She said she only does the Tarzan yell in a controlled environment these days, and she didn’t attempt the Mrs. Wiggins walk in her much less restrictive skirt, but she did tell the requested story of being in Rumplemeyer’s for ice cream sundaes in the wrong attire, and how she quelled the unkind comments of a loud hostess by claiming to hide a wooden leg beneath her pants. She did the limp.
She also shared the story of how when 14 months pregnant, she insisted on attending the “Miss Fireball of Englewood” contest wherein Vicki Lawrence, whom she’d only spoken to once on the phone, effectively won a spot on her show. She also said the most influential guest performer was Rita Hayworth. Still, my personal favorite story involved Carol and Julie Andrews, who while in a production with director Mike Nichols, thought they’d surprise him at the elevator by not only being in their jammies, but also getting caught in a passionate kiss when the elevator doors opened—Julie’s idea. Only they were at the hotel during the second inauguration of Lyndon B. Johnson and instead of Nichols who was coming down for drinks with them and their husbands, the door opened, they embraced, faux passionate kiss, and before them stood—here I imagine Carol’s raised eyebrow and half opened eye after several silent seconds—Lady Bird and entourage. Following the untoward embrace and stiff movement down the hall, Lady Bird reappeared and approached alone to ask as she looked Carol straight in the eye, “Aren’t you Carol Burnett?” Carol replied, “Yes, and this is Mary Poppins.”