At the end of each episode of “The Carol Burnett Show,” Carol Burnett sang the line “I’m so glad we had this time together. Just to have a laugh or sing a song.” At this part of the show, Burnett would also tug on her earlobe. According to Biography, when Burnett landed her first television gig, she told her grandmother that she would be on TV. Her grandmother replied, “Well, you gotta say hello to me.” Their solution was that Burnett would tug on her earlobe as a signal to her grandmother, whom she called Nanny. Burnett continued to send the special message even after her grandmother passed away in 1967 (via Cheatsheet).
When speaking to NPR, Burnett explained that her parents both struggled with alcohol addictions. Burnett was left in the care of her grandmother when her parents moved to Hollywood. After they divorced, Burnett and her grandmother moved there as well. They moved into the same low-income apartment building as her mother, but Burnett mostly stayed in her grandmother’s one-room apartment in the building during the 1940s.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).