Carol Burnett Reminisces About Bombing on Late-Night TV on ‘Colbert’

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Legendary comedian recalls messing with Johnny Carson and a “terrible” visit to the Ed Sullivan Show with guest Elvis Presley

Carol Burnett reminisced about her misadventures in late-night television during the legendary comedian’s visit Tuesday to The Late Show.

Speaking to host Stephen Colbert, Burnett recalled a visit to Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show where she intentionally — and unbeknownst to Carson — pretended to be “the world’s worst guest,” answering his many questions with simply “yes” or “no.”

Burnett also appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show seven times, but one visit especially stood out: When she was a guest alongside Elvis Presley. “They put me on first… Nobody wanted to see me. ‘Elvis, where the hell is Elvis?’” Burnett said. “I bombed. Oh my god. It was terrible.”

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Although Burnett wasn’t the best lead-in, Presley didn’t hold it against her when she met the King backstage. “I met him. He was very sweet,” she said. “And I got his autograph for my kid sister.”

Later in the interview, Burnett — who currently appears on the Apple TV+ series Palm Royale — also talked about the difference between being a “comic” and a “comedic actor.”

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