Carol Burnett Recalls Her ‘Awful’ Appearance Before Elvis on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’: ‘I Bombed’ | Video

“Nobody wanted to see me,” the “Palm Royale” actress admits on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert”

Following a long round of applause and partial standing ovation for her Tuesday night appearance on “The Late Show,” Carol Burnett recalled a less-than-stellar reception from earlier in her career.

In fact, the “Palm Royale” actress told Stephen Colbert about the time she bombed on “The Ed Sullivan Show” when she had to precede Elvis Presley.

Colbert prompted the memory when he asked her if she had met any big-name guests that had previously been in their seats.

“I was on when Elvis was on when he was in the army,” Burnett said. “They did a whole big thing when he was in the army on the stage 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.”

She did, however, get to meet the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, and she had nothing but praise for the “Blue Suede Shoes” singer. “I met him. He was very sweet, and I got his autograph for my kid sister,” Burnett shared.

Colbert then segued into a bit that Burnett did, inspired by Elvis. With the help of a friend who wrote the tune, Burnett sang a song called “I Made a Fool of Myself Over John Foster Dulles,” inspired by all the young women freaking out over Elvis.

“John Foster Dulles was our Secretary of State, aptly named. He was so dull. There was nothing there. I remember he wore this overcoat and a hat and never smiled or anything,” Burnett said. “Everybody was going crazy over Elvis so [my friend] wrote this song about this young girl going crazy over John Foster Dulles.”

Dulles’ press advisor David Waters then called Burnett and asked her to go back on “The Jack Paar Show” to perform the song again because Dulles didn’t catch it the first time around (She did it again on “The Ed Sullivan Show” as well).

“All hell broke loose. It was in front page news. Who is this girl singing about the Secretary of State?” Burnett added.

A week later, she was home watching “Meet the Press,” and at the end of the program, the guy said, “Mr. Secretary, would you tell us what’s going on between you and this girl that sings that love song about you?” the comedian recalled. “He said, ‘I make it a policy never to discuss matters of the heart in public. He did have a sense of humor.”

Watch the full segment, below:


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