Greatest Fairytale Mashup Sketch on The Carol Burnett Show

Greatest Fairytale Mashup Sketch on The Carol Burnett Show

Before there were mixtapes and modern mashups, there was perhaps the greatest ever fairytale mashup sketch, which aired on The Carol Burnett Show in April 1969! As expected, it is one very wacky story, but it’s a fun blast from the past, nonetheless!

The characters include Cinderumblewhite, a wicked witch, a handsome prince, and a two-headed dragon that has been conjured up by the wicked witch. The story is narrated by a young Vicki Lawrence, who was just 20 at the time. 

Ms. Lawrence plays a little girl and wears white knee socks, an orange and white polka dot dress, and a big orange bow in her hair. She sits crossed-legged in an oversized carrot-colored chair and, before each scene, reads in rhyme the corresponding details.

Carol Burnett is Cinderumblewhite, who is a crazy combination of Cinderella, Rumplestiltskin, and Snow White, but there are definitely some elements of Rapunzel—not the Disney character, but the one featured in Grimms’ Fairy Tales. This episode is over 50 years old and predates any modern movie takes on the princess stories!

Cinderumblewhite loves animals, particularly the abundant supply of rabbits. However, she’s not a fan of the wicked witch, played by Imogene Coca. You may not recognize her in this skit, but Ms. Coca played Aunt Edna in National Lampoon’s Vacation. Aunt Edna spent a good part of the Griswold family vacation riding on top of the family’s station wagon after dying enroute to California. Anywho…

The witch is determined to keep Cinderumblewhite from meeting the handsome prince, who is played by the very handsome-in-real-life Robert Goulet. An actor and singer, he won a Grammy Award and a Tony Award. He worked on Broadway with Julie Andrews when he was cast as Sir Lancelot in Camelot, which might explain the reference to Ms. Andrews snuck into the sketch. 

The two-headed dragon, which really doesn’t look much like a dragon, is, of course, Lyle Waggoner and Harvey Korman. They, as the dragon, try to keep the prince from getting to Cinderumblewhite. 

See, the witch has a spell on the prince, and he has to find a princess prettier than him in order to break it. And, though he can’t tell beyond her golden locks, he hopes Cinderumblewhite will fit the bill!

When the pretty-faced prince splits the first dragon in half, the witch turns herself into a dragon to do the job. Interestingly, she looks completely different as a dragon. Apparently, there is a lot of diversity in the dragon world!

The prince slays dragon #2 and is ready to kiss the princess, but the fights have left him clueless as to how to scale the tower. Cinderumblewhite reminds the “dummy” to use the braids. He climbs up and leaves “C” with a nasty headache. (Sidenote: Excedrin was introduced in 1960.) There’s a final song, the mysterious kiss, and the prince is now a frog. So, did that break the spell or not? It’s really not clear, but it doesn’t matter. 

Cinderumblewhite’s headpiece may look like a child’s craft project gone wrong, but that’s totally not the point!   The tale is not even the point, but the telling of it through dance, jokes, and song is! From the glory days of variety shows, this hilarious segment is creative, clever, and silly.

 “My advice is wholesome. There is nothing devious or crooked in it.” Proverbs 8:8

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