[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/carolburnett_905.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[CatchPhrase "Let's bump up the lights..."]]]]


->''"I'm so glad we had this time together\\
Just to have a laugh or sing a song\\
Seems we just get started and before you know it\\
Comes the time we have to say, 'So long.'"''

A hit VarietyShow on Creator/{{CBS}}, running for 11 seasons (1967-1978). The show followed a very simple format of comedy sketches, TV and movie parodies, and musical numbers. What set it apart was how off the wall the actors and writers would take things. Basically anything went as long as it was funny (and could air on TV, of course). Many also consider it to be the first comedy variety show centered around a woman.

The regular cast initially consisted of Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence and Lyle Waggoner; Tim Conway (who'd appeared numerous times as a guest) succeeded Waggoner in Season 8, while Creator/DickVanDyke replaced Korman for the 11th and final season. One of the more popular recurring sketches spun off into the sitcom ''[[Series/MamasFamily Mama's Family]]''.

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!!Provides Examples Of:

* AccidentalMisnaming: A non-malicious example: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbDHE4kQ1Xs One "Family" sketch]] has the character of Mavis Danton (played by guest star [[Film/BlazingSaddles Madeline Kahn]]) constantly refer to Eunice as "Bernice".
** Are we sure this isn't a ShoutOut to Ms. Kahn's "Eunice Burns" character in WhatsUpDoc
* AdjectiveAnimalAlehouse: In a sketch about a man trying to get his car's license plates at a government agency, he asks the female clerk if he can take her to lunch and she says for him to meet her at the Whispering Escargot[[note]]French for "snail"[[/note]] restaurant.
* AffectionateParody: Given [[SketchComedy the type of show]] this is, the bulk of its film and TV parodies firmly place themselves in [[DeconstructedTrope deconstruction]] [[DeconstructiveParody territory]].
* AuthorAvatar: The Charwoman.
* BitsOfMeKeepPassingOut: "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9T8i4FkNVo The Dentist Sketch]]" in which a hapless dentist (Tim Conway) keeps accidentally injecting various parts of his body with Novocaine.
* BlackComedy: Characters could die, or meet horrible fates, and it would always be PlayedForLaughs. For example, the sketch where Harvey Korman is a WWII air-bomber, who jumps out of a plane, but ends up losing his parachute. Obviously he's a dead man. The sketch ends with this:
-->'''Tim Conway:''' [[LackOfEmpathy "Well, at least he landed on the enemy target."]]
* BlatantLies: Invoked during a Q&A segment.
-->'''Audience member:''' "Do you ever get nervous before a show?"
-->'''Carol Burnett:''' "No."
-->''(promptly faints)''
* BreakTheHaughty: Eunice. ''Jesus Christ'', Eunice.
* BunnyEarsLawyer: A [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3eqWYGahgA literal]] example.
* TheChewToy: Most of Tim's and many of Carol's characters, mainly the Oldest Man and Stella Toddler, respectively. [[TheTapeKnewYouWouldSayThat And yes]], the two characters ''did'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOwmSbD20aQ cross over]].
* ChromaKey: Used (and PlayedForLaughs) in some closing mini-musicals from later seasons, like [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eYvZ7_RZdM&t=300s "Beach Blanket Boo-Boo"]].
* {{Corpsing}}: Tim Conway was notorious for breaking up the others on the show. In many of the sketches featuring Conway and Harvey Korman, it was all Korman could do to get through it without collapsing. And keep in mind, it wasn't like this was live: the show was taped. Conway was just that funny. Causing Carol Burnett herself to lose it was a major feat, but Conway accomplished it several times. ([[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qqE_WmagjY Here]], for instance.)
** It got to the point that the cast would have a weekly pool to see how long it would take Tim Conway to make someone (mainly Harvey Korman) break character.
** Once in a while, Carol or Vicki would get even with Tim by making him corpse... for example, during the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qT9jmEUNxtk "Flasher" sketch]], which was less an actual sketch than a giant prank on Tim.
** In a Behind The Scenes special Carol mentioned they would tape the show twice, and use the copy with the lesser amount of corpsing.
* CostumePorn: Bob Mackie did virtually all the outfits on the show, from the grand to the silly.
** In the case of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qT9jmEUNxtk "The Flasher" sketch]], Bob Mackie literally was a costume porn-artist.
* CrazyPrepared: Initially, the director in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6E5SFhaDO4 "Rhoda Dimple"]]:
-->'''Rhoda Dimple''': Wait a minute, hold it, von Megaphone Mouth, we ain't through with the picture yet!
