Two amazing female comedians come together for a night of laughs.
On Wednesday, September 16th, the legendary actress Carol Burnett, known for her roles in Annie, and The Carol Burnett Show, came to The Paley Center for Media in New York City to discuss the release of her “Lost” episodes of The Carol Burnett Show being released on DVD, which actually includes previously unavailable episodes from the first five seasons of the 1967-1978 comedy show, which was actually the first variety comedy show ever to be hosted by a woman. A Q&A was held and moderated by none other than The Office and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Ellie Kemper. During this discussion Burnett talked about some of the most intimate moments of her life, pre and post The Carol Burnett Show, while also viewing some of the funniest and most successful sketches from the show, one of which was the “Oldest Man” sketch that featured the infamous slow-motion fall down the stairs by none other than Tim Conway himself.
Burnett was hilarious, as expected, but to hear some of the stories that she told that night was eye opening and made her even more lovable and seem even more iconic. One of the best stories that Burnett decided to share was the time in which she had to fire her co-star, Harvey Korman. Burnett described Korman, one of the most talented comedians on her show, as always being moody and then one day when his moody self, insulted two guest stars who were Petula Clark and Tim Conway, who was not yet a regular on the show, Burnett had enough and told him that if by the next week he wasn’t smiling and skipping down the hallway, he would be fired. And Korman being scared for his job did just that the next week. Literally. He smiled and skipped everywhere the next week to show Burnett that he meant business.
But, by far the best moment of the night was when a fan and audience member requested that Burnett show everyone what it takes to do her famous Tarzan yell. Burnett, describing it as a yodel, made a condition that if she did the yell then everyone in the audience had to test out their Tarzan yell too. And when Burnett did this yell, nothing about it has changed from the first time she showcased that talent years ago.
To sum up, Carol Burnett is still as lovable and iconic as she was when she was doing her show. As Carol said in the panel, “funny is funny,” and that couldn’t be more true when watching back clips of her show that night. If something is funny, it will never stop being funny and that is why everyone should check out the new DVD of The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes.
Read our exclusive red carpet interviews below:
Q: What is it like to be at this event with Carol?
A: I am incredibly nervous. My heart is sort of beating out of my chest. She is an icon, she is an American heroine, and I have adored her for many years. I am very nervous but I am also incredibly excited.
Q: What were some of your favorite moments from The Carol Burnett Show?
A: Well, I always loved “As the Stomach Churns,” I loved “Slow Moving Old Man.” I have been rewatching a lot of old clips lately and going through her book and stuff and it holds up so well because I think what’s so great about her show is that it crosses generations and time. I think it’s rare to be able to do that. I also loved her as Ms. Hannigan in Annie. So good!
Q: And Carol is basically a legend and has such an amazing career. What are some of her career highlights for you?
A: I want to ask her about that specifically but I think, what I just mentioned with Annie, I think that was actually the first time I saw her in front of me. I think I saw the show on re-runs and on TVLand and stuff like that but there’s too many to name. I think she is in a league of her own.
Q: And Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt season 2. What can we expect from that?
A: We just started filming about a month ago. You can expect more songs. I don’t know about guest stars and we’re only shooting the 4th episode now so there’s a lot left to come but you can expect more colorful pants.
Q: The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes are now coming onto DVD. What is your reaction to this news?
A: The reaction has been terrific. These have not been seen since it first aired and yet funny is funny. It still holds up and that is what I am thrilled about.
Q: What are some of your favorite moments from the show?
A: Oh gosh. A lot. When the first time we did the takeoff on the soap opera. The first time we did musical comedy reviews. All of it. The first five years shows a lot of first things that we did and so it’s like I had a whole bunch of children and I loved them all.
Q: And you show has been sort of a stepping stone for a lot of shows now such as SNL. Would you ever consider hosting SNL for a show?
A: Well if they asked me then I would, of course!