It's hard to believe there was ever a time when Carol Burnett, a legend of the stage and screen, was a novice at anything, especially physical comedy. But a long time ago, way before The Carol Burnett Show, Burnett was not an expert when it came to pulling off stunts. "I taught myself to do stunts. No one ever taught me to do it and I never broke a bone. A few bruises," she told Conan O'Brien on his show Wednesday.
She was literally thrown right into teaching herself when she appeared on the The Garry Moore Show in the early 1960s. "Back in the early covered wagon days," she joked. She was asked out to jump out a window in a funny scene about Jack and Jill. When they asked her if she knew how to do it, "I said 'Sure.' I wanted the gig!" She continued, "I jumped out of the window and I landed on a mattress. And I sat up and said, 'Aww thanks for the mattress.'" "You didn't know there would be a mattress there?" O'Brien exclaimed. Apparently, it never occurred to her to look out the window to see what she was jumping onto.
"What a lucky coincidence!" Andy Richter, O'Brien's co-host, joked.
Well we're glad they put the mattress down and that Burnett now looks before she leaps! The comedic legend will be honored with the SAG Life Achievement Award during the upcoming Screen Actors Guild Awards on Saturday, Jan. 30.
Watch Burnett talk about teaching herself to do stunts in the video above.