The Carol Burnett Show (TV Series 1967–1978) Poster



It was revealed years later that each week's show was taped twice in front of different audiences and the best parts from each taping were edited together.
Tim Conway improvised during much of his appearances on the show which would cause the other cast members - especially Harvey Korman - to laugh during taping. The cast breaking character became a popular part of the series.
At the end of the final show of the first season, Carol Burnett appeared as her "washerwoman" character, and walked out of the theater, every seat empty save for a bald man who had fallen asleep in his seat. In a touching gesture, she stopped by him, leaned over, kissed him on his scalp, and walked out the doors of the back of the theater. It was so well-received that every subsequent season ending, the scene was repeated with a bald actor in the audience. At the end of the last show of the series, she walked out to the back of the stage (amid the wild applause of the audience) and kissed a similarly "sleeping" security guard.
Although many consider Tim Conway to have been a series regular from the start, in fact he was only a frequent guest star for many years, and didn't become a regular weekly cast member until the later seasons.
The print dress Carol Burnett always wore as Eunice in "The Family" sketches was an actual vintage garment from the 1930's. The sketch was originally to have a "Tennessee Williams"-type style to it, and costume designer Bob Mackie found it in a thrift shop. It was originally a long, sleeveless evening dress, which Mackie shortened, creating the "capelet" top detail by using the surplus fabric. The well-worn costume acquired many small tears over the years, and was patched from the inside with many bits of chiffon. At one point Mackie copied the dress exactly, using a similar fabric, but Burnett preferred to keep wearing the original out of superstition even though it had become extremely fragile.
Carol Burnett and Vicki Lawrence were the only series regulars to stay with the program throughout its entire run.
Vicki Lawrence wrote a fan letter to Carol Burnett while still in High School, Carol received the letter on the day that Vicki was going to be in a Miss Fireball contest, having a feeling about her. Carol found her dad's number, called Vicki, and attended the contest. They talked for 5 minutes when Carol told her that she will keep in touch and they will discuss Vicki's Career. Vicki auditioned and got the part of Carol's kid sister and became Carol's protégée.
Harvey Korman taught Vicki Lawrence how to do the accents on the show as he was the master of them.
Carol Burnett's trademark tugging of her ear was a message to her grandmother. Burnett's grandmother died during the run of the series but Burnett continued to tug her ear in every episode as a tribute to her.
Dick Van Dyke was brought in to replace Harvey Korman for the eleventh season. But Van Dyke struggled on the show and left after three months.
The show had many break ups, but three are consider classics; one being The Dentist Sketch where Harvey Korman could not keep a straight face with Tim Conway. Secondly, The Family Sketch in the game Sorry when Vicki Lawrence completely went off script causing Carol Burnett to lose it in both tapings. The most famous one is the Family Sketch called the Elephant Story when Tim Conway dragged on a story about two elephant causing the cast to break up, when he finally finished Vicki Lawrence will steal the scene by saying 'Are you sure the little a**hole is through' causing Tim Conway, Carol Burnett, and Dick Van Dyke to fall to pieces.
Even though he left the cast the previous season, Harvey Korman can briefly be seen at the end of the final episode as he is leaving the theater.
Cary Grant reportedly told Carol Burnett that he would turn off the television when The Family Sketches came on as he found it too painful to watch.
Vicki Lawrence was considered the baby of the family, She was 21 years younger than Harvey Korman, 16 years younger than Carol Burnett and Tim Conway, and 14 years younger than Lyle Waggoner
Burnett ended the series even though CBS wanted to renew it for a twelfth season. Burnett felt that show had run out of ideas.
After Jim Nabors appeared on the premiere episode, Carol Burnett would have him as the guest for each seasons first show because she considered him her "good luck charm".
Carol Burnett's favorite character she did was from 'The Family' Sketches; Eunice. Interestingly Vicki Lawrence who played Mama was 16 years younger than Carol.
In The Family Sketches Vicki Lawrence was 24-28 years old playing a woman in her 60s.
The first five seasons of the series (1967-1972) are co-owned with Bob Banner, which is why the earliest sketches that were compiled for the syndicated "Carol Burnett and Friends" came from the sixth season (1972-73) onwards.
The show had a successful spin off of one their popular sketches "The Family" called Mama's Family (1983) that ran from 1983-1990; it starred Vicki Lawrence, Ken Berry, and Dorothy Lyman. The first two season also had guest and semi regulars from Rue McClanahan, Betty White, and Carol Burnett; Harvey Korman also guest starred and directed many shows in the first two seasons. In later seasons Beverly Archer and Allan Kayser join the cast.
