Carol Burnett

I went with a friend this evening to see Carol Burnett perform at the Beacon Theater. For millenials reading this, that might not mean much. But for the rest of us it is a very big deal.

When I was a kid I always thought there was something wonderfully different about Carol Burnett. Her humor wasn’t just funny — it had some other dimension to it. There were clearly truths being told in every episode, but always within the flow of the delightful comedy.

But now, seeing her live on stage at the age of 83, still taking questions from the audience and answering them with uncommon humor and grace, I think there is something more particular going on here.

Carol Burnett has never been just been about humor — although her show could be incredibly funny. She was about a philosophy that celebrates the unique spark of humanity in everyone — performer, audience, everyone.

That’s not a very popular rhetorical stance these days. The culture seems to be currently going through a phase in which everyone is the star of their own movie: You are here on this planet to promote your own fabulousness.

But to Carol Burnett, everyone is a star and nobody is a diva. We are each simply here to celebrate each other, and maybe have some laughs along the way.

If this world needs anything, I think it needs another Carol Burnett.

2 Responses to “Carol Burnett”

  1. Sharon says:

    I used to watch The Carol Burnett show with my parents when I was a kid. From memory:
    I’m so glad we had this time together
    Just to have a laugh or sing a song
    We just get started and before you know it
    Comes the time we have to say so long

    (Something like that)

  2. Sharon has it exactly right.

    And remember how she used to pull on her ear, a secret message (to her mom, I think), just as the show was closing?

    Thanks, Ken.

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