What Is the Premise of the Mr. Tudball and Mrs. Wiggins Skits?


Quick Answer

The Mr. Tudball and Mrs. Wiggins skits from the Carol Burnett show are based on the premise of a boss exasperated by his clueless secretary. The skits were a regular feature of the show which ran from 1967 to 1978.

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Full Answer

Tim Conway created the characters and played Mr. Tudball, a businessman whose attempts to run a business are stymied by his indifferent and ineffectual secretary, Mrs. Wiggins, played by Carol Burnett. The skit relied upon sight gags and slapstick, as well as Mr. Tudball's accent and his inability to correctly pronounce his secretary's name, pronouncing it "Mrs. Ah-huh-wiggins." According to wikipedia, Conway used a Romanian accent learned from his mother, though in pop culture he was often thought to be Swedish.

Burnett played Mrs. Wiggins in a blond wig, tight skirt and push-up bra under a loose blouse. She would take an exasperatingly long time to answer Mr. Tudball's intercom, and an equally long time to awkwardly walk from her desk to his office in her tight skirt. She was a stereotypical bimbo. She would snap her gum and do her nails while he gives her tasks, and the comedy stemmed from this complete indifference to his directives. According to an interview in the L.A. Times, the skits were largely unscripted, and primarily improvised.

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