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.
A Sneaky Q&A
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.
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.
Eunice Harper Higgins is the working-class wife of Ed Higgins in the famous sketch “The Family.” Carol Burnett plays the iconic character with a sense of humor that is hard to replicate. On top of that, Eunice is instantly recognizable because of her signature floral dress. The dress is a bit tattered and worn down, but Eunice always dresses it up with pearls.
Like every other costume on “The Carol Burnett Show,” Eunice’s look was styled by designer Bob Mackie. This costume is a far cry from his more glamorous looks. The story goes that Bob found Eunice’s dress at a thrift store.
Never First Place
Believe it or not, “The Carol Burnett Show” never hit the top ten in the Nielsen ratings during its entire eleven-year run. Despite having about 30 million viewers per episode, the highest it ever landed was in 13th place during the 1969-1970 season.
This seems like a wild fact considering that “The Carol Burnett Show” is thought by many to be one of the greatest shows of all time. Although it never broke the top ten, it at least made it into the top twenty during most of its eleven seasons. It’s okay. We all know that “The Carol Burnett Show” is first in our hearts.