In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox

In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox

4.5 2
by Carol Burnett
     
 

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Comedy legend Carol Burnett tells the hilarious behind-the-scenes story of her iconic weekly variety series, The Carol Burnett Show.
 
Who but Carol Burnett herself has the timing, talent, and wit to pull back the curtain on the Emmy-Award winning show that made television history for eleven glorious seasons?
In Such Good

Overview

Comedy legend Carol Burnett tells the hilarious behind-the-scenes story of her iconic weekly variety series, The Carol Burnett Show.
 
Who but Carol Burnett herself has the timing, talent, and wit to pull back the curtain on the Emmy-Award winning show that made television history for eleven glorious seasons?
In Such Good Company delves into little-known stories of the guests, sketches and antics that made the show legendary, as well as some favorite tales too good not to relive again. Carol lays it all out for us, from the show’s original conception to its evolution into one of the most beloved primetime programs of its generation.

Written with all the charm and humor fans expect from a masterful entertainer like Carol Burnett, In Such Good Company skillfully highlights the elements that made the show so successful in a competitive period when TV variety shows ruled the air waves. Putting the spotlight on everyone from her talented costars to her amazing guest stars—the most celebrated and popular entertainers of their day—Carol crafts a lively portrait of the talent and creativity that went into every episode.

Here are all the topics readers want to know more about, including:
 • how the show almost didn’t air due to the misgivings of certain CBS vice presidents;
 • how she discovered and hired Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner, and Tim Conway;
 • anecdotes about guest stars and her close freindships with many of them, including Lucille Ball, Roddy Mcdowell, Jim Nabors, Bernadette Peters, Betty Grable, Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gorme, Gloria Swanson, Rita Hayworth, and Betty White;
 • the people behind the scenes from Bob Mackie, her costume designer and partner in crime, to the wickedly funny cameraman who became a fixture during the show’s opening Q&A;
 • and Carol's takes on her favorite sketches and the unpredictable moments that took both the cast and viewers by surprise.

This book is Carol's love letter to a golden era in television history through the lens of her brilliant show which won no less than 25 Emmy Awards! Get the best seat in the house as she reminisces about the outrageous tales that made working on the show as much fun as watching it.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
06/27/2016
From 1967 to 1978, The Carol Burnett Show delighted television viewers of all ages from coast to coast. Now Burnett presents a look at her beloved variety hour. Though it may start with the show’s inauspicious beginnings (a forgotten clause in Burnett’s contract) and end with its star-studded finale, Burnett’s narrative is hardly chronological; instead, it resembles the conversational cadence of a relative reminiscing about the good old days. This is certainly a relatable approach, but it does lead Burnett to repeat details about her favorite stories. Nevertheless, Burnett’s fans will enjoy the wealth of knowledge as she reveals her close relationships with her crew, revisits highlights from audience q&a sessions, and shares anecdotes about the biggest stars of the 1960s and ’70s. Burnett watched every episode afresh to research this book, and that attention to detail shows in her exhaustive accounts of major sketches. However, even nonfans will enjoy the nuggets of intrigue Burnett scatters throughout, in which she shines a light on the sexism she faced during her tenure as a leading lady of the small screen. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
 “In this light, behind-the-scenes memoir, [Burnett] pays tribute to the many talented individuals responsible for the show's enduring success, [sharing] some of the hilarious impromptu moments on the set and sheds light on the many memorable sketches, including the movie parodies that have become classic TV.” —Kirkus Reviews
Library Journal
07/01/2016
From 1967 to 1978, The Carol Burnett Show made television history and is regularly recognized as one of the best shows of all time. Here Burnett (This Time Together) offers a breezy reminiscence of the show's creation, its cast and guests, and much-beloved characters and sketches. While there's some sense of chronology, most of the book is a collection of similarly themed anecdotes so readers can jump straight to the amazing guests (Ray Charles) or movie parodies (Went with the Wind). Burnett delivers hilarious and heartfelt stories that are full of comedy and light on drama. She stays positive even when discussing the frustrations of being a woman in the television industry and refuses to name names when it comes to her least favorite guest. VERDICT Who doesn't love Carol Burnett, and who better to tell the story of the show bearing her name? This quick trip down memory lane and great behind-the-scenes look at a truly one-of-a-kind production will have strong appeal for fans and readers who remember that era.—Terry Bosky, Madison, WI
Kirkus Reviews
2016-06-11
The TV legend reflects on her eponymous variety series.When the Carol Burnett Show premiered on CBS in 1967, it was the heyday for variety shows, which mixed sketch comedy with musical performances and were a staple on network TV. Though several shows from that era enjoyed high ratings for a few seasons, such as Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and the Glen Campbell Show, Burnett's (This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection, 2010, etc.) series remained an audience favorite for an unprecedented 11 years, winning multiple Emmy awards along the way and continuing in syndication ever since. In this light, behind-the-scenes memoir, the author pays tribute to the many talented individuals responsible for the show's enduring success, including the writers, musicians, designers, technicians, and, perhaps most significantly, her team of weekly performers and big-name celebrity guest stars. She additionally shares some of the hilarious impromptu moments on the set and sheds light on the many memorable sketches, including the movie parodies that have become classic TV. In brief, occasionally disjointed chapters, Burnett provides fascinating glimpses of the vigorous demands involved with producing her show, eventually summarizing why such shows are regretfully no longer produced on the same scale. "Sadly, variety shows like ours have gone the way of the dodo bird," she writes. "A variety show today can never duplicate what we did. Why? Money. The cost of clearing the songs and music would sink the Titanic. Sixty to seventy costumes a week? No way. A twenty-eight piece orchestra? Twelve dancers? A rep company of five? Six to eight sketches a show? Major guest stars? Block the entire show and rehearse with the orchestra in one day? The following day tape the whole shebang in two hours? Dream on." An entertaining if somewhat overly anecdotal look back at a beloved weekly variety series.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101904657
Publisher:
Crown/Archetype
Publication date:
09/13/2016
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
2,368
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

