Thursday, March 28, 2013

Women's History Month: Carol Burnett

I always get a side-eye from people when I tell them that Carol Burnett is one of my favorite women in the entertainment business.  But it's so true. I loooove me some Carol Burnett. 

I didn't laugh a lot as a kid.  There was crazy drama in my life and LOL's and giggles were not as common as they should have been.  BUT, when the "Carol Burnett Show" came on TV, I literally could not stop laughing for 60 minutes.  I'd smile so hard that my jaws would turn red and puffy. Tears in my eyes, loss of oxygen intake....all that!  I mean, the characters she played were classics!  Who could forget Mrs. Wiggins (the *clears throat* secretary), Starlet O'Hara (Gone With The Wind) and the long-suffering, emotional housewife Eunice Higgins, my personal favorite.  Great times.

Years ago, I had a dream about Carol Burnett.  I was at the grocery store, in the '10 Items or Less' line and looked to my left.  And there she was.  I was speechless at first.  Nervous.  Then....I went right up to her, introduced myself and told her how much I loved her and what she'd meant to me growing up.

"Aren't you sweet," she said.  We talked for about 10 minutes.  She listened to me blabber on and on about her work.  She told me about her upbringing, encouraged me to be fearless and then...she hugged me, tugged on her ear and waved good-bye.  I melted.  

The "Carol Burnett Show" ran for 11 years on CBS and won 25 Emmy Awards.  Amazing!  But get this - the network initially didn't want her to do a variety show.  They believed the variety format could only be successful with a male lead. Ha!  She showed them!  #girlpower

The entertainment world has had a five-decade love affair with Carol Burnett.  I've loved her since she made me smile as a kid.  Today's generation got a taste of Ms. Burnett when she showed up on popular shows like Desperate Housewives, Glee and Law and Order.  She'll be 80 years old next month and she's still going strong. 

Here's a clip of Carol Burnett as Eunice.  Funny, smart and fearless.  Doesn't get any better than this...

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