Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Carol Burnett's 70's Comedy Variety Show was a Film Buff's Dream


It was announced today that Texas native and comedy legend Carol Burnett will inducted into the Texas Film Hall Of Fame at the Texas Film Awards on March 10. Her film credits are excellent in themselves, with great performances in PETE 'N' TILLIE (1972), THE FRONT PAGE (1974), Robert Altman's underrated THE WEDDING (1978), Alan Alda's THE FOUR SEASONS (1981) and. of course, John Huston's adaptation of ANNIE (1982); but it is her TV work that made Carol Burnett a household name.

Her best known television show was THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW which ran from 1967 through 1978. Along with her unparalleled stock company: Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner and Tim Conway, and special guest stars, the show kept musical variety alive and kicking on television and brought Burnett's extraordinary talent for comic characterization into American homes for years. Though filmed for telecast, it maintained a live energy reminiscent of the early days of live TV.

Many of the show's sketches were about movies, both current releases and classics. It was assumed that the audience was conversant in the Hollywood cinema of the '30s, '40s and '50s. There were impossible-to-forget impressions of Gloria Swanson in SUNSET BOULEVARD and Bette Davis in ALL ABOUT EVE among many, many others.

Here is one of the best, a parody of DOUBLE INDEMNITY, featuring Burnett in the Stanwyck role and singer Steve Lawrence as the doomed insurance agent who falls under her spell. This is the Burnett magic at its best.



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