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Carol Burnett Honored at Paley Center’s Women in Television Gala …

“I was told that comedy variety was a man’s game,” said Burnett. “Luckily I persisted, and because of the contract, they had to put us on the air even though they didn’t think we’d last a whole season.”

“God, it’s good to be at Planned Parenthood,” joked Julianna Margulies as she took the stage at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City for the Paley Center’s gala celebrating women in television on Wednesday night.

Margulies was one of the presenters at the Paley Honors, which chronicled the legacy of women on the small screen across disciplines, with special video montages from the Paley Center’s archives. “I could be anywhere and women stop me, and they stop me to let me know that the characters I’ve played changed their lives,” the actress said.

The evening’s honoree was Carol Burnett, who spoke about how proud she is of the distance women have come since her early days. “When I started out the only one that was really doing this kind of thing was Lucy, and she became a mentor of mine, and we became very, very close friends,” Burnett told The Hollywood Reporter.

“So now I’m so happy to see so many women in positions of power ,as executive producers and writers and creators and so forth. It’s so much better now, but it can always get better. I’ll be very happy when there are just as many women doing this as there are men,” Burnett said.

Burnett admitted that when she first landed the contract for her comedy variety hour, The Carol Burnett Show, in the 1960s, network executives were skeptical of her ability to do the job.

“I was told that comedy variety was a man’s game,” Burnett said. “And I

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