Vicki Lawrence Explains Why 'The Carol Burnett Show' Writers Walked Out Over Classic 'The Family' Sketch

February 27, 2015 5:20 PM

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One of most enduring characters to come out of "The Carol Burnett Show" is Mama, the cranky senior citizen who is never satisfied with her ambitious, emotional daughter Eunice. Fans loved the sketch so much that it spawned a made-for-TV movie and the spinoff "Mama's Family," a classic sitcom in its own right, but the character's genesis caused fireworks on the set of the legendary variety show.

Two of the writers on our show, they both came from dysfunctional families, [and] they wrote this beautiful homage to their crazy families and intended for Carol to be Mama. When she saw the final draft of the sketch, she said, "I want to be Eunice" -- very upsetting to the writers. Then she said, "...

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