It’s hard for fans of The Carol Burnett Show to choose their favorite sketch, with hundreds of hilarious comedy bits to choose from. Perhaps one of the best-known sketches to this day is “Went With the Wind,” a parody of the Vivien Leigh-led historical drama, Gone With the Wind — but it almost didn’t happen.
“That was the genius of our costume designer, Bob Mackie,” Carol Burnett, 90, said in an exclusive look at “The Art of Kindness With Robert Peterpaul” podcast obtained by Closer. “He came up with that idea.”
In the sketch, Carol portrayed Starlett O’Hara, a take on Scarlett O’Hara, as she threw a party at her house that was full of drama, love triangles and an unforgettable dress made out of curtains.
“Originally, they wrote it so that I would be coming down the stairs with the draperies just hanging on me, and Bob thought, ‘That’s not that funny,’” she reflected in the upcoming podcast episode, set to be released on World Kindness Day, November 13, from the Broadway Podcast Network. “So when I went into costume fitting that week, he said, ‘I have an idea for the curtain dress.’”
The Emmy winner will never forget what it was like seeing the unconventional garment created by Bob for the first time.
“I walked in, and he had it on a mannequin,” Carol recalled. “I fell on the floor laughing. I said, ‘This is gonna be one of the greatest sight gags in the history of television.’ And it is. It’s in The Smithsonian.”
Carol and her talented castmates, including Vicki Lawrence, Harvey Korman, Lyle Waggoner and more, led the variety series from 1967 to 1978. The Tony winner continued to showcase her comedic prowess after the series came to an end with appearances in Mama’s Family, Mad About You and The Larry Sanders Show.
If she had a variety show on cable today, there’s one famous family Carol would love to parody.
“The Kardashians,” she said. “Really, what I loved spoofing more than anything were the old movies. Nanny and I would go to the movies when we could save our pennies. I grew up watching movies in the ‘40s and ‘50s. So, when I got my show, I would do take-offs on the classics like Mildred Pearce, and Gone With the Wind, and Double Indemnity, and The African Queen, and The Postman Always Rings Twice. It was a thrill for me to be able to do those take-offs.”