Carol Burnett ‘Would Like to See Cleverness Come Back’ to TV Comedy

Carol Burnett SAG Awards
Getty Images

Legendary actress and comedian Carol Burnett is unhappy with the state of comedy on television.

The star of the classic variety series The Carol Burnett Show was honored on Saturday night with the Life Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild. While Burnett helped blaze a trail for women in comedy, she admitted that she was not a fan of many comedy series on today’s current landscape.

RELATED: Full List of 2016 SAG Award Winners

“I’m not a prude, I like edgy comedy, but I think there is room for just plain old happy belly laughs,” Burnett told reporters backstage. “Some of the sitcoms that I see make me feel like they might be being written by teenage boys in the locker room. It’s easy to get those kind of laughs, so I would like to see cleverness come back to television.”

Tina Fey Amy Poehler Carol Burnett SAG Awards 2016


Burnett cited the classic Saturday night sitcom lineup of All in the Family, M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Bob Newhart Show as being examples of what today’s series should aspire to be. “It was all so clever and still holds up today,” Burnett said. “There was no pandering to base instincts.”

When asked for her advice to young women trying to break into comedy, Burnett’s response was simple. “Just do it,” she said. “Women in comedy are much more respected now, there are more women, and I am really happy for that.”