Carol Burnett’s early life was anything but comedic. ABC News notes that the television legend has endured many circumstances that might make the average person retreat from the public eye entirely.
But through it all, Burnett’s resilient spirit seemed fueled by the humor she’s always used to help others laugh and smile. And it helped her forge a storied career as one of America’s most adored comediennes.
It all culminated at the 2019 Golden Globes, where the spirited 85-year-old received the first-ever Carol Burnett Award for excellence in television. The annual award will be given to someone who “has made outstanding contributions to television on or off the screen.” And audiences everywhere are continuing to applaud.
Certainly, Burnett is no stranger to accolades. CNN reports that Burnett is, in fact, one of the most celebrated actors in all of comedy.
Back in 2003, for example, she became a Kennedy Center Honors recipient. In 2013, she earned the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
And the recognition kept right on coming. In 2015, Burnett received a Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award.
In their own way, all these tributes gave an admiring nod to a small-screen variety show with a mammoth heart. “The Carol Burnett Show” was a beloved CBS comedy-variety series that ran from 1967 to 1978.
During the show’s hilarious run, Burnett cracked up audiences with her inspired sketches and gifted cast. Talented regulars included Harvey Korman, Tim Conway and Vicki Lawrence.
Audiences were entertained, to say the very least. According to ABC, the popular show earned no less than 22 Emmy Awards.
So when Burnett took the podium to accept her 2019 Golden Globes award, she did so in signature style. “Do I get to accept it every year?” she deadpanned right out of the gate.
She then shared some poignant and bittersweet recollections. She mentioned that she’d first become enthralled with television during her childhood, when it was still a brand new medium.
Then she admitted that her show could likely never be made in today’s entertainment environment. She cited the costly 65 costumes per week, twelve dancers, a 28-piece live orchestra and two new guest stars for every installment.
But some things never really change. Burnett used to close every show with her trademark goodnight, for example.
On the show itself, this included a gentle ear-tug as a way of sending love to the grandmother who raised her. It also included her signature send-off song, “I’m So Glad We Had This Time Together.”
So true to form, Burnett dedicated her Golden Globes award to “all those who made my dreams come true, and to all those out there who share the love I have for television, and who yearn to be part of this unique medium that has been so good to me.”
And as she departed the podium with that sparkling Carol Burnett smile, she issued one last cherished declaration. “I’m so glad we had this time together,” she said.
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