If I could turn back time, I’d go back to the golden age of variety shows, when the biggest stars of the day would show off their singing, dancing and (cheesy) comedy skills every week on primetime television. Literally dozens of celebrities were handed such showcases during the 1960s and ‘70s, but the queen of the genre was Cher. While she partnered with Sonny Bono on two different variety shows (once while married, once after they divorced), her masterpiece was the two-season, 26-episode self-titled Cher, which ran on CBS in 1975 and 1976. Freed from having to carry Bono on her slim-yet-toned shoulders, Cher was Cher at her peak — free to be as adventurous as she wanted, in music, fashion and in speaking her mind.
Sadly, while Cher’s efforts with Bono have been revived in reruns on TV Land (years ago) and various DVD releases, full episodes of Cher have been harder to find. But this month brings blessings to followers of the Dark Lady of El Centro, California: A new DVD retrospective of Cher’s career, obviously titled The Best of Cher, features ten complete episodes of Cher that have been on the shelf for 40 years, with guest stars such as Elton John, Bette Midler, Ray Charles, Linda Ronstadt and Tina Turner. The collection also includes two Cher primetime specials (including the cutting edge Cher … and other Fantasies), two of her Las Vegas comeback specials from the start and end of the 1990s, and her 2013 documentary Dear Mom, Love Cher.
The nine-disc set — it’s only available on DVD, not digital or streaming — goes on sale next Tuesday, September 15, but Vulture has snagged an exclusive first look at one of the Cher episodes included. It’s a segment in which Cher takes (very random) questions from her studio audience, which presses the diva for her weight, body measurements, whether her breasts are real (no really, somebody asked that — in public!), if she had ever dated Elvis and why she had never worked with Barbra Streisand. Watch Cher’s very Cher-like answers in the clip above.
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