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The reason I do what I do is because I was influenced by Steve Martin, by Woody Allen, by Bob Newhart, by Carol Burnett, by Lucille Ball.
I think there have always been funny women, from Carol Burnett to Joan Rivers. When the audience sees a woman, they innately know she's worked twice as hard to get there, she's had to prove that she can be the leader, first, and then be funny on top of it. She has to emit a confidence that she's in control.
I've known Harvey for over 40 years and I worked with him on the Burnett show for 11 years. I guess you could say we're about as close as you can get to being a comedy team.
Carol Burnett probably had the biggest influence on me as kid. Although I was very young and watched her a lot in reruns, I was mesmerized by the way she transformed, by her physical comedy and the rolling laughter from the live studio audience. I loved her most as Scarlett O'Hara and her well known Cleaning Lady character.
I always was trying to make people laugh as a kid. I was a big fan of Carol Burnett and Gilda Radner. I watched them and I remember feeling as a child, when I heard the laughter they got, a little jealous that they made someone laugh like that.
As a kid, I always wanted to be Carol Burnett or Johnny Carson. I love to chat and entertain.
I was in love with a lot of people, because I was a student of the game of comedy - Carol Burnett, Jack Benny, Red Skelton, Jackie Gleason, Don Rickles, Red Foxx, Moms Mabley - who gets no credit, Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, George Kirby. I loved them all, and I used to just take a page out of all of them.
Carol Burnett was particularly funny. She swore for the first time on television on Larry Sanders.
Making music on TV used to be as common as commercials. In the '60s and '70s, prime time was stuffed with variety shows headlined by such major and treasured talents as Carol Burnett, Red Skelton, the Smothers Brothers and Richard Pryor, who had a very brief comedy-variety hour on NBC that was censored literally to death.
So many people: Lucille Ball is the earliest incarnation of a woman I thought was funny, Joan Rivers, Roseanne, Carol Burnett, Gilda Radnor, down to current times, where you have Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and Kristen Wiig.
The reason 'The Carol Burnett Show' did so well in the ratings is because people were looking for that comfort zone when the whole family sat around and watched television and enjoyed it.
Everybody just told me from the day I went into high school that I looked like Carol Burnett.
I loved the late Gilda Radner. I love Carol Burnett and Lily Tomlin.
I was always singing and dancing for my mother when I wasn't glued to the television watching I Love Lucy or the Carol Burnett Show.
Twenty years ago, there were dozens and dozens of independent television producers. There are a couple now, at the most. Mark Burnett, Endemol. It's gone. Everybody works for the Man now. And it's natural law, how that happened: Nobody prescribed it, but it's how things worked out and how it has been for decades, period.
I could not see myself going back into the studio without Tommy Dowd, our beloved producer who passed away in 2002. Then in 2009, Michael Lehman, my manager, really pushed me to meet with T Bone Burnett. I ended up meeting with T Bone in Memphis, and we hit it off right away; I knew he was a guy I could work with.
In terms of comedians, I loved, growing up, Jonathan Winters, Sid Caesar, Jackie Gleason, Phil Silvers, Carol Burnett, all those people.
I was obsessed with Carol Burnett and then Tracey Ullman. Like, obsessed with their shows.
Carol Burnett, who played Miss Hannigan in 'Annie', is as funny as it gets.
David Burnett was the son of Martha Foley, who edited the Best American Short Stories series. She hired me to work with David and her to read stories for the anthology.
I took my first acting class at age 6 because I found out that's what Carol Burnett was doing - acting. Also she had an imaginary friend as a kid and went to UCLA, two things we have in common. I will always admire her and hope one day, I can make someone laugh a fraction as hard as she's made me bellyache.
What would be a show that I would rescue? If I could bring anything back, it would be 'The Carol Burnett Show'. Tim Conway is just... I just watched him so many times do stuff over and over. He's just so amazing.
Being on 'Nashville' and working with some incredible people like T-Bone Burnett and Buddy Miller - so many wonderful, incredible musicians that I've been blessed to play with and observe - that has continued to shape the process of arranging music, writing music.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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