Carol Burnett: America’s Laughter Queen
The Laughter Queen In America’s Living Rooms
America tuned in by the millions to the Carol Burnett Show on CBS television from 1967 to 1978. If you weren’t fortunate enough to own a TV, you managed to “accidentally” drop in on friends who did, on the night her show was televised. Laughter was rampant both at home and at the studio. The living rooms of America were happy once again, as in the early days of The Lucy Show. Carol Burnett was now America’s laughter queen and we never missed her show.
She Got There With A Little Help From Her Friends.
Burnett began her TV career with the help of people who immediately spotted her comedic talents. She appeared on a variety show, then on a sitcom, and started making appearances on The Tonight Show with Jack Paar, the Ed Sullivan Show, and eventually became a cast member of the Gary Moore Show. Many of us remember her hilarious rendition of “I Made A Fool of Myself Over John Foster Dulles.” These opportunities gave her the experience and exposure she needed to begin her climb to the top. In this period of time she also broadened her horizons with Broadway and films. Burnett also showed up as a guest on popular weekly television shows of the time, including Get Smart, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and the Lucy Show. Her star was on the rise.
A Little More Help From Her Friends
As she gained in popularity, she attained her own variety show. Burnett was on a roll with her career. But she has been known to say many times, that her show’s ensemble players MADE the show. These comic jokester co-stars included Harvey Korman, Tim Conway, Lyle Waggoner, Vicki Lawrence and recurrent guest stars (Dick Van Dyke and others) who weren’t averse to making fun of themselves. Some of the most famous skits are still funny today; the parody of Gone With The Wind (Went With The Wind) , where, as Starlett, she wears a curtain rod and window drapes over her gown. When Korman’s character compliments her dress, she deadpans, “Thanks, I saw it in the window and I just couldn’t resist it.” It’s a priceless piece of Burnett comedy. There are other memorable scenes; Tim Conway as Mr. Tudball and Burnett as Mrs. Wiggins his air-headed secretary, and the all the episodes when Tim Conway broke Harvey Korman up, (as well as the audience) by adlibbing and going off script. You knew you were in for laughter and entertainment when you watched The Carol Burnett Show.
Famous Scene From “Went With The Wind.”
54 episodes of laugh-a-minute with Carol and crew. A generous gift for someone who loves to laugh with Carol.
The Best One? There Isn’t One! America’s Queen of Laughter
There’s not a show of Carol Burnett’s that I can pick as “the best one.” Neither is there one I can say isn’t funny. You can’t go wrong, not matter what you choose to view, as long as it contains Carol and her friends. Zany, hilarious and memorable are all words I’d use to describe the laughter she invokes. She and her crew are always just downright funny!
“I’m so glad we had this time together,
just to have a laugh or sing a song,
seems we just get started and before you know it,
comes the time we have to say so long”
— Carol Burnett’s Sign Off Song, Written By Husband Joe Hamilton
You Can Never Laugh Too Much
Take a look at these hilarious scenes from a couple more of The Carole Burnett Show’s skits. Nothing better than laughter to give you a new lease on life.
Carol Burnett Trivia
- Vicki Lawrence’s show “Mama’s Family” was a spin-off of The Carol Burnett Show. Younger than Carol, she played her mother with the aid of great makeup and great acting.
- Carol was the first actor on TV to do an “off-the-cuff” unscripted Q & A with the audience, which she did every show.
- Carol was requested most frequently during the Q & A to do her “Tarzan Yell.”
- Among many other awards in her long career, Carol Burnett was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2013.
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