I’m So Glad We Had This Time Together

If you are of a certain patina you know that the title above started the iconic nightly farewell song delivered by Carol Burnett at the end of her old variety show. I had the tune in my head all day yesterday , after watching a PBS tribute to Burnett…and it’s still rattling around in my brain today. It was a nice stanza sung by a nice (and extremely talented) woman. You’d be hard pressed to find a baby boomer who didn’t watch the Carol Burnett Show. It was the last of its kind. It outlived every other variety showcase on the tube. No one really wanted to see it end but Burnett was wise enough, after 11 seasons on CBS, to know that it is always best to leave on your own terms. So on that last show, in her signature shlumpy washerwoman outfit, it was pretty hard not to get a little teary when she plunked herself down on the overturned bucket, looked into the camera and sang, ‘ I’m so glad we had this time together ‘.

I have so many segments of so many old television theme songs in my memory banks (and can recall them accurately in a heartbeat) that it’s frightening. One time I was interviewing the late Bob Denver on a boat in Vancouver harbour and could not get that damn Gilligan’s Island ditty out of my mind for months!

Boomers, of course, are the first generation to know the effects of television from cradle to grave. No one under 30 wants to hear us talk about what an impact television had on our lives, and I understand that.  The very newness of television for my generation may explain why so many of these musical touchstones linger lyrically still.

Here’s a short list of what is musically stacked up on the turntable of my cerebral Wurlitzer. The themes from : Green Acres , Petticoat Junction, The Beverly Hillbillies , F  Troop , Gomer Pyle USMC, The Man From U.N.C..L.E. , Mission Impossible , The Avengers, The Wild, Wild West, The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Batman, The Andy Griffith Show, Bonanza, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, Jackie Gleason, Dean Martin, Red Skelton and Ed Sullivan. I still remember sitting in the back of the family car singing ‘ Thanks for the Memory ‘ at the top of my lungs because I had watched one too many Bob Hope specials. Must have driven my parents nuts!

There’s a lifetime of snippets, but why waste the space? If reading any of the above titles has involuntarily triggered a tune…you have my apologies.

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5 Responses to “I’m So Glad We Had This Time Together”

  1. I am from this era as well. I watched the PBS special as I loved Carol Burnett Show. Even watching the quick snippets of the comedy show, I was still howling with laughter especially the skits between Harvey Korman and Tim Conway. I always loved the dentist skit. Hey no apologies needed. I appreciated the down memory lane of television blog.

    • The dentist skit has to be one of the greatest ever! That and the one during “Mama’s Family” about the elephant.. still get tears in my eyes from laughing so hard 🙂

      • You’re right , Mike. Both of those sketches are among the best. Thank God for You Tube, so that we can still watch them. There was also one I remember..that I’ve never seen since it was originally broadcast..with Tim Conway as a kamikaze instructor..who, chalk in hand at the blackboard, had a really hard time getting his raw recruits to understand the concept of self-sacrifice. Brilliant stuff.

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