Carol Burnett ‘Bombed’ on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ Before Elvis Presley

Carol Burnett reflected on the time she guest starred on “The Ed Sullivan Show” the same day as Elvis Presley.

As a guest on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” promoting the Apple TV+ series “Palm Royale,” the 90-year-old Burnett was prompted to look back at her legendary career in television. Since she guest starred on “The Ed Sullivan Show” seven times, Colbert asked Burnett if she ever interfaced with the “big names” that took the stage.

“I was on when Elvis was on, when he was in the army. And they did a whole big thing when he was in the army on the stage,” she said. “And they put me on first. Nobody wanted to see me. It was Elvis. ‘Where the hell is Elvis?’ I bombed. Oh my god, it was terrible. It was awful.”

Still, she had a pleasant interaction with the King of Rock and Roll despite the less-than-desirable sequence of their performances.

“I met him, he was very sweet,” she said. “And I got his autograph for my kid sister.”

Burnett went on to discuss how Presley served as an inspiration for her song “I Made a Fool of Myself Over John Foster Dulles,” named for the former U.S. Secretary of State, who she said was “dull” and “never smiled.”

She explained the genesis of the song: “I was doing a special material song that a friend of mine wrote called ‘I Made A Fool Of Myself Over John Foster Dulles.’ Everybody was going crazy over Elvis so he wrote this song about this young girl going crazy over John Foster Dulles.”

Burnett performed the song on “The Jack Paar Show” and repeated the performance so that Dulles himself could see it; she also took the act to “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Burnett’s love song for the cabinet member became the talk of the town, and Dulles was once asked what was going on between them on “Meet the Press.”

Burnett, who was watching him on television at the time, recalled his response: “I make it a policy never to discuss matters of the heart in public.”

Watch Burnett’s interview from “The Late Show” below.

First appeared on variety.com

Leave a Comment