Entertainer Carol Burnett packed up her movie projector with scenes from her historic Carol Burnett Show that kept her on TV for 11 seasons for three presentations of "An Evening of Laughter and Reflection" at the Chicago Theatre on May 17, 19 and 20.
Having seen her standard Q&A show in the past, this was not a drastic change from the format of talking to the audience after playing her clips on the large screen. Burnett, 83, took a break to sit down after a while while a stage hand brought out flowers and a table. She hugged him, showing how sweet this comedy icon truly is.
Burnett asked the audience for questions pretty early in the evening, and then returned to video segments after steering her answers in that direction, like a pro.
She talked about her main co-stars over the years and celebrity guests, some who have passed away.
One gay fan asked if she ever traded clothes with Cher. She joked, "We have the same measurements ... just not in that order." She spoke of Bob Mackie, who made not only many of Cher's outfits but practically every costume in Burnett's long-running show.
She confessed to kissing Julie Andrews in a hotel elevator to play a prank on Mike Nichols. The doors opened to Lady Bird Johnson, who asked, "Aren't you Carol Burnett?" and she replied, "Yesand this is Mary Poppins!"
One audience member gave out his best Tarzan yellthen she followed with her famous version.
She mentioned that she doesn't do stand-up but instead liked playing characters put into skits and appreciates newer artists who do the same, like Tina Fey.
She squeezed in story after story while satisfying the fans who asked for book autographs and to sing "Happy Birthday" to them. Burnett knew just when to end things with her closing theme song.
The lady still is sharp as a tack and knows how to give people what they want in this format before saying "so long."
Look for a fourth book from Burnett this September.
Text by Jerry Nunn