Carol Burnett: Frieda's Favorite Famous Redheaded Comediennes Series and Characters List

Carol Burnett is another one of my favorite famous female redheaded comedians. This comedienne is a special favorite, lucky enough to have worked with, and befriended, some of the funniest men and women of the 20th century. Here is a special tribute to Carol Burnett, with photos and videos sure to please all her fans, and easily enough, bring her some new ones.

Carol Burnett
Carol Burnett
Carol Burnet with the Smothers Brothers
Carol Burnet with the Smothers Brothers
Tim Conway & Carol Burnett as Mr. Tudball & Mrs. Wiggins on The Carol Burnett Show
Tim Conway & Carol Burnett as Mr. Tudball & Mrs. Wiggins on The Carol Burnett Show
Carol Burnett
Carol Burnett
Carol Burnett
Carol Burnett

Carol Burnett

Carol Burnett was born in San Antonio, TX on April 26th, 1933, (Taurus). Sadly, it was on Carol's birthday (April 26th) in 1989 that Lucille Ball, beloved friend and mentor, died at the age of 77.

Carol's acting career started in 1955, as the girlfriend of a ventriloquist's dummy on the children's television show The Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahony Show, in New York. She then played opposite Buddy Hackett from 1956-1957 on the sitcom Stanley.

It was one act in particular during her employment at cabarets and night clubs, following her role on Stanley, that got her especially noticed. She was asked to perform on The Tonight Show and Ed Sullivan's Toast of the Town.

In 1962 she hit more fame with her performance in Once Upon a Mattress, a play that she performed in a total of four runnings, during the whole of her career, going back to it for the love of the story, as is mentioned in the second video clip below. That same year she won an Emmy for her performance on The Garry Moore Show. One could say that 1962 was a very good year for Carol. She also became friends with Julie Andrews (among others). They (Julie and Carol) performed together in their own variety show on Broadway. All the while, Carol played parts in shows like The Twilight Zone,et cetera.

Lucille Ball supported Carol's achievements and became a mentor and a very close friend to Carol (they met in May of 1959 when Lucy was in the audience for one of Carol's Broadway performances in Once Upon a Mattress). Burnett played many guest parts on Lucy's shows. She was even offered her own show by Lucy under Desilu Productions. Each time, however, Carol declined. Why? I don't know. But it turned out just fine for Carol, didn't it? She was a smart woman, more than smart. She knew what she was doing and things always seemed to fall into place for her.

Unfortunately, a neck injury put a pause on her career, until she resurfaced fully in 1967 with her own show, The Carol Burnett Show, which ran for 11 years on CBS from 1967-1978. At a time when variety shows were losing their strength with the public, hers was booming with fans and dedicated watchers. Her first guest, every season? Jim Nabors, who became her close friend after working together on Gomer Pyle. Remember that one? I do! But I can't find a clip, so if you can, please share!

Over the years she had many wonderful stars on her show, including Lucille Ball (repeat guest), Bernadette Peters (repeat guest from season 3), Shirley MacLaine (season 9) and Madeline Kahn (season 10).

At the end of each episode, Carol has a question and answer section. Hysterics always came out of these. Here's some of the best.

Even with her demands on the show, she still found time to make guest appearances on other shows, as well as movie rolls (Annie, Noises Off, Life of the Party: The story of Beatrice, to name a few). Not all her rolls were comedy, she proved herself a wonderful dramatist as well.

Fame wasn't over after The Carol Burnett Show. She had a brief variety show with Cher. (Yes, THE Cher.) She made guest appearances on game shows and other shows, films, and made for TV movies. Her character Eunice became a regular on Mama's Family (a spin off of a skit from The Carol Burnett Show entitled The Family. But perhaps one of her favorites was her role as Verla Grubbs on All My Children, a role created especially for her on her favorite Soap Opera.

Carol Burnett as Verla Grubbs on All My Children 1984

Her career is still going on today, with her recent appearance on Desperate Housewives.

This by no means has been a full account of her career, or life. It would take a whole website to do the great Carol Burnett justice.

