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  • Rosalie Tenseth

How My Idol Carol Burnett Got Me Grounded for a Week

I love Carol Burnett. I waited all week for Saturday night. That ensemble of actors made our whole family laugh so hard we cried. So when I saw her given the Carol Burnett award at the Golden Globes this weekend, I literally had tears in my eyes listening to her talk. My God...I'm actually crying now writing this. What is wrong with me? I guess it's because I really owe her so much. I'm in this business because of her. I learned how to make people laugh at a very young age. And she was really the first teacher for how to refine timing, really play and create characters. I grew up in a small town, so it's not like NYC or LA where where you could get top notch training as a kid. She was the training on Saturday nights. And if you wanted to learn how to diffuse tension in your house - comedy was queen. And I became a master. So, yeah...I owe her. But she also got me grounded for a week.


My mother has this thing about teeth. She's proud of hers. They are straight and beautiful and dammit we didn't have money for braces or the dentist. So this is how it was. Rule #1: no hitting anyone in the bathroom or driveway where you could fall on tile or concrete and potentially break or jilt a tooth like my father's infamous tether ball incident of '52 where he lost his 3 front teeth and his mother (Marvel) would only pay for 2 bigger front teeth to replace them cuz it was his own G*damned fault!


We called my brother Terrible Tom for a reason. He always had what my father used to call a "shit eatin' grin' on his face. 'Wipe that shit eatin' grin off that face before I do it for you' was a favorite saying of Wild Bill (our father who art now retired in AZ aka the self proclaimed Arizona Love Machine). I digress...


Terrible Tom did something terrible. I don't remember what. We can ask him (@smgamesafari Twitter) he's gonna have a smart ass answer. So I gave him one of those WWW elbow throws knocking him face first into the sink with his toothbrush in mouth and he screamed like a pig. Nurse Penny (Mom aka Babcia) comes running in swinging her signature dishrag and starts a full on inspection of Tom's teeth to make sure there were no chips, damage or potential orthodontic work needed stat while Tom put on a full drama performance only matched by Black Swan. My ass was grass and she was the lawnmower.


I had 2 choices after committing my cardinal sin. It was Sunday. I could either 1) Miss Carol Burnett next Saturday night or 2) be grounded for a week (no tv, no play dates, no candy) There was no way I was missing Carol Burnett. I took being grounded for a week. I have never laughed harder that Saturday night.


I Love you so much Carol Burnett. Congratulations on the Golden Globe honor.


Your fan, Rosalie Tenseth


ps. Sorry for the cursing...it's quoting Wild Bill.


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