“Any inveterate fan of the universally lauded The Carol Burnett Show — which ran on CBS from 1967 to 1978, earned 25 Emmys, and routinely pulled in 30 million viewers — knows it opened with a short Q&A session during which the star would answer random questions from members of her studio audience.
“At first, I didn’t want to do it,” says Burnett, 88, calling from her home in Santa Barbara. “I didn’t think I could. But my executive producer said, ‘You know, Carol, it’s important for the audience to get to know you as you before you start putting on those crazy wigs and fat suits and blacking out your teeth.’ So, I bit the bullet. At first, I was nervous, so he said, ‘We’ll put some plants in the audience.’ I thought about it and said, ‘No, because if I can’t answer something, it’ll be honest, and the audience will know it’s truthful.’”