Carol Burnett Revealed How She Hoped To Be Remembered

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Carol Burnett had a lengthy career and made audiences laugh for decades, picking up six Emmys, six Golden Globes, one Grammy, and a Kennedy Center Honor along the way. Ahead of her 90th birthday, the iconic comedian opened up about how she hoped to be remembered.

Carol Burnett (Credit: YouTube)

As one of the country’s most beloved comedians, Carol Burnett entertained millions of Americans over the years. As she was about to turn 90, Burnett opened up about her life and legacy, revealing that she still didn’t feel that old. “I can’t wrap my head around it,” Burnett told People Magazine. “I still feel like I’m about 11, but I’m amazed. It sure went fast. But I’m glad because I’ve got all my parts — got my hips, I got my knees and I’ve got my brain, so I’m happy about that.”

When asked what she wanted her legacy to be, Burnett turned her thoughts to her popular TV show, The Carol Burnett Show. “I made people laugh, made them feel good when they might have been down,” she said. “In my fan mail, many say it was the only time the family would get together, to watch and laugh,” Burnett added. “And that sometimes they were lonesome and were cheered up by our show. That’s a good feeling.”

Carol Burnett
Harvey Korman, Tim Conway, and Carol Burnett perform a skit on The Carol Burnett Show (Credit: YouTube)

The veteran comedian also spoke about her early years growing up in Los Angeles, California. “I used to pretend to be on a radio show,” Burnett recalled. “I would yell out the window, ‘Now ladies and gentlemen, we have a young girl who is going to sing here without any musical accompaniment,'” Burnett declared. “One time, a man next door said, ‘Will you turn that g*ddamn thing off?’ And I thought, ‘I’m a hit. They think it’s real.'”

It wasn’t until Burnett got to college that she realized that she had a talent for comedy. “I was pretty much of a quiet student all through grammar school, junior high, and Hollywood High,” Burnett explained. “I would kid around with my friends, the neighborhood kids, stuff like that. But I never really thought about it until I got to UCLA and I was in an acting class.”

Carol Burnett
Carol Burnett got her start in television on The Garry Moore Show (Credit: YouTube)

“A lot of the kids at the class were doing heavy, dramatic stuff and I thought, ‘I can’t do that.’ So I picked something light and they laughed,” Burnett continued. “That’s when the bug bit.” Burnett admitted that she was a “late bloomer” because “so many performers started when they were 3 and 4 and 5 years old.”

Though Burnett would later star on The Carol Burnett Show for 11 hugely successful seasons, it wasn’t easy for her to get into television. “It was some local television show in New York and I got up and I belted out a song and the emcee that I was auditioning for said, ‘You’re too loud for television,'” she remembered. “I disagreed.”

Carol Burnett as “Scarlett O’Hara” wearing a drapery rod dress which is housed at the Smithsonian Institution (Credit: YouTube)

Carol Burnett proved herself right. Her success as a television personality is legendary. In addition to The Carol Burnett Show, she starred as Miss Hannigan in 1982’s Annie and had memorable roles in All My Children, Fresno, Mad About You, and Better Call Saul.

Bob Odenkirk, the star of Better Call Saul, was extremely charmed by Burnett while working with her on set. “She’s brilliant, brilliant in this season,” Odenkirk said during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. “Dramatic, so believable, and just an amazing person to be with and hear her stories and then to watch her act.”

When People Magazine asked the award-winning comedian what was left on her bucket list, she jokingly answered, “George Clooney.” This wasn’t the first time she spoke publicly about her love for the Oscar-winning heartthrob, the New York Post reported. During a 2013 appearance on Larry King Now, Burnett hinted at her Clooney affection. “Are there parts of your life you wished you’d been asked about more?” wondered King, who died in 2021. Burnett gave a joking response, saying, “Well, you know, ‘Is it true what’s going on between you and George Clooney?’ would be interesting.”

Carol Burnett is a true legend, and there will never be another one like her. She was always gracious, honest, and humble. In all of her success, Carol Burnett never forgot that it was her honor to entertain the American people, and that’s why she is and always will be truly loved by many.