Ranked among the 50 Greatest Shows of all Time (no. 16) in 2002 and winner of 20 Prime Time Emmy Awards, The Carol Burnett Show is a sketch comedy TV show which enchanted viewers from September 1967 to March 1978.

The stars in this show became household names thanks to some memorable sketches such as ‘As the Stomach Turns’ (which is a parody of ‘As the World Turns’) and ‘Went with the Wind’ (a parody of ‘Gone with the Wind’). There is a frequently repeated segment – ‘Kitchen Commercials’ – in which many of the well known commercials of the time are parodied in the funniest way. They are what used to drive the Burnett woman up the walls. There were highly recognized starts that entered the show for different episodes and that was again an element that made the whole thing really special.

Another noticeable feature of the show is the question and answer segment in which Carol Burnet involved the audience in the show. It was around three minutes at the beginning of each episode and members of the audience were picked randomly to ask questions of their won. There was a lot of informality which made the American public feel at ease every time and very excited about the outcome of this innovative segment of the show.

It is a well known fact that American people are easily excited by funny things and this show has all the necessary ingredients for them to laugh out loud and have great fun with each and every episode. Apart from the American audience, this show gained a lot of fans outside the Sates thanks to the DVDs available for purchase in many countries worldwide. Though it is a bit old fashioned in the eyes of the third millennium viewer, there are many people who still enjoy the kind of fun that the Carol Burnet show used to offer to TV viewers at the time and some of them have the complete collection of episodes at home for repeated delight together with younger members of the family. Things that are so witty and funny have a good chance to live for ever.

The final theme song is still on the lips of those who were keen on the show and the final gesture that Carol did (tugging her ear for her Grandma to notice) is also something to remember. Even after her grandmother’s death, Carol continued with the gesture in her memory.

Becker is the widely popular American TV series that used to enchant viewers in and outside the States between 1998 and 2004. It is a truly entertaining sit com set in the Bronx and starring Ted Danson as Dr. Becker. John Becker operates a small practice and at first sight he is nothing but a misanthrope, constantly annoyed by everything around him: patients, friends of patients, co-workers, his own friends, in a few word – annoyed by the entire world. However, his patients are really loyal to the man because deep inside there is a big heart. He actually goes the extra mile to ensure the safety of his patients and everything he does contradicts his misanthropic appearance.

Throughout the six seasons of the series, a wide variety of interesting characters joined the team of great characters that appeared at the beginning of series 1. Yet, let us deal with Becker’s team of medical people first.

John Becker is a Harvard graduate which means that his expertise is top notch. There is no doubt about that. However, the way he behaves to the world is rather odd. He hates flickering street lights, his neighbours, the couple above his apartment, who have really noisy sex, and is not free of superstitions, in spite of the profession he has embraced. He strongly believes that midgets are bad luck to him. Stingy as he is, he has been through two marriages and as many divorces and has a problem with the IRS. He does not believe in God (but is certain that God is out there to get him!) or political correctness. So far everything looks negative. The bright side is that Becker has moments of kindness and spends a lot of time with his cases. He accepts all sorts of gifts from the patients that have no money to pay him.

Margaret Wyborn, played by Hattie Winston, Becker’s nurse and office manager is among the few people who can really tolerate the doctor. He is a Christian and a believer whose marriage is on the rocks. She looks like the most level-headed character in the series and really stubborn.

Linda (Shawnee Smith) works as a nurse aid at the doctor’s office only to be independent from her father. As Becker owes her father a favour, he keeps her around. Though her help is sometimes questionable, she has moments when her contribution is of outstanding importance. Yet, she doesn’t look very reliable on the whole. She comes from a wealthy family and has a fancy apartment in a good area. She speaks several foreign languages, which sometimes may come in handy at the hospital. She respects and admires Becker and can deal with him on his good days. Regina Kostas (Reggie), played by Terry Farrell, is the owner of a diner that she inherited from her late father. As former model, she feels stuck in that position at the diner but the tempestuous relationship she gets into with Dr. Becker brings a lot of salt and pepper into her life. It is the kind of love-hate relationships that are quote popular with sit com.

There are many other likable characters in the series, such as Jake Malinak, Becker’s best friend who works at the diner and is blind, or Bob, the annoying Reggie’s old high school classmate who is a sex addict, not to mention the ones that joined the team later in seasons 5 and 6. All in all, this is a wonderful sit come which any of you should look at only to see how weird and but lovable life can be sometimes.

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