Monday, March 6, 2023

Carol Burnett will celebrate her 90th birthday with a TV special

Carol Burnett, one of TV's greatest comedians, will be turning 90 years old this spring (She was born April 26, 1933 in San Antonio, Texas).  To celebrate, a 2-hour TV special will honour the life and career of the beloved entertainer.

Carol's variety/sketch comedy program, The Carol Burnett Show, ran for 11 seasons on CBS - from 1967 until 1978.  The show was groundbreaking because until Carol came along, variety was generally regarded as a male genre. 

Carol's original cast included Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence and Lyle Waggoner.  In 1975, Lyle left the show and Tim Conway, a frequent guest star, became a regular.  In 1977, Dick Van Dyke replaced Harvey, but Dick was not a good fit for the show and he departed after only ten episodes.

Sadly, only Carol, Vicki Lawrence and Dick Van Dyke remain alive.  Harvey Korman passed away in 2008 at the age of 81.  Tim Conway died on May 14, 2019 at the age of 85, and Lyle Waggoner died on March 17, 2020 at the age of 84.  How wonderful it would be if those three men could celebrate Carol's 90th birthday with her (By the way Vicki Lawrence is 73 and Dick Van Dyke is still active at sprightly 97 years old).

Carol's NBC birthday special, Carol Burnett: 90 Years of  Laughter + Love, was filmed at Avalon, Hollywood and Bardo in Los Angeles on March 2nd.  It will be aired on Wednesday, April 26, the exact day of Carol's 90th birthday.  On April 27th, it will be streamed on Peacock.

Carol's cherished friend, Julie Andrews, 87, attended the taping of the TV special.  Their reunion is showcased on the red carpet prior to the filming of the special.  Other stars attending the taping included Katy Perry, Sofia Vergara, Cher, Melissa Tomei and former Saturday Night Live comedians Kristen Wig, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph.  There were musical performances by Bernadette Peters, Billy Porter, Jane Lynch, Katy Perry, Kristen Chenoweth and others.

The special is a retrospective of Carol's career from her 1959 Broadway debut as Princess Winnifred in Once Upon A Mattress, to her performance as Miss Hannigan in the 1982 film version of Annie, to her much-acclaimed TV show.  It is a "can't miss" for Carol's legion of fans and admirers.

- Joanne

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