I grew up watching Carol Burnett on Saturday nights with my baby sitter. She was amazing: a singer, a comic, and an actress who loved to laugh and meet her audience before every show. She seemed so down-to-earth despite her stature at the time. So when Joan told Melissa that she wanted to track down Carol Burnett to appear at the function for Cooper’s school, I was thrilled. The fact that they were friends meant that it might actually happen, and usually Joan’s friends are willing to sign our releases after we’ve shot them because they know that Joan is loyal to her buddies and will look out for their best interests. But I became increasingly frustrated because Joan was unable to pin down Carol’s whereabouts to have a meeting with her. But one afternoon when Joan was running errands for Melissa, Joan got the call from Sabrina that Carol was having lunch in Westwood. We quickly called the restaurant to find out if they would let our cameras inside. Luckily, they were cool with it.
I had two camera crews shooting that day – one following Joan, and one with Melissa getting ready for a video shoot with a cosmetics firm for her website. I quickly made the choice to pull the camera off of Melissa’s shoot (which was going to go for hours) to quickly race to the restaurant. We arrived at the restaurant and tried to make ourselves as invisible as possible as the two comedy legends went head-to-head. It was such a thrill to see Carol Burnett. She was such a pro around our crew. I suppose that when you’ve spent your entire adult life working as an actor, having a few cameras around when you have a normal conversation is no big deal. Still, it was great of her to work with us. After the shoot we sent a bouquet to her home to thank her for being such a good sport about the whole thing. I got an e-mail from her thanking us, which was so sweet. She lived up to my expectation. And I could see why Joan and Carol had struck up a friendship years ago.