Magazine article Variety

My First Time in Variety

Magazine article Variety

My First Time in Variety

Article excerpt

February 12, 1953


Versatile Carol Burnett is best known for her eponymous variety show, which ran for 11 seasons on CBS in the '60 and 70s. Nearly 50 years later, she's still entertaining people, and will receive the SAG Life Achievement Award at the guild's Jan. 30 kudos. But she was just 19 when she earned her first mention in Variety, appearing in 1953 at a benefit for the local Republican Committee at the Athletic Club on Hollywood Boulevard. BOB VERINI

Carol Burnett

"I think the reason I was successful is that I was never cynical. I was raised on Judy and Mickey: 'Put a show on in the barn, and it's going to go to New York.'"

What was this gig about?

A guy at UCLA named Bill Beard and I had put an act together, scenes from musical comedies, and we'd go to different places and get $5. I don't remember this particular evening, but we were doing that while we were still in college.

So you were accepting bookings for events at that time.

Yeah! We'd come out and open with "When you see a guy/Reach for stars in the sky," you know, the "Guys and Dolls" thing. Then he would do "Luck Be a Lady." I would do "Adelaide's Lament." The two of us would do "Sue Me." And then we'd do the finale. It was like these little snippets, with a piano player who was also a student. …

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