Sunday, April 17, 2011

Carol Burnett and Friends: Thanks for the memories

When I first came out as a teenager back in the 80’s, my parents wondered what every parent wonders… WHAT DID I DO? Well Marty and Dick, let me tell you: You let me watch the Carol Burnett show on T.V.
Aside from old Looney Toons, Laugh-In, and Match Game, nothing had a bigger impact on my sense of humor and what I consider funny as an adult. I didn’t always get the show, as some of the innuendoes were way over my head, but watching it in reruns now, it’s a wonder I’m not an alcoholic drag queen in West Palm Beach. I always remember my parents laughing out of control and my Mom doing her war whoop laugh (the one she does when something is too funny and sends us into spasms of both laughter and embarrassment) as Carol and her minions did their work. The true acid test of any comedian/comedy will be the test of time. The show might be thirty years old, but they still hit the mark and continue to make me laugh even to this day.

The college hosted Tim Conway and Harvey a few years back, so Tod and I bought tickets for both of our parents. We all giggled through their great set of both old and new material, all of it spot on after a few decades. Afterwards, the person in charge of the booking got us backstage so I could meet them both. I was in awe to be around such greatness as Harvey is freakishly tall and Tim is pretty short. I shook both of their hands and asked for autographs (natch) and struggled to keep my composure as I told them how much I loved them and their work. I didn’t tell them that they made me Gay, although I really wanted to. I would love to be able to have a conversation with Freddie Mercury, Charles Nelson Riley, and a whole bunch of other guys who are gone now and tell them how much they influenced me as a young homo.

Vicki Lawrence was at the college with her "Mama" tour, and since we were out of town I asked the lady in charge if I could at least get her autograph to complete my collection since we couldn’t see the show. I kind of feel like a serial killer collecting heads or something, but now, my collection is complete: I have the four biggies at last.

So readers, what is your favorite Carol Burnett Show memory? Me, it would have to be Carol as the Queen and Tim Conway as the hollow soldier who has to get the medal from her. Fun fun fun. And who can forget Mrs. Wiggins? I would kill to have a secretary like that. Comment and let me know your favorite memory. If you are too young or are scratching your head and wondering what I am talking about, please see the Amazon link above and order it so you too can feel the joy.

Carol, Harvey, Tim, and now, Vicki, you’ll all live together in my memory as well as in the snappy multi-paned frame I buy to house you all. I'm so glad we had this time together!