CAROL BURNETT has been an actor on Broadway, on television, and in the movies.  She has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, The Mark Twain Prize for Humor and the Kennedy Center Honors, among other singular achievements of a woman comedian who was nothing less than a pioneer and a role model for stars like Tina Fey, Amy Pohler and Amy Schumer.

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In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
MasonCanyon 5 days ago
If you ever enjoyed the Carol Burnett Show, then this audio is a must have for your library especially since it’s narrated by the lovely and very talented Ms. Burnett herself. With Ms. Burnett’s delightful way of entertaining, you will be in tears from laughter in no time. She even includes her famous Tarzan yell and the show’s closing song, I’m So Glad We Had This Time Together. As Ms. Burnett explained how the show and actors came together, the wonderful scenes I remembered from my youth played through my mind’s eye. She tells how certain legendary skits came about. She also tells the work and the laughter that went into taping the show in front of a live studio audience. The story is told in such a manner it takes you down memory lane revisiting the antics of the entertaining show along with the talented actors that were guests. Ms. Burnett relates the information in a conversational manner making you feel it’s your own personal one-on-one conversation with the actress. IN SUCH GOOD COMPANY highlights why the Carol Burnett Show was a golden nugget of entertainment for families for 11 years. Ms. Burnett even explains why a variety show like that would not be possible today. This is a delightful story that will touch your heart and make you smile despite yourself. FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.
SheTreadsSoftly 12 days ago
In Such Good Company by Carol Burnett is a highly recommended collection of reminiscences from the shows 11 year run on TV. If you fondly remember the Carol Burnett Show or remember highlight clips from the show, then you will likely enjoy these glimpses into the variety show that ran from 1967 to 1978. Burnett shares many outstanding memories of what occurred during a regular show week, anecdotes about the cast members, some guests, recurring characters, favorite movie parodies, some of the funny and off-the-cuff questions from the audience and her responses. CBS scheduled the debut show to run Monday, September 11, 1967. The show featured comedy sketches and musical performances. The original cast members included Lyle Waggoner, Vicki Lawrence and Harvey Korman. Tim Conway was a frequent guest who permanently joined the cast later. The schedule for preparing for the show was like a school schedule and never varied, week to week. The cast always knew what was next and when to report. Burnett gives credit to all the various people who helped make the show the success it was, especially the writers. Appendix 1 lists the shows and the guests for each season. Appendix 2 lists all the writers of the show by the season. Along with an outstanding variety of guests, there were others that helped with the show who were less well known. Bob Mackie designed as many as sixty to seventy costumes a week for eleven years. Don Crichton soon became the lead male dancer. Ernie Flatt was the brilliant choreographer. Artie Malvin was the special musical material writer. Harry Zimmerman conducted and orchestrated a live twenty-eight-piece orchestra. Ross Murray handled all the sound effects. Their censor was Charlie Pettyjohn, who came to every run-through and taping. Recurring sketches that many people will recall include: The Charwoman; Carol and Sis; George and Zelda; The Old Folks; As the Stomach Turns; The Queen; Stella Toddler; Mrs. Wiggins and Mr. Tudball; Mary Worthless; Fred and Marge; and The Family. Burnett shares many memories of guest stars who appeared and their performances. The list of artists and entertainers is incredible. The long run ended when the final two hour special was was taped on March 17, 1978, and aired March 29. At the end, the show had won twenty-five Emmy awards. Although it is full of memories of the show, this is not a negative tell-all slam of people who behaved poorly. It is positive and upbeat even when there are problems. The only bad guest is never named, an accomplishment that should be applauded alone in this time of tell all about everyone. This might not be the tell-all book some people would hope for, but it is an excellent trip down memory lane on what Time magazine listed as one of the "100 Best TV Shows of All Time." Thoroughly enjoyable! Disclosure: My advanced reading copy was courtesy of the publisher for review purposes.