The Carol Burnett Show (1967–1978)

TVSeries


The Carol Burnett Show (TV Series 1967–1978)

Television show featuring skits by Carol Burnett and her comedy troupe.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
USA
IMDb   8.8 /10
TheMovieDb    8.0 /10
RottenTomatoes
FilmAffinity   6.5 /10
Creators
Creator Dave Powers
Creator Clark Jones
Creator Bill Angelos
Creator Art Baer
Information
Release Date1967-09-11
Runtime1h 0min
GenreComedy, Family
Content RatingTV-G (TV-G)
AwardsTop Rated TV #96 | Won 25 Primetime Emmys. Another 15 wins & 69 nominations.
CompanyBurngood, Bob Banner Associates, CBS Television Network
CountryUSA
LanguageEnglish
Various Characters / ... 279 episodes, 1967-1978
Various Characters / ... 279 episodes, 1967-1978
Dancers / ... 8 episodes, 1967-1978
Various Characters / ... 256 episodes, 1967-1978
Announcer / ... 185 episodes, 1967-1978
Various Characters / ... 110 episodes, 1967-1978

The Carol Burnett Show

The Carol Burnett Show is an American variety/sketch comedy television show starring Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, and Lyle Waggoner. In 1975, frequent guest star Tim Conway became a regular after Waggoner left the series. In 1977, Dick Van Dyke replaced Korman but it was agreed that it was not a match and he left after 10 episodes.

The show originally ran on CBS from September 11, 1967, to March 29, 1978, for 279 episodes, and again with nine episodes in fall 1991. The series originated in CBS Television City's Studio 33, and won 25 primetime Emmy Awards. In 2013, TV Guide ranked The Carol Burnett Show number 17 on its list of the 60 Greatest Shows of All Time, and in 2007 it was included on the list of Time's 100 Best TV Shows of All Time.

After the original run ended, material from 1972 to 1977 (seasons 6–10) was repackaged as a half-hour series known as Carol Burnett and Friends, which has aired in various syndicated outlets more-or-less continuously since the original series ended. Because of this format, material from the first five seasons did not air, outside of their original run, until 2019 when MeTV acquired the rights to these earlier seasons and began airing them. The cast has periodically reunited for various one-off specials and short appearances, and several members of the cast went on to star in Mama's Family (1983–1990), a half-hour situation comedy based on a sketch series from The Carol Burnett Show.


Background

By 1967, Carol Burnett had been a popular veteran of television for 12 years, having made her first appearances in 1955 on The Paul Winchell Show and the sitcom Stanley starring the comedian Buddy Hackett. In 1959, she became a regular supporting cast member on the CBS-TV variety series The Garry Moore Show. Departing the Moore Show in the spring of 1962, she pursued other projects in film, Broadway productions, and headlining her own television specials. Burnett signed a contract with CBS for 10 years which required her to do two guest appearances and a special a year. Within the first five years of this contract, she had the option to "push the button", a phrase the programming executives used, and be put on the air in 30 one-hour variety shows, pay-or-play. After discussion with her husband Joe Hamilton, in the last week of the fifth year of the contract, Burnett decided to call the head of CBS Michael Dann and exercise the clause. Dann, explaining that variety is a "man's genre", offered Burnett a sitcom called Here's Agnes. Burnett had no interest in doing a sitcom, and because of the contract, CBS was obliged to give Burnett her own variety show.


Production

In addition to Carol Burnett, the cast consisted of:

  • Vicki Lawrence
  • Harvey Korman (seasons 1–10)
  • Lyle Waggoner (seasons 1–7)
  • Tim Conway (seasons 9–11; frequent guest performer in seasons 1–8)
  • Dick Van Dyke (first half of season 11)

Comedic actor Harvey Korman had done many guest shots in TV sitcoms. From 1963 to 1967, he had been a semi-regular on the CBS variety series The Danny Kaye Show. Burnett already had become an admirer of Korman's talent as a sketch comedian on that series. When Kaye's program ended in the spring of 1967, Burnett insisted that he be signed for her series and Korman immediately joined The Carol Burnett Show as a regular.

