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Concert Reviews:
Carol Burnett takes fans down memory lane at Detroit Opera House

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

Posted: Sunday, September 29, 2019

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DETROIT -- Carol Burnett had a laugh (and then some) and sang a song, or at least part of one, on Sunday, Sept. 29, as she brought her one-woman "An Evening of Laughter and Reflection" show to the Detroit Opera House.

Still as sharp and witty at 86 as she was at the peak of "The Carol Burnett Show" during the its 11 seasons on CBS, the groundbreaking comic ingιnue spent a warmly nostalgic 90 minutes telling stories and showing clips from the program, including, of course, the iconic "The Dentist" sketch in which Tim Conway cracked up Harvey Korman -- making him pee in his pants, Burnett confirmed -- with his poker-faced physical humor. She also presented montages featuring guest appearances on the show as well as its well-known movie send-ups and of her famed Tarzan yell -- which Burnett did in person at the Opera House to the delight of the modest-sized by enthusiastic crowd.

Modeled after the unscripted audience Q&A sessions she did as part of the TV show, Burnett's live session felt personal, though revealing more about her career than her personal life. A dozen things fans learned from her during the evening included...

• Burnett prefers to make reservations than cook, but she does like to clean at home.

• She uses glasses when she reads.

• Over the course of "The Carol Burnett Show's" 11-year run, designer Bob Mackie made more than 17,000 costumes for the cast and guests.

• Discussing a long and warm friendship with Lucille Ball, Burnett disclosed that Ball, who always called her "kid," used to send her flowers every year on her birthday -- including on her 56th in 1989, when the arrangement arrived during the afternoon after Burnett learned of Ball's death that morning.

• Burnett enjoyed recent sitcoms such as "Cheers," "Frazier" and "Seinfeld," but she finds many current programs have "writing that's really easy and not very funny," and she's "sick and tired of hearing people talk about their bodily functions."

• After one fan dressed as her character Eunice asked Burnett the best way to get her daughter out of the house, Burnett quipped simply, "Change the locks."

• Thanks to YouTube and MeTV, Burnett says she's "getting fan mail from 10-year-olds."

• Though some of the most memorable moments in her shows featured the cast breaking character and cracking up, Burnett said that occurred in only seven percent of the 276 episodes.

• Her go-to liquor is Pinot Gritio.

• What would she still like to do that she hasn't done yet? "George Clooney," Burnett answered.

• It not an actress and comedian, she would like to have been a school teacher for grades three through six.

• She would be happy to host "Saturday Night Live" "if they ever asked me."

• She and Vicki Lawrence, the other surviving member of "The Carol Burnett Show" cast, "are still in touch and see each other as much as we can."

Burnett finished the night with her familiar ear-tub and singing the last lines of her sign-off song "I'm So Glad We Had This Time Together" -- which surely summed up how the audience felt about sharing some time with her on Sunday.

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