Carol Burnett TV Achievement Award
CAROL BURNETT TV ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
CAROL BURNETT: Oh, Steve Carell, all I can say is he is as nice as he is talented, and I thank you so much. Where are you? Thank you, Steve. Thank you. And my thanks to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. I’ve been really gobsmacked by this. Does this mean I get to accept it every year? But, do you know, my first love growing up was in the movies. I’d see as many as six to eight films a week with my grandmother who raised me, and then later, when I was a teenager, we got our first television set, and then I had a new love. But regardless of the medium, what fascinated me was the way the stars on the screen could make people laugh or cry or sometimes both, and I wished and I hoped that maybe, just maybe, some day I could have the chance to do the same thing. Well, those childhood dreams came true sometimes on the big screen but primarily on television, on a comedy variety show that half a century later still connects with people in a way that makes me very proud.
Sometimes I catch myself daydreaming about being young again and doing it all over, and then I bring myself up short when I realize how incredibly fortunate I was to be there at the right time because, what we did then, it couldn’t be done today. The cost alone would be prohibitive: 28‑piece live orchestra, no synthesizers, 12 dancers, an average of 65 costumes a week, and there’s the brilliance of our regular rep players: Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggonner, Tim Conway, plus two guest stars every week. I’m so grateful for the chemistry that we had with each other. And there was great chemistry behind the camera too with our crew, our producer, our director, our choreographer, our writers, the cue‑card guys. We all became one happy family for 11 joy‑filled years. And nothing like our show and, I might add, other variety shows at the time could ever see the light of day today because, the networks, they just wouldn’t spend the money and because there are so many cable competitors. They are not going to take a chance. And it’s sad to say today’s audiences might never know what they are missing. So here’s to reruns and YouTube.
But what has remained the same for every person who is lucky enough to be on television is the belief that we’ve been given an opportunity to do something special. We’ve been granted a gift, a [canvass|canvas] to paint with our talent, one that can make people laugh or cry or maybe do both. So this award, oh, my gosh, so generously named after me, is dedicated to all those who made my dreams come true and to all those out there who share the love I have for television, and we yearn to be part of this unique medium that has been so good to me. I’m just happy our show happened when it did and that I can look back and say once more, “I am so glad we had this time together.” Thank you.