I spent YEARS trying to get a copy of this TV special, thinking it was some grand and glorious tie-in with the film. Unfortunately, that's hardly the case. This seems to have been filmed at a two-day celebration of the Austin, Texas premiere of "Best Little Whorehouse." The first half hour takes place in front of the set of the Chicken Ranch house where Jerry Reed, Stuttering Mel Tillis and Dolly Parton perform songs unrelated to the film. Next is an overlong look at the Austin premiere of the movie, then a post-show banquet with Burt Reynolds emceeing and another unrelated performance by The Statler Brothers.
Aside from the glimpse of the film's premiere (which IS interesting but drags on way too long), the only other highlight for fans of the film is a handful of bloopers that didn't make it to the DVD (Reynolds fumbling to unholster his gun, Parton having trouble working a window shade, etc.) and a couple clips from the movie ("The Sidestep," "I Will Always Love You," "Sneakin' Around," "Little Bitty Pissant Country Place"). There's no behind-the-scenes glimpses, no Dom DeLuise (who they mentioned was ill), no Lois Nettleton, no Theresa Merritt, no director Collin Higgins -- and not even Marvin Zindler (aka the REAL Melvin P. Thorpe). Parton is ever-present but doesn't have a lot to say; Reynolds talks a lot without really saying "a damn thing;" Jim Nabors has little to do except play Gomer Pyle; and Charles Durning seems to only be there to grimace.
All in all, I was far more entertained by the vintage commercials than the program itself... and even those were nothing special. It's worth seeking out for the bloopers (Parton and the window shade also surfaced on one of Dick Clark's shows) or the performances if you're a fan of the artists, but overall I found it tediously disappointing.
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