As I have mentioned many times, I don't read as much as I should. To illustrate this perfectly, I started reading the book above in September and I only finished it last week. I'm not proud of this.
Because, frankly, there is no reason why I shouldn't have zipped through this one at record speed. I am such a fan of Carol Burnett and that variety show she did which was a TV hallmark of my early life. It was clever. It was funny. It was spontaneous. And, even though it was taped, you felt like you were watching it as it happened because they usually left all the flubs and break-ups in.
In her book which focuses on the eleven years that they did perhaps the greatest variety show that TV has ever known, Carol tells us that there were only about a dozen times where the cast broke up and flubbed. I would argue there were more and, personally, I craved those moments because the goofs made it all seem so real. As if you were in the audience at CBS Television City.
In this wonderful homage, Burnett exhaustively takes you through all the famous sketches and often includes the scripts verbatim. There are juicy tidbits about some guest stars plus a captivating tale about the night she fired Harvey Korman. It's all here with an episode guide put together by her daughter.
Now, to really appreciate this book, you might want to go out and purchase one of the DVD compilations and view that as a compendium to Burnett's stories. Whatever the case, it is important that we remember always this terrific one-of-a-kind entertainments because there will never be another one like it.
I've heard some stories about Burnett herself and a few are not gracious tales. But I prefer to think of her being as nice as the words make her seem. Indeed, several years back, my writing partner and I were in the Cheesecake Factory in Brentwood when we discovered that the woman at the next table, trying to hide behind a column and some clunky big sunglasses, was Carol herself. We debated saying something and inexplicably kept to our rule of never bothering celebrities we saw in public.
A few months before that, I myself had an encounter with Harvey Korman when he, his wife, and daughter were in my church for Christmas Eve service. I actually was the one who lit his candle for "Silent Night." Those are the moments you remember in Los Angeles.
And Carol's new book offers us many reasons to remember those glorious moments spread out over eleven television seasons. They will never ever be duplicated.
Meanwhile, I'm still perplexed over why it took me over three months to finish a book that was so interesting.
Dinner last night: Not feeling great so just some chicken noodle soup.