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A Special Evening with Carol Burnett

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Directed by
Dave Powers

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Production code

Episode no.
Season 11 Episode 24 (278th overall)

Written by
Roger Beatty Rick Hawkins Liz Sage Robert Illes James Stein Franelle Silver Larry Siegel Tim Conway Bill Richmond Gene Perret Dick Clair Jenna McMahon Ed Simmons Buz Kohan Bill Angelos Gail Parent Tom Patchett Jay Tarses Stan Burns Mike Marmer Artie Julian Gary Belkin Arnie Rosen Ken Welch Mitzie Welch

Original air date
March 29, 1978 (1978-03-29)

"A Special Evening with Carol Burnett" is the two-hour series finale of the American variety/sketch comedy television show The Carol Burnett Show. It is the 278th overall episode of the show and the 24th episode of the eleventh and final season which aired on Wednesday, March 29, 1978 from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. EST on CBS.

The episode, directed by Dave Powers and written by a large number of collaborators, was videotaped in front of a live audience on Saint Patrick's Day, March 17, 1978 on Stage 33 at CBS Television City in Hollywood, California.


Carol Burnett, Tim Conway and Vicki Lawrence reminisce about past shows and introduce excerpts spanning eleven seasons of The Carol Burnett Show which include the following hightlights: Burnett does her Tarzan yell and performs in duets with such guests as Liza Minnelli, Ella Fitzgerald, Perry Como, Ray Charles, Bing Crosby, Rock Hudson, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé; in comic skits, Burt Reynolds sings "As Time Goes By"; Harvey Korman sings "They Call the Wind Maria"; and Burnett sings "Come Rain or Come Shine," "The Lady Is a Tramp," and "You Light Up My Life"; movie parodies include The African Queen and The Postman Always Rings Twice.

Additional highlights include Lawrence singing "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" and a spoof of a country-and-western song; Bing Crosby and Bob Hope appear in a restaurant skit; Conway performs the role of a sports commentator in his very first sketch on the series; a Columbo parody is featured and Dick Van Dyke appears in a comic sketch; a series of bloopers and outtakes are included from previous shows featuring the regular cast.

Also featured is a final sketch of "The Family" with Burnett and Lawrence as Eunice and Mama where Eunice consults a psychiatrist (played by Craig Richard Nelson), as well as a final sketch of "Mrs. Wiggins" with Burnett and Conway as Mrs. Wiggins and Mr. Tudball in which Mr. Tudball is moving his office to a new location but does not give Mrs. Wiggins the new address. (Although these were the final sketches of The Carol Burnett Show, the characters would end up being reprised one year later in a different four-week series, Carol Burnett & Company).

As a special surprise for Burnett, Conway introduces a piano player and when the curtain goes up, it is screen legend James Stewart playing the piano and singing "Ragtime Cowboy Joe". Burnett, a lifelong fan of Stewart's, breaks down in tears and expresses how much she admires and loves him, and Stewart reciprocates by saying: "Carol, I just feel so wonderful to be here, to be a part of all these millions of people to thank you for all the wonderful beautiful times you've given all of us, all of these eleven years. And I'm frankly speaking for all the millions of people".

In the final moments of the show, Burnett, as the Charwoman, is backstage and waves goodbye to the show's staff and celebrities from the audience as they silently walk by to wish her farewell. Harvey Korman, who was appearing as a guest, stops and gives her a kiss; Lawrence comes out of a stage door, signs Burnett's autograph book, kisses and hugs her and leaves; Conway comes down the stairs and does the same.

She then walks across the empty stage towards a sign reading "The Carol Burnett Show" and flips it over to read "Closed". Sitting on her Charwoman's bucket, Burnett talks about how hard it is to leave and why she decided to end the show despite a twelfth season renewal. She says it felt like the time to move on to do other things while the show was still doing well. She talks about the crew and each member of her cast and how much she loves and respects them. Finally, she thanks the audience and tearfully sings a soulful rendition of the show's closing theme-song "I'm So Glad We Had This Time Together". She blows a kiss to the audience, tugs at her ear one last time and says goodnight.


A Special Evening with Carol Burnett Wikipedia

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