A big appeal to go see a live taping of “The Carol Burnett Show” was the unscripted Q&A session with Carol. This pre-show Q&A was always edited into the beginning of every episode so audiences at home could watch it, too. The thing is, Carol was really nervous about including this warm-up in the show.
Carol’s husband, Joe Hamilton, was also the show’s producer. He believed in Carol’s ability to connect with the audience and asked her to give it a shot. The very first time they filmed a Q&A, Carol went on stage wearing a robe over her costume. She didn’t think the crew would include it in the final aired episode.
Last Two Standing
“The Carol Burnett Show” had an excellent cast of beloved comedians that audiences looked forward to watching every week. However, only two cast members lasted the whole eleven years that the show aired on TV. The first cast member is, of course, Carol Burnett. This makes sense, considering that the whole show is named after her.
Vicki Lawrence was the second cast member that stuck with the show for all eleven seasons. Vicki was only eighteen when she joined the “The Carol Burnett Show” cast. The actress earned her chops during her time on the show and went on to play Mama in a spin-off sitcom.
An Emmy Darling
“The Carol Burnett Show” was a favorite variety show among its American audience. It was also a favorite among the Hollywood elite. During the course of the show’s run, it earned a whopping 70 Emmy nominations. Such nominations included categories like “Outstanding Writing,” “Outstanding Directing,” and “Outstanding Comedy-Variety Series.”
Out of its whopping 70 nominations, the show earned a stunning 25 Emmy awards - which is an incredible ratio. Despite this amazing amount of wins, “The Carol Burnett Show” isn’t an award record-breaker. Shows like “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Saturday Night Live” have earned a few more Emmys than this comedy classic.
Carol Playing Favorites
“The Carol Burnett Show” saw many celebrity guests on its stage during its eleven-year stint on television. From Liza Minnelli to Steve Martin, Carol Burnett’s show was able to attract Hollywood’s cream of the crop. Looking back on her career, Carol definitely had a favorite guest.
In a PBS Wisconsin interview, Carol shared that singer Steve Lawrence was one of her favorite guests to have on the show. On top of his musical performances, Steve was secretly a naturally funny guy. His energy on the stage was infectious and played really well with the rest of the cast’s comedic timing.
Carol’s Famous Mentor
When Carol Burnett was just starting out in her career, she caught the eye of one of Hollywood’s most famous comedians. Lucille Ball saw Carol perform in her first off-Broadway show, "Once Upon a Mattress.” Lucille was so impressed by Carol’s performance that she went backstage after the show to meet her.
That fateful meeting marked the beginning of a mentorship and genuine friendship between the two comedians that stretched for many years. Once Carol hit it big with her show, she reluctantly called Lucille to ask if she would be a guest. Lucille excitedly agreed, further solidifying their mentor and mentee bond.