Carol Burnett told Vicki Lawrence to do summer stock in between seasons as to give her more experience.
Lyle Waggoner and Vicki Lawrence were the hardest ones in the cast to break up. Tim Conway often tried hard to get Vicki Lawrence to break up.
According to Burnett, she threatened to fire Harvey Korman for being rude to guests Tim Conway and Petula Clark. She told Korman that he could be rude to her but he could never be rude to the guests.
Lyle Waggoner was the only one who did not receive a single Emmy or Emmy nomination for the show. He left the show after the Seventh Season to do other projects such as Wonder Woman (1975)
Carol Burnett surprised Vicki Lawrence with a gold record for The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia on the last show of the sixth Season.
Vicki Lawrence was extremely shy as a young girl and still was shy when going on this show, it would not be until the 5th season that she started to blossom. Carol Burnett has stated this and will always show a clip of this during Q&A period of reunion shows. When during the first season, when Vicki was so nervous getting asked questions that she was almost buried into Carol.
In her audition, the producers picked Vicki Lawrence over a more experienced actress because of Vicki's resemblance to Carol Burnett.
Executive Producer Joe Hamilton had planned to spin off the popular sketch 'The Family' with Mama after the Eighth Year, but Vicki Lawrence turned it down as she was not sure that she wanted to play an old lady every week and she did not want to leave Mentors Carol Burnett and Harvey Korman. Carol Burnett was reportedly thrilled about this. There would not be a spin off until 1983, When Carol Burnett convinced'Vicki Lawrence' to do it.
Carol Burnett and Vicki Lawrence both became pregnant during the series run, Carol Burnett during first season and Vicki Lawrence during the Eighth Season.
Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, and Tim Conway all were nominated multiple times and at least winning one Emmy for this series. They all were nominated for Golden Globes as well.
Vicki Lawrence had a billboard record with The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia in 1973 during the 6th Year of the show. Many people did not realize that Vicki who sang the song was the same who played in The Carol Burnett Show (1967).
The 2004 reunion show Carol Burnett: Show Stoppers (2001) was the week's top rated show drawing 30 million viewers.
In the beginning Vicki Lawrence would mostly do the Carol and Sis sketches and a few musical numbers because of her inexperience. When she felt that she was ready, she finally asked her mentor Carol Burnett if she could do other things, and she started branching out into other sketches.
The Carol Burnett Show was taped at CBS Studio 33 in Television City. It is now referred to The Bob Barker Studio.
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Carol Burnett and Vicki Lawrence found their voices and the characters of The Family sketches while in the restroom yelling at each other. In the process of scaring off ladies in the bathroom, Vicki and Carol reportedly high five each other saying this is going to be a hit. Carol Burnett found her voice for Stella Toddler while in the bathroom.
Carol Burnett wanted to perform for middle class Americans because she saw them as "they smart they know everything you can't play down to them"
In the 2012 reunion interview Vicki Lawrence successfully copied Carol Burnett famous Tarzan Yell.
Vicki Lawrence was only 18 years old when starting on the series.
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Carol Burnett's husband and Executive Producer Joe Hamilton wrote the theme song for the show.
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The final episode of the series was a "best of" episode featuring highlights from the show's run.
Carol Burnett was known to bring the writers down on the set of her show if she felt they did not give Vicki Lawrence enough funny lines. Vicki recalled that one time Carol did this and ask the writers to come down to give Vicki more funny lines and Vicki asked her "I do?" And Carol responded, "Hush Now yes you do." Carol also helped make a Emmy show for her and Vicki won a Emmy for it in 1976. This coined the term when Vicki said on her own TV Show in 1990s in response to Robert Wagner if she had someone who influence her and Vicki said "we all know who took me under her wing."
Vicki Lawrence was the most trained dancer in the cast.
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While filming a sketch taking place on a submarine, Tim Conway gets pinned under the periscope and his face registers pain. He wasn't acting. The day before he had a vasectomy and the periscope actually hit him in the groin during the taping.
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Voted #16 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.
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Carol Burnett explained that there were two tapings of the show. During the first taping, Tim Conway would follow the script. Because of his desire to improvise, Burnett gave him permission to do so during the second taping. It was then that Burnett said, "we had no idea what he was going to do," and the cast breaking up into fits of laughter, especially Harvey Korman, would occur.
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