Legendary comedy icon, Carol Burnett, was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in Washington on Sunday according to The Washington Post. It appears that the funny lady had to wait sixteen years for the honor, but the actuality is that she was told about the award, but could never work out the ceremony with her busy schedule. Finally, after winning Kennedy Center Honors ten years ago, she was ready to accept the prestigious award. Former Saturday Night Live funny lady, Tina Fey, made it clear that she was going to be the first female comedian (of the night) to tell Burnett how much she loved and is inspired by her. Always ready to take a bite into humor Fey told Burnett and the crowd, “I love you in a way that is just shy of creepy.”
Burnett was the pioneer of the comedy variety show and paved the way for future funny girls, Ellen DeGeneres, Tiny Fey, Amy Poehler, and Kristen Wiig, just to name a few. The Carol Burnett Show ran on television from 1967 to 1978. Fey went on to say, “I fell in love with sketch comedy watching your show, and you proved sketch comedy is a good place for women. Only in sketch comedy does a woman get to play Cher, Scarlett O’Hara, the Queen of England, a Girl Scout, Mrs. Wiggins — all in one night.” Burnett even worked with the forever famous and also red-headed Lucille Ball during her epic lifetime. The tributes to Burnett lasted two hours before she finally got on stage and expressed her sincere gratitude for the honor. Of course, she said her “thank you’s” in true Carol Burnett style – “This is very encouraging. It was a long time in coming, but I understand — because there are so many people funnier than I am, especially here in Washington.”
The night was full of laughter from Burnett and her peers. Clips from her show were shown and it was easy to remember why thirty million people used to tune in to the show every Saturday night. The Carol Burnett Show ran for seven decades during “The Golden Age of Television” and won twenty-five Emmy’s during its eleven years on the air. Burnett herself has also won The Peabody Award, the Golden Globes, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Aside from her groundbreaking television show, Burnett has had a successful film career, perhaps best known for playing the unlikeable orphanage mother, Miss Hannigan from the musical Annie, also starring as the legendary Lady of Broadway, Bernadette Peters. She even starred with Michael Cane and Indian Jones favorite, Denholm Elliot, in the comedy Noises Off. One thing is certain. She will always make us laugh and we will always love her for it.
Image Credit: The Washington Post