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January 12th, 2009
My Comedian Hero
Carol Burnett

Carol Burnett: Oh.  I loved The Sid Caesar Show.  We, I never watched, never got the chance really to watch Your Show of Shows that much because I was going to UCLA at the time and we’d just gotten a television set and I had homework, I had all kinds of projects that I was doing at school.  So, when I got to New York, I moved into a place called the Rehearsal Club, which Stage Door was written about.  It housed 25 young ladies interested in the theatre and had a, we had a, a woman who ran the club.  It was all very proper.  Young men couldn’t go anywhere beyond the parlor.  And I started on Saturday nights to watch Sid, because Sid Caesar Hour, I guess it was called that.  And that was when Nanette Fabray was on.  And of course Howie and Carl.  And I think Pat Carroll.  And I just couldn’t get over how clever everything looked and how funny, how funny they all were.  And, then I met a, a fella that we’d always go to the Stage Delicatessen and get coffee [COUGHS.] And his name was Milt Kingman and he was a wonderful comic.  And he stood in for Sid Caesar when they were blocking before they were gonna go live on Saturday nights.  And we became friends and he said, “Would you like to come see a rehearsal?” I said, “Absolutely.” And so he snuck me and, and I sat up in the balcony and I watched, watched Milt stand in for him and then Sid would do… looking at the camera shots.  And then he’d come out and then they’d do this rehearsal with all of ‘em.  And then I’d run home, and that would be at 5 o’clock and then at 8 o’clock the show would go on.  And I could see where’d they’d made changes and done different things and how they had tweaked it and made it better. And My Fair Lady opened and two tickets were donated to the rehearsal club and I won the lottery.  And so I won two tickets to My Fair Lady on a Saturday night.  I never told this to Julie.  Anyway, I gave the tickets to my roommate because I said, “Fair Lady’s gonna be running for a hundred years.  I know I’ll get to see it but Sid Caesar is live and I’ll never see that again and I want to see what they’re doing.”

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