At this particular time, actor Lyle Waggoner had recently auditioned for the title role in the ABC series Batman but was passed over in favor of Adam West. Shortly after, Waggoner auditioned for the Burnett show and was immediately hired. He would sometimes play the handsome man for Burnett to fawn over. His participation on the series was somewhat modeled on Durward Kirby of The Garry Moore Show as Waggoner also functioned as the show's announcer in addition to playing in sketches.

Vicki Lawrence, a young singer from The Young Americans wrote a letter to Burnett when she was 17, remarking on their physical resemblance. This led to her audition and getting hired to play Burnett's kid sister in numerous "Carol and Sis" sketches.

Jim Nabors was the guest star on every season premiere of the show. Burnett considered Nabors to be her annual good luck charm.

In addition, several notable actors were used in the comedy sketches in featured roles, especially in the first season, such as William Schallert, Isabel Sanford, and Reta Shaw.

The popular variety show not only established Burnett as a television superstar, but it also made her regular supporting cast household names, with such sketches as "As the Stomach Turns", (a parody of As the World Turns) and "Went with the Wind!" (a spoof of Gone with the Wind), "Carol & Sis", "Mrs. Wiggins", and "The Family" (which led to a made-for-TV movie titled Eunice, as well as a spin-off television series titled Mama's Family), "Nora Desmond" (Burnett's send-up of Gloria Swanson's character Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard), and "Stella Toddler". A frequent repeated segment was "Kitchen Commercials", in which cast members parodied TV commercials that drove a woman (Burnett) crazy. The long-running show was frequently nominated for Emmys for best variety series and won three times.

A favorite feature consisted of an unrehearsed question-and-answer segment with the audience in CBS Studio 33 (now Bob Barker Studio) lasting about three to four minutes at the start of most shows. Burnett stated that she borrowed the concept from Garry Moore, who did the same on his variety show, but never taped it. Burnett asked for the lights to be turned up ("let's bump up the lights") and then randomly picked audience members who raised their hands. Burnett often ad-libbed funny answers, but occasionally ended up as the straight (wo)man. For example:

The show was rehearsed each day until its two Friday tapings. Differently colored cue cards (black, blue, green, and red) were used for each major performer ("Carol Burnett: Bump-Up the Lights"). The second taping was fairly routine until Tim Conway came aboard as a guest star. As a recurring guest star from the show's launch and later a regular cast member, Conway provided unrehearsed bits to sketches that became known to the staff as "Conway's Capers". Conway would play the first taping straight, but (if the sketch had played well in the first taping, and could be used) would ad-lib bizarre scenarios during the second. Some notable clips included Conway as a Nazi interrogator berating an American captive (Lyle Waggoner). Using a Hitler puppet and a pencil as a "club", Conway sang three verses of "I've Been Working on the Railroad" as Waggoner tried in vain to ignore him. Some, like the Hitler puppet, made it into the final broadcast; others, like a notably convoluted story about Siamese elephants joined at the trunk (ad-libbed during a 1977 "Mama's Family" sketch), were edited, the uncensored version only appearing years later on CBS specials. Conway's favorite victim was Harvey Korman, who often broke character reacting to Conway's zaniness, such as when Conway played a dentist misusing Novocain or the recurring role of "The Oldest Man" – an elderly, shuffling, senile man who slowly rolled down stairways and fell prey to various mechanical mishaps (including an electric wheelchair and an automated dry-cleaning rack).

The show also became known for its closing theme song, written by Burnett's husband, Joe Hamilton, with these lyrics:

At the close of each episode, Burnett tugged her ear. This silent message was meant for her grandmother, who raised her, and meant she was thinking of her at that moment. After her grandmother's death, Burnett continued the tradition.


Broadcast

When The Carol Burnett Show made its network debut on CBS-TV on September 11, 1967, it was scheduled on Monday nights at 10:00 pm opposite NBC’s I Spy and ABC’s The Big Valley. At the end of its first season and through the spring of 1971, it consistently ranked among the top-30 programs. (For the 1969–70 season, it posted its highest rating ever, ranking at number 13.) For season five, CBS moved the show to Wednesday nights at 8:00 pm, where its chief competition was NBC’s Adam-12 and the ABC sitcoms Bewitched and The Courtship of Eddie's Father. Despite the schedule change, the show continued to do well until the fall of 1972, when the ratings slipped. In December 1972, CBS again moved The Carol Burnett Show to Saturday nights at 10:00 pm (EST) where, for the next four years, it not only received solid ratings, but was also part of a powerhouse Saturday-night lineup of primetime shows that included All in the Family, M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and The Bob Newhart Show.

