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  • This was an excellent teleplay based on the long-running sketch from the Carol Burnett Show. It comprises of four acts representing the various trials and tribulations of Eunice and her family over a 25-year period. The first act (1953) presents Eunice and Ed during their somewhat stormy courtship. Act 2 takes place 10 years later, with Eunice and Ed married and arriving at Mama's house for a rather interesting and somewhat heated Sunday dinner. Act 3 finds Eunice divorced ten years later, living with Mama once again, and finally Act 4 finds Eunice coping with Mama's death five years later. Viewers have come to love these characters over the years, and the actors do not disappoint at all. Some of the one-liners actually appeared in the sketches during the Carol Burnett Show at one time or other (including the hilarious bit where Mama reveals that her late husband actually "died in the bathroom"), but instead of coming off as recycled bits, they fit together nicely and really blast off as Eunice's story unfolds. Definitely a classy production by one of the best comedy ensembles in television history. I don't think this ever aired after its appearance as a 1981 or 1982 CBS special, but here's hoping Eunice will be enjoyed again soon, perhaps as a special-issue DVD.
  • Chrissie25 December 2010
    I'm not sure why this gem has been buried, but I'm glad I discovered it on YouTube.

    It takes the form of four slices of Harper family life as we watch the familiar loser Eunice, and her successful brother Phillip, intersect at key points in their lives.

    The humor is there, yes, but with a sharp, bitter edge that "The Carol Burnett Show" danced near but never on. "Eunice" slides down that edge and bleeds. The characters are larger than life, with Eunice far more of a bitter failure, and Phillip a far brighter star, than we'd see arising from one family. Still, the dynamics -- and the reality of how our choices make us who we are -- are painfully true to life.

    The key interactions aren't between Mama and Eunice. They're between Eunice and Phillip. Carol Burnett brings a depth to the shallow Eunice I'd never seen before, especially in a quiet, dignified standoff with Harvey Korman's opportunistic Ed. Ken Berry's performance is amazing. He makes a sigh or a simple slump of the shoulders hold its own amid the overblown chaos around him. A lot of the credit for that must go to Harvey Korman as director, though, for allowing the camera to capture those small moments.

    "Eunice" isn't one to just laugh at and move on. It's one to chew on. This might, really, be why it lay fallow. Nobody quite knew what to make of it, and thought it best, then, to just let it be.
  • I have been trying to prove for YEARS that there was a live teleplay called Eunice, based on the Momma's Family characters from the Carol Burnett show. I've searched imdb many times before to no avail. Although I was only 10 or 11 when it was aired, being rather sophisticated for my age, I remember the special as being rather bittersweet. And with the genius ensemble of Carol Burnett, Vicki Lawrence, Harvey Korman, and Betty White, no less than comic magic can be expected. As the user before me, I hope this gem will soon be available on video.
  • benzing27 November 2001
    Sad but sweet little teleplay featuring the "Family" from the Carol Burnett Show. Act 1 tells about Eunice and Ed, Act 2 takes place after Ed has left and Eunice is stuck alone with Momma, and Act 3 deals with Eunice trying to deal with Momma's passing away. Very funny, but also very sad. I have only seen this once, on it's live broadcast in 1981. I hope that it finds it's way to video someday.
  • This 1981 teleplay is the absolute end-all for the Eunice character portrayed by Carol Burnett for several years during her reign as television's finest comedian, and with her own variety show to boot... I recall Burnett once saying in an interview that she was glad to put an end to the Eunice character with this special. It was certainly the last word for Eunice, but not for the rest of the cast, who continued the saga of "Mama's Family". The bittersweet ending of "Eunice" is a great finale for the title character and her family story. With the excellent supporting cast, it created one of the all time best TV "specials". Vicki Lawrence, Ken Berry, Harvey Korman and Betty White kept this simple minded family alive for years afterward, and with great success. This should be on DVD for all generations to appreciate. It's television at its best!
  • When this was shown in 1981 I taped it and watched it over and over again. (Too bad I used BETA tape!) It is such a poignant story of broken dreams. Eunice wanted to do so much, but life got in the way, then she looks back on all her missed opportunities.

    It is sad, but could also be inspiring to others who have dreams they want to accomplish in life - to go for them before it's too late.
  • The "family" skits from THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW morphed into this TV movie, which then became the series MAMA'S FAMILY.

    Carol Burnett as Eunice is center stage in four episodes covering events from 1955 to 1978. As the unhappy daughter in a dysfunctional family, Burnett gets to veer from high comedy to pathos as he dreams and aspirations are constantly squashed by her domineering mother (Vicki Lawrence) and her doltish husband (Harvey Korman). She evens plays second fiddle to her more successful siblings (Betty White, Ken Berry).

    As her brother goes off to New York and her sister marries a successful businessman, Eunice is stuck is a lousy marriage and has two hellions of sons. Her husband then runs off with another woman, leaving her with the kids and her job in a local dime store. She's also still under the thumb of mama.

    Entire cast is good with Burnett and Lawrence as the standouts.
  • Carol Burnett was at her best in playing Eunice Harper Higgins on her variety show. The Family were always a favorite sketches except in spoofing movies or television. When her variety ended, Eunice never really was finished by Carol Burnett. She had such affection for Eunice. This eighty minute movie is available on the second season of Mama's Family on DVD. Carol returns with Harvey Korman as Ed Higgins. Ken Berry played Phillip (not Vinton) and Betty White as Ellen, her snobby sister. Vicki Lawrence returns as Mama. The movie is like a taped play with the same set starting in 1955 and ending in 1978. Eunice isn't some caricature but played like a human being. Carol played her perfectly. The entire cast was first rate.