Tim Conway was known for going off-script during the second taping of each episode. However, he wasn’t the only one who liked to throw their costars a few curveballs. Vicki Lawrence famously ad-libbed during “The Family” skit called “Sorry!” Her improvisation caused a rare moment where Carol started cracking up mid-skit.
Carol Burnett had a special attachment to the “Family” characters and never wanted people to break character during these sketches. However, towards the end of “Sorry!” you can see the corners of Carol’s mouth curl up in a smile. She couldn’t help but laugh at Vicki’s antics as Mama.
A Life-Long Secret
When a mysterious businessman loaned Carol Burnett $1,000 to move to New York and jumpstart her career, he made her promise never to reveal his identity. Carol kept that secret and will most likely take the man’s identity to her grave. She has never even told her own children the man’s name.
The businessman was also pretty tight-lipped about his connection to Carol. The businessman’s wife revealed to Carol that he would always just smile when Carol’s name came up in conversation or her face popped up on TV. The mystery man has since passed away, but his identity is one of Hollywood’s best-kept secrets.
The Ultimate Birthday Party
There’s no doubt that Carol Burnett is a history-maker in the world of Hollywood and comedy. That’s why it's no surprise that Tinseltown still loves to show Carol some love. The legendary comedian is always honored on her birthday and on anniversaries of “The Carol Burnett Show.”
Viewers at home still love to celebrate Carol, as well. Tons of people tune into celebration specials honoring Carol. Many of these TV specials feature guest appearances from celebrities like Billy Porter, Sofia Vergara, and Amy Poehler. Many comedians we know and love today probably wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Carol Burnett’s trail-blazing work.
Carol’s Musical Secret
The original 60-minute episodes of “The Carol Burnett Show” featured musical acts. Carol herself sang the show’s famous sign-off song, “I’m So Glad We Had This Time Together.” However, Carol was a better improviser than anyone could ever imagine. She has never learned how to read music.
Carol revealed her musical secret in an interview years after the show ended. She said that she always relied on her musical ear and natural rhythm to get her through a performance. She created her own language of scribbles and marks that would help her out, but she never formally learned how to read musical notes.
A Dressy Superstition
Eunice Higgins from “The Family” wears the same dress in every skit. Bob Mackie famously found this floral dress at a thrift store and adapted it to fit Carol Burnett’s character. What a lot of people don’t realize is that this original costume was never replaced. Carol is wearing the exact same dress in every “Family” sketch.
The costume got some tears and rips over the years, but Carol insisted that Bob mend the original dress instead of making a replacement. Wearing the same original dress was one of Carol’s superstitions. She felt wrong wearing anything but Eunice’s original costume.