Connect with us
Carol Burnett Show Carol Burnett Show


Carol Burnett Show, The (CBS 1967-1978)



As the success of The Sonny and Cher Show and The Donny And Marie Show proved, the 1970’s were truly the last great era for variety shows. However, even these hits don’t represent the greatest variety show success of the time: that title goes to The Carol Burnett Show. This weekly sketch-comedy program presented a mix of witty improvisation and gently funny satire that made it one of the biggest and most beloved hits of the 1970’s.

Carol Burnett had racked up several years’ experience on stage and in television by the time she starred in her own series. Her many credits included a lengthy stint on the classic variety program The Garry Moore Show, plus a string of successful variety specials for CBS. In 1967, she took a stab at a weekly version of her variety-based success with The Carol Burnett Show. It was a smart decision, soon becoming one of CBS’s most reliable hits.

Each show began with an introduction from Burnett, complete with an informal (and often very funny) Q&A session between Burnett and the studio audience. Inevitably, Burnett would be asked to do trademark bits like her “Tarzan” yell and her signature gesture: a gentle tug on one of her earlobes.

After this intro, the show’s format was simple and straightforward. The show would feature a guest host that would perform in a few skits and maybe a song or two, but the major focus was a series of deliriously funny skits worked up by Burnett, her writers, and her extremely talented cast of comic cohorts.

Assisting Carol Burnett in her comic endeavors was a trio of highly talented cut-ups. Harvey Korman was a skilled veteran of The Danny Kaye Show, Lyle Waggoner had worked with Burnett on The Jimmie Rodgers Show, and Vicki Lawrence was Burnett’s own discovery. This repertory cast was frequently joined by Tim Conway, a former star of McHale’s Navy. Dick Van Dyke also briefly joined the cast in the late 1970’s.

These performers looked and sounded different, but all had two important things in common: an ability to improvise extremely witty material on their feet, and a chameleon-like gift to inhabit a variety of wildly different characters. Conway in particular had a special gift for improvising bits and one-liners so funny they would reduce the other cast members (particularly Harvey Korman) to helpless giggle-fits.

Carol Burnett Show, Alan Alda makes a guest appearance.

Alan Alda makes a guest appearance.

These two qualities helped the cast create a refreshingly diverse collection of skits that kept the viewers coming back for more each week. Parodies of popular entertainment were popular, like the transformation of Gone With The Wind into “Went With The Wind” and a witty send-up of soap operas called “As The Stomach Turns.” A big fan favorite in this area was a recurring spoof of Sunset Boulevard, wherein Burnett played Norma Desmond and Korman played Otto the Butler. There were even send-ups of commercials, the most memorable one being a skit where a housewife is assaulted in her home by the manic pitchmen for a variety of products until she is reduced to a paranoid wreck.

Even more popular than these parodies were the skits based on a variety of original characters created by the cast and writers. A great example was Mr. Tudball and Mrs. Wiggins, a skit built around the comic miscommunication between a toupee-wearing foreign executive and his dense, inattentive secretary. Mr. Tudball would try to get Mrs. Wiggins to perform a simple clerical duty, but this always led to a series of calamities that ended with poor Mr. Tudball in a predicament while Mrs. Wiggins took the rest of the day off.

Other popular skit characters included Burnett’s Stella Todler, an innocent old woman who unwittingly stumbled into situations that sparked an endless string of slapstick incidents, and Conway’s The Old Man, a doddering senior citizen who triumphed over his terminal slowness to destroy any situation he wandered into. However, the most popular skit characters were the Family, a collection of Southern relatives who could turn any simple event into a stage for bickering and the revival of old family feuds. In this skit, Burnett played long-suffering (and neurotic) daughter Eunice, Korman played her dim and terminally impatient husband Ed, and Lawrence played Mama, the cantankerous matriarch who always seemed to be spoiling for a fight.

Simply put, the Family skits represented The Carol Burnett Show’s staff at the height of its creativity. The dialogue was broad enough to be gut-bustingly funny but recognizable enough to feel real to anyone who suffered through a family squabble, and the cast’s performances drove this combination home with a combination of sincere emotion and comedic skill. The result was a recurring skit that proved so popular that it later spawned its own long-running sitcom, Mama’s Family.

