TV pioneer Norman Lear, creator of such shows as “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons,” got the Carol Burnett Award on Sunday, the Golden Globes’ most elevated honor explicitly for his medium at the 2021 function.
“It knocks me out to be introduced by Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, and to accept an award, this award in the name of Carol Burnett. I could not feel more blessed,” Lear said by video conference in accepting the award. “I am convinced that laughter adds time to one’s life, and nobody has made me laugh harder, nobody I owe more time to than Carol Burnett and the brilliant team that helped her realize her comedic genius.”
He said thanks to his very own long series colleagues, beginning with composing accomplices Ed Simmons and Bud Yorkin, and afterward family.
Lear’s TV profession started during the 1950s, when he and Simmons (the spouse of a cousin) composed improv shows for any semblance of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. In 1959, he made his first series, “The Deputy,” featuring Henry Fonda. In 1971, his landmark series, “All in the Family,” based on the British sitcom “Till Death Do Us Part,” debuted.
In no time before the ceremony, Lear posted a video offering his thanks for the honor, referencing Cecil B. DeMille honoree Jane Fonda and the night’s hosts, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler — and afterward referenced the controversy over the HFPA’s absence of Black individuals (supposedly none in at any rate 20 years): “As they will talk about tonight, it’s on everybody’s mind, that they’ve been existing all these years without so much as [one] … I’m eager to hear what they have to say about it and I know that the future will see us working together: Black, brown, white; all of us.”
Albeit “All in the Family” was a sitcom, it faced a portion of the day’s social issues, especially race relations, when such talk was amazingly uncommon for TV. It endure a low-appraised first season, generally because of basic approval, including a few Emmys, and proceeded to get one of the greatest evaluated shows of the decade. His hit arrangement, a large number of which additionally strikingly tended to social issues, included “Sanford and Son,” “Maude,” “The Jeffersons” and both the first form of “One Day at a Time” and its 2017 Latinx reboot in a vocation that is entering its eighth decade for the 98-year-old Lear.
The Carol Burnett Award, paradoxically, is just 3 years of age. Named for its first beneficiary in 2019, the honor is given for “outstanding contributions to television on or off the screen.” Lear surely qualifies.
In his acknowledgment, Lear said, “At close to 99, I can tell you I’ve never lived alone. I’ve never laughed alone. And that has as much to do with my being here today as anything else I know.”
In reporting Lear had been named the current year’s beneficiary, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. delivered an explanation saying, “Norman Lear is among the most prolific creators of this generation. His career has spanned the Golden Age and the streaming era. His progressive approach addressing controversial topics through humor prompted a cultural shift that allowed social and political issues to be reflected in television. His work revolutionized the industry.”
Toward the finish of his acceptance speech, Lear said thanks to Burnett once more, pulling at his ear cartilage in a reference to the goodnight gesture she would send her grandma at the end of every one of her shows, saying: “As I think about you and laughter and the joy of our parallel careers … so glad we had this time together.”