Carol Burnett Remembers Betty White Nailing the ‘Risqué Humor’ on ‘The Carol Burnett Show’

by Allison Hambrick

Comedy icon Carol Burnett reflected on Betty White’s ability to walk onto The Carol Burnett Show and nail any sketch she starred in.

“She’d come on my show, and if there was a tinge of risqué humor in one of our sketches, she’d roll with it and make it even funnier and add a little wink to show that she was thinking of something sexy,” Burnett told People in celebration of White’s 100th birthday. “She’s not a stand-up. She’s not a jokester. It’s the way she can twist a line to get a laugh.”

White appeared in three different episodes of The Carol Burnett Show. The two became lifelong friends after Burnett personally called White to invite her onto the show. From Mama’s Family to Hot in Cleveland, the duo shares many onscreen appearances.

“Carol’s comedic style is — there’s such a sense of fun in there,” White once said. “You get the feeling that she’s enjoying it maybe just as much, if not more, than you are. And that’s saying something.”

According to White, their bond goes beyond their comedy. After Burnett lost her daughter to cancer in 2002, White saw a change in the comedian.

“You were seeing a different Carol,” White explained. “Then, through her later life with the problems she had. The pain — you felt the pain because you loved her. Writing this show with her daughter and then losing her daughter so close.”

Additionally, White said that these shared tragedies solidified their friendship. She and Burnett support each other both professionally and personally, and it’s that ability to do both that made them best friends.

“Once in a while, Carol and I had lunch together,” White explained. “Once again, it’s what you don’t say that means more than what you do say. … When you see each other, you just hold a little tighter and try to be business as usual.”

Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock Praise Betty White

In addition, White’s costars from The Proposal gushed about the actress. Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock starred alongside White in the romantic comedy back in 2009.

“Timing isn’t easy in comedy, because you have to navigate other people’s timing. Betty pivots like I have never seen, making it look seamless,” Bullock said. “The rest of us just remain silent and pray we’re not cut out of the scene.”

For those of you who haven’t seen The Proposal, Bullock’s words certainly ring true. White stole every scene she was in, with a particularly memorable one including her “fitting” Bullock for a wedding gown. Reynolds shared Bullock’s positivity. The Deadpool star said he had been a fan of White’s for “as long as [he] can remember.”

“I heard that scripts for Golden Girls were only 35 pages, which makes sense because so many of the laughs come from Betty simply looking at her castmates,” Reynolds said.

Bullock also wished Betty White a happy birthday, with the hope that she celebrates her birthday “the same way she has celebrated every day of her life with humor, kindness and a vodka on ice, toasting to the fact that she’s a badass who has left us all in the dust.”

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