For 11 years, Carol Burnett and Co. entertained viewers with their wacky antics and outrageous comedy on “The Carol Burnett Show.” Last night the cast returned to reminisce and share old stories with out-takes and favorite skits from the show.
“The Carol Burnett Show” featured Burnett along with co-stars Vicki Lawrence (“Mama”s Family”), Tim Conway and Harvey Korman. The four complemented each other”s comedic style and made performing in front of live audiences a hilarious experience for both the stars and the fans. The show highlighted each actor”s talent with several different skits comparative today to some “Saturday Night Live” sketches.
The special began with Carol Burnett answering questions about the show from audience members. These questions seemed a bit removed from the point of the special, but they did help introduce Carol Burnett to the younger, less knowledgeable viewer. The questions continued throughout the hour and they surprisingly became better as Burnett”s three co-stars joined her on stage. One audience member asked Tim Conway if he ever strayed from the script in order to make his co-stars laugh. Conway and Harvey Korman both emphatically answered “yes” to the man”s question and followed it up with a clip demonstrating his devilish ways.
The special also contains numerous bloopers that are probably funnier than the show itself. The effort to keep a straight face through any clip will be wasted. In one out-take, Burnett walks by a painting of which Conway is the subject. She stops in front of the painting and proceeds to undo the robe she is wearing to reveal a prosthetic set of breasts attached to her body. The dumbfounded look on Conway”s face will have you laughing out loud.
Those prosthetic breasts were the creation of famous designer Bob Mackie. He also designed the entire wardrobe of the cast during the show”s run. Mackie appears for a moment in the special, but the lasting impression goes to Burnett and Lawrence who pay tribute to their friend and designer with a song and dance titled, “Mackie Rag.” The song is over the top, but the sentiment shines through they could never have been that funny without well-designed clothes and temporary body parts.
Those Mackie clothes made the characters, and one distinctly stood out from the rest. The housecoat with the rolled down stockings made Mama (Vicki Lawrence) and her family so popular that it became the spin-off hit, “Mama”s Family.” The beginnings of the show can be seen in the bloopers and early skits.
The special ended as it began, and how every “Carol Burnett Show” ended with a smile from the star and the legendary tug at her ear. With that she said good-bye again, but the laughs linger. In a few years the quartet can all return once more for a trip down memory lane.