The Carol Burnett Show (1967–1978)
9.2/10
13
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Episode #9.23 

Highlights include: guest Jack Klugman as a skeptic in a sketch about an amateur clairvoyant; a new employee is welcomed to an extremely cramped office; Carol does all the talking in a ... See full summary »

Director:

Dave Powers
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
Carol Burnett ... Hostess / Various Characters
Harvey Korman ... Various Characters
Vicki Lawrence ... Various Characters
Tim Conway ... Various Characters
Jack Klugman ... Himself
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Storyline

Highlights include: guest Jack Klugman as a skeptic in a sketch about an amateur clairvoyant; a new employee is welcomed to an extremely cramped office; Carol does all the talking in a sketch relating to a battle of the sexes; and a clumsy cat burglar (Tim) tries to steal the world's largest diamond. Written by W.B.

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Genres:

Comedy | Family

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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 March 1976 (USA) See more »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Jack Klugman guest stars in a rather average episode
20 September 2018 | by mdjedovicSee all my reviews

I was really very excited to learn Jack Klugman guest starred in this episode since he's one of my absolute favourite actors and a terrific comedy performer to boot, but I was disappointed to see him appear in a rather average Carol Burnett show and with little chance to shine.

The first sketch, after a very short and not particularly funny Q&A session on Vicki Lawrence's baby, is "The Small Office", a funny sight-gag sketch about three accountants working in an office so tiny, they have to climb over each other's desks to get out. Carol and Harvey play Florence and Edgar celebrating their 20th anniversary working together in the tiny office, Tim plays Mr Barker who is assigned to their office and has to find somewhere to sit while Carol and Harvey carry on working, seemingly oblivious to Tim's presence. Highlights include an extremely long files drawer which, when pulled out, goes over Harvey's head and Tim's nose getting stuck on Harvey's typewriter. This is the only sketch in the episode featuring both Tim and Harvey, but there are no crack-ups as they both seem to be playing straight men to the tiny office set.

Next up, Jack Klugman and Carol perform a comical song entitled "Where Were You" about a couple who spent last night waiting at different restaurants bickering over whose fault the mix-up was. Although the punchline is rather obvious, this bit works very well, mainly because Jack and Carol are completely in their element as the neurotic guy and the klutzy girl, respectively.

The big sketch of the episode is "The Clairvoyant" in which Jack and Carol play a married couple entertaining the wife's sister (played, of course, by Vicki) and her new boyfriend (Harvey) who is also a clairvoyant. Jack puts on a big show about being a skeptic, that is until one of Harvey's predictions irritates him. This is a strange sketch as it feels rather underwritten and crying for some of Tim Conway's improv antics. The whole thing is rather one-note and although the cast does a superb job (Jack is again terrific as the neurotic husband and Harvey is simply hilarious as the leisure-suit wearing clairvoyant) the whole thing falls flat mainly because it lacks a punchline. The whole thing feels like an outline for a much broader, funnier sketch. Big props to Bob Mackie, though, for picking out the most subtly hilarious outfit for the clairvoyant boyfriend.

Tim and Carol star in "I'll Do the Talking" in which Carol plays a woman trying to argue with her silent lover (Tim) who just sits there reading the papers. The premise is pretty old-hat and the sketch is a tad too long, but the punchline is very funny. Funnily enough, it was Tim who made me giggle the most during this one although he barely does anything but read the paper. This sketch is a very good demonstration of how funny he could be through nothing more than subtle little looks and micro-reactions. He was not just a showboat!

Tim gets another chance to shine in "Stop Grabbing My Jewels", a sort of a "Pink Panther" type bit of slapstick following a clumsy burglar trying to steal a valuable jewel from a museum. Tim does his best, but the problem is that the set is so cramped and limited that he has to repeat the same gags over and over again to pad out the runtime. There are a few clever moments in the sketch, but overall it's pretty forgettable and typical fare.

Finally, there's the musical number "The Country's in the Very Best of Hands". The whole thing is typically well choreographed with Vicki getting the chance to show-off her dance skills but I have to confess that the jokes either flew right by me or simply weren't there. For a political bit, this song lacks any sort of bite or commentary. My feet were a-tapping but I sure as heck wasn't laughing.

Episode 9.23 is pretty average stuff, with typically strong performances from the regulars and a great guest star but some sadly underwhelming writing. The sketches mostly felt unfinished with only the set-up but little or no development or punchlines. Also, although there were plenty of gags which made me giggle, I had no big laugh-out-loud moments which is strange to say about a Carol Burnett show.


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