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Early Carol Burnett on The Ed Sullivan Show

Young Carol Burnett

If this is truly 1957 as stated (and I have no reason to doubt it), then this is two years before Burnett got her first major break in the Broadway musical Once Upon a Mattress, although she had done some television work beforehand. This is ten years before her immortal self-titled show would hit as a series. And I can’t quite tell, frankly, how parts of her routine are going over with the audience. I’m wondering if they knew what to do with her, frankly. But I think it’s great. Hints of the mayhem that was to come.

Update: Alas, the full clip has been taken down, but this snippet is still up with a Burnett intro now. If anybody finds the full thing, please let me know. And, well, at least we get confirmation that it’s 1957 now.

Update Again: Now that clip has been taken down–and her comedy routine has been replaced with a classic song of hers.

Direct link for the feedreaders.

Found via Classic Television Showbiz.

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  • YEAH!!! I remember much fun Saturday nights watching Ms. Burnett’s show and she’s a woman that was ahead of her time in television. Thanks for the smile and the flashback.

  • This was from a very well known episode of the Ed Sullivan Show, it was Elvis Presley 3rd and last appearance on the show… the infamous “from the waist up only” episode, making this 1957. It was also the last time Elvis was on tv during the 50s having been drafted in the army, he wouldn’t be on tv again until after being discharged from military service in 1960. It was, from all accounts I can gather, Ms. Burnette’s first appearance on television. And yes, much like Presley, she was (and still is) a revolutionary performer and mainstream audiences just hadn’t become hip enough to get it.