CBS secretaries ok'd Lyle Waggoner for ''The Carol Burnett Show''
Before he lassoed Diana Prince's heart as Steve Trevor on Wonder Woman, and before he was the announcer on The Carol Burnett Show, Lyle Waggoner was a veteran of the United States Army looking for work. He made his way, initially, as a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman, developing skills that would later help market and sell himself as an actor.
By the mid-1960s, though, Waggoner had numerous appearances in film and TV, including a guest role on Gunsmoke. He did, however, suffer a serious setback when he was passed over in favor of Adam West for the lead role in the 1966 series Batman. However, Waggoner's fortunes were reversed the following year when he was cast as the announcer and cast member of the new sketch/variety program The Carol Burnett Show.
Though Waggoner definitely had the chops, his casting process was a bit... unorthodox. According to a May 1971 interview in the Omaha World-Herald, Waggoner's first trial was passing muster with the producers' secretaries before he even had the chance to be seen by the show's producers. The first time he entered the building for a meeting with the Carol Burnett people, Waggoner was immediately aware of the eyes on him. "I found out later they were acting as judges," said Waggoner. "When the actors came out, [the secretaries] gave the producers preliminary decisions: yes or no."
Good thing, then, that Waggoner brought more to the table than just the "Rock Hudson-type" good looks that got him a foot in the door. He was a natural fit playing a handsome fellow for Carol Burnett's characters to ogle. According to Waggoner, the best thing about being on the show was the amount of fun he'd have on set. The show's star, Burnett, was the reason, and Waggoner described the comedian as "not so much a perfectionist as a professional," which allowed the program to showcase her spontaneous wit.
Lyle Waggoner was a cast member and the announcer on The Carol Burnett Show for seven of the program's eleven seasons. He would leave the series in 1974 to pursue further acting opportunities.
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