Vicki Lawrence remained a cast member of “The Carol Burnett Show” during the entirety of the show’s eleven-year run. However, that wasn’t the only creative work Vicki did. Vicki released an album titled “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” in 1973. The album was a moderate success, peaking at number 51 on the US Billboard 200 chart.
However, so many fans knew Vicki for her physical comedy and role as Mama in “The Family” that many didn’t realize the singer and actress were one and the same. One of her songs even hit number one in Australia, but she couldn’t shake off her comedy reputation.
The Coca-Cola Addict
From Lucille Ball to Betty White, Carol Burnett’s show had a heavy rotation of top stars during the 60s and 70s. Always a true lady, Carol has never spilled the beans about any scandalous celebrity encounters on set. However, she has revealed some hilarious details about famous guests in some of her memoirs.
One such star is Betty Grable. The bombshell actress was a guest star on episode 21 of the first season and was anything but elegant. Carol described her as a “Coca-Cola addict” who drank so much soda that she couldn’t stop burping during the course of the show.
Drama? What Drama?
We love to hear salacious gossip and scandalous drama about our favorite celebrities. It’s no wonder that people speculate about how the cast and crew of “The Carol Burnett Show” really felt about each other. Well, the truth is much less boring than we’d like to think.
In reality, Carol and her co-stars truly liked each other and got along pretty well. Sure, Vick Lawrence, Tim Conway, Harvey Korman, and Lyle Waggoner had their differences and would argue sometimes. However, there are no dramatic stories from the gossip mill because Carol fostered a healthy work environment that was fun and collaborative.
And the Emmy Goes to…
“The Carol Burnett Show” garnered over 20 Emmy awards during its run. That includes five wins for Carol herself. All of Carol’s co-stars on the show received Emmy awards and nominations for their work, too. Well, all co-stars except for one.
Lyle Waggoner is the only cast member to have never received an Emmy award or nomination. He left the show to pursue other career options after the seventh season. This decision might have cost him an Emmy nomination, but he went on to establish his own business renting motor homes for TV sets. He was successful behind the scenes.
Mama Has to Wait
Vicki Lawrence went on to play her iconic role of Thelma Harper from “The Family in the sitcom spin-off called “Mama’s Family.” Although this spin-off debuted in 1983, the idea had been in the work for many years. “Carol Burnett Show” executive producer Joe Hamilton wanted Vicki to star in her own spin-off back in 1975.
Vicki refused the spin-off role because she didn’t know if she wanted to play an “old lady” every week. In addition, she didn’t want to leave Carol and Harvey Korman because the two comedians were her mentors. Her loyalty paid off because she remained on the show until the end and still got her spin-off show.