Carol Burnett Receives Honorary Degree From American Film Institute

Actress/comedienne Carol Burnett and lifelong collaborators/filmmakers Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick received honorary degrees at the AFI Conservatory’s Class of 2017 Commencement Ceremony. The celebration occurred today at Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Ca.

Carol Burnett and Kristin Chenoweth. Credit: Frederick Brown/Getty Images

Surprise guest Kristin Chenoweth was on hand to present Burnett with her degree (Chenoweth sang a refrain from The Carol Burnett Show’s sign off song “I’m So Glad We Had This Time Together” to honor Burnett).

“Nothing is impossible if you work hard enough, and you work hard enough” said Burnett, who urged the AFI fellows to make “great art.”

Herskovitz and Zwick, part of the AFI Conservatory’s Class of 1975, have worked together on TV’s thirtysomething and the films The Last Samurai, Love & Other Drugs, and Blood Diamond.

“Leaving here you are not alone,” said Zwick. “Your classmates will be there to serve as a living reminder of who you are and what you dream of.”

The event marked the 50th anniversary of the formation of the American Film Institute as well as the 50th anniversary of The Carol Burnett Show. Past honorary degree recipients include Roger Ebert, Robert Altman, Nora Ephron, Clint Eastwood, and Quentin Tarantino.

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