Entertainment

Carol Burnett Show: This Time Together

by Drew Jackson
Tuesday Mar 26, 2013
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Memories are messy things. We tend to amplify the negative ones and glorify the positive ones. One of television’s most glorified memories is "The Carol Burnett Show" which ran for 11 seasons. Chances are good that if you were home on a Saturday night between 1967 - 1978 you spent some time with Carol and her comedy sidekicks: Harvey Korman, Tim Conway, Vicki Lawrence and Lyle Waggoner. But watching the recently released 6-disc DVD "The Carol Burnett Show This Time Together," you can witness your glorified memory heavily tarnished.

The DVD set includes 17 original episodes plus a few hours of interviews with Carol and her co-stars. The episode menus unfortunately showcase how formulaic the show was. There was a Q&A, usually a song for Carol, one for her guest star, two sketches and a large production number. The episodes are not in any chronological order and include random shows from 1972 - 1977.

Still, the DVD indisputably highlights the comedic genius of Burnett. Burnett is at her best in the Q&A sessions and anywhere else she can insert some impromptu ad-libs. And she sparkles and enchants the audience in the studio and at home with the many faces she pulls.

But good luck sitting through all 17 episodes. All the elements you remember are there including the fabulous Bob Mackie gowns, the wigs, the accents and some of the more familiar sketches: "The Family," "Mrs. Higgins" and "The Oldest Man."

The fabulous Carol Burnett is shown at her best in the Q&A sessions and anywhere else she could insert impromptu ad-libs.

But you’ll have to sit through some hideously dated production numbers, Burnett’s vocals and a slew of B or C level guest stars. Some exceptions to the guests stars include a 1972 episode featuring a red-hot Lily Tomlin.¬¬ Another prescient guest star was a very young Bernadette Peters in a 1975 episode singing an almost unrecognizable "All That Jazz."

The most glaring omission in nearly 20 hours of "The Carol Burnett Show" is the classic sketch spoofing "Gone With The Wind" featuring Burnett clad in the iconic curtain rod dress.

"The Carol Burnett Show This Time Together" will be available on Mar. 26, 2013.


"The Carol Burnett Show This Time Together"
6-Disc DVD Set
StarVista Entertainment and TimeLife

Drew Jackson was born in Brooklyn and has been writing ever since he graduated from NYC. He now lives in Dallas happily married to his husband Hugh. Jackson is a familiar fixture on the Dallas Forth Worth theater scene and is currently working on his next play.

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