Carol on How 'The Carol Burnett Show' Came To Be - NBC Boston

Carol on How 'The Carol Burnett Show' Came To Be

Harry: "Were you aware when your show premiered in 1967 what you were doing for women, for comedy, for television?"

Carol: "I never thought of it that way? The thing was the network didn’t want me to do comedy variety show. They wanted me to do a half hour sitcom called, ‘ Here's Agnes,’ if you can picture it. So I signed a contract, it was a 10 year contract but within the contract, I had a good agent, within the first 5 years, if I wanted to do one hour comedy variety show all I had to do was push the button and they would have to put us on the air for 30 one hour shows."

Harry: "Wait a second, where are those contracts today?"

Carol: "I know. There never was one before and I know there wasn’t one since. It was wild. So it was thelast week of the fifth year and my husband and I looked at each other and said, because we just put a down payment on a house and had a new baby and I said, ‘Do you think we should push that button?' So we did and I got a hold of one of the Vice President’s in New York, we were in California and he had totally forgotten, he called me back the next day after he talked to a bunch of lawyers I’m sure, that’s when he said, 'Comedy variety Carol, that’s a man’s game. It’s just not for you gals.’ And I said, ‘But I don’t want to be Agnes every week.’ And they had to put us on the air and we didn’t know if we were going to last but at least we knew we'd get 30 one hour shows out of it."

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