The hilarious ‘Carol Burnett Show’ elephant story blooper


“The Carol Burnett Present” ran from 1967 to 1978 and has been touted as one of many greatest tv sequence of all time. The forged and visitor stars of the present included comedic greats corresponding to Tim Conway, Betty White, Steve Martin, Vicki Lawrence, Dick Van Dyke, Lyle Waggoner, Harvey Korman and others who went on to have lengthy, profitable comedy careers.

One agency rule Carol Burnett had on her present was that the actors keep in character. She felt it was particularly necessary to not break character throughout the “Household” scenes, wherein the characters Ed and Eunice Higgins (a married couple) and Mama (Eunice’s mom) would play host to varied colourful characters of their residence.

“I by no means needed to cease and do a retake, as a result of I like our present to be ‘dwell,’” she wrote in her memoir, as reported by Showbiz Cheat Sheet. “So when the ‘Household’ sketches got here alongside, I used to be adamant that we by no means break up in these scenes, as a result of Eunice, Ed, and Mama have been, in an odd approach, sacred to me. They have been actual individuals in actual conditions, a few of which have been as unhappy and pitiful as they have been humorous, and I didn’t need any of us to interrupt the fourth wall and be out of character.”

It was a noble purpose, and one which went proper out the window—with Burnett main the way in which—in a “Household” sketch throughout the present’s last season that ended with your entire forged rolling with laughter.

Within the scene, Eunice, Mama, Ed and Mickey (Ed’s worker on the ironmongery shop) are enjoying “Password” and the phrase they’re attempting to get their companions to guess is “ridiculous.” Eunice (performed by Carol Burnett) provides Mickey (performed by Tim Conway) the clue phrase “laughable,” and after pondering for a bit, he says “elephant.”

Eunice scolds him for his weird reply, then Conway launches right into a wild ad-libbed story a few circus elephant that goes on and on and on.

Burnett is the primary one to lose it. The forged barely retains it collectively via the sketch.

However that was only one take. Between takes, the director gave the actors a be aware: The elephant story can be totally different within the subsequent filming—and good luck.

The subsequent elephant story was even wilder than the primary, and Burnett and Dick Van Dyke (who was enjoying Ed) could not cease themselves from laughing. Conway himself breaks a few occasions, and even Vicki Lawrence (enjoying Mama), who famously by no means broke character, needed to disguise her face for a second.

Then, simply once they lastly acquired themselves composed and Burnett was capable of ship her line, “Go on, Mama,” Lawrence delivered probably the most completely timed a-bomb and the entire forged exploded:

So pleasant. And for an added bonus, watch Vicki Lawrence inform the story about how that scene took place:

See the total interview at


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