It was hard to tell who was happier on Sunday night when Steve Carell introduced Carol Burnett for a lifetime achievement award at the 2019 Golden Globes, the Acton native or the 85-year-old television icon.
Carell was effusive in his praise for Burnett, and called presenting her with the first annual Carol Burnett Award “the greatest honor of my life.”
“First of all, she’s a comedy legend,” Carell said. “She’s the most decorated person of all time in the Golden Globes television category, the first woman to win both the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and the Kennedy Center Honor. She was the first woman to host a variety sketch show on TV — ‘The Carol Burnett Show’ — which ran for 11 years, averaged 30 million viewers a week, received 25 Emmy Awards, and, half a century later, remains the gold standard for television comedy.”
“But beyond that, Carol Burnett lives up to every expectation of who you hope Carol Burnett would be,” Carell continued. “She is funny, and gracious, and kind. She is without a doubt one of the most revered, respected, and well-liked people in show business. It’s been said that she makes Tom Hanks looks like an a******. I didn’t say it, but it has been said.”
In an interview backstage after her acceptance speech, Burnett answered questions with her arm wrapped around Carell as the actor dutifully held the microphone for her.
“It means the world,” Burnett said, when asked by a reporter what it meant to be able to make people laugh. “I mean, there’s nothing like it, right, Steve? When you hear that laughter, it’s the best feeling you can have.
“Well, maybe the second-best feeling you can have,” Burnett continued, gesturing at Carell.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Carell said with a laugh.
When asked who they planned to party with after the show, Burnett and Carell continued with the jokes.
“Oh, gosh, I don’t know, Bradley Cooper possibly?” Burnett said. “Lady Gaga.”
“The four of us are going for a hot-air balloon ride,” Carell added.
— Golden Globe Awards (@goldenglobes) January 7, 2019