» » American Masters Carol Burnett: A Woman of Character (1985– )

American Masters Carol Burnett: A Woman of Character (1985– ) Online

American Masters Carol Burnett: A Woman of Character (1985– ) Online
Original Title :
Carol Burnett: A Woman of Character
Genre :
TV Episode / Documentary / Biography
Year :
Directror :
Kyra Thompson
Cast :
Carol Burnett,Betty White,Kenny Solms
Writer :
Kyra Thompson
Type :
TV Episode
Time :
1h 30min
Rating :
American Masters Carol Burnett: A Woman of Character (1985– ) Online

Comedienne Carol Burnett's early show business aspirations were to perform in live theater on Broadway, craving the instant gratification from a live audience. Her sensibilities were shaped by going to "happy" movies in the 1940s and 1950s, the story lines for which made it seem like anything was possible. These movie going experiences were in part a mechanism to escape her difficult home life, which was nonetheless loving. Based on her early work, professionals around her saw her comedic talents and steered her in the direction of stand-up and sketch comedy. Her life in sketch comedy on television, both on The Garry Moore Show (1958) and her own show, The Carol Burnett Show (1967) was one of fun and play acting, which translated to what the audience saw. Her own show was pioneering as she was the first woman to host her own sketch comedy show. Unlike most sketch players, she relished in the interaction with her audience as seen through the Q&A's on her show. One thing she was ...
Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Carol Burnett Carol Burnett - Herself
Betty White Betty White - Herself
Kenny Solms Kenny Solms - Himself
Tim Conway Tim Conway - Himself
Richard DeNeut Richard DeNeut - Himself (as Dick Deneut)
Florence Henderson Florence Henderson - Herself
Mitzie Welch Mitzie Welch - Herself
Ken Welch Ken Welch - Himself
Pat Lillie-Whelan Pat Lillie-Whelan - Herself
Phyllis Diller Phyllis Diller - Herself
Garry Moore Garry Moore - Himself (archive footage)
Don Crichton Don Crichton - Himself
Bob Mackie Bob Mackie - Himself
Carl Reiner Carl Reiner - Himself
Lyle Waggoner Lyle Waggoner - Himself

User reviews



A few weeks ago, I watched this wonderful documentary about the life and career of one the most talented comediennes ever: Carol Burnett. From her early life growing up with her grandma watching various movies to her early live performances on "The Garry Moore Show" and Broadway to her defining moments on her 11-year classic run of her own variety program "The Carol Burnett Show", Ms. Burnett shows us how consistently entertaining she has been over four decades. We also see clips of "Once Upon a Mattress" her breakthrough Broadway triumph as first taped in black-and-white by CBS in the early '60s. Among the interviewees besides Carol are, of course, many of her show's regulars: Harvey Korman, Lyle Waggoner, Vicki Lawrence, and Tim Conway. Also interviewed: costume designer Bob Mackie, Tracy Ullman-who played Carol's role in the recent version of "Once Upon a Mattress" with Ms. Burnett playing the mean queen, Richard Kind-who appeared on a couple of failed attempts at reviving Carol's variety show, Garry Shandling-who had Burnett as a guest on "The Larry Sanders Show", old friend Florence Henderson, Carl Reiner-a frequent guest on Carol's show, and many others I can't remember right now. One of the most valuable of clips here is one from "The Garry Moore Show" when Ms. Burnett first did a fall on live television: It was Neil Simon sketch with Carol as Jill who follows Jack after he falls out of a hospital window. After Carol did her fall on a mattress, she revealed to us she gasped a sign of relief which revealed to everyone within earshot she had never done this thing before contrary to what she told the producers. We then see her take several falls afterward in quick clips which shows how expert she became on this sort of thing. Also shown are clips of her movies like Pete 'n' Tillie and Annie. For Carol fans, I highly recommended this to them as well as anyone curious about this great lady's versatility and attitude as well as entertainment ability!


This episode of "American Masters" seems to prove the old saying that comedians are people who have learned to laugh in order to deal with all their pain. In the case of Carol Burnett, America loved her comedy--yet she grew up with alcoholic parents, had several marriages and had a very tragic death of a daughter. This show is able to show both sides of her--the pain but especially all the folks who know and love her. It was quite a contrast seeing this episode right after I saw the show they did about Johnny Carson--a man who, sadly, was a loner and not particularly likable. Burnett, on the other hand, was interesting because no one had anything bad to say about her. So, if you are a fan, this show will no doubt make you happy and reveal a tough but likable lady. Well worth seeing and very well made throughout--with countless interviews, TV and film clips and narration--a very enjoyable 84 minutes.


The great entertainer Carol Burnett was highlighted in this wonderful documentary about her life.

Burnett succeeded in all phases of her career because she was always willing to tackle something new and she possesses that down-to-earth charm. She is one of the people. She has no false illusions about herself. Dedicated to her craft, Burnett will always be remembered for the many outstanding characters she gave us during the period of her 11 year television show.

She has coped with an amazing difficult life as a youngster and personal tragedies in her adult life. She knew how to work with people and had a marvelous supporting cast on her television show.