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The jewel in the crown on CBS's Saturday night comedies. In one night you saw All in the Family, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, bob Newhart, and Carol Burnett. There was never that much great comedy on one evening, before or after. Must-see TV years before NBC. Me and my family stayed glued to the set from 8 to 11. A great cast and consistently funny; I found out later that several Mad magazine writers were on the staff. I did get tired of Harvey Korman breaking up very week... but opposite Tim Conway, who could resist? I remember a sketch where Harvey was in a dentist chair; Tim was the dentist. All was going well... until Tim injected the Novocaine into himself and not his patient. Various parts of his body went numb. I remember him slapping his dangling right hand with his left--the numb hand swung back and forth like a half-filled water balloon. Then the left half of his face went slack. Then the right. The his right leg gave out and he had to sit on the chair with Harvey. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard, and poor Harvey almost slid out of his chair with laughter. A class act, all the way. It's a shame Harvey Korman never went on to comedy stardom, when marginally talented folks like Adam Sandler became millionaires.
i can not understand why this show is not in reruns. I'm writing a letter to TV Land, to ask why they have never aired this on their network. What makes this show so good, is the chemistry between the perfect cast. A variety show like Saturday Night Live is greatly dependent on the chemistry among its cast members. When one of them leaves, it upsets the balance among the rest. This show was lucky enough to have most of its cast stay for the duration of the run, and therefore, it is the best.
The Carol Burnett Show was one of the most fabulous shows ever on TV,
and certainly the best of its type, the variety show, which is gone
now. Carol, her delightful ensemble cast of Vicki Lawrence, Harvey
Korman, Tim Conway, and her many guest stars always delivered a great
What stands out for me is her film takeoffs, and on this board, I'm sure that's what stands out for most of us. I had the misfortune of seeing "Mildred Fierce" before I saw the real "Mildred Pierce." So I laughed all the way through Mildred Pierce. Torchy Song and her marvelous Joan Crawford - when I saw Mommie Dearest, all I could think of was Carol Burnett. Sunset Boulevard - when I saw the movie after seeing her takeoff, she was all I could think of.
But there was one movie takeoff that beat them all - Gone with the Wind. An absolute classic. If Carol Burnett had in her entire career only walked down those stairs wearing the rods still in the drapes and said, "Thank you. I saw it in the window and I just couldn't resist it," it would have been enough to make her a superstar. The skit was so brilliant that I can still remember watching it at home when friends came by to pick me up. They started watching it and laughing, too. When a commercial break came, one of my friends said, "Okay, let's go." Everyone moaned that they wanted to see the rest of it. My friend objected, saying, "It's going to be hours - they haven't burned Atlanta yet." The skit was so complete, he was sure he was watching a takeoff of the entire film.
I don't know why there isn't a place on television now for this kind of show, but I can hazard one guess. Burnett did takeoffs on the film The Heiress, Til We Meet Again, Mildred Pierce, Torch Song, Sunset Boulevard - if she was on TV today, no one would laugh because they wouldn't know what she was doing. I'm sure most people have never seen most of those films - certainly not enough to keep her on the air. It's an amazing thing to think about how the world has changed. I'm glad I was in the world before it did.
The Carol Burnett Show, a.k.a. Carol Burnett and Friends, is my favorite
show in TV history, without question. It made me laugh endlessly with its
sketch comedy. For me, the best comedy revolves around lines that often seem
ad libbed; the spontanaety often results in some of the best humor around.
What also made this show special was Tim Conway's deliberate ad libbing of
lines and actions to try to make the other actors bust up laughing. A
classic example of this is when Conway, playing a NAZI officer in one
sketch, tries to interrogate a POW (Lyle Waggoner) with an Adolf Hitler
Whether its Tim Conway as Uncle Waldo, Carol Burnett as "Missus Uh-Wiggins" or "Eunice", Jim Nabors as Yung Fool, or Vicki Lawrence as Mama Harper, this show's absolutely priceless.
This was definitely the finest variety show of the 1970's. The thing that made it great besides the cast were the various recurring sketches that were very expertly created. Sketches like Tudball and Wiggins, the Old Folks, As the Stomach Turns, the kid sister and, of course, Eunice, which was the inspiration for the series "Mama's Family", helped to make this variety hour a classic. Besides "Mama and Eunice" any one of these shows could have become a series on its own. The only thing that caused the show to go downhill though was when Harvey Korman left. He was probably the best player among the supporting cast and when he left the show declined from there. Still, Saturday nights for me would always climax with this classic show.
