Sunday, January 15, 2017

Book Review: In Such Good Company by Carol Burnett

I feel lucky to have had the chance to read this. As you know, I get a lot of my books from Blogging for Books and I try to choose things I really think I'd love, but also things that maybe I wouldn't have read otherwise.

This is one of the latter.

I love Carol Burnett.

Adore her.

She's ridiculously funny and I have so many fond memories of her show and all the many spin-offs. I love that it was a variety show with music, dancing, acting, comedy - plenty of it slapstick, my favorite. Recurring characters like Mama's Family (although, if being honest, not my favorite sketches), Charwoman, Tim Conway's Old Man. The classic sketches that will forever be some of the funniest on television like the remake of Gone with the Wind - Went with the Wind - and the now-infamous curtain rod dress; Mrs. Wiggins and Mr. Tudball; the raucous dentist sketch with Tim and Harvey; The Queen; and As the Stomach Turns.

So. Many. Memories.
The final cast (clockwise from L): Tim Conway, Vicki Lawrence, Harvey Korman, Carol Burnett. 

Several years back, my mom and I decided to buy a newly-released Christmas DVD from The Carol Burnett Show. We'd been getting into watching old comedic shows and you still couldn't buy any of the seasons of Carol's show on DVD except through the infomercial (they are all now readily available at Costco and Amazon). We just wanted to watch a couple of episodes, so we bought a small compilation. We enjoyed it. Some were funny; some were okay. It had some great moments, but the extent of what Carol and her troupe did is more than just one small DVD compilation. It was years of hard work, funny moments, audience laughter, and taking the good with the bad (not every show was a keeper). It's what made variety so great and not much different than shows of today. We've all watched a favored show and found some episodes to be fantastic and others mediocre. It's all about the entirety - the overall effect the show has on how you feel.

Carol mastered this with grace and comedy.
"The Dress"

She hired a dynamic group of actors, took a chance on a 17-year-old lookalike kid (Vicki Lawrence), and finally signed Tim Conway after almost a decade of being on the air. In Such Good Company is a wonderful look back at all the amazing moments, the funniest and fiercest, with Carol's good nature and charm seeped throughout. It's a really fun, gentle read that will amuse you, rekindle memories, and make you want to buy the whole series to watch with friends and family again.

My favorite - Tim Conway. Pure genius. 

*Note: I was given this book by Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.