In the 1973–74 season, the "Family" sketches (with Burnett as Eunice, Korman as her husband Ed, and Lawrence as Eunice's mother) were introduced and the "Carol and Sis" segments were phased out. At the end of that season (the series' seventh), after having been with The Carol Burnett Show from the beginning, Lyle Waggoner left the series to pursue other acting opportunities. The following season, Waggoner's spot as a supporting regular remained vacant. Don Crichton, the lead male dancer on the show, began to inherit some of Waggoner's duties. Then in season nine, because of his many popular guest appearances on the series, Tim Conway was signed as a full-time regular, joining Korman and Lawrence.

In November, 1976, the series' tenth year, The Carol Burnett Show presented what would become one of its best-known and most well-regarded sketches: "Went with the Wind!," a parody of the 1939 film Gone with the Wind, which had its television debut on NBC the week before. After the 1976-77 season ended, Harvey Korman decided to leave the series. After a decade of working with Burnett and winning several Emmy Awards, Korman had been offered a contract by ABC to headline his own series. Also, the ratings had begun to decline with the series ending its 10th season in 44th place as opposed to the previous year's Nielsen rating at #29. Nevertheless, CBS renewed Burnett's show for an 11th season.

Dick Van Dyke, fresh from headlining his own short-lived Emmy-winning variety series, Van Dyke & Company, was brought in to replace Korman. However, his presence did not help stem the sagging ratings, as the show faced new competition in ABC's The Love Boat. After three months, Van Dyke departed the show, and CBS, in a desperate attempt to save the series, moved The Carol Burnett Show from Saturday nights at 10:00 pm to Sunday nights at the same hour, beginning in December 1977. Regular guest stars Steve Lawrence and Ken Berry were brought in to fill the void left by Korman and Van Dyke. The ratings improved considerably.

CBS wanted to renew the show for another year, but by this time, Burnett had grown tired of the weekly grind and wanted to explore acting roles outside of the comedy genre, despite her success in it. With the changes in cast along with the mediocre ratings, she felt that television was undergoing a transition and that the variety series format was on its way out. Therefore, Burnett decided to end the series on her own rather than be canceled later. Thus, on March 29, 1978, in a special two-hour finale entitled "A Special Evening with Carol Burnett", The Carol Burnett Show left primetime television after 11 years, finishing its last season in 66th place. Reruns were aired during the summer of 1978.


Characters and sketches

This is only a short list with brief descriptions of the show's well-known characters and sketches.

  • As the Stomach Turns – a soap opera parody taking place in the fictional town of Canoga Falls with Burnett as the main character Marian Clayton
  • Carol and Sis – Burnett as Carol and Lawrence as her sister Chris with Korman as Carol's husband Roger
  • Charwoman – Burnett's signature character, an unnamed charwoman, most often in a musical number, whose animated image has been used in the opening credits, and also in the opening and closing credits of Carol Burnett and Friends
  • The Family – Burnett and Korman as Eunice and Ed Higgins, a married couple, with Lawrence portraying Eunice's very difficult mother "Mama" Thelma Harper
  • Nora Desmond – Burnett as a has-been silent film actress and Korman as her bald, dutiful butler Max in the take-off of the 1950 film Sunset Boulevard
  • The Oldest Man – Conway as Duane Toddleberry, an old, slow-moving man, usually in various situations involving Korman being annoyed with his lack of speed
  • V.I.P. – Korman as F. Lee Carman, who interviews famous "celebrities", parodied by Burnett, such as Julia Wild (Julia Child), Shirley Dimple (Shirley Temple) and Mae East (Mae West), as well as other guests such as a nudist
  • Went with the Wind! – notable movie parody of Gone with the Wind, with Burnett as Starlett O'Hara, Korman as Rat Butler, Lawrence as Sissy, Conway as Brashley and Dinah Shore as Melody
  • Mrs. Wiggins – Conway as Mr. Tudball, a businessman who speaks in a mock Romanian accent, putting up with his empty-headed secretary Mrs. Wiggins played by Burnett

After the series

Continuations and revivals

In the fall of 1977, while the series was still running in prime time, the comedy sketches of the show were re-edited into freestanding programs; the resulting show enjoyed success for many years in syndicated reruns (as Carol Burnett and Friends, a half-hour edition of selected 1972–77 material).

