Friday, August 14, 2015

This Time Together by Carol Burnett

If you were fortunate enough to have been of television watching age during the 70's and enjoyed the Carol Burnett Show, this memoir will certainly resonate with you.

This Time Together: laughter and reflection by Carol Burnett is a warm, engaging, anecdotal journey through the comedienne's life beginning with her early career and on into present time. In more recent years Burnett has had a stage show called Laughter and Reflection: A Conversation with Carol. It is essentially a question and answer session between her and the audience much like at the beginning of her weekly variety show. In this book, she tells many of the stories she relates at these shows. Although I read the print version of this book, I have to describe it as an auditory experience. You can hear her voice as you read. She has a confiding tone, as if you are listening to a friend's stories.

All her stories are well-represented: the Went-With-the-Wind dress, the day she fired Harvey Korman, her Tarzan yell (and how it saved her from being mugged and almost got her arrested), how she embarrassed herself in front of her idol Jimmy Stewart, and ultimately what has become of the "handsome Lyle Waggoner".

For more Carol, she has also written of her early years with her somewhat dysfunctional family in One More Time: a memoir- "Carol Burnett spent most of her childhood in a Depression-scarred Hollywood neighborhood, where she lived in a single-room apartment with her endearingly batty grandmother, Nanny, a hypochondriacal Christian Scientist with a buried past. The child of two alcoholic parents, Burnett presents a sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking coming-of-age: from her sadly hopeful mother, who was hooked on Tinseltown fantasy, to the first signs of her own comic gift; from happy weekends spent with her father, to their last tragic meeting in a public sanatorium. " - publisher

Burnett's sometime stage partner Julie Andrews has also written a book of her early years Home: a memoir of my early years - "In Home: A Memoir of My Early Years, Julie takes her readers on a warm, moving, and often humorous journey from a difficult upbringing in war-torn Britain to the brink of international stardom in America. Her memoir begins in 1935, when Julie was born to an aspiring vaudevillian mother and a teacher father, and takes readers to 1962, when Walt Disney himself saw her on Broadway and cast her as the world's most famous nanny." - publisher

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