Carol Burnett was and still is the talk of the town. She's certainly done well for herself. She's got gumption. She's got spunk. She's a creative genious! Her talents excell in drama as well as comedy. She is a fiery, crazy, off-the-wall, brilliant woman, whom I adore immensely and who has influenced my life and sense of humor even more than Lucille Ball (despite Lucy's number one status). I love her dearly as anyone would who grew up with her did.

I wanted to be her, I wanted to be friends with her. And I wanted to grow up to co-host on her show (little did I know these shows don't last forever).

She is my hero.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Carol Burnett on the game show PasswordCarol Burnett on St. Louis Post Dispatch Magazine TV ScheduleCarol Burnett
Carol Burnett on the game show Password
Carol Burnett on the game show Password
Carol Burnett on St. Louis Post Dispatch Magazine TV Schedule
Carol Burnett on St. Louis Post Dispatch Magazine TV Schedule
Carol Burnett
Carol Burnett

Now THIS is slapstick commedy.

American Masters - Carol Burnet: A Woman of Character

The Lucy Show - Lucy and Carol (Lucy Gets a Roommate)

Carol Burnett on The Price is Right (1992)

The beloved game show The Price is Right with host Bob Barker and The Price is Right models (new host the excellent Drew Carey) was filmed on the same stage as The Carol Burnett Show.

 

Many an actor or actress visits their old stomping grounds. It was a great way to get publicity, both for the actor/actress and for the current show.

 

Here, Carol does just that as she makes a guest appearance on The Price is Right many years ago. I wish she was on there to play, but alas it was just a visit.  You may remember it.  Take a look.  Is it just me, or does she seem a bit sad underneath?

 

Sesame Street: Carol Burnett Kisses Rubber Duckie

____________________________

Actors and actresses, singers, comedians, comediens, artists of all kinds, can be found making an appearance on the popular PBS Children's learning series (a long-time favorite of mine) Sesame Street.

Here, Carol Burnett makes friends with Ernie's Rubber Ducky and lets him know just how much she loves him.

___________________________

Favorite characters, actors, and actresses often make guest appearances on other shows. It's one of the ways we get to see our favorite oldies but goodies.

Carol Burnet and Caroll O'Connor made guest appearances on a favorite show of mine and many on Mad About You as Jamie's parents.

Here's a clip I'm sure you'll enjoy.

___________________________

Earlier in her career, Carol Burnett makes a major guest appearance on Get Smart, where she gets to get in on the action. She makes a wonderful juxtaposition to Smart. This was in 1967, back around the time she had started her own show.



Star Trek TOS Parady on The Carol Burnett Show - You don't have to be a Star Trek lover to love this skit!

ROFLMAO - wrong number, or as I like to call it... The Signal

Stella, one of the most loved Carol Burnett Show characters, plays Up Your Income on the Carol Burnett show

Mr. Tudball & Mrs. Wiggins: The Phone - Carol Burnett Show

Saving the best for last, as they say.

Here is one of many Mr. Tudball & Mrs. Wiggins sketches. They are arguably two of the most loved characters on the show.

Mrs. Wiggins was my favorite Carol Burnett character. I can tell you I spent many hours entertaining myself and my parents with my own Mrs. Wiggins inspired skits. I loved the way she chewed her gum. I loved how daft she was. I loved how she did her nails all the time and blew on them to get them to dry. I loved how she walked, the blank expression on her face, and how she was forever getting on Mr. Tudball's nerves.

I still love Mrs. Wiggins! So hows about a clip?

 

*Photos Courtesy Google Images.

*Videos Courtesy YouTube

Graphic by Frieda Babbley c 2009
Graphic by Frieda Babbley c 2009

Comments 38 comments

Candie V profile image

Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

Excellent! Beyond Excellent! She is one of my all time favorites!!!!


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

Awesome Candie. I'm so gald you like! fantastic.


