Carol Burnett Is What We Need and What We All Have Lost

Carol Burnett Is What We Need and What We All Have Lost

Carol Burnett Is What We Need and What We All Have Lost

The annual Golden Globes took place in Hollywood last night again. We braced ourselves for politically-charged soapboxes from celebrities donning designer duds and traveling with armed security. For the most part, it was a big yawn fest-with the exception of the one and only Carol Burnett.

The Golden Globes stayed away from politically charged rhetoric this year compared to last. I will go ahead and point out the increased security according to Deadline to include armed officers, sniffing dogs and other barriers on the red carpet and around the perimeter of the Beverly Hilton. This is not really a surprise but to be expected. We’ll leave that where it is for now. While the monologues were mostly dry, Carol Burnett was the spark to the evening:

Sometimes I catch myself daydreaming about being young again and doing it all over, and then I bring myself up short when I realize how incredibly fortunate I was to be there at the right time because, what we did then, it couldn’t be done today. The cost alone would be prohibitive: 28 piece live orchestra, no synthesizers, 12 dancers, an average of 65 costumes a week, and there’s the brilliance of our regular rep players: Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggonner, Tim Conway, plus two guest stars every week. I’m so grateful for the chemistry that we had with each other.

And there was great chemistry behind the camera too with our crew, our producer, our director, our choreographer, our writers, the cue card guys. We all became one happy family for 11 joy filled years. And nothing like our show and, I might add, other variety shows at the time could ever see the light of day today because, the networks, they just wouldn’t spend the money and because there are so many cable competitors. They are not going to take a chance. And it’s sad to say today’s audiences might never know what they are missing. So here’s to reruns and YouTube.-Carol Burnett

In contrast, here’s a snippet of Oprah’s speech from last year’s Golden Globes. You know, the speech that made some folks proclaiming “Oprah 2020” on social media days later:

But we also know that it is the insatiable dedication to uncovering the absolute truth that keeps us from turning a blind eye to corruption and to injustice. To tyrants and victims and secrets and lies. I want to say that I value the press more than ever before, as we try to navigate these complicated times.-Oprah Winfrey

Burnett’s variety show first aired in 1967 on CBS and had an eleven-season run. She became a Kennedy Center Honors recipient in 2003, earned the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2013 and received a Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015.

Burnett finished her acceptance speech with her trademark “I’m so glad we had this time together” and her trademark tug on her ear-a sweet nod to her grandmother who raised her that she was okay.

I was just a little girl when I watched The Carol Burnett show with my family. I chucked at the funny red-head who played Mrs. Wiggins and who did a killer Gone With the Wind and Charro parody. She was a pioneer and the only agenda on deck for Burnett and her cast of characters back in the day was to make people laugh. I especially loved some of the moments where she and some of her cast members fought back the laughter mid-skit. Look for them…I promise you those moments are there!

Perhaps you and your female comedian friends should take some lessons, Kathy. While no one is shouting from the rafters, “Carol 2020”, we cannot help but to see a woman who has pioneered comedy and the variety show for other women in this business. At 85 years old, Carol Burnett can still command the full attention of an auditorium. She can make people laugh, cry (or do both). She did and continues to do this without raunchy behavior or jokes, offensive language and throwing out a political agenda. Comedy doesn’t need any of this. Sometimes, comedy is as simple as a ridiculous get-up, some slapstick and an over-the-top character portrayal. Comedy is not (or should not be) malicious. It’s not cussing someone and/or their family out, it’s not death threats, it’s not crude. So, female comedians of 2019, take heed. Stop threatening the current administration and the family members of the President in office. And for the love of Pete, stop talking about your drunken, nasty sexual encounters. Stop trying to make everything political in light of being funny because it isn’t. Here is a legend that never did any of this. And you know what? She was damn funny! But we know actually being funny is hard work. Some of you all may not be up for this venture.

So this award, oh, my gosh, so generously named after me, is dedicated to all those who made my dreams come true and to all those out there who share the love I have for television, and we yearn to be part of this unique medium that has been so good to me. I’m just happy our show happened when it did and that I can look back and say once more, ‘I am so glad we had this time together.-Carol Burnett

We are glad we had our time together with you, too, Carol. Thank you for being a shining light and an example of grace and class in this time. On a side note, we do need to laugh more as Americans. Burnett’s brand television comedy is what we need and what we all have lost.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons/https://wikimedia commons/photos/Cropped/Public Domain

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7 Comments
  • Thunderstixx says:

    Beautiful intelligent woman. A true comedian in the truest form of the art.
    Thank you for your work and all those that spent their lives with you and shared it with us.
    YOu are a member of a the “Class Act” society that rarely exists in this base potty joke atmosphere crammed down our throats by people that go around thinking they are better than the rest of us.
    I doubt that Mrs Burnett ever had that thought, if she did, she kept it quietly to herself.
    And for that, we salute you.

  • Archibald Cary says:

    She represents the past elite of class act comedians. Today, they use the F word to get laughs pound on Trump. We’ve gone from the Age of Comedic Giants to.. f__ing moronic jerks.

  • GWB says:

    the moments where she and some of her cast members fought back the laughter mid-skit
    Even more, the ones where they couldn’t hold back the laughter, and lost it altogether. Usually because of Tim. 🙂

    Perhaps you and your female comedian friends should take some lessons, Kathy.
    Amen to that.

    without raunchy behavior or jokes
    Perhaps there is a difference between “raunchy” and “bawdy” – but she and her cast definitely did “bawdy”.

    without […] throwing out a political agenda
    I think she once or twice put out a very mild critique, sometimes with a joke or two. But they were something modern comedians have trouble grasping: subtle.

    The one thing she did NOT say was that you couldn’t make her show today because someone would be perpetually offended. There’s sexism, ageism, racism (because Civil War! and just-as-bad-as-blackface!), classism, ableism, every-other-ism in her skits.
    While I appreciate her remarks, it would have been a braver statement to point that out.

    And, yes, I loved the Carol Burnett Show. We do have some shows on DVD, and occasionally watch something on youtube. She is a consummate actress and comedienne. And a fine, graceful, beautiful woman.
    *tips my hat to Ms Burnett*

  • Texan Forever says:

    Carol Burnett could teach the current crop of unfunny “comedians” what humor is all about. People like Kathy Griffin haven’t a clue. I know nothing about Carol’s political stance and don’t care to know. She was among the best of comedy and so were her supporting comedians. Kathy Griffin isn’t funny with her crudeness. She’s just, … well, … crude and ill-mannered. She’s alienated most of America with her incurable TDS. With tensions between the Libs and Conservatives running so high nowadays both sides need some non-political comedic relief. Kathy fails to understand that. She will never be as successful as she could have been. She will just turn into a mean old lady wondering what happened.
    .

  • Midwest Farm Kid says:

    My father, when the Carol Burnett Show went off the air, went into mourning (or at least it was a reasonable facsimile). No Youtube back then. If you haven’t seen it, search for “carol burnett dentist sketch” there. One of the all time funniest things ever anywhere.

  • Buzz says:

    A real lady. Today’s vulgar so called “comics” aren’t worthy to even stand in her shadow.

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