On Sunday night at the 76th Golden Globes, Carol Burnett became the first recipient of the awards show’s lifetime achievement award. Much like the Globes’ Cecil B. DeMille award, which has been given on an annual basis since 1952, the newly christened Carol Burnett Award will recognize a performer for their career in the world of television.
“I’m really gobsmacked by this. Does this mean that I get to accept this every year?” Burnett joked to the gathered audience at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.
The iconic performer paid tribute to the childhood heroes of her youth and went through her work on “The Carol Burnett Show,” her groundbreaking sketch show that ran for 11 seasons from 1967 to 1978. She saluted co-stars Harvey Korman, Vickie Lawrence, Lye Waggoner, and Tim Conway, in addition to the “happy family” of the crew behind the scenes.
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“We’ve been given an opportunity to do something special,” Burnett said of her fellow colleagues in the TV industry. “This award is dedicated to all those who made my dreams come true and to all those out there who share the love I have for television and yearn to be part of this unique medium that’s been so good to me.” And of course, she closed out her speech with her trademark ear tug.
Before giving the award, Steve Carell came out to introduce Burnett’s honor. “She’s a comedy legend,” Carell said. “She is funny and gracious and kind. She is without a doubt one of the most revered, respected and well-liked people in show business. It has been said that she makes Tom Hanks look like an asshole.”
The montage preceding Burnett accepting her award was heavy on footage from the show, but also spanned her work in a number of different areas. (It also included her Burnett was also a frequent contributor to a handful of TV game shows — most recently she served as the host of “A Little Help with Carol Burnett,” a Netflix unscripted series in which Burnett helps get life advice from children.
During the course of her career, Burnett won five Golden Globes for “The Carol Burnett Show” in addition to six Emmys. Most recently, Burnett was nominated for an Emmy in 2009 her guest role on “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,” four years after winning for appearing on the sitcom “Mad About You.”