Candie V profile image

Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

You did a lot of work on this one! I remember her talking about that outfit with the curtains. She said the wardrobe dept didn't have it quite right so she pulled the curtains off the wall at the last minute and it broke up the cast so badly! Course it didn't take much to break them up, the whole cast was class-A!


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

I know. I remember that story too. I remember watching it! They did have loads of fun, and watching them crack up was always just as hysterical.


William Zuback 7 years ago

Plan to come back to the clips when I have more time but even though I grew up watching both Carol and Lucy, I think me and my family had more laughs watching the CB Show than Lucy. Good Times!! When I was visiting my son last weekend I was reading an article from a local/regional magazine all about the health benefits of LAUGHTER. Pretty powerful medicine both physically and mentally.


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

Hi Bill. Very good times indeed! Laughter is the best medicine. I hope I found some good ones for you. I wanted to put in more but had to take hold of myself! lol.


Paper Moon profile image

Paper Moon 7 years ago from In the clouds

Nice job! This is my favorie of your favorites. I still love your "Mrs. Wiggins" imitation.


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

Thanks Paper Moon. Buy me a pack a gum an' I'll grab my nail polish and a file so we can get it on. ;)


Jewels profile image

Jewels 7 years ago from Australia

What to say - fabulous. Australia got most of the Carol Burnett shows, lucky for us. I think she's great, along with Lucille Ball. Am looking forward to Shirley now. Great hub again Frieda.


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

Hey there Jewels. Glad you liked, and good to hear she was shown in Australia. Engand wouldn't pick her up, only a teeny tiny bit. Isn't that strange?


Jewels profile image

Jewels 7 years ago from Australia

They missed out then. English used to have a different sense of humor, not sure if it's changed.


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

They certainly did miss out. I realy don't understand that. I think their humor is very much the same. still, they did love Lucy, so why not Carol?


Janetta 7 years ago

Wonderful! i adore Carol Burnett! Mrs. ha-Wiggins is one of my favorite skits! She is so funny and so talented. She's one i would love to spend a day with. Beautiful lady :)


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 7 years ago from san diego calif

Thanks again Frieda . Carol Burnett and that whole cast were so funny ! And I always really liked Harvey Korman too very funny man !


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

Ah, me too, Janetta. She's brilliant. And I just listened to an old NPR interview with her on Fresh Air, did you know that she had her chin lenthened? The neurosurgeon she took her daughter to while she was taping Annie told her it would be a good idea. So before she gets into the closet, (in the closet scene), she has her old chin, and when she steps out, she has her new chin. I'm going to try to find that part and post it.

Hey tony. That cast was phoenominal. And yes, I loved Harvey Korman. He's been in more stuff than I thought.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

Thanks for a great hub, Frieda. I love Carol Burnett, too. Didn't know about the chin, though. Love the clips. We never missed watching her show.


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

You're very welcome RedElf. I'm thrilled you enjoyed. Nope, we didn't either. Maybe if I was sick I may have missed it, other than that, we were all there, glued to the tube. I miss it.


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

Lurve this! I remember watching reruns of the Carol Burnett show and I still can't forget her Miss Hannigan in Annie! Thanks for sharing :D


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

You're welcome Cris, and thanks! She's so amazing. I love her. What an imagination, you know.


imadork profile image

imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO

The Carol Burnett Show was the best variety ever. Tim Conway and Harvey Korman were great together.


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

You're telling me! I can't imagine any other pair up. Ah the memories. =]


elvislady profile image

elvislady 6 years ago from IONE, California in the USA

The Carol Burnette Show was one of the best, and I still miss seeing her shows on tv. Wish they would rerun those

shows instead of some of the rotten stuff.

COME BACK CAROL, WE NEED YOU. Sure would be nice if she would even just do a special. Nice story thanks.


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 6 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

I wish they would too elvislady. I don't know why they only sell the cds. Maybe if I we both give them a shout together they'll put them on nick at night or something? Thanks so much for stopping and sharing in the love of Carol. Boy do we ever need her.


