Book Review – In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox – Carol Burnett

carol-burnett-bookGoodreads Synopsis:

Who but Carol Burnett herself has the timing, talent, and wit to pull back the curtain on the Emmy-Award winning show that made television history for eleven glorious seasons?
In Such Good Company delves into little-known stories of the guests, sketches and antics that made the show legendary, as well as some favorite tales too good not to relive again. Carol lays it all out for us, from the show’s original conception to its evolution into one of the most beloved primetime programs of its generation.

Written with all the charm and humor fans expect from a masterful entertainer like Carol Burnett, In Such Good Companyskillfully highlights the elements that made the show so successful in a competitive period when TV variety shows ruled the air waves. Putting the spotlight on everyone from her talented costars to her amazing guest stars—the most celebrated and popular entertainers of their day—Carol crafts a lively portrait of the talent and creativity that went into every episode.

Here are all the topics readers want to know more about, including:
• how the show almost didn’t air due to the misgivings of certain CBS vice presidents;
• how she discovered and hired Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner, and Tim Conway;
• anecdotes about guest stars and her close freindships with many of them, including Lucille Ball, Roddy Mcdowell, Jim Nabors, Bernadette Peters, Betty Grable, Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gorme, Gloria Swanson, Rita Hayworth, and Betty White;
• the people behind the scenes from Bob Mackie, her costume designer and partner in crime, to the wickedly funny cameraman who became a fixture during the show’s opening Q&A;
• and Carol’s takes on her favorite sketches and the unpredictable moments that took both the cast and viewers by surprise.

This book is Carol’s love letter to a golden era in television history through the lens of her brilliant show which won no less than 25 Emmy Awards! Get the best seat in the house as she reminisces about the outrageous tales that made working on the show as much fun as watching it.

My Review:

I look back on my childhood and fondly remember watching the Carol Burnett show with my family. It was on during the golden age of variety shows. Ms. Burnett acknowledges this in her book. The show had a 23 piece orchestra, a full dance company, and rehearsed and taped 20+ one hour shows in a season without working ungodly hours. This is truly an indication of the talent involved.

In this book, Carol not only discusses the core cast mates, Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner and Tim Conway, but she also gives a detailed description of her interactions with some of her famous guest stars and each sketch. Additionally, she discusses her staff members and gives them recognition while downplaying her own significant contributions.

For the fan of her show, this book is a virtual almanac of the sketches during the run of her show. There are detailed discussions and even lists of guest stars in the appendix. If you’re not a fan, you will get good insight into this true giant of comedy and television and have a greater indication of her talent and how it prevailed in an era when men ruled the television landscape.

Overall, this was an enjoyable book. I give it four and a half pizzas out of five only because there is some repetition that could have easily been edited out.



3 thoughts on “Book Review – In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox – Carol Burnett

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