clearn.png
Sunday January 17th, 2021 10:20PM

Carol Burnett puts variety, and music, back in her show

By The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Carol Burnett is so glad we had this time together, as she sang in her signature song. Now, she's added a lot more time, and a lot more songs, to be glad about.

Since its original run from 1967 to 1978, most viewers have only seen heavily chopped versions of “The Carol Burnett Show," and many fans had no idea that singing and dancing were an essential part of a series that was actually more classic variety show than modern comedy sketch show.

“What we were doing in essence was kind of like a Broadway musical revue every week, kind of like vaudeville, with sketches and then musical numbers. And of course in television the “v” of vaudeville became the “v” of variety show," Burnett told The Associated Press this week. “The problem was, when we went into syndication all those years ago, they cut it down to a half hour, and all the music was cut out.”

But now, 65 episodes drawn from the show’s 11 seasons on CBS, which brought it 25 Emmy Awards, have been revived and expanded, most to their original hour length under the title “The Best of The Carol Burnett Show,” and can be seen streaming for the first time on services including Tubi and The Roku Channel.

Along with its guest star, each show typically had a musical guest, who would perform in a simple setting early in the show then sing and dance in a big, costumed, Broadway-style finale at the end alongside Burnett and often singing co-stars Vicki Lawrence and Lyle Waggoner.

It was on Broadway that Burnett, now 87, had her breakout role at age 26 in 1959, singing in the musical fairytale spoof, “Once Upon a Mattress.”

“My first love was musical comedy," Burnett said. “I wanted to be on Broadway, so I was always singing loud, like Ethel Merman. Then what was great fun was that when I got my own show, I got to do some of that.”

Merman would be among the show's musical guests, as would Ray Charles, Bing Crosby, Helen Reddy and the Jackson 5.

One restored episode from the show’s first season ends with Burnett, Lawrence, comic Phyllis Diller and dancer Gwen Verdon wearing psychedelic “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” regalia and singing a medley of songs from the Beatles album the year it was released.

Burnett liked to stick musicians into sketches too, as she did when she gave Charles a rare acting gig as a bar piano player talking to a sad drinker played by Burnett. He was delighted to do it, telling Burnett, “Nobody ever asks me to do stuff like this.”

There are also lost sketches in the expanded episodes, which Burnett brought back along with distributor Time Life, with more comedy from the show's classic core cast of Burnett, Waggoner, Harvey Korman, Tim Conway and Lawrence, who was just 18 in the first episodes.

“They would never let me hire Vicki now,” Burnett said. "Just 18, with no experience? No way.”

Burnett and Lawrence remain close.

“We’re in touch, we talked yesterday on her anniversary, she’s been married 46 years. She married our makeup man,” Burnett said. “It’s hard to believe, she was such a kid when we hired her.”

The expanded shows also stand as a tribute to the members of the cast who have died, a couple very recently. Korman died in 2008, Conway died last year, and Waggoner died in March.

“It’s just me and Vicki now,” Burnett said with a sigh. “We miss our gang.”

___

Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Entertainment, AP Online Recordings News, APOnline Celebrity News
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
At Paris trial, passengers recall disarming of train gunman
Passengers who wrestled and disarmed a gunman aboard a high-speed Amsterdam-to-Paris train are recounting how their split-second decisions helped prevent what could have become a mass slaughter on behalf of the Islamic State group
12:18PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Carol Burnett puts variety, and music, back in her show
Carol Burnett has put the variety back in her show
12:17PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Singer Bobby Brown's son found dead at Los Angeles home
The son of singer Bobby Brown was found dead at a Los Angeles home
12:13PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Pandemic upends plans, lives of renowned Cuban musicians
Renowned Cuban musicians are turning to the internet or seeking other jobs to survive a pandemic that has shuttered businesses across the island, which only days ago reopened its airport to visitors after a nearly eight-month lockdown
9:55AM ( 2 hours ago )
J Balvin, Bad Bunny set for big night at Latin Grammys
A year after they were shut out of major categories, Latin trap kings Bad Bunny and J Balvin have a chance of winning the top honors at the Latin Grammy Awards
9:23AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
Tory Lanez pleads not guilty in Megan Thee Stallion shooting
Rapper Tory Lanez has pleaded not guilty through his attorney to felony assault charges in the July shooting of hip-hop star Megan Thee Stallion
6:47PM ( 17 hours ago )
And the Grammy nomination goes to ... Megan? Harry? Weeknd?
The Recording Academy will announce its nominees for the 2021 Grammy Awards on Tuesday, and a number of big stars should compete for prizes, including Megan Thee Stallion, Roddy Ricch, Harry Styles and The Weeknd
1:14PM ( 23 hours ago )
Dolly Parton adds pandemic hero to list of accomplishments
Dolly Parton is being celebrated in song with a rewritten version of her own “Jolene” for her contribution to an experimental coronavirus vaccine
12:42PM ( 23 hours ago )
AP Online Recordings News
Lawyers: Senior royals advised Meghan to write to her father
New court papers show the Duchess of Sussex was advised by two senior members of Britain’s royal family to write a letter to her estranged father that a newspaper later published in part
3:56PM ( 20 hours ago )
BBC names ex-judge to lead probe into 1995 Diana interview
The BBC’s board of directors has approved the appointment of a retired senior judge to lead an independent investigation into the circumstances around a 1995 televised interview with Princess Diana
11:50AM ( 1 day ago )
People magazine names Michael B. Jordan as Sexiest Man Alive
Actor Michael B
11:56PM ( 1 day ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
At Paris trial, passengers recall disarming of train gunman
Passengers who wrestled and disarmed a gunman aboard a high-speed Amsterdam-to-Paris train are recounting how their split-second decisions helped prevent what could have become a mass slaughter on behalf of the Islamic State group
12:18PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Singer Bobby Brown's son found dead at Los Angeles home
The son of singer Bobby Brown was found dead at a Los Angeles home
12:13PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Huge Puerto Rico radio telescope to close in blow to science
The National Science Foundation says it will close the telescope at the renowned Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico in a blow to scientists worldwide who depend on it to search for planets, asteroids and extraterrestrial life
12:11PM ( 17 minutes ago )
The Latest: Africa surpasses 2 million coronavirus cases
Africa has surpassed 2 million confirmed coronavirus cases
12:04PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Over 4,700 jobs at risk as UK fashion chains seek rescue
Over 4,700 jobs are at risk after the owner of British fashion chains Peacocks and Jaeger said it had failed to find a buyer for the troubled businesses, which like others in the sector are reeling from the pandemic
11:59AM ( 29 minutes ago )