My Comedy Hero: Sindhu Vee on Carol Burnett

My Comedy Hero: Sindhu Vee on Carol Burnett

The Sandhog comic discusses 70s comedy and its lasting effects

It's past my bedtime but I don't care because I'm watching the one thing on television that I'm willing to get into trouble for: a show that has many funny people in it but is, actually, about one extremely funny woman. As an eight-year-old, it's lost on me what a monumental feat it is that she has her own show, on primetime TV, in the 1970s. And that it's a comedy show.

All I know is I cannot get enough of her. Of Carol Burnett. She is my comedy hero(ine) because she was a 'girl' on TV who was making people laugh by being silly and weird and slightly crazy. Being weird and feeling slightly crazy was the space I pretty much occupied 24/7: I was a stammering, awkward outsider whose family had moved from India to the Philippines, so I was the only non-white kid in my class. My packed lunches smelled 'gross' blah blah blah … you get the drift.

But I was also, contrary to all good sense, a kid who loved telling jokes. Mine weren't well-received all the time but Carol Burnett gave me hope. To see her on TV, strange and different, sans any glam (like Charlie's Angels or Wonder Woman) meant that just being funny counted. Carol Burnett is my comedy hero(ine) because she showed me that I can create laughter and thus be counted, just like Wonder Woman (minus the looks: my class called me 'blackie' and my mother cut my hair herself so I knew my limits). Thanks to her I've never stopped honing my laughter-creation skills.

Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, Mon 30 Sep; Glee Club, Glasgow, Wed 2 Oct; Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy, Thu 3 Oct.

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