Michael D. Cohen
Carol Burnett is His Beacon
Winnipeg has a thing for spawning artists. Too bad Michael’s family moved to Vancouver when he was only ten years old. Dad didn’t like Winnipeg much – too many memories of his days as a boy during the Depression.
But Richmond, B.C., the Vancouver suburb in which the Cohens transplanted, took some adjustment. It would be years before Michael could appreciate the natural beauty of the region. In the mean time… No relatives. No bagel shops. No Jews. Michael was starving on his diet of rain, accordion lessons and tacky salad bars.
Thank goodness for Carol Burnett.
You know how some people just reach through the tv set and you feel a special, inexplicable connection? That’s what young Michael had with Ms. B. She spoke to him in a language he understood, and it wasn’t English. Her show became his creative beacon.
It was funny. It was brilliant. It was a constant. Every week, same time, same place. He studied the show. He studied Carol. He studied Tim. He studied Harvey. He even studied Vicki.
Michael showed his talent for writing and acting at a young age. He won a Young Playwright’s Contest at the age of 12 and his teleplay was produced for television. He kept writing. He performed everywhere and anywhere he could. People laughed. He wanted more.