‘The Best of Cher’: Why Her ’70s Variety Show Is Still So Bingeable

Cher Portrait Session Bob Mackie Creation
Harry Langdon/Getty Images

The Best of Cher is a misnomer. That ambitious title should encompass music, TV, film, red carpets — even her endlessly entertaining Twitter feed.

But these nine DVDs collect a nice chunk of the icon’s work, from Vegas concerts to TV appearances. Most bingeable are 10 episodes from her 1975–76 variety show, Cher. Here’s why.

The Wardrobe

The singular Bob Mackie created Cher’s feathered, beaded, sparkly and bare looks — sometimes 25 for one hour. In a new interview, he talks about the joy of dressing her “beautiful and perfect” body: “That girl had nothing hanging over that was extra.”

The Guests

Raquel Welch. The Jackson 5. Tim Conway. Liberace. It’s mind-boggling to see the talent joining Cher onstage. The “Is This Really Happening?” Award goes to the April 27, 1975, episode, which features a Beatles medley sung by Cher, the inferno that is Tina Turner and Kate “God Bless America” Smith. “On your best day, you cannot out-Tina Tina,” Cher recalls in another new interview.

And Mackie gleefully recounts the eldest performer swinging her mic, getting loose onstage: “Kate Smith almost turned into a pole dancer!” Alas, while Cher talks about David Bowie’s U.S. TV debut on her show (he bought a “polyester, crunchy” suit at Sears for their medley), his episode isn’t included.

The ’70s Touches!

As a nod to the Mad magazine phenomenon, cartoonist Sergio Aragonés illustrates a segment. And at one point, Cher performs on a set decorated with plants in macramé hangers!

The Best of Cher, $100, TimeLife.com/Cher; 800-950-7887