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Behind the Scenes of the "Most Wonderful, Wacky Times" of Carol Burnett's Life

In Such Good CompanyWho doesn't love Carol Burnett? The first time I remember seeing her onscreen was her incomparable performance as the hilariously menacing (and highly intoxicated) Miss Hannigan in Annie, but she is also beloved for her long-running variety series, The Carol Burnett Show. Ms. Burnett takes us behind the scenes of that show in her new book, In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox. You'll be in good company within its pages, and then you will be on YouTube revisiting the magic, "having a laugh [and singing] a song."

My eleven years on The Carol Burnett Show were the most wonderful, wacky times of my life. I treasure every memory: walking into the studio every day to rehearse and tape the show; collaborating with the amazing Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Tim Conway, and Lyle Waggoner; and working alongside our incredible crew. When we all came together, it was magic.

Variety series are a thing of the past: licensing the music, sewing hundreds of costumes, organizing an orchestra and dancers, writing six to eight sketches for every episode, bringing on major guest stars, and blocking the whole episode in one day before taping the whole thing in two hours? Today, that would be a far-flung dream. I'm happy that I had The Carol Burnett Show at that have a laugh or sing a song.

If I were still dreaming today? I'd have on talents like Kevin Spacey and Meryl Streep, and hilarious comedians like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Wouldn't that be amazing?

I can't believe fifty years have passed since The Carol Burnett Show was first green-lit. I had no idea what the show would become back then, or what it would eventually mean to people. I still travel around the country and do Q&A's with fans, and I'm astonished to see how varied the audience is—seats filled with anyone from nine to ninety years old. New YouTube videos and DVD releases have brought our show to a whole new generation of fans.

One time in San Antonio at a Q&A a little boy raised his hand, and I asked him, "How old are you?" He replied that he was nine. "And you know who I am?" I asked.  He paused, and then said, "Surprisingly, yes."

How lucky am I?


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