-->'''Director''': I want to thank the sound department for their excellent work...
-->'''Rhoda Dimple''': I'm talkin' to you!
-->'''Director''': The lighting department for ''their'' excellent contribution...
-->''(Rhoda kicks the director in the shin, but he doesn't react to it)''
-->'''Director''': The Los Angeles Dodgers for the shin guards...
-->''(Rhoda punches him in the gut, but this makes a metallic sound)''
-->'''Director''': ...and the chest protector!
-->''(Rhoda angrily bites his hand)''
-->'''Director''': And also Dr. Dondelhoit for the ''rabies shot''!
* CrossOver: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRmoXO1Yg6s One "Family" sketch]] had Eunice be a contestant on ''Series/TheGongShow'', with appearances by Chuck Barris, [[Series/{{MASH}} Jamie Farr]], Jaye P. Morgan, and '''Allen Ludden'''. This is especially brilliant when you remember that Ludden's wife (now-widow) is Creator/BettyWhite, who played Eunice's sister Ellen in the "Family" sketches and on ''MamasFamily''.
** [[http://pull.imgfave.netdna-cdn.com/image_cache/1318644377600457.jpg This]] CrossOverPunchline, thanks to NamesTheSame.
** One episode saw [=McLean=] Stevenson reprise his role as [[Series/{{MASH}} Henry Blake]]. No word on whether he was McLeaned from this series as well.
** In the sketch "Mission: Improbable!", Flip Wilson's character Brainy employs [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnaK65AQaYg&feature=player_detailpage#t=141s a certain female guise]].
* CurtainClothing: The famous parody of the "curtain dress" from ''GoneWithTheWind'', where Starlet walks down the stairs in a gown made from her velvet curtains...with the 6-foot long curtain rod still attached across her back.
-->'''Rat''': That gown is gorgeous.
-->'''Starlet''': Thank you, I saw it in the window and just couldn't resist it.
* DisasterMovie: [[ParodiedTrope Parodied]] in several sketches, most notably [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-IvqubH4lY "Disaster '75"]], which skewers the ''Film/{{Airport}}'' series ''six years'' before ''Film/{{Airplane}}''.
** In addition, "Disaster '75" features Nora Desmond and her servant Max among the passengers (alluding to [[Film/SunsetBoulevard Gloria Swanson's]] role in ''[[Film/{{Airport}} Airport 1975]]'') in a mild CrisisCrossover.
* DysfunctionalFamily: [[MamasFamily Take a wild guess]].
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: "The Family". Any ''MamasFamily'' fans unfamiliar with the sketches are likely to be surprised at Mama's nastier demeanor (though it did continue into ''MamasFamily'''s early episodes) and much of the focus being on Eunice, who's presented here as more sympathetic. Also, in addition to Eunice and Ellen, a number of other Harper children are introduced, but [[ChuckCunninghamSyndrome are never seen again]], most notably Philip Harper (Roddy [=McDowall=]), who was originally the focus of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dciOI-Ok23Q the first sketch]].
* EndingTheme: Sung by Carol herself.
* TheEponymousShow
* FancyDinner: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waaxKna3h7Y A notable example]] being with the Harper-Higgins. Needless to say, HilarityEnsues.
* FollowTheLeader: When CBS aired the reunion special, it proved to be a stunning ratings success. CBS and other networks promptly went out of their way to produce show retrospectives to cash in.
* FunnyForeigner: Mr. Tudball (and by extension Mrs. Tudball).
* GetAHoldOfYourselfMan: "Went With the Wind" has a running gag in which Sissy panics about everything, until Starlet slaps her. Eventually, Sissy slaps ''herself'' to calm down. [[spoiler:At the end of the sketch, ''Starlet'' starts panicking, until Sissy slaps her.]]
* GirlScoutsAreEvil: A recurring sketch with Carol playing a girl scout who blackmails people into buying lots of cookies. One of those people being played by ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaZoJLkWcBw Vincent Price]]''.
* GroinAttack: In the "Lost in the Sahara" sketch, Tim Conway goes mad from the heat, takes out a gun and shoots Harvey Korman. Conway then sticks the gun down the front of his pants.... it goes off.
* IdenticalStranger: During one Q&A intro, one audience member pointed out another audience member who bore an uncanny resemblance to Bea Arthur.
* IneptTalentShowContestant: As mentioned, Eunice has a spot on ''Series/TheGongShow'' and is so convinced that her singing talent will be her ticket away from her family that she does a lot of bridge-burning before the show. ''Bad'' idea.
* IWasQuiteALooker: [[Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs Snow White]] and PrinceCharming in a sketch set 15 years after their fairy tale ended. Snow White in particular got demoted from the Fairest Of Them All to #906.
-->'''Snow White:''' Oh, well that's up three over last week's chart!
-->'''Magic Mirror:''' That's because The Literature/ThreeLittlePigs died.
* JiggleShow: mainly limited to Bernadette Peters singing in anything low-cut.
