Comedy duo Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will present Burnett with
the honor on Saturday at the Screen Actors Guild annual award
ceremony in Los Angeles.
"To use my friend Julie Andrews' comment, this is very British,
I was gobsmacked," Burnett said. "Gobsmacked, what a great,
great word that is and it really describes what I feel."
Burnett, 82, the Emmy-winning star of the 1960s and 1970s TV
sketch series "The Carol Burnett Show," is regarded as a pioneer
for women in comedy.
"I've been told that Amy (Schumer), and all of them, mention my
name but if I'd never been born, they'd be doing what they're
doing," Burnett said. "They would be where they are today. I
appreciate the trailblazer label but I don't think that's really
"The Carol Burnett Show" won 23 Emmy Awards and Burnett went on
to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Mark Twain
Prize for American Humor, and became a Kennedy Center honoree in
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More recently, she appeared in the TV series "Hawaii Five-O" and in
the 2014 Broadway production of "Love Letters."
Asked about her legacy, Burnett said she hoped to be remembered as
someone who had made people laugh.
"Well, I would hope they wouldn't say, 'Who was she?' I would hope
they say, 'She made me laugh. She made me feel good,'" Burnett said.
"That's the legacy one would want to leave - that you made people
feel good at a time when maybe they weren't feeling so good."
Burnett joins the ranks of other recent Screen Actors Guild lifetime
achievement honorees including Debbie Reynolds, Betty White and Dick
(Reporting By Reuters Television; Editing by Jill Serjeant and Bill
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