Renovated carousel coming to Austin with horses honoring Carol Burnett, other Texans!– OnMyWay Mobile App User News

Renovated carousel coming to Austin with horses honoring Carol Burnett, other Texans

Carol Burnett has shared which famous friend she enjoys battling in a game of Wordle every day.

The television and film icon, who turns 90 on April 26, celebrates her milestone birthday with some of her longtime celebrity pals during her new NBC special “Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter + Love.”

In the special, which airs on her birthday at 8 p.m. ET/PT, many of Burnett’s former co-stars and fellow pioneers in film and television come together to pay tribute to the comedic legend and her groundbreaking series “The Carol Burnett Show.”

In this case, NBC gave her a good one. The network is set to air “Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter + Love” on April 26, and the special features both new performances and clips from Burnett’s storied career. And it gave Burnett a chance to reminisce with old friends — and new.

“It’s exactly what I wanted,” Burnett said. “I didn’t want a birthday party with cake and balloons and confetti and all of that. What I wanted was to have an entertaining show. And that’s what we got. It’s a variety show, with live entertainment by Bernadette Peters, Kristin Chenoweth, Billy Porter, Katy Perry, Darren Criss and Sutton Foster. And then funny moments with Kristen Wiig, Allison Janney and Laura Dern. We had a 19-piece orchestra live.”

Burnett’s original “Annie” movie co-stars Peters and Aileen Quinn help her re-create musical numbers from that film adaptation, along with Jane Lynch and Porter. “It brought tears to everybody’s eyes, especially to see Aileen — who was 10 or 11 years old when we did Annie — and here she is a grown woman,” Burnett says.

The special also includes a “lovely” tribute to Burnett’s long-lasting friendship with Julie Andrews. “Julie Andrews, my chum, was there and she sat with me the whole evening. Bernadette Peters and Kristen Wiig then do ‘Old Friends,’ about Julie and me, which was a Stephen Sondheim song,” she says.

Burnett said she was “pretty gobsmacked” by the special, which also featured appearances by Bob Odenkirk, Amy Poehler, Cher, Lily Tomlin, Taraji P. Henson, Marisa Tomei, Tracee Ellis Ross and others.

But there’s another reason why Burnett isn’t looking back: She doesn’t need to. The comedy icon is the busiest she’s been in years. Her schedule of late has included an important part in the final season of “Better Call Saul” (in which her character plays a pivotal role in sending Odenkirk’s Saul Goodman to jail). And next up, Burnett stars in the upcoming Apple TV+ comedy “Palm Royale” (formerly known as “Mrs. American Pie”) opposite Wiig and Janney.

“As long as I’m healthy, and I’ve got my brain — thank God — and if it’s fun to do, I’ll do it,” she says of her work schedule.

“I grew up watching Carol Burnett on TV, on the big screen, and she personally just had a big influence on me and my childhood,” Jones said. “It’s like my way of doing what I can to share her legacy with the generations to come.”

Burnett, who turns 90 Wednesday, was born in San Antonio, where The Magistery carousel once lived. The horse has several nods to Burnett’s life and career, including a green curtain dress, “I’m so glad we had this time together” lyrics and a nod to her famous ear tug.

The carousel’s history
The carousel opened in San Antonio in 1917 at the now-closed Playland Park. After the amusement park closed in 1980, a local surgeon bought it with the dream of reopening it and preserving its history.

That’s until Jones took on the project a few years ago after connecting with the late surgeon’s son. The idea started when Jones’ mother-in-law visited Austin and asked where they take their children to go on a carousel.

“I was like ‘We don’t really have one like that here,’ so that’s kind of where it got stuck in my brain,” he said.

When Jones got ahold of the carousel, the project was at least 15 years into restoration work. Now, a group of artists are completing the project with painting and jewel-adding and other details so people can get back in the saddles.

“I’ve met people, lots of people from San Antonio, who were like, ‘I rode on that carousel, my daughter rode on it, my granddaughter…people are really excited about it,” he said. “They also say that the carousel is the first and the last park ride that you can be on. From baby to old person…everybody can ride.”

The carousel’s future
The 52-horse carousel will have many of the original wooden horses but also feature “a little Austin personality” with horses honoring Texans like Burnett, Willie Nelson, Christopher Cross, Gina Chavez and others. New fantasy and folklore-based horses will also be added.

“We are going to be able to inject a little Austin personality into it and make it a little different,” Jones said.

An animatronic horse band will also be part of the carousel, Jones said. The horse robots once belonged to Alamo Drafthouse’s owner before Jones took on the project to restore them. The horse band trio will bring live music to the “Live Music Capital of the World.”

The carousel is anticipated to open in late 2023 pending a lease agreement. More information about the carousel and the project is online at


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