Sunday, November 24, 2013

Something Has Happened To Us

I left my MFA program's residency today. By the time I got where I was going, I crawled into bed fully dressed and slept for three hours. I woke up after dark and cursed about not having watched any Star Trek or blogged today. Then, as I was wolfing down a pre-Trek tray of fast food pasta at my sister-in-law's, her DVR switched over to PBS where she'd scheduled a recording of Carol Burnett's Mark Twain Prize ceremony.

I. Could. Not. Look. Away.

As a kid, I watched a ton of TV that was older than me--older than my parents even. From The Dick Van Dyke Show and Lucy to Taxi and Welcome Back, Kotter, I loved old sitcoms and variety shows. Lucky for me, I saw a lot of Carol Burnett. I loved her loud, brazen, carefree exuberance. She seemed so open and giving, so warm and honest. Tonight, hearing old stories about her from her closest friends, I remembered watching her--my mom always telling me little factoids she'd heard about Carol or the guest stars. So, after the ceremony was over, I went off by myself to YouTube some of the stuff I'd remembered.

Strangely enough, this is the first thing that came up:

Apparently, the Carol Burnett show had a revival in 1991 and it only lasted two months. (Ridiculous! I know!) I never saw it. But in that very short run, she did this Star Trek Parody. I love Genderbent Star Trek (and I love that that's even a thing) so even though I'm not 100% taken with this parody, I can't help but laugh when Kirk/Spock mash each other's boobs. As I was watching this segment I thought, "Man, Spock looks super familiar. Wait, is that Ishka???" Yep. It totally is. Andrea Martin, the first actress to play Moogie, is Spock.

When this finished up it occurred to me that basically every single actor who was anybody ended up on the first Carol Burnett show. "What about Star Trek people?" I asked google. Sure enough, I wasn't let down: 

Also, this exists: 

 Like a lot of girls with big dreams and too-loud laughs, Carol Burnett inspired me. I loved her and tonight, seeing her by chance before I queued up my Trek, I was reminded of just how wonderful she is. She seems to have been smart, bold, and kind in her choices--she is all the things I want to be. So, thank you, Ms. Burnett, for encouraging girls like me and for being a role model to generations of chicks with outrageous goals, out-sized personalities, or unabashed ambition. Live long and prosper. 


  1. The Carol Burnett Show was an institution at my house during the 70s. Between that and the Bugs Bunny/Roadrunner show, I maintained my weekly comedy requirements. Thanks for bringing it back for me. Loved the Trek link too. I wasn't aware that she covered it on her show.

  2. I love this post! I should have known Carol was connected to Stark Trek. She is brilliant! I so wanted to be her when I was watching her show. Dana

  3. Oh how I loved these send ups..............


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