In the spring of 1979, a year after The Carol Burnett Show left the air, Burnett and her husband Joe Hamilton were dining in a restaurant with friends, including Tim Conway. At that gathering, Burnett got wistful and started reminiscing about the show and making suggestions to Conway concerning sketches that she wished they could be creating if the show were still running. Hamilton suggested to Burnett that she do a summer series. Taking that idea, Burnett and Hamilton approached CBS about doing a four-week program in the summer of 1979. CBS already had its schedule filled for the summer months and rejected the idea. However, ABC was interested, and as a result, four postscript episodes of The Carol Burnett Show were produced. Under the title Carol Burnett & Company, the show premiered on Saturday, August 18, 1979, and included many favorite sketches such as "Mr. Tudball and Mrs. Wiggins", "The Family", "As The Stomach Turns", and Burnett doing her impersonation of Queen Elizabeth II. Its format was very much similar to Burnett's series, with two exceptions. Due to the unavailability of Harvey Korman (who, ironically, had been under contract to ABC since he had left Burnett's show in 1977), comic actors Kenneth Mars and Craig Richard Nelson were added to the supporting cast, joining Lawrence and Conway. Ernie Flatt, who had been the choreographer on Burnett's show for its entire 11-year run, was replaced by the show's lead dancer Don Crichton. The guest stars in that four-week period were (chronologically) Cheryl Ladd, Alan Arkin, Penny Marshall, and Sally Field. The reviews of the series were very favorable, with several critics heartily welcoming Burnett back to weekly television, albeit on a limited basis. The ratings also were respectable and plans were announced for the program to become a yearly summer event, but it never happened.

The "Family" sketches led to a 1982 CBS made-for-television film called Eunice starring Burnett, Korman, Lawrence, Betty White, and Ken Berry. The success of this program spawned a spin-off sitcom titled Mama's Family, starring Vicki Lawrence and Ken Berry, which ran from 1983 to 1990. It occasionally featured Burnett and Korman guest-starring as Eunice and Ed Higgins; Burnett's involvement in Mama's Family was limited due to her divorce from producer Joe Hamilton. In the first year and a half of the show's run, Korman also appeared as narrator Alastair Quince, introducing each episode (a parody of Alastair Cooke hosting Masterpiece Theatre) and he also directed 31 episodes of the series.

NBC aired a comedy half-hour repertory series called Carol & Company that premiered in March 1990. It proved to be moderately successful in the ratings and was renewed for a second season. The regulars on the show included Peter Krause, Jeremy Piven, Terry Kiser, Meagen Fay, Anita Barone, and Richard Kind (and occasional guest stars, including Betty White and Burt Reynolds); each week's show was a different half-hour comedy play. This program lasted until July 1991.

CBS brought back The Carol Burnett Show for another run in the fall of 1991; new regulars included Meagen Fay and Richard Kind (brought over from the NBC show), and Chris Barnes, Roger Kabler, and Jessica Lundy. However, the times had changed and Burnett's humor was tame compared to the edgier comedy popular in the 1990s. The series failed to catch on with the public and only six episodes of this revival were aired.

In 1994, reruns of the syndicated Carol Burnett and Friends package aired on Nick at Nite. The show also aired on The Family Channel in 1996 and on TV Land as part of that network's inaugural lineup from 1996 to 1997 and again from 2004 to 2005. Beginning in January 2015, the show airs on MeTV at 11:00 PM ET.

The episodes of The Carol Burnett Show from 1967 to 1972 had never been released in syndication until 2019, when MeTV added the episodes to its library on April 14, 2019.

