Lily Tomlin Recalls Performing for Queen Elizabeth in 1971

Lily Tomlin remembers trying to make Queen Elizabeth laugh.

On The Late Late Show with James Corden, the actress opened up about a memorable performance she did almost fifty years ago. In 1971, Tomlin traveled to perform at an Olympic fundraiser with Liza Minnelli and the Osmond family. "I did Edith Ann and Ernestine," Tomlin said, referencing two of her characters, to a big applause. No Olympics took place in 1971, so Tomlin, Minnelli, and the Osmonds were part of a private event.

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Lily Tomlin as her character Edith Ann.CBS Photo Archive - Getty Images

"What did she make of it?" Corden asked. "What did the Queen—?"

Tomlin replied, "I thought it would be very funny. I thought the Queen would enjoy if Edith said, 'I’m going to England to see Queen Elizabeth,'" and then sticks out her tongue and makes a face. She continues, "They said, 'Don’t you dare, don't you dare!'"

Corden replies, "No! I think she would've gotten a kick out of it!" To which Tomlin says, "I think she would've, and I thought she would have had a catcher's mitt, and she'd be waving to the crowd. I bet we could've have had fun."

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Lily Tomlin as ErnestineNBC - Getty Images

From 1969 to 1973, Tomlin starred on sketch comedy show Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, where she originated Ernestine, a brash telephone operator, and Edith Ann, a precocious 5-year-old. The characters would've been very well-known at the time of her performance in front of Queen Elizabeth.

Watch the full clip here:

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