‘M*A*S*H’ Star Alan Alda Once Dressed As a Mall Santa for a Duet With Carol Burnett

by Joe Rutland
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Back in the glory days of TV’s variety shows, M*A*S*H star Alan Alda appeared with legendary Carol Burnett in a holiday duet.

So, Alda was dressed as one of those mall Santas.

He appeared with her on The Carol Burnett Show, a Saturday night staple on CBS. We get some more details, Outsiders, in this article from MeTV.

It’s Christmas 1974 and both of them are part of Emmy-nominated programs.

On Dec. 21, 1974, Alda appeared as a guest on Burnett’s variety show.

‘M*A*S*H’ Star Leans Into Comedic Side While Sharing A Song With Burnett

In one sketch, Alda dresses up as Santa Claus and sings a duet with Carol, who is playing a flustered cashier.

The skit and song titled Nobody Does It Like Me has Alda realizing that a kid sitting in his lap chomps down on his hand.

“I’m bleeding!” Alda shouts. Burnett rushes through some frantic customers, closes the store, and apologizes while the people leave except fr Burnett and Alda.

Then, they begin to sing.

Burnett goes first, followed by the M*A*S*H star with his deep baritone. Alda starts removing layers of his Santa suit, including a big white pillow that poses as Santa’s belly full of jelly.

Alda, CBS Variety Show Host Had Worked Together Earlier In 1974

As the song ends, Burnett breaks into a smile at Alda.

When they reach the son’s final verse, Alda has his arms around Burnett’s waist. But she accidentally grazes his wound.

Alda pulls away as he’s flinching. Burnett gives his hurt hand a kiss and he pulls the bandage off to place it instead on her ring finger.

Earlier in 1974, the M*A*S*H star directed Burnett in a TV movie. As their careers continued to grow, their paths crossed.

Then, in 1981, Alda wrote, directed, and starred in the movie comedy The Four Seasons. Alda and Burnett were in the cast, along with Len Cariou, Sandy Dennis, Rita Moreno, Jack Weston, and Bess Armstrong. Yes, Outsiders, many years before Cariou became Blue Bloods character Henry Reagan he appeared in this film.

Here is the synopsis for this flick from IMDb: “Three couples vacation together every season. After one divorces, feelings of betrayal and more spawn criticisms of each other. But the things that keep them together are stronger than those which otherwise might pull them apart.”

The Carol Burnett Show ran from 1967-78 on CBS. At one point, that network had three solid ratings-winning shows scheduled back-to-back-to-back. They were The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, and Burnett’s variety show.

Alda would stay with M*A*S*H until its final season in 1983. It began running on CBS in 1972.

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