The year was 1970. Television sets across America tuned into another hilarious episode of The Carol Burnett Show. And, as was typical for the show, it delivered a skit that had audiences in stitches: “As The Stomach Turns.” Originally aired during season 4, episode 26, this comical sketch vividly portrays Carol Burnett’s unparalleled ability to bring any character to life.
In this sketch, Carol Burnett plays Marion, a woman who lives in the fictional Canoga Falls. As the scene opens, Marion is seen chatting with the local handyman, who playfully delivers a bill for his seemingly simple services. But the comedic tone quickly shifts when Marion’s friend, Renee, visits. While Renee initially claims everything in her life is “hunky-dory,” it doesn’t take long for her to admit she has a problem. A familiar setting for those who sat around the TV every Saturday night in the 70s, with family and friends, eagerly awaiting Carol Burnett’s next laugh-out-loud moment.
One of the highlights of the skit is Burnett’s portrayal of Marion’s over-the-top melodrama. Upon hearing Renee’s problems, she swiftly outdoes her friend with her own exaggerated problems. Burnett’s impeccable comedic timing is evident, as are the hilarious contributions of other cast members.
Marion’s life takes several unexpected turns, with surprise visitors and revelations that keep the audience hooked. From the unexpected arrival of Marion’s long-lost daughter who’s now a Las Vegas showgirl to Lester Standish, the well-known actor looking for a room to rent for the summer, the unpredictable twists are both delightful and side-splitting.
Nostalgia pours in when Marion’s house is at risk of foreclosure by Felix Murdoch, the menacing banker. These moments reminded viewers of the golden era of comedy when satire was delivered with finesse and humor. The comedic climax builds as Felix starts repossessing everything, right down to Marion’s contact lenses.
Watching this skit, many from that era might remember the collective laughter from their living rooms. The show wasn’t just a TV program; it was an experience that bound families together. Many would recall a relative or friend mimicking Marion’s dramatic flair or repeating a line from the skit the next day, emphasizing how The Carol Burnett Show influenced popular culture.
Encouraging readers to revisit “As The Stomach Turns” is more than just a journey back to the golden age of television. It’s a reminder of how laughter, creativity, and sheer talent come together in the most delightful way. So, if you’re looking to relive those moments, or experience them for the first time, there’s a wave of nostalgia and hearty laughter waiting for you.