No matter how many awards she’s won, Carol Burnett still gets excited by them — even when she’s on her second round. Although Burnett won her first Peabody in 1962, she says receiving the inaugural Career Achievement Award this year, has her “as my friend Julie Andrews would say, ‘gobsmacked.’”
Her first prize came shortly after Burnett burst on the scene on “The Garry Moore Show.” Moore taught her about sharing the spotlight, she says. At table reads, he gave the best lines to whoever got the biggest laugh.
It was a habit she kept for her 11-year run.
“Everybody got a chance to shine,” Burnett says. “Even though my name was in the title, there were sketches when I was supporting Harvey [Korman] and times I was supporting Tim [Conway] or Vicki [Lawrence]. It wasn’t my intent to be egoless.”
Although that show ended 40 years ago, people still laugh talking about favorite skits, as does Burnett. Still, she isn’t living some Norma Desmond delusion. Her new series, “A Little Help With Carol Burnett,” launched May 4 on Netflix.
In that, real kids, “not actors,” are presented with grown-up dilemmas. One woman asks how to win over her fiancé’s children. “Bribery always works with me,” a boy says.
Burnett chuckles; it’s her kind of humor.
“Edgy can be fine,” she says. “But I am so tired of people talking about a penis or a vagina. It is not clever. It is a cheap laugh. Back in the day they didn’t go for cheap laughs. They went for characters.”
She still hits the road, too, fielding questions from the audience. Not fond of writing speeches, perhaps she’ll do an abbreviated version at the May 19 awards ceremony. “Maybe I’ll just go up and throw it out there,” she says.