You know, I’ve often wondered who I would name as my biggest heroine in my lifetime, and who has influenced me the most, and it always comes back to one person, Carol Burnett. She influenced me so much as a young person and she still does to this day. Her ability to be a pioneer, and to become so successful in what had always been (at least to that point) a man’s world – comedy that is, and be so funny yet be taken so seriously at the same time, made a serious impact on me that has stayed with me always.
It taught me how to take chances, believe in myself, to always lead with humor, and to surround myself with like minded people like she did. Her team of comics, Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner and Tim Conway are the best comedic team I’ve ever experienced. They not only did “funny” really well, but they truly liked each other too – and I can’t even remember how many times Tim Conway made all of us who watched them each week bend over with laughter, including Harvey and Carol during their skits. Classic.
I really believe that many female comedians (Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are just two of the great comedians that I’m mentioning now) that were influenced as well by her and have become powerhouses in the comedic world. There are many female comedians that I’m not naming now, but they are no less significant. They take chances, and they’re fearless – a big deal in my mind. I love them all.
I have always loved making people laugh and I still do, to make fun of myself (without being mean to myself if that makes sense) and show others that if we can be goofy and take life less seriously sometimes, then it might make any pain that we may be feeling, go away, at least temporarily, and move that negative crap to the background. Also that we are not alone. In my mind, laughter brings people together. When I can have a good belly laugh and have tears rolling down my face because I’m laughing so hard, then that is a helluva great day. AND if I can share that with others too? Wow, what a bonanza!
When we help to create laughter and help others to have a better day because we made them laugh or smile, then it’s a win-win for all of us.
My biggest compliments when I was in high school were when I was voted class clown and the one with the best sense of humor by my peers. I was also compared to Carol Burnett more than once and I can’t tell you how much that meant to me.
Anyway, major kudos to Carol Burnett for receiving her SAG Award Lifetime Achievement Award just recently. She deserves it!
“I’m so glad we had this time together, just to have a laugh or sing a song. Seems we just get started, and before you know it…comes the time we have to say, so long.”