Meryl Streep - Barbra Streisand - Carol Burnett Of the three who is the better comedic actress?
Only choose one of the three and discuss.
I included Meryl in this poll, because I wanted to see what Streep troll would say.
Meryl Streep, Sophie's Choice.
Is this a joke? Carol Burnett is a fucking genius. Not to mention, she's a sweet and kind person. The other two have their moments (and are not nice people), but Carol is comedy gold. The other two are not worthy to polish her shoes in the comic sense.
Streep is a great dramatic actresss. Good at comedy. Babs holds her own in light comedy fair, but is only so-so dramatically. Carol is comic perfection, and could have been a great dramatic actress is she had tried.
OP, you left out Vicki Lawrence. She was genius as Mama.
Carol Burnett deserved an Oscar nomination for Annie.
OP here. I ask this because Babs and Carol started their careers around the same time. Babs doesn't even consider Carol on her level.
While Streep attended the Kennedy Center Honor where both Mike Nichols & Carol were honored. She participated in the Nichols segment. But when Carol was honored, she looked bored in the audience.
Carol was a definite talent but her range was really limited. She could play the freaks, outcasts and weirdos well, but put her into a sophisticated or attractive setting and she was lost. Tracy Ullman did just as well as Carol did.
Carol rules. Babs and M are just jealous. You put either one of them in "Fresno" and see what they can do.
[quote]Babs doesn't even consider Carol on her level
How do you know this? Link please or you are a total douche.
R8 link that she has said anything nice about Carol.
I refuse to choose, they're all legendary women who have been hilarious in comedies.
Carol isn't on Streep's level as a movie actress, not even close, but they're being compared for comic ability here, and Carol very strong in that category because of her legendary show.
Honey, please, Carol Burnett put out a good show week after week for years. She was also a great supporting player on the Gary Moore Show. We're talking about decades of solid work on TV, Broadway and in the movies. The only actresses I'd even consider comparing her to for comedy would be Roseanne and Lucille Ball.
Carol turned 80 last week and nobody noticed. She should have gotten a Betty White type of special.
R12 some would argue that film is more superior than TV.
That churning out material week after week is like a factory. Instead of a canvas like a film.
Fans admire Meryl. But they LOVE Carol. When all is said and done, Carol has a more passionate fan base.
Meryl has managed to churn out a lot of crap on canvas then and Burnett produced a master class factory in variety entertainment.
No one, not even Lucy is as good a comedic actress as Carol Burnett.
Meryl can do lots of comic business, but Carol Burnett was a genius of comic invention. I would bet that Meryl appreciates her gifts.
When Meryl did the Actor's Studio in the late nineties, she even credited seeing Liza Minnelli perform as inspiration to discover a missing piece in her own process: to not be so internal, to give something to the audience.
I admire Meryl. I LOVE Carol Burnett.
Meryl's comic skills were right on the money in Death Becomes Her, especially since she was playing a character based on Barbra Streisand in latter years!
Carol obviously was great in sketch comedy....but she never really was good in films.
Carol Burnett is the most cunning linguist
Streisand was genuinely funny in early films but got sort of tense and perfectionistic in later years.
Meryl was hilarious in "Iron Lady." What a fantastic comedy it was. I was in stitches from beginning to end which is quite rare these days, isn't it? I'm laughing right now just thinking about it. Therefore, I must without a doubt, choose my dearest friend tick, tick, tick, whoops, I mean Meryl.
Barbra was only funny when she wasn't in control. Becoming a director in her own right was the worst betrayal of her very primitive and natural gift.
Just going back to "Fresno", I think Burnett's performance was all wrong, completely misfired.
She missed the point of the shows she was parodying; where no matter how trite or ridiculous the story and dialogue, the actors always played it straight.
I think Streep would've done better with "Fresno", although Streisand wouldn't have.
Which leads me to another point: Streisand could never play anything but, "Streisand: The Persona".
Just to add to my post:
I think Streisand might've taken herself too seriously to be a truly great comedic actress.
