Carol Burnett interview: ’90 Years of Laughter + Love’
Legendary performer Carol Burnett could add even more accomplishments to her stellar TV career this summer. She has two different programs that could extend her Emmy Awards nomination streak. A bid for either show would make her the first person to ever be nominated in seven consecutive decades. For this past television season, she produced “Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter + Love” and co-starred on the drama series “Better Call Saul.”
Her career has included 24 nominations with six wins along the way for “The Garry Moore Show” (1962), “Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall” (1963), “The Carol Burnett Show” (1972, 1974, 1975) and “Mad About You” (1997). She has also received major life achievement awards from the Kennedy Center Honors, Screen Actors Guild, Mark Twain Prize and TV Academy Hall of Fame.
For our recent interview, Burnett singles out the Kennedy Center as one of the highlights, adding, “At the Kennedy Center, you don’t have to do anything except go there for the weekend and have wonderful dinners with people. You go and smile, you wave, you laugh a little and cry a little. You don’t have to get up and give a thank-you speech.” Listen to our exclusive interview above.
The NBC variety special helped Burnett celebrate her 90th birthday and featured Julie Andrews, Steve Carell, Vicki Lawrence, Katy Perry, Bernadette Peters, Amy Poehler, Billy Porter, Maya Rudolph, Lily Tomlin, Kristen Wiig and lots of memorable clips from her career in TV, movies and Broadway.
She says, “I was absolutely thrilled with the way it turned out because originally I said I don’t want a birthday party with balloons and a cake, and I didn’t want it to be a roast. What I really wanted the show to be was a variety special with live entertainment.”
For “Better Call Saul” on AMC, she played the elderly Marion for four episodes. It is Marion who turns in Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman/Gene Takovic (Bob Odenkirk) after searching online to find out more about him. She calls the police with her Life Alert button when he tries intimidation. Burnett will be on the Emmy ballot in the Best Drama Supporting Actress category.
She adds, “It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. It was such a well-oiled machine because most of the crew have been together for close to 15 years for ‘Breaking Bad.’ It’s a thrill to be at this age making all kinds of new friends and still keeping the old ones that are still with me.”