The “Funny Ladies” hour of the PBS documentary series, Pioneers of Television, debuted this week. Narrated by Ryan Seacrest? Oh well. Can’t win ’em all. Unless you consider Seacrest an out-and-out funny lady, too.
“Funny Ladies” zeroes in quickly on Carol Burnett as the biggest pioneer among the funny women in early TV, although it also goes back to the first small-screen superstar with XX chromosomes, Lucille Ball and I Love Lucy. The hour also shines a spotlight on the early career breakthroughs by Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller, Mary Tyler Moore, Betty White and Marla Gibbs.
Among those contributing tributes in separate interviews are Margaret Cho, Tina Fey, Pat Carroll, Cloris Leachman and Dick Van Dyke.
Got 50 minutes to spare? Of course you do! When you do, sit back, enjoy and maybe learn or re-learn yourself a little something about when women were funny before naive media-types of the 21st century were asking that question as if it were a legitimate thing to ask. Roll it.