Cher, Katy Perry, Charlize Theron & More Stars Surprise Carol Burnett For Her 90th Birthday TV Special

Cher, Katy Perry, Charlize Theron & More Stars Surprise Carol Burnett For Her 90th Birthday TV Special
Apr 2023

Carol Burnett inspired generations of actors and comedians with her groundbreaking career and many of them were on hand to celebrate it during the Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter + Love special airing on Wednesday, April 26. From icons like Cher to world leaders like Joe Biden, the night was filled with glitterati doing their best to pay tribute to Carol and to -- as Steve Carell hilariously called it -- "lay it on really thick."

"We are here to celebrate the hilarious, the incredible, one-of-a-kind, no-one-like-her Carol Burnett," the 40 Year Old Virgin star said to kick off the show. Then he addressed Carol, who was sitting beside her BFF Julie Andrews in the audience. "I know that you're a very humble person and that this all might be difficult for you, and really, all I can say is, ya gotta brace yourself 'cause we are about to lay it on really thick."

From that point on, it was a cavalcade of celebrities professing their love and admiration for Carol, who changed the landscape of television by becoming the first female to lead a comedy variety show with the debut of The Carol Burnett Show in 1967, which collected 25 Emmys over its 11-year run. Sheryl Lee Ralph thanked Carol for her representation of Black talent on the variety show, Lily Tomlin recalled Carol complimenting her in her first Hollywood outing and Julie, the Sound of Music icon, dished on her lifelong friendship with the comedian.

"I cannot believe it's been 62 years since we first met, chum," Julie told Carol. "We've gone from land lines to cell phones to text... and oh how we've laughed." She added, "We've shared confidences so many times. I've called you when times were rough and I needed a shoulder to cry on and I couldn't imagine anywhere else I'd rather be tonight. And I love you very much."

Cher showed up looking like a gold statuette in a Bob Mackie gown as she recalled how Carol supported her early in her career. Then the likes of Vicki Lawrence, Charlize Theron, Jane Lynch, Jimmy Fallon, Dolly Parton, Sofia Vergara, Susan Lucci, Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Hader celebrated Carol with sweet messages. Marisa Tomei even dressed up as one of Carol's iconic characters, Mrs. Wiggins, for a hilarious tribute. And Kristen Wiig, Laura Dern & Alison Janney, who worked with Carol on the new show Palm Royale, joked that they are all roommates now and that Carol takes care of them. "Just financially," Kristen cracked.

To make the evening that much more special and official, President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden sent their love with a pre-recorded message. "You've inspired a generation," they said. "We love you, kid, you are a national treasure."

With music being a very important part of Carol's legacy with The Carol Burnett Show, she was also serenaded by the best of the best during the special. Kristin Chenoweth and Bernadette Peters belted out some of Carol's most beloved tunes, while Katy Perry closed the show with the iconic The Carol Burnett Show sign-off song "So Long."

As Katy sat down next to Carol in the audience towards the end of the tune, Carol sang the last line, turned to the camera and said, "Thank you everybody!" The legendary comedian then tugged her ear.