Specials

The cast of The Carol Burnett Show was reunited on four CBS television specials:

  • The Carol Burnett Show: A Reunion (January 10, 1993) – featured several clips of the show's best moments from 1967 to 1978 with the gang reminiscing about their time together on the show. 21.4 rating; 27.1 million viewers (9–11 pm)
  • 21.4 rating; 27.1 million viewers (9–11 pm)
  • The Carol Burnett Show: Show Stoppers (November 26, 2001) – consisted mostly of bloopers and outtakes from the series. November 26, 2001: 29.8 million viewers (time slot rank: first) April 26, 2002: 11.5 million (time slot rank: first) September 20, 2002: 6.2 million (time slot rank: third)
  • November 26, 2001: 29.8 million viewers (time slot rank: first)
  • April 26, 2002: 11.5 million (time slot rank: first)
  • September 20, 2002: 6.2 million (time slot rank: third)
  • The Carol Burnett Show: Let's Bump Up the Lights! (May 12, 2004) – featured showings of Burnett's filmed audience warmups (most of which made it, though not usually in full, to the aired episodes), during which she would turn up the house lights and provide often humorous — but sometimes serious — answers to questions shouted to her by members of the studio audience. 13.6 million (time slot rank: second)
  • 13.6 million (time slot rank: second)
  • The Carol Burnett Show: 50th Anniversary Special (December 3, 2017) – featured some of the most popular clips of comedy and music from the entire run of the show. Included dozens of celebrities, both live and recorded, to reminisce with Carol. December 3, 2017: 1.5 18-49 rating; 15.2 million viewers (time slot rank: first) December 27, 2017: 0.6 18-49 rating; 5.26 million viewers (time slot rank: fourth)
  • December 3, 2017: 1.5 18-49 rating; 15.2 million viewers (time slot rank: first)
  • December 27, 2017: 0.6 18-49 rating; 5.26 million viewers (time slot rank: fourth)

List of guest stars

Note: only the first appearance by the guest star is listed.

Season 1 (1967–1968)

  • Don Adams (11-27-67)
  • Eddie Albert (9-25-67)
  • Lucille Ball (10-02-67)
  • Ken Berry (1-15-68)
  • Sid Caesar (9-18-67)
  • Art Carney (2-19-68)
  • Diahann Carroll (10-23-67)
  • George Chakiris (1-22-68)
  • Richard Chamberlain (11-13-67)
  • Imogene Coca (10-09-67)
  • Tim Conway (10-02-67)
  • John Davidson(12-11-67)
  • Phyllis Diller (10-16-67)
  • Mike Douglas (1-01-68)
  • Barbara Eden (12-04-67)
  • Nanette Fabray (11-06-67)
  • Ella Fitzgerald (12-25-67)
  • John Gary (2-26-68)
  • Bobbie Gentry (10-16-67)
  • Frank Gorshin (1-08-68)
  • Betty Grable (2-12-68)
  • Jack Jones (3-18-68)
  • Shirley Jones (1-22-68)
  • Lainie Kazan (10-09-67)
  • Richard Kiley (10-23-67)
  • Durward Kirby (2-26-68)
  • Peter Lawford (4-15-68)
  • Gloria Loring (10-02-67)
  • Trini Lopez (1-15-68)
  • Barbara McNair (5-06-68)
  • Liza Minnelli (9-18-67)
  • Garry Moore (2-26-68)
  • Jim Nabors (9-11-67)
  • Leonard Nimoy (12-04-67)
  • Jack Palance (2-05-68)
  • Minnie Pearl (4-15-68)
  • Juliet Prowse (11-20-67)
  • Martha Raye (11-20-67)
  • Lynn Redgrave (1-01-68)
  • Mickey Rooney (12-11-67)
  • Soupy Sales (3-25-68)
  • The Smothers Brothers (10-23-67)
  • Sonny & Cher (11-06-67)
  • Mel Tormé (3-04-68)
  • Lana Turner (1-08-68)
  • Gwen Verdon (10-16-67)
  • Shani Wallis (4-29-68)
  • Lesley Ann Warren (11-27-67)
  • Dionne Warwick (1-29-68)
  • Jonathan Winters (9-25-67)

Season 2 (1968–1969)