"Of the three, who is the BEST comedic actress."
NOW a warning?!
I'm funnier than all three of them and I've been dead for years!
R25 Thanks. I was going to post the same thing.
I guess Meryl or Barbra because I have never heard of the other one.
Apples and oranges.
Burnett is a comedienne- a sketch artist primarily- not really a movies comedienne as Barbra has been in a few films and Streep to a certain extent.
Silly to compare them as each of them are supremely talented- but different.
[quote] Babs doesn't even consider Carol on her level.
Carol is just plain whacky!
All three are lacking next to the triple threat (drama, comedy, singing) of Glenda Jackson. Glenda's singing narration in this clip is funnier than Carol in the actual movie - and Carol agrees:
Burnett is a comedic sketch-artist actress. She cannot sustain a character through a movie - it always becomes labored, awkward, and unbelievable. A wrong-headed bathos comes through, and she loses her ease.
Streep is a great comedic actress, but her precision and technique also strip characterizations and scenes of that spontaneous brilliance that marks the greatest comedy. Contrasting Edith Evans, who also had absolutely precise technique but a capacity for unnerving and hilarious spontaneity (or the appearance of it) with Streep is helpful in this.
Streisand had a wonderful go-for-broke ability, early on. Always within a retro/exasperating persona, but still a lot of fun. Her attention and ability to focus on other actors while appearing completely self-absorbed were part of her capabilities. Her later work, as in the FOCHERS movies, still shows some of this, but she's reduced in the scale of the roles.
I'll still take Divine over any of them.
Nothing Burnett or Streep has done even comes close to the comic genius of "What's Up, Doc?"
And no, Burnett is not necessarily a nice person, either. I've met her and she was cold as ice.
This is one of the most ignorant polls and threads ever.
Similarly, one might ask:
Which is the better vegetable?
One of Streep's most underrated performances is in, "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events".
It's a supporting role and she is wonderful. I think it's overlooked because the movie itself is written off as a "children's movie", but it's definitely worth seeing.
Burnett could never have played that role without winking at the camera every two seconds. Streisand would've have the neuroticism the part calls for to pull it off, but Streep is perfect.
Carol Burnett by a landslide. Streep may have had a funny scene or two in the comedies she did but overall she's too full of herself to ever be spontaneous enough for comedy. Streisand never was funny and has carved out a career playing herself in every movie.
[quote]Streep may have had a funny scene or two in the comedies she did but overall she's too full of herself to ever be spontaneous enough for comedy.
Are you referring to "Death Becomes Her" specifically, R39?; Where the character she's playing is supposed to be full of herself.
I've never been enamored with Burnett. Subtlety seems like a foreign concept to her. I'd rank French & Saunders above Burnett.
French & Saunders' "Lucky Bitches":
[quote]Are you referring to "Death Becomes Her" specifically, [R39]?; Where the character she's playing is supposed to be full of herself.
Also "Postcards from the Edge" and her awfully hammy performance in "She Devil". The combination of Roseanne and the ghastly Streep performance made the film horrendous.
Streep tries her best in "Postcards from the Edge", but she isn't able to overcome her miscasting. That performance isn't one of her best, (although it's not entirely her fault), but I don't think it has anything to do with her being "full of herself".
I've never seen "She-Devil", so I couldn't comment.
Who's the better Broadway star? Ethel Merman, Gertrude Lawrence or Shirley Booth?
Streep isn't even always a good dramatic actress. She was awful in Julie & Julia.
[quote] Streep tries her best in "Postcards from the Edge", but she isn't able to overcome her miscasting.
She still nabbed an Oscar nomination.
That was the only year Streep skipped the awards ceremony.
All three are in the running to play Norma Desmond in the film version of Sunset BLVD
R48 Carol Burnett playing Norma? ALW chose LuPone over Streep, because he thought Meryl couldn't sing the high score, which was lowered for Glenn. Barbra has turned down the offer to play Norma.