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TV shows starring Don Rickles make their way to DVD this week
Don Rickles stars in the sitcom "CPO Sharkey." The series' second and final season is now on DVD for the first time. - photo by Chris Hicks
Don Rickles, the comic who made hockey puck a pejorative term, has been a TV fixture since the mid-1950s and now, for the first time, two of his 1970s TV specials and the second season of his sitcom CPO Sharkey are on DVD.

The Don Rickles TV Specials: Volume 1 (Time Life/DVD, 1970/1972, two episodes, new introductions by Rickles, excerpt from TV Land show awarding Rickles its Legend trophy; four-page booklet). As you would expect, these variety shows feature songs, skits and guest appearances worked in and around Rickles brand of bombastic insult humor. Fans should be delighted.

First up is The Many Sides of Don Rickles (1970), with Rickles and guests Don Adams, Robert Goulet and Harvey Korman performing comedy skits, as well as taking part in an odd wraparound forum that has them gathered around a dressing-room set, just bantering. Rickles also sits down with psychologists to discuss the art of comedy, and his style in particular.

The second special is Don Rickles: Alive and Kicking (1972), a variety show in the more traditional format, with Juliet Prowse dancing up a storm in a couple of musical numbers, and comedy skits that feature Rickles with Harvey Korman and Anne Meara. Johnny Carson, Bob Newhart, Don Adams, and Carroll OConnor make cameo appearances, and in a banter-with-the-audience segment, Rickles introduces Tim Conway and McLean Stevenson.

CPO Sharkey: The Complete Season 2 (Time Life/DVD, 1977-78, three discs, 22 episodes, featurette). This is the final season of Rickles sitcom, which allows him to play a bombastic Navy petty officer with an ethnically diverse company of inexperienced seamen, who, of course, bear the brunt of many politically incorrect jokes that would never fly today. But Rickles is funny and, of course, those who are on the receiving end of his insults get in their licks as well.

The Flash: The Complete First Season (Warner/Blu-ray/DVD, 2014-15, four discs, 23 episodes, deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurettes, bloopers). This is a solid action fantasy series about a scientific experiment gone awry, turning a forensic investigator into the title superhero. A spinoff of Arrow, this is one more attempt by DC Comics to catch up with the ever-expanding Marvel superhero universe. (Season 2 begins Oct. 6 on The CW.)

Arrow: The Complete Third Season (Warner/Blu-ray/DVD, 2014-15, four discs, 23 episodes, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, featurettes, bloopers). This series, adapting the Green Arrow DC comic-book character, has a more rooted, realistic tone, with the character portrayed as a vigilante in the first season, though by this third season he is an acclaimed hero with a supportive team. But loyalties and alliances are tested as new villains appear on the scene. (Season 4 begins Oct. 7 on The CW.)

Vicious: The Complete Second Season (PBS/DVD, 2015, six episodes, featurette). This snarky, witty but inevitably vulgar sitcom, is given a major boost by virtue of pairing veteran actors Derek Jacobi and Ian McKellen as a bickering gay couple that has been together for 48 years in the same house. This season builds toward their eventual marriage.

Swamp Monsters: Season 1 (Cinedigm/DVD, 2014, three episodes). This reality series from Discoverys Destination America cable channel follows the team from Bayou Enforcement Agency for Supernatural Threats (BEAST) as it attempts to prove the existence of three monsters in The Grunch, Honey Island Swamp Monster and Cajun Werewolf.

Pop Life (Cinedigm/DVD, 2015, deleted scenes). Short documentary (51 minutes) with reenactments explores the influence of illicit drugs, ranging from marijuana to LSD to crystal meth, on pop music, including their presence at concert venues.

The Beginners Bible: Volume 4 (StarVista/DVD, 1995, three episodes). It's four more non-denominational animated Bible stories for children that have English- and Spanish-language options (and Kathie Lee Giffords theme song): The Story of Joseph & His Brothers, The story of Daniel & the Lions Den, The Story of the Battle of Jericho and The Story of Jonah & the Whale.

The Adventures of SpongeBob SquarePants (Nickelodeon/Paramount/DVD, 1999-2012, nine episodes). This collection of cartoons from the popular Nickelodeon show are all superhero oriented, with all the Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy episodes, as well as Patrick-Man! Ernest Borgnine voices Mermaid Man and Tim Conway is Barnacle Boy.

Transformers Prime: Ultimate Decepticons (Hasbro/Shout!/DVD, 2011-13, five episodes). Episodes from the Prime animated series have been gleaned from all three seasons of the show, from the debut program Masters and Students to the third seasons Thirst.

Once Upon a Sign: the New Stone Soup in American Sign Language (DawnSign/DVD, 2015, optional English subtitles or voiceover narration). Three traveling magicians entertain a local village in exchange for a meal, but after the show the villagers decline to feed them. So they come up with the title soup to offer a lesson in sharing.