For over a decade, legendary comedian Carol Burnett made America laugh on her hit CBS variety show.
On Wednesday night, Burnett and her gang of comedians reunited for a CBS special called, "The Carol Burnett Show: Let's Bump Up The Lights."
In it, Burnett and the cast - Harvey Korman, Tim Conway, Vicki Lawrence and Lyle Waggoner - take a look back at some of the no-holds-barred questions audience members used to ask them.
Burnett tells The Early Show co-anchor Rene Syler "We just sat around in director's chairs and took questions from the studio audience when we taped it two weeks ago. So the show is kind of 50/50. It's half clips from the old Q&As, questions and answers, and half live."
It's all impromptu, Burnett notes. When CBS asked to see a script for this, it got blank pages. "We just said, we're going to go talk to the audience and take questions from them. We're not going to script it because it never was scripted, Q&A. So we flew by the seat of our pants."
The question-and-answer clips are taken from sessions held moments before the taping of "The Carol Burnett Show" began. The responses from the cast were unrehearsed, spontaneous and often funny.
Looking back at the first Q&A show, she says, "I was so nervous because that was the first time I went out. See, usually, they have a comedian do a stand-up routine to warm up a studio audience. But we were afraid he might be funnier than our show, so they sent me out. I came out and I said, well, will anybody believe that there are no plants out there? And, also, I was terrified that nobody would raise their hand. And then, as I say, I was terrified that somebody would."
The show ran for 11 years. Asked what was her favorite part about it, Burnett says, "I had so many favorite parts. I loved doing Q&A to warm up the show. And then I loved doing Eunice and Ed and Mama. I thought they were hilariously dysfunctional. I loved doing Tug Ball and Mrs. Wiggins with Tim because he would do lines that I had never heard in rehearsal, when we were doing it on the air."
Would a show like, "The Carol Burnett Show" succeed now? "I think it could if the right people do it," Burnett says. "If the ratings are good, then the networks will start putting on more variety. But it takes one or two people to get it started."
"The Carol Burnett Show: Let's Bump Up The Lights" will air Wednesday, May 12, 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.