Burnett to present interactive show

By Maura Wery

If you have ever had a burning question for Carol Burnett, then you’re about to get your chance to ask it. Burnett’s comedy show “Laughter and Reflection with Carol Burnett,” will be coming to McCain Auditorium at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Instead of doing stand-up style comedy, Burnett turns up the lights and starts an informal Q&A session with the audience.

For those who remember Burnett’s variety show, which ran for around 35 years on CBS, the Q&A format might sound familiar. 

“I used to do it on my show years ago,” Burnett said in a phone interview with The Mercury. She said it was a fun way for the audience to get to know her. Burnett said that the show is a conversation with the audience.

“We just say, ‘Let’s bump up the lights,’ and I call on people at random, and off we go,” Burnett said.

Burnett said that the questions tend to be the same from city to city. There are some definite favorites, such as “How did the Tarzan yell come about?” or “How did you find Vicky Lawrence?” or “Is Tim Conway really as funny in real life?” but Burnett admits there are some unique questions as well.

“There are always questions that I have no idea where they came from,” Burnett said. Burnett said that at the beginning of every show she runs a seven-minute video showing the questions from previous shows.

“Then the audiences are kind of primed for what the show is going to be about,” Burnett said.

Burnett said she is looking forward to coming to the area, though she has never been to Manhattan before. She has come to Kansas City and will stop there for a show before coming to the Little Apple.

Burnett’s visit coincides with K-State’s 150th anniversary.

Director of McCain Auditorium Todd Holmberg said Burnett was considered for many reasons. Holmberg wanted a big celebrity to cap off the 150th celebration, but other than that, Holmberg said Burnett herself really fits the theme of the celebration.

“She has cross-generational appeal,” Holmberg said. Holmberg said that the theme of K-State through generations will mix in well.

The format of the show was also appealing.

“One of K-State’s missions is to serve the community,” Holmberg said. “Her style of show is interactive and one-on-one with the community, and it’s going to get them involved.”

Holmberg said McCain is expecting a good turnout for Burnett, though tickets still are available.  Burnett said that she has just one goal for her show: laughs.

“That’s the main thing; I just hope they have a good time,” Burnett said. “So I encourage everyone to raise their hand and ask what they want to ask.”

Tickets are available from the McCain box office at (785) 532-6428.

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