‘The Cool Kids’ Star Vicki Lawrence Takes a Look Back on Her Life in Comedy (PHOTOS)

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NBC / GLOBE PHOTOS INC & Joel Warren/Disney Channel
THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW - Harvey Korman, Carol Burnett, Jim Nabors, Vicki Lawrence
Everett Collection

The Carol Burnett Show

(1967–78, CBS)

“I grew up on that show,” says Lawrence, who praises Burnett, costar Harvey Korman, the “beautifully written” sketches — and Bob Mackie’s famed out-there costumes. “You never knew what you were going to look like,” Lawrence says. Of the iconic cast, she adds, “They taught me so much.”


Mama’s Family

(1983–90, NBC and syndication)

Lawrence’s most popular Burnett Show character, the matriarch of a dysfunctional Southern family, eventually got her own sitcom. “The part was written for Carol, and it didn’t speak to her, so she gave it to me,” Lawrence recalls. The internet has made the character timeless: “Every generation knows her.”

25000 pyramid

The $25,000 Pyramid

(1975–91, ABC and syndication)

The expert zinger slinger was an ideal guest during the glory days of game shows. Fun fact: The funny lady took all the Pyramid versions (she made many appearances) very seriously, saying of herself and Burnett: “We’re gamers. We want to win!”

Joel Warren/DIsney Channel

Hannah Montana

(2006-11, Disney Channel)

Lawrence took another granny-get-your-fun role as Mamaw on the Miley Cyrus music-biz sitcom. “She was a great character — and they dressed her fun,” says the actress. Still, it is as Margaret that Lawrence feels she’s finally hit the genarian lottery. “We’re silly crazy old people,” she says, “and we’re having a blast.”

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That Vicki Lawrence first gained fame playing the brash, blue-haired Mama on The Carol Burnett Show, at age 24, is a testament to her talent — and the miracle of makeup!

Now the Emmy winner, 69, has come more into her own as feisty Margaret on The Cool Kids, Fox’s hit sitcom about lovable retirement community rebels. Margaret’s senior partners in crime include fabulous Sid (Leslie Jordan), spacey Charlie (Martin Mull) and cranky Hank (David Alan Grier), who romances a younger woman the group thinks is trying to con him in the December 7 episode.

One thing that’s on the up-and-up: Lawrence’s comedy legend cred. Click through the gallery above for the highlights.

The Cool Kids, 8:30/7:30c, Fox

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