Aqua profile image

Aqua 6 years ago from California

I LOVE Carol Burnett! I really miss her show. I don't think there's anyone else like Carol - she's been making me laugh for years! Thanks so much for the hub! :)


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 6 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

You are so welcome Aqua. No, there is NO ONE that compares to Carol, is there. So glad you enjoyed this. Thanks so much for reading.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

Carol Burnett...one of our all time favorites who has brought so much laughter into our lives. Thanks for this hub and the memories.


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 6 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

I don't think my life and attitude would be the same if it weren't for her. Thanks for the read, Peggy. Glad you enjoyed.


belliott profile image

belliott 6 years ago

Our entire family used to watch the Carol Burnett show when I was young. We all enjoyed it. She is a favorite of mine as well. I just saw her on an interview on the Joy Behar show. I love this hub and plan to read your other Famous Redheaded Comediennes Series.


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 6 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

I'm going to have to see if that interview is on YouTube. I wanted to be her when I grew up. I'm not, but watching her show most certainly changed my life in wonderful ways. Glad you stopped in, belliott. Thanks for the read and the walk down memory lane.


LuAnn  6 years ago

My daughter is doing a project on a famous Texans could you please tell me the name of the character of the janitor lady on the Carol Burnett Show?? I would really appreciate your help.


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 6 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

LuAnn, that is an excellent question! I'm not aware of a name that goes along with Carol Burnett's janitor character, but here's a link that might be interesting: http://www.coopersjd.com/Burnett%27s_Janitor_Chara...

If you get any other info, let me know. Good luck!


LuAnn  6 years ago

Thank you so much. She's dressing up like her tomorrow and the name I came across was the Charwoman. It will be fun regardless.


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 6 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

LuAnn that is so awesome to hear. Too bad people can't add photos into comments, I'd love to see her. Charwoman, huh, who knew? I hope she had a blast. Thanks for coming back and updating.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

What a great lady, so funny, intelligent, gracious and such a gift for putting a show together. Oh and Carol is fabulous too. =:) Thank you for all the great comments on your Winsome barnstorming tour--much appreciated.


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 6 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

You're very welcome, Winsome. I love your hubs. I'm still laughing from your comment, mind following me around all day? lol.


oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 5 years ago from australia

Frieda Babbley. Hi. Wow What a funny,versatile and beautiful Lady she was.

Could not look at her without a smile coming on my face.Loved her.

Thank you for such a wonderful and comprehensive tribute to such a great Lady.

Loved all the Photographs and Videos.The whole hub made it a great day. Voted up. :) :)


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 5 years ago from Saint Louis, MO Author

Greetings oliversmum. Wonderful to see you. I know your feeling. Carol Burnett is my idol, I have to say that. There's no one that compares. I come back to look at the photos and videos every time I need a fix. So glad you enjoyed!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

Oh Frieda what have you been up to? I watched the video of All My Children because...drum roll...my ex is named Verla. I didn't think there were any others out there. Who knew...

I've missed your brand of kind, quirky, cool. Maybe you can barnstorm a hub or two of mine for auld lang. Fly your cropduster over here, St. Louis can spare you for one day. =:)

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    variety shows in the news

    Carol Burnett at White House 2005
    Carol Burnett at White House 2005
    Frieda's favorite famous redheaded comedienne series graphic by Frieda Babbley c 2009
    Frieda's favorite famous redheaded comedienne series graphic by Frieda Babbley c 2009

    Feel free to thumbs up any articles from this series you like! Frieda loves it when you let her know you lover her.

    I have put together in this series a list (by no means complete) of some of the most influential redheaded comediennes in my life. They've made me laugh. They've stuck in my brain. I think of them often. No one can do what they have done in the way that they've done it. I search out movies and shows that they have been in.

    Each series will have a line of hubs, each dedicated to a different Frieda's favorite famous comedienne. And each line with have a feed to the rest them and a matching graphic (redhead, brunette, and blonde).

    I sincerely hope that all of you enjoye this series as each hub comes out. Let me know if there are any you're looking forward to. Comments always welcome.

    Enjoy.

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