Carol Burnett’s birthday | Mark’s Remarks

I was born in 1967, the same year Carol Burnett’s television show went on the air. 

So you could say I sort of grew up watching her.  I remember being able to stay up well past my bedtime on Saturday night to watch, and trying to stay awake with one eye open to watch ‘til the end.

Of course, I’m like the rest of you, not able to wrap my head around the fact she just celebrated her 90th birthday.  

Maybe it’s the fact we can’t understand that we are older too.

Like a lot of fans, I tuned in for her birthday party with great anticipation, knowing we’d get to see a lot of the old favorites like Mrs. Wiggins, The Family, and As the Stomach Turns.  

I guess I was also expecting a certain degree of nostalgia. I expected Carol Burnett to come out on stage like she usually did and greet the studio audience. Bump up the lights.  Have some Q&A.

Instead, she sat, looking great for 90, and welcomed a variety of guests to wish her well.

Suddenly, I was like an extremely critical critic.

Cher came out and said a few words, as did Vicki Lawerence and Julie Andrews and a few other folks who had been around a long time – Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, Dolly Parton.

Susan Lucci of “All My Children” was there, as Carol always talked about the soap and even did a few guest stints on it.

I was OK with that. I mean, these folks were from way back.

Now, I know Carol Burnett has continued to work into her later years, and she obviously knows some of the “new folks” too like Jane Lynch, Lisa Kudrow and Bill Hader. 

“Better Call Saul” star Bob Odenkirk was there, as were some comedy folks like Amy Poehler and Kristen Wiig.

But a few times, I found myself getting aggravated.  When the girl from the new “Night Court” showed up, I almost wanted to holler “What is this, an NBC commercial for this terrible reboot of Night Court? You don’t even KNOW Carol Burnett!”

Why was I getting so angry? I mean, obviously, Carol had some connection to all these people.

I finally figured out my negative feelings were not unlike the ones I have a lot of nowadays. I try to recapture things of my youth, watch things again or redo circumstances. I try to recreate things.

I get excited when I see something or hear something I want to share with my kids. Then I look it up on YouTube or read something to them, and they aren’t as enthused as I am.  They don’t find it as funny as I thought they would.  They humor me and are polite, but I’m the only one who gets a charge out of it.

Somehow, I think it will be the same as it was when I was younger.

And look, it ain’t the same. Is it?

Try as we might, we can’t do a lot of things over again. The second time around is not as fun sometimes. It’s hard to recapture the magic of some things.

Plus, Harvey Korman and Tim Conway are gone.  There are plenty of guest stars from those classic skits that have also passed away. 

I think I was halfway expecting them all to show up on the stage, live and in-person.

Thank goodness for Vicki Lawrence, who is a youthful 74 years of age.

I got the maddest when Katy Perry came out and sang “I’m So Glad We’ve Had This Time Together.” Katy sings well and she did a great job, but why didn’t they let Carol sing it? We could have all joined in.

Katy Perry? For real?  She doesn’t know Carol like the rest of us!

Does she?

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Mark Tullis

Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a "slice of life" style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.
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