BEVERLY HILLS (AP) — More than 50 years after Carol Burnett became the first woman to host a variety sketch show, a stint that would last 11 years and make her a household name, the 85-year-old accepted the very first Carol Burnett Award for lifetime achievement in television at the Golden Globes on Sunday.
“I am really gobsmacked by this,” the emotional comedic icon said after accepting the award from fellow TV legend Steve Carell.
Burnett described how she first fell in love with movies when she would see as many as eight a week with her grandmother, who raised her. When Burnett got her first TV set, she said: “I had a new love.”
“Regardless of the medium what fascinated me was the way the stars on the screen could make people laugh or cry or sometimes both,” she said. “And I wished and I hoped that maybe, maybe just someday I could have the chance to do the same thing.
“Those dreams came true,” she said.
“The Carol Burnett Show” debuted in 1967 when comedy largely was considered a man’s game. It became one of the most honored shows in television history, averaging 30 million viewers a week and getting 25 Emmy awards.
Burnett said sometimes she catches herself wishing she were young so she could do it all over again, but stops herself when she realizes that today’s TV producers would never finance a show like hers, with its 28-piece live orchestra, 12 dancers and 65 costumes a week.
“So here’s to reruns and YouTube,” she joked.