Carol Burnett and I are the same age. Well, she’s a few months older, having had her birthday recently and mine is not until October.
I have always admired Carol for her creativity and humor. Her comedy shows and specials brought me many hours of pleasure. During the Seventies, Saturday night television was filled from 7:00 to 10:00 with shows that today are classics. All in the Family, M*A*S*H, Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart and The Carol Burnett Show. This was “must see TV” twenty years before an ad man created that slogan (and on a different network). The Carol Burnett Show, a variety show that featured musical numbers, dance routines and comedy sketches, ran for 11 seasons and won 25 Emmy awards.
The other shows in that historic line up were sold into syndication and can still be seen on cable channels. Carol Burnett and her husband, Joe Hamilton, owned the rights to her show and they chose to package it into DVD collections to sell. For Mothers Day I received a set of DVDs of skits from Carol’s shows and a copy of her book, This Time Together.
Her first book, One More Time, written in 1985, covered the more personal side of her story. This Time Together is really a memoir of her show biz life, the amazing people she met, worked with or just happened to run into.
I like her style of writing, she has a real knack for telling a story in an interesting way, no meandering or digressions that memoirs often fall prey to. What comes through is that she is just as spontaneous and funny (and self-depreciating) in real life as she was on stage. And totally able to laugh at herself as she told of meeting James Stewart and later Cary Grant, her childhood heroes, and being tongue-tied and klutzy because she was so star-struck. Or the time she scared off a mugger in New York City by giving the Tarzan yell long and loud.
The sub-title on the book cover is “Laughter and Reflection” and that’s what it is. Carol takes us along on her rise to stardom on Broadway and television and it’s a wonderful ride. It’s a delightful book and I highly recommend it.
The DVDs are good, too.