The Funn Family Season 1 —Episode 13

Burnett and company, alongside Mickey Rooney and John Davidson, paid tribute to old-fashioned movie musicals. “I t was in our first season, and that started us doing those backstage movie tributes. This one used a plot similar to a lot of those old Fox musicals …kind of a mashup of those types of films. We had Mickey Rooney and John Davidson as guest stars, and along with Vicki we played this old vaudeville team. It was set in the Ziegfeld Follies era, and the whole [idea] was they had to split up their act. Harvey played a character named Ziggy Flofeld, and he wanted a patriotic trio, so he only needed three people. Mickey was Pappa Funn and goes off on his own. We created original music for this one, which I think was about 20 minutes long, one of the first long-form things we ever did. I just loved doing it! ”


L-R: Vicki Lawrence, Carol Burnett, Mickey Rooney, John Davidson

As the Stomach Turns Season 1 —Episode 20 In this recurring parody of soap opera conventions, Burnett played Marion, a constantly troubled resident of Canoga Park. “I ’dwatched All My Children andwanted to do something like that on our show, so when the suggestion for a soap opera came up, I said, ‘Absolutely! Let’s do it!’ My favorite was the first time we did it. We had Betty Grable and Martha Raye on that show. It was a thrill to have them, especially because I grewupwatching Grable. Martha was so raucous, and Betty would come inwith her zingers. Both of themadmired each other and had known each other for years. An interesting side note: My husband and I had come to California a few years earlier, and the first home we purchased had been lived in by Betty; her husband, Harry James; and their children. We were living there when she was on

the show, so I invited her to have a drink at the house. She came in and got a little teary-eyed. “After we started doing [the sketch], I got a call fromAgnes Nixon, the creator of All My Children , and she asked if I’d do a cameo on her show. My character, Verla Grubbs, was really a trailer-trash person. She had a heart of gold but was very naive. I did two weeks on that show, then came back tomy show. I did go back a day or two every once in a while.”

Above, L–R: Burnett, Betty Grable, Martha Raye, Lyle Waggoner. Opposite: Burnett made her ensemble comedy debut in The Garry Moore Show . Here, she poses for a 1959 “glamour” shot for the variety series.

MAY/J UNE • 202 1

Powered by