Carol Burnett headed one of TV’s most successful comedy/variety shows for 11 seasons on CBS from 1967 to 1978, and while not all of the content of The Carol Burnett Show would hold up to today’s standards, many of the comedy sketches and characters presented are considered timeless by many.
A new PBS special honors Burnett’s legacy next month with a 90-minute special, Carol Burnett’s Favorite Sketches, which have been personally picked by the comedienne herself with some of them not seen in decades, reports TV Series Finale. The special includes comedy sketches that starred the show’s regulars, Burnett, Harvey Korman, Tim Conway, Vicki Lawrence, and Lyle Waggoner, with special guests Steve Martin and Betty White.
— Carol Burnett Geeks (@BurnettGeeks) May 26, 2016
PBS says the Carol Burnett’s Favorite Sketches special will include these performances:
“As the Stomach Turns: Close Encounters”
A spoof of the soap opera As the World Turns with a Close Encounters of the Third Kind twist that starred Martin and White.
One of the most popular comedy sketches of all time featured Harvey Korman visiting a new dentist school graduate played by Tim Conway who has some trouble with the Novocain. Korman couldn’t kkep a straight face through it all.
“Went With the Wind”
Known as one of the “greatest sight gags in TV history,” this parody of Gone With the Wind features Burnett playing Starlet O’Hara and appearing in a dress literally made from the drapes in her home – curtain rod and all. (Designed by Bob Mackie, the dress is currently on display at the Smithsonian Institution.)
“Nora Desmond: The Commercial”
Burnett and Korman portray the legendary Norma Desmond from the film Sunset Boulevard as an actress looking to revive her career appearing in a bug spray commercial.
“The Oldest Man: Galley Slaves”
Taking place on a slave ship, Conway plays “The Oldest Man” who has just been put as the rowing partner with Korman.
“The Family – Sorry!”
Before Mama’s Family, there was The Family on Burnett’s show. Vickie Lawrence played the grouchy Mama with Burnett as daughter Eunice and Korman as son-in-law Ed. In this sketch, the three sit down to an ugly game of “Sorry!”
“Tudball and Wiggins”
Why Mr. Tudball (Conway) puts up with dim-witted secretary Mrs. Wiggins (Burnett), no one knows. In this sketch, Tudball is trying to implement a fire safety program.
“As the Stomach Turns: Mother Marcus”
Another visit to the soap opera spoof with Korman playing Mother Marcus
Carol Burnett made her first TV appearance in 1956 on The Paul Winchell Show and Buddy Hackett’s sitcom Stanley. Then, she began to make appearances on shows such as The Tonight Show, The Jack Benny Program, and The Ed Sullivan Show.
In honor of my new follower, the lovely @CarolBurnett, here she is on Password just a few years ago! pic.twitter.com/BYQLPftDGZ
— Retro-TV Lover (@RetroTV_Nerd) May 28, 2016
In 1959, Carol became a regular cast member for CBS’ The Garry Moore Show where she stayed for three years and earned her first Emmy Award. Her second Emmy came from her 1962 television special Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall with Julie Andrews
Burnett starred in the short-lived variety series The Entertainers and made many guest appearances on a variety of TV shows, including Garry Moore’s show. In 1967, CBS took a chance with Burnett headlining her own show. As it turned out, it was a smart move as The Carol Burnett Show won 25 Emmy awards during its 11-year run.
Carol Burnett’s Favorite Sketches will air on June 3, 4, and 5 on PBS. Check your local listings for exact times.
— Crown Publishing (@CrownPublishing) May 23, 2016
[Photos by By: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images]