The Screen Actors Guild honored Carol Burnett this year with a Lifetime Achievement Award, introduced by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and escorted to the stage by Steve Carell.
Burnett grew up in Hollywood and even climbed the famed Hollywood sign as a child. She joked that she enjoyed climbing the O’s the most.
“When I got my variety show, one of the major things I wanted to do — I loved doing — was our take-offs on all the movies that I grew up loving. And this time we had costumes designed by the brilliant Bob Mackie, a 28-piece orchestra, our own rep company, two guest stars a week, dancers and singers. In essence, we mounted a musical comedy revue every week, and, oh God, did we have fun. And at first, the network didn’t want me to do one. They tried to talk me into doing a half-hour sitcom called Here’s Agnes. Can you picture it? ‘Here’s Agnes!’ I could just see it, you know it. But I had a terrific and unheard of contract that said that all I had to do was ‘push the button’ and the network would have to give me 30 one-hour variety shows. Yeah. And I told them that’s what I wanted to do. But they said, ‘Carol, no no no no no no no no no look. All the comedy variety shows are hosted by men. Sid Caesar. Jackie Gleason. Milton Berle. Now Dean (Martin). It’s really not for a gal. It’s, comedy variety is a man’s game.’ No.”
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