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Carol Burnett TV Show and Skits

Updated on June 4, 2017
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The Texas native’s alcoholic parents left her at an early age with her grandmother in Hollywood. According to Burnett, she was a pistol even then, with an imaginary twin sister named Karen. She and the “twin” would change places with different clothes, coming in the front door while the other slipped out on the fire escape. “Then,” she said, “I became exhausted and Karen mysteriously vanished.”

The Comedy of Carol Burnett

Carol Burnett is more than a triple threat. Yes, she can sing, dance and act – but she can also make you fall down laughing during one of her comedy skits. She made her mark in the world of comedy through Broadway, movies and – above all – television, carrying her charwoman mop and tugging her ear lobe.

Carol Burnett Early Years

Burnett got into acting and show business by accident, having planned to be a journalist and/or playwright. But, she found she had to take an acting course to get into the writing program. The first time she made an audience laugh, she was hooked. She found some early sponsors who helped her move to New York and pursue show business. Burnett soon caught on in nightclubs, especially with her first parody song hit: "I Made a Fool of Myself Over John Foster Dulles" (Dulles was Secretary of State at the time). In a short time, she was asked to perform this number on The Tonight Show with Jack Paar and The Ed Sullivan Show in 1957.

Carol Burnett on Broadway

Her first comedy role on Broadway was as the princess with the pea, called Once Upon a Mattress. She also became a regular guest on The Garry Moore Show and did a television special in 1962 with Julie Andrews at Carnegie Hall. She then went on to gigantic success in her own television variety show, The Carol Burnett Show, which began in 1967.

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Carol Burnett Show- Mrs. Wiggins

Carol Burnett Show Skit

Below you can enjoy a short skit or sketch from the Carol Burnett Show featuring Burnett and her fellow comedic talents Harvey Korman and Tim Conway. The bit is entitled "No Frills Airline."

Carol Burnett Show Cast Member Poll

Which cast member was your favorite from The Carol Burnett Show?

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Carol Burnett Show Skits

Joking ad lib with the audience before the show demonstrated her natural sense of humor. But, she also surrounded herself with an extremely talented comic ensemble comprised of Harvey Korman, Tim Conway, Lyle Waggoner and Vicki Lawrence to perform hilarious skits. Burnett’s skits included cleverly silly movie parodies: Went With the Wind had Burnett dressed in drapes complete with curtain rods to parody Scarlett O’Hara’s big scene of making a fine dress out of Tara’s velvet drapery. Upon seeing this vision, “Rat Butler” tells her “That gown is gorgeous!” “Thank you,” she replies, “I saw it in the window and I just couldn't resist it!”

As The Stomach Turns

Other parodies included From Here to Maternity, Sunnyset Boulevard, Lovely Story, The Howl and the Pussycat and Bonnie and Clod. The show also featured an ongoing soap opera parody called As the Stomach Turns, complete with dramatic organ chords. Her series skit, Mama’s Family, went on to become its own television show with Vicki Lawrence as “Mama.”Once The Carol Burnett Show stopped in 1978, we never saw the wide-reaching comedy talent from a variety show again.

The Carol Burnett Show Cast

The Carol Burnett Show cast from left to right; Lyle Waggoner, Vicki Lawrence, Harvey Korman, Carol Burnett and Tim Conway
The Carol Burnett Show cast from left to right; Lyle Waggoner, Vicki Lawrence, Harvey Korman, Carol Burnett and Tim Conway

If you are interested in some of the award-winning skit scripts from the Carol Burnett Show, they are available through the Contemporary Drama Service with performance rights included.

Carol Burnett Skit Scripts

Burnett’s story is inspiring. She grew up in a poor, dysfunctional family with a huge lack of confidence in her looks, noting “Adolescence is just one big walking pimple.” Through towering talent and perseverance, she found her fame and fortune in Los Angeles. “I have always grown from my problems and challenges,” she said, “from the things that don’t work out, that’s when I’ve really learned.”

Carol Burnett - Bust Ups, Bloopers & Blunders Pt.1

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Learn More About Comedy

Now if you enjoyed this article about Carol Burnett and would like to know more about some of the many other great comedic legends and the origins and types of different comedy, then I suggest you check out this excellent book by writer Stephen Hoover at Amazon's Kindle store. He goes into great detail about all types of things and people pertaining to comedy.

Your Comments on Carol Burnett Here

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    • prasadjain profile image

      Dr.S.P.PADMA PRASAD 

      5 years ago from Tumkur

      This hub very effectively portraits her talents and life. She deserves the appreciation she has now.Good hub.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      I'm a big Carol Burnett fan and even wrote a hub about the Carol Burnett Show. You've written a nice tribute to a wonderful lady.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • hoov45 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Hoover 

      5 years ago from Denham Springs, Louisiana

      Wow.. That's awesome. RC stands for Royal Crown, wasn't that right?

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 

      5 years ago from Iowa

      I remember watching the Carol Burnett Show as a kid with my entire family. It was a big deal every week; my mom would make popcorn and it was the only time all week we'd get to drink soda - RC Cola that came in glass bottles. Thanks for bringing back those memories.

    • hoov45 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Hoover 

      5 years ago from Denham Springs, Louisiana

      Thank you so much Suzanne.

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 

      5 years ago from Texas

      I have been re-watching the Carol Burnett Show on DVD. So funny! We just don't have great entertainment like that these days! Voted up and awesome! :)

    • hoov45 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Hoover 

      5 years ago from Denham Springs, Louisiana

      Thank you Bobbi. I am so glad you enjoyed it and I appreciate you comments.

    • hoov45 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Hoover 

      5 years ago from Denham Springs, Louisiana

      Thank you Mr Archer. I remember really enjoying her show when I was a kid and Tim Conway was my favorite.

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 

      5 years ago from Missouri

      Voted up and across the board. I absolutely love Carol Burnett and her show. My favorite skit was when Dick Ven Dyke was a guest, and Tim told that story about Siamese elephants joined at the trunk. Van Dyke literally ended up on the floor at the end. Classic, classic. Great job with this hub on a quality person.

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 

      5 years ago from Florida

      Hi,

      No one can touch my funny bone like Carol Burnett. I loved her with Tim Conway and in Mama's Family.

      Thanks for writing this one---it was a joy to read this morning.

      Have a great summer.

      Bobbi Purvis

    • hoov45 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Hoover 

      5 years ago from Denham Springs, Louisiana

      You are right Georgie. Comedy doesn't have to be vulgar to be funny... So true.

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      GH Price 

      5 years ago from North Florida

      Carol Burnett is amazing. Sometimes I wish today's comedians would take a look at how to be funny without all the vulgarity. She's definitely a gem. Thanks for the Hub!

    • hoov45 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Hoover 

      5 years ago from Denham Springs, Louisiana

      Thanks for your comments. I remember really enjoying her show when I was a little kid. Tim Conway was so funny.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      5 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks, hoov, for reminding me how really funny Carol and her troupe were. She is a genuine talent and I miss those funny TV skits. Enjoyed the videos you included.

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