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Review: Carol Burnett celebrates her 90th birthday with a TV special on NBC

Global entertainment icon Carol Burnett celebrated her 60th birthday with a two-hour TV special on NBC in her honor.

Carol Burnett
Carol Burnett. Photo Credit: Chris Haston, NBC
Carol Burnett. Photo Credit: Chris Haston, NBC

Global entertainment icon Carol Burnett celebrated her 60th birthday with a wonderful two-hour TV special on NBC in her honor. This special is also available to stream on Peacock.

The special titled “Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter + Love” aired on her birthday, Wednesday, April 26. It was filmed at Avalon Hollywood in Los Angeles, and it featured an A-list lineup of musical performances from such artists as Bernadette Peters, Billy Porter, Jane Lynch, Katy Perry, and Kristin Chenoweth, among others.

Her special guests included Aileen Quinn, Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Bob Mackie, Cher, Ellen DeGeneres, Julie Andrews, Kristen Wiig, Laura Dern, Lily Tomlin, Marisa Tomei, Sofia Vergara, Steve Carell, Emmy winner Susan Lucci (“All My Children”), Tracee Ellis Ross, and Vicki Lawrence, among others.

This special was executive produced by Burnett, Brian Miller, Steve Sauer, Paul Miller and Baz Halpin, Mark Bracco, and Linda Gierahn of Silent House Productions. 

“Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter + Love” was extremely well-done, in the format of an engaging variety show. The inclusion of some of Ms. Burnett’s funniest moments via archived video footage throughout the illustrious career was an added treat.

From her Broadway debut in Once Upon a Mattress, her early appearances on The Garry Moore Show, her hit films The Four Seasons, A Wedding, Pete ‘n’ Tillie, her iconic role as Miss Hannigan in Annie, to her acclaimed sketch comedy series The Carol Burnett Show, which ran for 11 seasons on CBS and played an instrumental role in the evolution of comedy.

Musical tributes will pay homage to Burnett’s renowned career performances, including: “Old Friends,” dedicated to her friendship with Julie Andrews; “Only an Octave Apart,” which Burnett sang alongside Beverly Sills in the 1976 television special Sills and Burnett at the Met; songs from the film Annie; and a tribute to her classic theme song, “I’m So Glad We Had This Time Together” from The Carol Burnett Show.

One of the highlights of this special was seeing the 60-year friendships with Dame Julie Andrews, and how it has stood the test of time. Their mutual respect for each other, and how they are is quite inspiring.

The Verdict

Overall, “Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter + Love” was well-received by all, and it was a fitting tribute to the perennial “Queen of Television Comedy.” There was definitely a feeling of nostalgia while watching it, especially since Carol Burnett and her acting work was a part of all of our lives, in one way or another.

This TV birthday special garnered an A rating, and it deserves to be nominated for Emmy Awards in the future.

The whole world owes a great deal of gratitude to Ms. Burnett for being a true trailblazer who molded the comedy landscape into what it is today, and for bringing so much joy and laughter into our homes.

Hopefully, they will all be back in a decade, to help celebrate the 100th birthday our national treasure Carol Burnett.

For more information on Carol Burnett, follow her on Instagram.

Read More: Interview with Carol Burnett: The First Lady of Television Comedy

Carol Burnett
Carol Burnett. Photo Credit: Randee St. Nicholas
Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 20,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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