Starstruck: Carol Burnett

Three days to flying and guess what I’ve been up to. Only binge watching Carol Burnett sketches for hours on end. Not the wisest way to spend my time but sure is one of the funniest hahaha.

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Carol Burnett approves

Wow, what a woman. I’d only lately picked up her biography of sorts called This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection published in 2010. It’s a lovely, lighthearted read which had me literally laughing out loud at every episode. This woman doesn’t act funny, she is funny. I can hear it from the pages, all that verve and personality and animation. She makes her life out to be just that funny. I love it. I love her attitude, her nerve, her wit, how she opens up to be completely star-struck and chickened out by the larger than life actors and actresses she meets. She keeps it real, she hopes, she works so hard and loves what she does. I feel like I almost know her from her book (if that’s even possible). She’s so friendlyyy. Do read it if ever you have the chance, it will absolutely brighten your day. She has that effect on people.

I first knew Carol from  Annie as Miss Hannigan. She was admittedly too overly intoxicated for me but still. I was more enamoured with Ann Reinking as Grace Farrell then (those legs please) who is a very accomplished dancer in her own right. Her dance in ‘We Got Annie’ makes me so happy, it’s so lovely to watch. Absolutely gorgeous. Love her dress.

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Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan in Annie.

Then I caught Carol on all those Carol and Julie (Andrews) stuff they used to put up every once in a while. (Julie Andrews is queen) Yes, my two favourite people happen to be really good friends and they rag about wonderfully together onstage. The chemistryyy.

I especially loved this sketch they did at the Lincoln Center. Haha the musical references. Classic. Wish the picture quality was better though.

Her book was so funny that I had to catch up with her work filmed about fifty years back. Been binge watching her TV series, The Carol Burnett Show, and getting nicely acquainted with all her co-stars and the people she wrote so highly about.

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The Carol Burnett Show with all my favourite cast members. Top: Vicki Lawrence. Right: Lyle Waggoner. Bottom: Carol Burnett. Left: Harvey Korman

Her sketches are really brilliant. I don’t know how they come up with so many different scenarios and so many things to do that just comes off as funny. My favourites are the Carol and Sis ones because of the whole family dynamic, how the characters aren’t too over the top but are still hilarious anyway. It’s fantastic, everybody is so versatile in playing different people.

I love all her little ticks, the crazy way her right eye goes all bug-eyed sometimes, and her really swell all-American voice. Love itt.

Also loved her co-actor, Harvey Korman. He can be quite fetching. I don’t think he’s really that popular outside of her show but I wouldn’t know.

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Harvey Korman being glamorous
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Harvey Korman being not so glamorous

You can still tell he’s a funny guy. He’s got laughing features and a nice guy friendly face. I like the sketches where he and Carol act as a couple, it’s so adorbs. Haha I think that’s why I liked the Carol and Sis sketches. They both have really good chemistry and they’re both so good-looking and funny. You wouldn’t think of funny people as the good-looking ones but Carol and Harvey are such handsome people. Even when they’re making absolute fools of themselves they’re charming. There was this one sketch where the cast was doing different death scenes because ‘every actor wants to do a good death scene’ and I loved how when it was Carol’s turn, she was like “I’d like a little lights and some music… and Harvey.” And he just comes on to scoop her up in his arms when she goes ‘action’ to execute/rag the dying lover scene. Haha Harvey, as indispensable as lights and music. He cracked up a little bit in the scene because Carol was being Carol and he was just enjoying the whole thing, methinks. Hilarious. I need a Harvey Korman in my life to do dying lover scenes. Or pretty much any other bit of drama. Bff goals please.

There were a lot of good looking co-stars on the show too. Lyle Waggoner (oh so hot I cannot), Ken Berry and a few others whom I have yet to match names to their faces.

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Carol Burnett and Lyle Waggoner

Loved this one too with guest star Alan Alda. (How come she gets all the hot guest stars) He was an adorbs bumble here. Harvey and Vicki were also a scream in their cringeworthy exaggerations of the old black and whites hahaha.

And this Alan sketch was lovely. Practically a fairytale romance in modern times. Why are they both so cute, this is absolutely perfect. Hearts so much.

I just fell for Ken Berry last night. I only saw him on this one episode where he sang this one song and snap, I was a goner. Completely melted. Here, watch it, it starts at about 10.23. Just swooned. He’s so endearing. His voice and his expressions and everything. Smooth kid.

It was so happy and friendly and everything was set up in the typical romanticized costume and setting. The irony of it being a spoof is not lost on me.

Carol was the bomb in that one too. Her figure was completely on point please. And she has really lovely cheekbones. So Nicole Kidman from the Golden Compass in this sketch. Ugh, I have to watch her in a proper movie. Her sketches just give me glimpses into all that potential. Need to watch her in a running screen time of more than an hour at least.

She had Rock Hudson on the show too but he wasn’t that hot for me. This sketch was great though. The burns. Genius. Gotta give them credit for it.

Reading and watching her makes me a little nostalgic for something I didn’t even experience first hand. Does that make sense? I mean, I technically didn’t grow up watching her episodes on TV and I definitely didn’t grow up in her time, the 60s and all that. But still, I like everything about the show that screams how dated it is. The hairdos, the fashion, the lack of handphones, how guys have to really pluck up their courage to hit up the girls at the bar (no such swiping and Tinder nonsense, just the good ol’ fashion getting to know you and pick up lines. Haha all their pick me up bar skits are hilarious. Just watch them struggle).

I think I know why I like the Carol and Sis sketches now. They reflect a little a bit of a life I might never know. I don’t know how accurate it is in depicting a life before the 21st century but I like the interactions the characters have with each other, the dialogue and everything, regardless of the slapstick sitcom it’s structured around. Not to say I don’t like my current time and age but I feel like I’m missing something else, another culture of another time that was somehow more honest, more sincere, where people were smart enough to be funny and talent was valued.

I don’t know. I’ve pretty much stopped watching TV. Maybe I’ve just become a snob at my own generation at the ripe old age of twenty. Oh no I have turned into my snobby professor who doesn’t read books written past, what, 1965?

Noooo what have I becomee

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