Carol Burnett Show

This women’s prison sketch no doubt inspired Orange is the New Black. Maybe…

Between the immense talent of the cast and the great material they performed, it didn’t take a genius to see that The Carol Burnett Show was a surefire hit. Soon enough, the show became a dominant force in the ratings and one of the few 1970’s-era variety shows to run for more than a handful of years. In fact, the show managed to rack up an impressive 11 seasons before ending its run in the summer of 1978.

Since then, Carol Burnett returned to the format twice with 1990’s Carol & Company and 1991’s The Carol Burnett Show. Highlights of the original classic show have also been repackaged into retrospective specials like Carol Burnett: The Special Years.

Today, The Carol Burnett show is a staple of syndicated programming. Viewers and critics alike fondly remember the show as one of the last great hurrahs for the variety show format. Despite the age of the show, its skits still play beautifully and hold up as a high water mark for television comedy. If the variety show makes a comeback in the near future, it’s good to know that The Carol Burnett Show will be there to provide an example of how it should be done.

production details
USA / CBS / 244×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 11 September 1967 – 9 August 1978

Producer: Ed Simmons / Executive Producer: Joe Hamilton

Carol Burnett
Vicki Lawrence
Harvey Korman
Lyle Waggoner
Tim Conway
Dick Van Dyke (1977)
Kenneth Mars (1978)
Craig Richard Nelson (1978)
Ernie Anderson



Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)




Christmas Princess Nicole Munoz

Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.

Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3

crew details
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen

production details
Country: Canada
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017

Continue Reading


Christmas Reunion, A (Lifetime 2015, Catherine Hicks, Denise Richards)




A Christmas Reunion Lifetime

In A Christmas Reunion a Madison Avenue executive, Amy, discovers an unusual Christmas surprise when she inherits her Aunt’s hometown bakery. The real surprise comes when she learns the other half of the bakery was left to her long-ago boyfriend, Jack.

Unresolved personal issues resurface between them, as the exes return home to co-manage the store, along with its traditional holiday cookie bake-off.

Denise Richards as Amy Stone
Patrick Muldoon as Jack Evans
Jake Busey as Dylan Carruthers
Catherine Hicks as Aunt Linda
Parker Stevenson as Don Dupree
Patricia De Leon as Janette Crowder
Jon Briddell as Luke Crowder
Robert R. Shafer as Frank O’Brien
Anna Barnholtz as Chloe
John Colton as Steve Evans
Sandra Evans as Shari
Brody Fitzgerald as Young Jack Evans
Michael Gaglio as Earl Pratt, Sr.
Gib Gerard as Earl Pratt, Jr.
Joyce Greenleaf as Helen

crew details
Director: Sean Olson
Writers: Margaret Base, Mary Glenn, Sam Irvin, Sean Olson, Peter Sullivan, Michael Varrat

production details
Country: USA
Network and Production Companies: Lifetime – Hybrid
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: 13 December 2015

Continue Reading


Final Vision (ID 2017, Scott Foley, Dave Annable)




Final Vision ID

Final Vision is a twisted psychological thriller and a true-crime drama based on the longest running criminal case in U.S. history. It’s the story of Jeffrey MacDonald (Foley), a handsome, Ivy League-educated U.S. Army Green Beret doctor, who was convicted of brutally murdering his pregnant wife and two young daughters in the middle of the night.

Told through the eyes of best-selling author Joe McGinniss (Annable), who was approached by MacDonald to write a book about his personal nightmare as he was about to go to trial.

Scott Foley as Jeffrey MacDonald
Dave Annable as Joe McGinniss
John Doman as Bernie Segal
Lochlyn Munro as Wade Smith
Jessica Harmon as Colette MacDonald
Caroline Aaron as Leslie Sterling
Primo Allon as MP Sergeant
Julia Maren Baker as Kimberly MacDonald
Julia Benson as Nancy McGinniss
Baylee Breen-Wood as Kristen MacDonald
April Cameron as Nurse at St. Mary’s
Aaron Craven as James Blackburn
Bruce Dawson as Doctor
Parveen Dosanjh as Woman at Party
Lane Edwards as Brian Murtagh

crew details
Writer: Denis O’Neill
Director:  Nicholas McCarthy
Executive Producers: Angela Bromstad, Christine Connor, Linda Berman S

production details
Country:  USA
Network and Production Companies: ID – Lincoln Square Productions
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From:  Sunday 10 December 2017

Continue Reading






More to View