Carol Burnett, the groundbreaking comedy legend, is celebrating a major milestone today: it’s her 90th birthday!
After decades of making us laugh, Burnett is still going strong and is celebrating her big day in style: NBC is going to air a special called Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter and Love tonight paying tribute to the iconic star.
Many of Hollywood’s biggest names attended the event to pay tribute to Burnett, singing her praises on the red carpet.
Birthday tributes to Burnett
Among the attendees was Julie Andrews, the legendary Sound of Music star and close friend of Burnett’s: “She brings out in the best in me and I think I bring out the worst in her, I don’t know why,” Andrews joked on the red carpet, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “It’s the opposite of what you would imagine.”
Andrews recalled meeting Burnett at a Chinese restaurant many years ago: “When we met, no one else got a word in edgewise. We bonded like that and it has never changed,” Burnett said of their “never-ending friendship.”
Music icon Cher also opened up about her friendship with Carol Burnett.
“I would sneak out through the fence to go to the farmer’s market and we played practical jokes on each other,” Cher said. “It was just easy and fun and that’s all we wanted to do.”
Actress Jane Lynch recalled first meeting Burnett: “I was firmly in love, she’s exactly the person that you hope she would be,” she told the Hollywood Reporter.
The guest list of the show, which taped in March, is stacked with huge names from yesterday and today: Lily Tomlin, Steve Carell, Laura Dern, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Oprah, Michelle Obama, Steve Martin, Martin Short, Allison Janney, Jimmy Fallon and Ellen DeGeneres are among the big names reportedly taking part in the tribute.
According to Playbill, some of Broadway’s biggest stars, including Bernadette Peters, Billy Porter, Sutton Foster and Kristin Chenoweth will be performing musical numbers in Burnett’s honor. Burnett is a Broadway vet herself: she received Tony nominations for Once Upon a Mattress and Moon Over Buffalo.
“I’m so excited NBC decided to throw me a birthday party and invited all of my closest friends,” Burnett said in a statement. “I can’t wait to look back at so many wonderful moments throughout my career, I feel so lucky to share this night with everyone.”
Carol Burnett on turning 90
Carol Burnett is best known for her groundbreaking variety/sketch series The Carol Burnett Show, which aired for 11 seasons on CBS. It was the first show of its kind to be hosted by a woman, and Burnett is widely regarded as a trailblazer for female comedians.
She has recently been the recipient of many lifetime achievement honors, including the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.
In 2019, the Golden Globes named their television lifetime achievement award after her, the “Carol Burnett Award,” and she was the first recipient.
Last year, she returned to TV in a pivotal guest starring role on the final season of Better Call Saul.
In an interview ahead of her 90th birthday, Burnett said she doesn’t feel her age, calling herself a “late bloomer” compared to other performers.
“I can’t wrap my head around it,” Burnett told People Magazine. “I still feel like I’m about 11, but I’m amazed. It sure went fast. But I’m glad because I’ve got all my parts — got my hips, I got my knees and I’ve got my brain, so I’m happy about that.”
Happy birthday to the legendary Carol Burnett! It’s so heartwarming to see so many huge stars come out to pay tribute to this groundbreaking comedy star.
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