  • Edie Adams (10-21-68)
  • Barbara Bain (9-30-68)
  • Bobbie Gentry (10-14-68)
  • George Gobel (10-14-68)
  • Sergio Bustamante (4-28-69)
  • Vikki Carr (3-31-69)
  • Carol Channing (9-30-68)
  • Barrie Chase (3-24-69)
  • Perry Como (1-20-69)
  • Vic Damone (12-09-68)
  • Mike Douglas (3-17-69)
  • Vince Edwards (2-03-69)
  • Eileen Farrell (12-16-68)
  • George Gobel (10-14-68)
  • Robert Goulet (4-07-69)
  • Emmaline Henry (12-30-68)
  • Bob Hope (12-16-68)
  • Marilyn Horne (12-16-68)
  • Larry Hovis (3-24-69)
  • Martin Landau (9-30-68)
  • Michele Lee (12-02-68)
  • Ross Martin (3-10-69)
  • Ethel Merman (3-03-69)
  • Don Rickles (11-11-68)
  • Chita Rivera (2-03-69)
  • Jimmie Rodgers (6-09-69)
  • Mickey Rooney (12-30-68)
  • Isabel Sanford (9-23-68)
  • Ronnie Schell (3-31-69)
  • Mel Torme (11-11-68)
  • Flip Wilson (12-02-68)
  • Nancy Wilson (11-04-68)
  • Roland Winters (12-30-68)

Season 3 (1969–1970)

  • Pat Boone (11-03-69)
  • George Carlin (11-24-69)
  • Pat Carroll (2-23-70)
  • Jane Connell (3-02-70)
  • Bing Crosby (11-10-69)
  • Barbara Feldon (2-02-70)
  • Merv Griffin (11-17-69)
  • Andy Griffith (11-17-69)
  • Jack Jones (2-23-70)
  • Steve Lawrence (10-06-69)
  • Peggy Lee (3-30-70)
  • Audrey Meadows (1-05-70)
  • Kay Medford (10-20-69)
  • Scoey Mitchell (10-13-69)
  • Donald O'Connor (12-29-69)
  • Bernadette Peters (9-29-69)
  • Ronald Reagan (1-26-70)
  • Joan Rivers (2-02-70)
  • Rowan & Martin
  • Kaye Stevens (1-05-70)
  • Edward Villella (10-06-69)

Season 4 (1970–1971)

  • Jim Bailey (2-01-71)
  • Dyan Cannon (11-23-70)
  • Cass Elliot (9-21-70)
  • Totie Fields (2-15-71)
  • David Frost (3-22-71)
  • Eydie Gormé (10-05-70)
  • Rita Hayworth (2-01-71)
  • Jerry Lewis (1-11-71)
  • Michele Lee (1-18-71)
  • Mel Torme (1-18-71)
  • Rich Little (12-28-70)
  • Paul Lynde (11-23-70)
  • Ricardo Montalban (11-02-70)
  • Bob Newhart (2-22-71)
  • Pat Paulsen (9-21-70)
  • Debbie Reynolds (11-30-70)
  • Leslie Uggams (1-11-71)
  • Violette Verdy (1-25-71)

Season 5 (1971–1972)

  • Kaye Ballard (2-16-72)
  • Karen Black (3-22-72)
  • The Carpenters (9-22-71)
  • Ray Charles (1-26-72)
  • Cass Elliot (10-13-71)
  • Dom DeLuise (10-20-71)
  • Diahann Carroll (10-27-71)
  • Shecky Greene (11-24-71)
  • Jack Klugman (3-08-72)
  • Vincent Price (2-09-72)
  • Tony Randall (3-08-72)
  • Burt Reynolds (2-23-72)

Season 6 (1972–1973)

  • Pearl Bailey (10-25-72)
  • Ruth Buzzi (1-20-73)
  • John Byner (2-10-73)
  • Jack Cassidy (1-06-73)
  • Petula Clark (2-10-73)
  • William Conrad (3-17-73)
  • Marty Feldman (9-20-72)
  • Jack Gilford (10-11-72)
  • Joel Grey (10-18-72)
  • Valerie Harper (2-17-73)
  • Paula Kelly (3-10-73)
  • Melba Moore (11-29-72)
  • Anthony Newley (12-16-72)
  • Helen Reddy (9-27-72)
  • Carl Reiner (11-29-72)
  • Paul Sand (10-04-72)
  • Stiller and Meara (11-01-72)
  • Lily Tomlin (11-08-72)

Season 7 (1973–1974)

  • Lucette Aldous (12-08-73)
  • Charo (9-22-73)
  • Richard Crenna (12-15-73)
  • The Jackson 5 (3-16-74)
  • Roddy McDowall (3-16-74)
  • Gloria Swanson (9-29-73)
  • Jack Weston (10-20-73)

Season 8 (1974–1975)

