4 things you should know about Carol Burnett ahead of her groundbreaking Golden Globe award

Posted at 4:12 PM, Jan 06, 2019

Carol Burnett is an iconic comedian whose career spans more than six decades. And Sunday night, the legend will be honored with a Golden Globe named after her.

The Carol Burnett Award will be given annually to a person who "has made outstanding contributions to television on or off the screen," according to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. This is the Golden Globes' first-ever television special achievement award.

Burnett's long and illustrious career is justification enough for the award, but there's more to her story than meets the eye.

Here are four things you may not know about Burnett.

Her show wasn't just hilarious — it was revolutionary
It's hard to come by a person who isn't familiar with Burnett's spit-your-water-out funny "Gone with the Wind" sketch on "The Carol Burnett Show." But the show was much more than comedy. It was a breakthrough for female comedians everywhere.

She was the first woman ever to host a variety show of this kind. And the gamble paid off. The show snagged eight Golden Globe awards and 25 Emmy Awards in its 11-season run, making it one of the most awarded TV shows of all time.

Speaking of awards ... she has a lot
In addition to the aforementioned awards for "The Carol Burnett Show," the comedian also holds an impressive array of other achievements. She's won a litany of Golden Globe and Emmy awards outside of her work on the variety show, the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, People's Choice Awards, a lifetime achievement award from the Screen Actors Guild, she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and more .

She's just as funny in real life as on TV
Burnett is well-known for her iconic Tarzan yell. So well-known, in fact, she once used it as a form of identification at a posh store. And a hilarious tale was born.

While shopping for stockings at Bergdorf Goodmans in New York, Burnett realized she had the wrong wallet and didn't have her ID, cash or credit cards. So she asked if she could pay for the stockings with a check. The sales clerk and manager agreed, and were familiar with who Burnett was — but they requested she do the Tarzan yell.

“So I did the yell, and then right behind the lady, the exit door burst open and there was security guard with a gun,” Burnett said in an interview . “Now I only do the yell in controlled circumstances.”

She's a philanthropist
Burnett didn't just make a bunch of money and hoard it all. She has several scholarships and foundations in her name, including the Carol Burnett Fund for Responsible Journalism at the University of Hawaii, the Carol Burnett Musical Theater Competition at the University of California, Los Angeles, the Carol Burnett Award in the Performing Arts at Emerson College and the Carol Burnett Scholarship at Mercy College in New York.

She also established the Carrie Hamilton Foundation in honor of her late daughter.

The 76th annual Golden Globe Awards are airing on NBC on Sunday, Jan. 6, at 8 p.m. EST.