Carol Burnett and Alan Alda worked together on this script in 1980

The movie went on to win some awards, too!

By the time The Carol Burnett Show wrapped production in 1978, nobody would've blamed Carol Burnett if she'd been burnt out on performing for a while. Her variety program lasted an astonishing eleven seasons, with Burnett hosting each of the show's 279 episodes. She would've surely been forgiven if she chose to step away from the spotlight for a time, but instead, she thrust herself right into the world of movies.

Granted, Carol Burnett had appeared in a few feature films while The Carol Burnett Show was still on the air. But her show's conclusion allowed her the time and energy to pursue movie roles head-on, and she was rewarded almost immediately. Her role in the TV movie Friendly Fire won her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Special. The film saw Burnett, known for her comedy timing and sensibility, stepping instead into a serious, dramatic role. The world took notice, and in the coming years, Burnett was offered more movie roles.

Burnett's close friend Alan Alda delivered to her a script in 1980 for a movie titled Four Seasons. Randy Taraborrelli's 1988 biography Laugh Till it Hurts: The Complete Life and Career of Carol Burnett details the creative process that took place long before either actor ever showed up on set.

Because Burnett and Alda were close, she felt empowered to speak her mind about some of her issues with the script's first draft. She was set to star as Kate, a Fortune magazine editor and the wife of Alda's character. Burnett read the initial version of the screenplay and spoke to Alda honestly about her thoughts.

"You really don't know where these people are coming from," she told him. "And Kate, well, she's too perfect. There isn't really anything here for me to play.

"I think there's a blandness about playing somebody who's too good to be true," Burnett explained. "It's tough to make it interesting. Somebody who's got a lot of problems gives you a lot more to dig for."

When Alda divulged that he based the character on his wife Arlene, Burnett implored him to inject the script with some of the real-life fights the couple may have had. She argued that the two characters should have arguments, and worked with Alda to rework the script. When the pair were finished, her character Kate had depth and felt more real.

Burnett was rewarded for her work with another award nomination as her performance contended for "Best Motion Picture Actress — Comedy or Musical" at the 1982 Golden Globe Awards.


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13 Comments

Runeshaper 3 months ago
Seems like Burnett made the right call 👍🏻👍🏻
Andybandit 3 months ago
Guess what. On March 29th, MASH is going back to the beginning again.
Fanofoldies Andybandit 3 months ago
What do you mean?
Adamtwelvia Fanofoldies 3 months ago
Due to the fact that the show airs 4 times a day, we go back to Season 1 March 29th
cperrynaples Adamtwelvia 2 months ago
Yep, would you believe 22 episodes a week when you add Sunday? This means it circles around about every 3 months!
Adamtwelvia cperrynaples 2 months ago
And if "Abyssinena, Henry" wins next month, we'll be seeing it twice this month!
Adamtwelvia cperrynaples 2 months ago
I meant wins the poll, we'll be seeing it twice next month
cperrynaples 3 months ago
Fun Fact: The 4 Seasons later became a series! Carol wasn't in it and Alan only made guest appearances!
Kramden62 cperrynaples 3 months ago
I remember the series. I think Jack Cruschen starred in it?
Kramden62 cperrynaples 2 months ago
My bad!

I just checked IMDB and it was Jack *Weston* who played Alan Alda's role on the "Four Seasons" TV series.
cperrynaples Kramden62 2 months ago
No, Jack Weston was a different character! He was the only actor to be in both the movie and the entire series! i'll always remember him in "The Bard" where Shakespeare was literally his ghost writer! Funny cameo from Burt Reynolds where he parodies Brando! It's a hour TZ that MeTV won't show! Find it on Paramount+!
Jon cperrynaples 21 days ago
MeTV did show the hour-long TZ episodes some years back but not lately. I wish the network would do what it does for Hitchcock and show its hour-long episodes on Sunday nights.
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