“It knocks me out to be introduced by [Golden Globes hosts] Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, and to accept this award in the name of Carol Burnett. I could not feel more blessed,” Lear said in accepting the award from his home, wearing a tie festooned with multicolored hearts and his signature hat. “I’m convinced that laughter adds time to one’s life, and no one has made me laugh harder than Carol Burnett.”
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association honored Norman Lear ’44 with the Carol Burnett Award Sunday, February 28, for “outstanding contributions to the television medium,” in a virtual Golden Globe Awards ceremony.
Lear, 98, is the third recipient of the award, which has gone to Burnett herself, another comedy legend, and LGBTQ TV pioneer Ellen DeGeneres.
Lear worked his way up through the writers’ ranks in the 1950s, eventually creating a number of sitcoms in the 1970s and early 1980s that tackled tough societal issues and changed what television comedy could do: All in the Family, Sanford and Son, The Jeffersons, Good Times, Maude, and One Day at a Time.
“Through Lear’s subtle influence, America became more liberal, more tolerant, a better country,” the Hollywood Foreign Press Association said on their website.