Angels featurettes are also housed here, so you can hear from the women involved and get their perspective on Hill’s sometimes controversial approach to humor.

Disc Scores

VIDEO
AUDIO
EXTRAS
OVERALL