* KneelPushTrip: A sketch had Carol playing [[HMTheQueen Queen Elizabeth II]] trying to reward a very picky soldier. He didn't want a medal, he wanted a pony. When he specified he wanted a blue pony, Elizabeth (after having a royal fit) whispered something to Prince Philip, who then casually walked behind the soldier [[NotSoInnocentWhistle while whistling "Rule Brittania".]] Philip then knelt so Elizabeth could push the annoying soldier.
* MemeticHandGesture: Carol's ear tug.
* MockCousteau: The "Jacques Too Close'' sketch staring Harvey Korman and Tim Conway.
* NiceCharacterMeanActor: Played straight in-universe by ShirleyTemple [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed parody]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6E5SFhaDO4 Rhoda Dimple]].
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed
* OhCrap: Surprisingly [[AvertedTrope averted]] in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjtISXAWsy8#t=31s "The Little Foxies"]], a takeoff on ''The Little Foxes''. Burnett's character, having supposedly become the last-surviving heir of her family, opens her late husband's safe, but instead of riches she's encountered by ''a loaded cannon''. The [[BreakingTheFourthWall resulting]] deadpan [[ReactionShot reaction]] is far more within MyGodYouAreSerious territory.
* OnceASeason: Carol would always have her good luck charm in the form of Jim Nabors host the first episode of each season.
** Hilariously [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmbhUN3ZXqU#t=3m14s the final episode of the series]]. Each of the archived clips from Nabors-guested episodes would comprise of Carol introducing Jim, and then cut to a mere still frame of him. Simply put, [[SuburbanCommando Jim Nabors was frozen today]].
*** [[TheSimpsons "Very well. Begin the thawing of Jim Nabors."]]
* PimpedOutDress: [[RhymesOnADime Take a wild guess]].
* PlayingGertrude: Vicki Lawrence, [[MamasFamily most famously]]. Even better, a ''{{Hamlet}}'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jp1ErdFLTbY musical sketch]] had her ''literally'' play this trope.
* PoliticianGuestStar: [[HistoryMarchesOn Then-Governor]] of UsefulNotes/{{California}} RonaldReagan appeared onstage during one episode's question period.
* PrecisionFStrike: What finally caused everyone to crack up in the famous "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qqE_WmagjY Elephant Story]]" blooper.
-->'''Vicki Lawrence:''' You sure that little asshole's through?
* SelfDeprecation: The ending to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rv4E-eP39Lw#t=412s this sketch]].
* ShotgunWedding: Eunice and Ed are implied to have had this:
-->'''Eunice''': ''(to Ed)'' It is time we satisfied [Mama's] curiosity! Go on! Go on, just tell her what happened that night that I went with you and then later on, we ''had'' to get married!
-->'''Mama''': I get your drift, Eunice. ''Welcome to the club''.
* SignificantMonogram: At least one version of the AnimatedCreditsOpening took the CBS in "From CBS Television City" and used the letters to write ''The '''C'''arol '''B'''urnett '''S'''how''.
* SoapOpera: [[ParodiedTrope Parodied]] in the recurring sketch "As the Stomach Turns".
* SpinOff: As mentioned, ''MamasFamily''.
* SplitScreenPhoneCall: Done masterfully in the "Hotel Operator" sketch, where Carol fields a series of exchanges between several hotel guests and a local tart (Vicki). Veers into TheOperatorsMustBeCrazy as Carol gets intrigued.
* StopTrick: In one sketch, Carol Burnett plays a bored housewife trying to crash a party next door. She goes into the bedroom in a bathrobe and curlers, and seconds later emerges completely dressed, coiffed, and made-up. Slightly averted in that the camera angle did change, but the effect was the same.
* SyndicationTitle: ''Carol Burnett and Friends'', which edited the shows down to a half-hour by omitting the musical numbers.
* TilMurderDoUsPart: Played straight and/or parodied in several sketches, including [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRn6Ics4rEc this one]]. Most of these attempts go as well as you'd expect.
* TitleDrop: Twice in the ''Gone With the Wind'' parody.
-->'''Brashley:''' It went with the wind.
-->'''Starlet:''' What wind?
-->''(SuspiciouslySimilarSong to the "Tara theme" from ''GWTW'' plays)''
-->'''Starlet:''' Well, that's pretty, but it doesn't answer my question!
** The second instance occurs between Rat and Sissy.
* UnlimitedWardrobe
* UnsettlingGenderReveal: The ending to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDOfVExTLQM this sketch]].
* VarietyShow
* WaxingLyrical: A few characters in "Went With the Wind" quote folk songs. One instance, in which Rat recites "Dixie", gets lampshaded when Sissy suggests setting those words to music.
* WhiteDwarfStarlet: Nora Desmond, Carol's spoof of ''Film/SunsetBoulevard'''s Norma Desmond.
* WorldOfHam: "Went With the Wind".
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