If you made a list of the funniest women on TV, Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett would undoubtedly top the list. Lucy was the sitcom queen from 1951 to 1974. Carol ruled the sketch comedy and variety world from 1967 to 1978. In 1966, the two came together for a very special special called Carol + 2 and you can now see on DVD.
The other “1” in the plus “2” is legendary stage actor Zero Mostel. Together, the three of them deliver an hour of music and merriment that would become the template for Carol’s future variety series. I know it’s cliche to say, ‘they just don’t make them like this anymore’, but they really don’t. The closest we come, are the modern holiday specials by singers like Michael Buble. Maybe we’ve become too sophisticated for the kind of musical finales that were a staple of 60’s and 70’s variety shows. It’s a shame, and a little odd, because audience do tune in to the live musicals that are making a comeback on TV, but maybe they’re only tuning in in hopes of seeing a major flub.
And speaking of live, musicals on TV, the Carol + 2 DVD also includes Carol Burnett’s 1972 CBS television movie version of Once Upon a Mattress. (Which Carol remade in 2005, playing a different part.)
This tongue-in-cheek rebelling of the Princess and the Pea fairy tale casts Carol as a scrappy and scruffy princess who must prove her royal lineage if she wants to marry the prince (frequent Carol Burnett Show guest Ken Berry). Another frequent favorite, Bernadette Peters, appears as the princess who desperately needs and wants to get married, but can’t until her brother walks down the aisle. Once Upon a Mattress is a rare treat for any fan of Broadway musicals.
The final piece on this DVD , is a sketch and chat with Carol about the origins of her iconic Charwoman character. I’m not exaggerating when I say that everything on the Carol + 2 DVD is a piece of television history.
If you can’t get enough Carol Burnett, I have more good news. You can now download the first four volumes of the Best of Carol Burnett through iTunes. Pay $14.99 for each volume (a DVDs worth of episodes), or down load just your favorite episodes for $1.99 each. Norma Desmond, Mrs. Wiggins and Mr. Tudball, The Family and several of Carol’s best movie parodies are available now. Guest stars include Roddy McDowell, Dick Van Dyke, Vincent Price, The Jackson 5, Lily Tomlin and of course, Carols usual cast of crazies Tim Conway, Harvey Korman, Vicky Lawrence and Lyle Waggoner.
If you’re having a rough day and you need a laugh, click her and download an episode of Carol Burnett and Friends. Its guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
Carol + 2 is available now for under $10 at Amazon.
Download episodes at: www.iTunes.com/CarolBurnett
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