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Carol Burnett opens up about ‘terrible, awful’ moment she performed before Elvis Presley

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Carol Burnett has opened up about one of the times she appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show on the same episode as Elvis Presley. At the time, Presley was in the army, and “they did a whole big thing” with him, Burnett said on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Carol Burnett has opened up about the ‘terrible, awful’ moment she performed before Elvis Presley (Photo by Robyn BECK / AFP, Elvis Presley Enterprises LLC/Handout via REUTERS)

Burnett, 90, said that since she went on before Presley, the audience was uninterested. They were waiting to see the singer.

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“Nobody wanted to see me,” she recalled. “‘Elvis! Where the hell is Elvis? We want to see Elvis!’ I bombed. Oh my God. It was terrible. It was awful.”

That night, Burnett got Presley’s autograph for her sister. “He was very sweet,” she said.

Carol Burnett recalls other appearances

Burnett recalled another terrible television appearance during her conversation with Colbert. She recalled how nervous she was to be a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. However, she decided that she would deliberately be the “world’s worst guest” without sharing her plan with the talk show host. Burnett, during the show, answered Carson’s questions with only “yes” or “no.”

“Of course, he caught on, and he started asking all kinds of interesting questions, to which I could just say, ‘Maybe. No,'” she said.

Burnett, while speaking of Presley, opened up about the time she performed a song on TV called I Made a Fool of Myself Over John Foster Dulles. The song was about a young girl who obsessed over the “dull” US secretary of state, in a similar way that many girls obsessed over Presley.

Burnett said that “all hell broke loose” after she performed the song on the Jack Paar and Ed Sullivan shows. She recalled how it “was front-page news” at the time.

Burnett, an Emmy winner, has had a career spanning over 60 years. Her most recent role is in Palm Royale, opposite Kristen Wiig. It is now streaming on Apple TV+.



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