|Index||3 reviews in total|
It is hard to believe that this show was on sixteen years ago for only
one season. Carol Burnett's programs have normally been quite
successful - her own variety show lasting over a decade. But this half
hour show never found a consistent audience to keep it going beyond
it's first season.
With a regular cast including Richard Kine and Terry Kiser Burnett's show did skits that concentrated on some theme or story. In one she and Bernadette Peters were close friends as well as partners who compose jingles for commercials (they sing one about a dog food). Their agent discovers that she can get a job for Peters who is the composer, but Burnett is not wanted for the job. The episode deals with will Peters be willing to split the team and friendship for her new job, or will Burnett sacrifice and let her friend improve herself.
Richard Kine was a burglar in a futuristic episode (actually a downer) about a world of the future where everyone is armed and at war with everyone else. He invades an apartment owned by Burnett where she and three friends are playing cards, and he is the most peace loving person among the bunch. In another episode (somewhat surreal) Burnett is searching for something she lost and finds the ultimate "Lost and Found" room presided over by Kine - in which (among other things) she can find her lost virginity, and the lost potency of the man who got her knocked up with her only daughter.
In one funny episode, set in Las Vegas, Burnett ran an all night marriage parlor in which she was the local justice of the peace. But she is confronted by a weird group of people: a woman who wants to marry a wooden dummy (shades of the sinister dummy in DEAD OF NIGHT). The crazy marriage is about to go through, when a woman shows up claiming she is married to the dummy, and bringing out a baby dummy!! But the episode leads to a sweet conclusion: Burnett has never been engaged, despite helping all these marriages she has performed. As she is closing her chapel, Terry Kiser shows up. He has been noticing her for a long time, and he introduces himself as a possible boyfriend. Burnett is amazed at first, but she finds he is not crazy or odd but actually compatible to what she has thought of as a boyfriend. At the end they leave together.
The writing was usually quite sharp on the show, and varied from satire and comedy to tragedy. In a way it took off from the sketches done by Ms Burnett, Vicki Lawrence, Harvey Korman, Tim Conway, Lyle Waggoner, and Dick Van Dyke on the variety show. Yet the audience for this series just never arose to support it. So it closed after it's brief run, a pleasant memory for those fortunate enough to have watched it.
I only saw this show twice, but both times found it very funny. One episode was about a divorced couple who go to the bank to obtain a loan for their son's medical school tuition. The son then arrives at the bank to rob it! The interaction between the family members was entertaining. The other episode I saw was even better. Carol Burnett plays a mom who decides to take her children to court to sue them for their years of free-loading. The kids obtain a well known hot-shot lawyer and Carol is stuck with a lousy lawyer, the best she could afford. The lousy lawyer is intimidated by the defender to the point that he can't even work. He even tells him, "I have your book." it was hilarious. I would like to see this series again, but alas, there are too few episodes for any type of syndication run. Perhaps a "Best of Carol" DVD? I won't get my hopes up.
I remember this series. In fact, while employed with The Walt Disney Co. I toured the studio and was allowed to visit the set where the show was taped. That week, they were going to tape the Diner show with the singing waiter/waitress's. Unfortunately, I wasn't there for the taping, but we did get to walk on the set. As for the short lived series, seems to me Carol went to Michael Eisner himself, thanking him for the opportunity to do a show at the studio under the Disney name, but felt more at home at CBS and asked for the show to be taped there instead. The show was scrubbed and Carol & Michael parted as friends. Next season, 1991, came "The Carol Burnett Show" on CBS respectively.
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