Carol Burnett Interview: ‘The Carol Burnett Show 50th Anniversary’
Carol Burnett is already a TV legend, but she just picked up her first Emmy nomination in almost a decade. It’s her 24th career bid in a television career going back well over five decades. The latest recognition is for “The Carol Burnett Show 50th Anniversary Special,” which aired on CBS this past December, and now competes at the 2018 Emmy Awards as Best Variety Special.
Burnett joined us for a lengthy, informative audio interview (listen above or to the podcast below) recently to discuss the Emmys. Of this latest nomination, she says, “I’m just amazed! It’s like the Energizer Bunny; it keeps on going. We never would have thought this would have happened 50 years ago. In fact, we never would have thought we would last one season when we went on because the network didn’t have much faith in us.”
Lasting for 11 seasons from 1967 to 1978, “The Carol Burnett Show” became a Saturday night institution with additional cast members Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner and Tim Conway. Lawrence and Waggoner joined Burnett on the anniversary special along with guests such as Jim Carrey, Kristin Chenoweth, Stephen Colbert, Harry Connick, Jr., Bill Hader, Steve Lawrence, Jay Leno, Jane Lynch, Bernadette Peters and Martin Short.
Three of Burnett’s six career Emmy wins were for Best Variety Series (1972, 1974, 1975). In our chat, we discuss those victories as well as her first for Best Variety Performance on “The Garry Moore Show” (1962). The other two trophies were for “Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall” (1963) and “Mad About You” (1997). Also part of our conversation are her induction into the TV Academy Hall of Fame (1985) and her Kennedy Center Honors (2003).
Regarding her first Emmy experience, she recalls the feeling of “maybe you’ve arrived at a certain level. I certainly didn’t expect to win. I was shocked when my name was called! It was a big thrill because I used to watch the Emmys and the Oscars.” She laughingly adds that the statuette had misspelled Garry for Gary: “They wanted me to give it back, and I said ‘No! No! I’m going to keep this!”