Here's why Lyle Waggoner left The Carol Burnett Show
"I got some of the best acting training from, no question about it, the best people in the business."
It's always hard to see a beloved actor leave a show, but most of the time, there's a pretty good reason for their departure. Whether it's to spend more time with family or to take part in a different series, we'll always miss them, but sometimes an actor just knows when it's time to leave.
This was especially true for Lyle Waggoner, who had enjoyed success on The Carol Burnett Show before deciding to leave after seven seasons. Waggoner explained his departure during an interview with the Lexington Herald-Leader. He prefaced with, "I really enjoyed working on The Carol Burnett Show." Before he commented, "But I had to leave for reasons of illness and fatigue — I got sick and tired of it."
He continued, "Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed the show. But my part was very limited and it was frustrating as an artist because I really had no place to go. It was really a big decision to make to leave, but after a while, I decided I had to get out and try."
However, Waggoner found that even after he left the show, its shadow continued to follow him as he tried to get new roles. He said, "It was kind of sticky there for a while after I left Carol's show because of the stereotyped image that I had." Ironically, the "stereotyped image" that Waggoner was referring to was actually well sought-after.
Waggoner said, "Producers didn't think of me in any terms other than the leading man." This might seem like a dream come true for an actor. However, he explained, "They [Producers] were hesitant to put me in character roles or let me play a heavy." Moreover, Waggoner also found himself limited because of his duty as the announcer for the series as well. He stated, "It took a while and a lot of beating around the bushes to convince people I could do something else other than station breaks. Since I wasn't established as a motion picture actor, or even an actor, I was known as the 'announcer' because they didn't realize that I was hired as an actor to play the part of the announcer on the show."
Still, Waggoner stated that he didn't regret his time on The Carol Burnett Show. He said, "I got some of the best acting training from, no question about it, the best people in the business."