  • Alan Alda (12-21-74)
  • James Coco (9-28-74)
  • Buddy Ebsen (3-08-75)
  • Rock Hudson (2-15-75)
  • Janet Jackson (1-25-75)
  • Alan King (11-02-74)
  • Kenneth Mars (11-09-74)
  • The Pointer Sisters (9-28-74)
  • Wayne Rogers (3-08-75)
  • Telly Savalas (10-12-74)
  • Phil Silvers (3-29-75)
  • Maggie Smith (11-23-74)
  • Jean Stapleton (3-29-75)
  • Sally Struthers (3-22-75)
  • Nancy Walker (2-15-75)
  • Lena Zavaroni (11-02-74)

Season 9 (1975–1976)

  • Sammy Davis Jr. (9-20-75)
  • Emmett Kelly (1-24-76)
  • Shirley MacLaine (10-04-75)
  • Rita Moreno (1-03-76)
  • Dick Van Dyke (2-21-76)
  • Jessica Walter (12-13-75)
  • Betty White (11-22-75)
  • Joanne Woodward (2-14-76)

Season 10 (1976–1977)

  • Glen Campbell (1-15-77)
  • Madeline Kahn (10-16-76)
  • Hal Linden (3-05-77)
  • Neil Sedaka (3-19-77)
  • Dinah Shore (11-13-76)
  • Ben Vereen (2-26-77)

Season 11 (1977–1978)

  • Captain and Tennille (1-28-78)
  • Natalie Cole (2-04-78)
  • Nancy Dussault (10-15-77)
  • Steve Martin (3-04-78)
  • James Stewart (3-29-78)

Legacy

Considering her large body of work, and due in great part to this TV show, Burnett received Kennedy Center Honors in 2003, and was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in October 2013.

In 2009, TV Guide ranked "Went with the Wind" number 53 on its list of the 100 Greatest Episodes.

On September 13, 2016, Burnett released her memoir about the show titled In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox. The book, full of anecdotes about the 1967–1978 variety series, covers the history of how Burnett created the show, how she cast her co-stars, the co-star she once fired (and quickly rehired), and all of the show's memorable characters. The audio format of the book, which she narrated, won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album.


Home media

In the early 2000s, certain full-length episodes of The Carol Burnett Show were released on VHS and DVD by Columbia House on a subscription basis (now discontinued). Guthy-Renker released another DVD collection, The Carol Burnett Show Collector's Edition.

In August 2012, Time–Life released The Carol Burnett Show - The Ultimate Collection on DVD in Region 1. This 22-disc set features 50 episodes from the series, selected by Burnett. It also contains bonus features, including interviews with the cast, featurettes, sketches that were never aired, and a 24-page commemorative booklet.

In August 2015, Time–Life released The Carol Burnett Show - The Lost Episodes on DVD in Region 1. This 22-disc set features 45 episodes from the series' first five years (1967–72), selected by Burnett. It also contains bonus features, including interviews with the cast, featurettes, and a 24-page commemorative booklet. Previously, due to an ongoing legal battle with the production company Bob Banner Associates, the episodes from those seasons had never appeared in syndication nor been released on home media.

On April 27, 2020, Shout! Factory announced that all 11 seasons of The Carol Burnett Show would be available for viewing through their streaming channel beginning June 1, 2020, kicked off by a two-day marathon of episodes hand-picked by Burnett. The marathon would be available on Shout! Factory’s website, streaming device channel, Twitch channel, and YouTube channel on May 30 and 31, 2020. This is the first time the complete series will be available on a streaming platform, although the episodes themselves are all edited down to 22 minutes, resulting in 30 minutes removed from each episode. These same episodes, edited-down from the original broadcast 52 minutes to 22 minutes, were subsequently carried by Prime Video.


Nielsen ratings/broadcast schedule

SeasonRankRatingTime slot
1 (1967–68)#2720.1Mondays at 10:00 pm
2 (1968–69)#2420.8
3 (1969–70)#1322.1
4 (1970–71)#2519.8
5 (1971–72)#2321.2Wednesdays at 8:00 pm
6 (1972–73)#2220.3
7 (1973–74)#2720.1Saturdays at 10:00 pm
8 (1974–75)#2920.4
9 (1975–76)20.5
10 (1976–77)#4418.9
11 (1977–78)#6616.4Saturdays at 10:00 pm
Sundays at 10:00 pm
12 (1991)Fridays at 9:00 pm