…woke up to the sound of Carol Burnett’s voice on NPR this morning, which caused an instant and very pleasant flashback to our 70’s-era family/dining/TV room. Her variety show was always a favorite in our family, and even now I can remember many loud belly laughs caused by their particular brand of tongue-in-cheek sketch humor. We got hysterical most weeks watching that show; laughing helplessly at the famous “Went With The Wind” dress, but also at Tim Conway trying to close a door by sitting on its unusually large doorknb. Most of all, there was poor Harvey Korman, trying not to laugh and failing, every week.
It took forever to find a clip with most of the “doorknob” sketch on it; a nearly complete version of it was on a “Bust Ups and Bloopers” compilation DVD. The best part: Harvey pushes the door open with Tim still straddling the doorknob; his reaction is almost out of shot but you can see he wasn’t expecting the jolt he got.
Carol Burnett – Bust Ups, Bloopers & Blunders Finale HQ
Carol Burnett was one of the original queens of TV comedy. Her long-running variety show, with its outrageous costumes and its uproariously unpredictable sketches, offered a warm brand of wackiness that parents would let their kids stay up late to watch. Now, in a new memoir, Burnett tells stories about what went on behind the scenes of The Carol Burnett Show — plus a few tales about what went down when she ventured out among the show’s fans.
The lingerie saleslady at Bergdorf Goodman, for instance, who cheerfully accepted a personal check without proper ID — but only after Burnett demonstrated her trademark Tarzan yell. Lacking options, needing stockings and seeing that the department wasn’t especially crowded, Burnett obliged.
“Right behind the saleslady, there was an exit door that burst open,” Burnett tells NPR’s Renee Montagne. “And in came a security guard with a gun pulled. I mean, we could have had our heads blown off.”