5 Questions: Carol Burnett

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5 Questions is a series by Steve Duffy –

Carol Burnett

Carol Burnett is a comedy legend. She is now touring across the US in her one woman show An Evening of Laughter and Reflection, for an intimate night of conversation with the audience.

SD: What can you tell us about your upcoming show?

CB: I think it is going to be a lot of fun, especially for the audience. It’s a Q & A session with some clips from “The Carol Burnett Show.” What I like about this set-up is that the audience is my partner. Nothing is planned and I never know what is going to be said or asked. I want the audience members to have a good time and ask a lot of questions. 

SD: Does having a show where the audience ask questions make you nervous?

CB: A little [she laughs]. Before each show, I stand in the wings and say a little prayer hoping the show goes well. 

SD: When did you first know you were funny?

CB: Oh wow! I think I have always had a sense of humor, but it wasn’t until I was a freshman at UCLA when I realized I was funny.  As part of my major, I had to take an acting course and as a class we were asked to do a scene so I chose to do a comedy one portraying a hillbilly woman.  The class laughed and I loved it. I really enjoyed the feeling that I got when I made others laugh.

SD: When you look back at your time on “The Carol Burnett show” now, what comes to mind?

CB: As part of preparation for writing my new book, I re-watched all 11 years of the show to help jog my memory. I remember thinking some of the sketches we did were terrible and some were very funny. I also feel that if you remove the costumes and hairstyles we had back then, a lot of the sketches would still stand the test of time. I also love how we all grew-up as performers on the show. Vicki Lawrence was only 18 years old when she joined the show and she really learned her craft and grew-up as an actor in front of 30 million viewers.

SD: You created so many memorable characters on the show. Did you have a favorite?

CB: No, it’s like apple and oranges. I loved doing the movie take-offs. Growing up, I would see between 6-8 movies with my grandmother and usually those were the movies that I made into skits. If I had to choose, I would pick Mrs. Wiggins and Eunice from “Mama’s Family. “ They were brilliantly written and a lot of fun to play. 

To purchase tickets to see Carol Burnett at the Boch Center Wang Theatre on April 8th, visit www.bochcenter.org


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