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Carol Burnett is the master of playing drunk in this exclusive clip

The key to playing a realistic drunk, actors are told, is to do as the truly drunk do: Pretend like you’re sober, but fail miserably. That’s exactly what the star of The Carol Burnett Show does in the video above, a 180-proof performance helped along by the fact that acting like she’s not “smeeyashed” is the whole premise of the sketch. But even if her character wasn’t trying to hide her slurred speech, rag-doll posture, and desire to make foghorn noises with a champagne bottle, the actor would still carry the scene with inebriated aplomb, fully committing to the act as only Carol Burnett can. It just so happens that this time, she’s setting a standard for drunken masters to come, like Leslie Knope, Frank and Sadie Doyle, and everyone on New Girl.

Not seen in this clip: Harvey Korman cracking up at his co-stars’ antics, though that’s sure to be found elsewhere in The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes, coming soon (and available for presale) from Time Life. Gathering 45 episodes of the variety show that haven’t been seen since their initial broadcast, the set also includes interviews with Burnett acolytes like Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and Steve Carell. There’s no word on whether or not that interview features Poehler and Burnett going halfsies on a bottle of Snork Juice—but we can dream, can’t we?


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