Carol Burnett created one of televisions most successful programs which lasted for an amazing eleven seasons on CBS from 1967 to 1978. In that decade she was on the tip of everyone’s tongue and blended old vaudeville patter with a new brand of smart and personal comedy that was her own. While not all of the content of The Carol Burnett Show would hold up to today’s standards – where audiences often applaud cleverness rather than laugh at it – many of the comedy sketches and characters presented are timeless in the same way that other great comediennes of the day are remembered. Lucille Ball, Imogene Coca, Martha Raye, they were all pioneers.
A new PBS special airing on Friday, June 3, 2016 at 9pm on WGBH-2 honors Burnett’s legacy next month with a 90-minute special, Carol Burnett’s Favorite Sketches, which have been personally picked by the comedienne herself with some of them not seen in decades, reports TV Series Finale. The special includes comedy sketches that starred the show’s regulars, Burnett, Harvey Korman, Tim Conway, Vicki Lawrence, and Lyle Waggoner, with special guests Steve Martin and Betty White.
But be aware, PBS needs to pay their bills so it’s pledge time with a new 22 disc DVD release to be sold. So expect the fun to be interrupted by pledge breaks which can leaves some of the skits half finished. The program is listed as 90 minutes, but there is less than an hour of actual comedy, and even some of that is eaten up by Burnett’s new introductions.
The Carol Burnett Show won 25 Emmy Awards, and showcased the wonderful wacky brand of comedy that was uniquely Carol’s own. Carol’s favorite sketches include some of her unforgettable characters — Starlet O’Hara, Nora Desmond, Mrs. Wiggins, and of course, Eunice, long suffering wife of Ed and daughter of Mama, as well as Tim Conway’s “The Oldest Man” and Mr. Tudball.
CAROL BURNETT’S FAVORITE SKETCHES features these performances:
• “As the Stomach Turns: Close Encounters”
The soap opera parody pokes fun at the alien visitation classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind with guests Steve Martin and Betty White.
• “The Dentist”
The famous sketch with Harvey Korman as the very first patient of nervous dentist Tim Conway, who just got out of dental school and accidentally injects himself with Novocain.
• “Went With The Wind”
Ranking as of the greatest sight gags in TV history: Starlet O’Hara (Carol) appears in a dress made from curtains in this famous Gone With The Wind parody.
• “Nora Desmond: The Commercial”
Carol satirizes Norma Desmond from Sunset Boulevard as an actress looking for a career via a Knock ’Em Dead bug spray commercial.
• “The Oldest Man: Galley Slaves”
Slave ship taskmaster (Lyle Waggoner) assigns a rowing partner in the form of “The Oldest Man” (Tim Conway) for one of his men (Harvey Korman).
• “The Family – Sorry!”
Eunice, Ed and Mama sit down for a nice little game of Sorry! and things get ugly fast, causing Mama to lay into Eunice with the put-down “You got splinters in the windmills of your mind.”
• “Tudball and Wiggins”
Mr. Tudball and his secretary Mrs. Wiggins are up to their old shenanigans trying to implement a fire safety program.
• “As The Stomach Turns: Mother Marcus”
A hilarious visit from Canoga Falls’ most notorious snoop.
PBS special programming invites viewers to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; hear diverse viewpoints; and take front-row seats to world-class drama and performances. Viewer contributions are an important source of funding, making PBS programs possible. PBS and public television stations offer all Americans from every walk of life the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content.