Half of the fun of watching Carol Burnett and Friends was watching the actors and actresses try to maintain straight faces during their skits, even when on the inside they were dying to burst out laughing. What made this series funny is that the actors and actresses ad-libbed most of their lines. This way, even the other actors didn't know what would be said next. I've seen many episodes of this show and each one of them keeps me laughing. This is comedy at it highest, at a time when humor was based on slapstick humor and the totally unexpected instead of sexual one-liners. If you ever get a chance to see this show, watch it. You won't be disappointed--especially if you're fortunate to see the episode where Lyle Waggoner is a prisoner of war in WWII interrogated by German officers Harvey Korman and Tim Conway.
If my siblings and I were good, my mother would allow us to stay up
until 11pm to watch 'The Carol Burnett Show' each Saturday night in the
To say Carol, along with her co-stars Harvey Korman, Tim Conway, and Vicki Lawrence, were talented and funny would be an understatement. Each Saturday at 10pm, Carol and the aforementioned regulars, along with some 'special guest stars' (such as Steve Lawrence, Betty White, Roddy McDowall, and Julie Andrews, to mention a few) would sing, dance, and perform the absolute funniest skits ever seen on American television.
Who could forget Carol's "Eunice" constantly being belittled and nagged by Vicki's "Momma"? Carol's "Mrs. Wh-Whiggins" was a riot, along with Tim's "Mr. Tudball", and perhaps the funniest segments were those with both Tim and Harvey. The audience never seemed to mind it when Harvey lost control and laughed out of character.
Today's Hollywood elitist performers could learn a lot from this classic TV show: Carol Burnett and her co-stars entertained us for ten years without foul language, tasteless humor, sexual innuendo, or inserting politics. On the contrary, Tim, Harvey, Vicki, and Carol conducted themselves as professionals.
This show is classic American comedy for all ages. I highly recommend this outstanding program.
Our family watched 'The Carol Burnett Show" together almost every week.
As I remember it was the only show on TV that we all watched together.
Carol, the cast, the writers and the producers did a great job of
creating a show that was funny, creative and entertaining for all age
groups. Tim Conway and Harvey Korman were one of the best acts on
television. Vickie Lawrence was perfect for the show. Carol is an
American television icon....
Thanks for the Memories,
"I'm so glad we had this time together, Just to have a laugh, and sing a song. Seems we just got started and before we knew it, Came the time we had to say, 'So long.'" ..........music and lyrics by Joe Hamilton
Never going with the ease of cheap gags, the writers and performers of
the Carol Burnette show always demonstrated an effort in order to earn
our laughter. Not every skit was a winner, as Carol would admit even
herself. The actress actually came out of character, and apologized for
a particular skit on one occasion . However, most of what we were
treated to was, if not funny, at the very least intelligent and amusing
Without any doubt, the show provided some very memorable moments and characters. One of the most noteworthy being "The Family", which the NBC's Mama's Family was developed from.
The star herself is one of the most classy and cognitive performers ever to grace the screen, and the show was certainly a reflection of this. I don't know of many performers who had as much respect and regard for their fans, and I can certainly attest that the feeling is mutual for this terrific lady and her show.
Carol Burnett was a staple on CBS from 1967 until it left a significant
mark upon all those fans who watched it. This show was always funny,
very imaginative, and did some of the wildest things that could be done
in the variety format but at a pace that was not as frantic as Rowan &
Martins Laugh-In. This is a good thing.
Carol has a great talent which really showed when she would often come out & take questions from her live studio audience. While the show was taped, it was done at CBS studios in front of a live audience much the same as Red Skelton did for many years in California. While Carol was always the star, she never minded sharing the air with some fantastic support.
The now late Harvey Korman, one of the great second bananas in comedy history whose memory now has a spot for all of us. Tim Conway whose antics made Korman laugh, and who is one of the last of a line of great physical comedians with an off-beat sense of humor & timing. Vicki Lawrence, Carols alter ego on this show and often the seemingly straight female while Lyle Waggoner seems to be the male that fit this role.
As the show went along, Vicki learned more about doing comedy. Lyle went on to play opposite Wonder Woman. In a way, while Gleason created one sketch with this format which became "The Honeymooners", Carols crew did the same with "Mamas Family" which still runs a lot in syndication. I am hoping the DVD folks can get some of these seasons of Carol intact on DVD's soon as there were some great shows. Shows like this one, may never come this way to pass again.
We just have share a laugh or two, because the more you know it, this show has had to end too soon.
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