'Glee' exclusive: Carol Burnett is Sue's mom!

glee-burnett-lynchImage Credit: Sylvain Gaboury/PR Photos; Michael Yarish/FoxThis is so utterly perfect, I’m shocked we didn’t think of it first: Comedy legend Carol Burnett has been tapped to play Sue Sylvester’s Nazi-hunting mother on Glee, sources confirm to me exclusively.

I’ll give you a moment to process the sheer brilliance of that casting before continuing…

Sue referenced her adventurous parents in an episode of the Fox phenom last season. Details of Mama Sylvester’s arrival are being kept under wraps, but I’m told Sue’s father will not be accompanying her.

The six-time Emmy-winning Burnett has made only a handful of TV appearances in recent years, most notably playing Bree’s evil stepmother on Desperate Housewives in 2006 and a Rockette-turned-strip-club owner on Law & Order: SVU (for which she was nominated for an Emmy) in 2009.

Burnett’s episode is slated to air in October or November.

Thoughts? Is this the most genius piece of stunt casting maybe ever? Hit the comments!

TV scoop is best served instantaneously, so follow me on Twitter via @michaelausiello

Comments (167 total) Add your comment
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  • Jason

    Wow! The casting is perfect! Not since Idina Menzel has there been a perfect resemblance!

    • Liz

      So true…i was liking the cloris leachmen idea but Carol Burnett is genious. I remeber watching her in Annie. One of the main reason I’m a theatre geek

      • Corcoran

        Carol Burnett was amazing in Annie! That is forever one of my favorite movies!

      • erf

        Cloris Leachman,though hilarious,would’ve been too old…Sue’s grandmother,perhaps. But Carol will be terrific. I wonder if her character will blab Sue’s real age!

      • Shawnuel

        “Cloris Leachman,though hilarious,would’ve been too old…Sue’s grandmother,perhaps. But Carol will be terrific.”

        Yeah, because 6 years difference is certainly HUGE!

    • candacetx

      I have yet to watch an episode of Glee (I just dont get it…) BUT I will soooooo be tuned in for this one.

      • Katie

        Perhaps the not getting comes from the not watching?

    • kellybelly

      PERFECT!!! Can.Not.Wait. LOVE Carol Burnett!!! I was just talking about Carol B the other day, referring to all the Betty White fever…wondering what about the love for Carol Burnett?? She is waaay funnier. (even though I love ms.white)

  • MikeNJD

    This news is covered in Awesome Sauce.

    • candacetx


  • Stefan Carew

    This is amazinggg ! … but I wonder what way they will take her character.

    • VWGal

      Well Sue’s parents were famed Nazi hunters, so let that boggle your mind for a minute!

      • moonbeam

        Yes, and Sue is 35 years old.

      • silverrose

        now if they could get harvy coreman to play sues dad.

      • quagmire

        Unfortunately, Harvey died a couple of years ago. I wonder if Lyle Waggoner is available?

      • Flyer

        Tim Conway’s still with us. He’d be GREAT teamed up with Carol as Sue’s Nazi-hunting dad!

      • Katie

        Actually, Sue is 29. You know, she was 6 when True Blue came out.

      • M Weyer

        Yeah the joke is that you don’t know if she’s lying about being 29 or (this is Glee we’re talking about) her inner hate and drive have aged her.

      • silverrose

        @ quagmire
        wow, i did not know that. thanks for the info.

  • Seriously


    • Kathy

      always has to be few negative people no matter what the post. Sad.

    • Daniel

      @Seriously, do you need a nap? There’s a kindermat for all the whiny babies in the cabinet over there. And OMG Carol Burnett! YAY! Love when she pops up.

    • John

      WTF? Are you serious? It’s Carol freaking Burnett. I don’t even watch Glee, and I can admit that’s awesome.

      • Seriously

        Daniel, take some Midol or something, geeze.

  • Jen

    Now hire Bernadette Peters and Tim Curry as Emma Pillsbury’s parents and they can have an Annie reunion!

    • mscisluv

      Ha – I was thinking that Bernadette Peters would make a great mom for Emma…even if the character bugs me.

      • Tom

        NO! K Callen should play Emma’s mum, she was perfect as the older version of her Heroes character. Perfectl Resemblance.

    • Bobby’s Robot

      Now you’re talkin!!!

    • Nicole

      I fully support this idea. I would love to see the three of them together again. What would be even better? If Aileen Quinn (Annie) played her older sister!! I checked the age – it’s totally doable.

      • Barry

        Emma and Aileen Quinn duet-ing on “Tomorrow”

    • Belle

      Hey Jen, you are on to something! Bernadette Peters was defintely wasted on Ugly Betty but I see her as Emma’s mom. And I agree with mscisluv, Emma does bug me too but I love her J Crew outfits.

    • Betsy

      SIGN ME UP FOR THE ANNIE REUNION!!! (sans the scary turban guy) I often wonder what Aileen Quinn is up to these days.

      • Daniel

        I want Punjab! He was a good guy! He made me happy when I was a kid. He could be the principal’s brother or something.

      • Maureen

        Aileen Quinn as Emma’s older sister!! :D

    • Dinana

      And then have her parents turn up for the Rocky Horror Picture Show…show..and have Tim shake his head and say “I just don’t get kids…” OMG that would be PRICELESS!

      • rmb

        Dinana… that’s genius and just hilarious. Maybe you should write for the show.

      • Mary

        That.. is… OMFGFREAKINGBRILLIANT!!!!!!!!1!11!!

        *dies from awesomeness overload*

    • Corcoran

      LOL… that’s an awesome idea!

    • Maggie

      that would be so great, but Bernadette Peters is currently on Broadway in A Little Night Music, maybe it’s something they could do in S3.

      • erf

        That would be worth the wait!

    • Reerun5


  • rebecca

    Carol Burnett was also her mother in the Alexis Bledel movie Post Grad. or i think she was her mother in law. not sure, but it is still the same in way!

    • robinepowell

      Mother-in-law. Carol Burnett was Michael Keaton’s mother in the movie.

  • Lori


  • Davy

    Nice casting. Can’t wait to hear her sing, ’cause you know she’s gonna.

    Also, does this mean that Carol Burnette is Sam’s grandma on iCarly? ;-)

  • jimhi

    PERFECT casting … can’t wait for the episode(s)!

  • cameobrooch

    Perfect casting!

  • Todd

    As perfect as Teri Garr as Phoebe’s mother on Friends. Well played, Glee!

    • Leslie

      Good comparison.

  • Wendy

    To the casting peeps over at Glee all I can say is…’They never miss!’ – Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan in Annie.

    Between Glee & Chuck…I think the competition for best guest casting is heating up! Now if the Chuck casting director can get Betty White as Casey’s Mother, they could pull ahead in the race. Good show ladies & gents…good show!

    • Abby

      Betty White as Casey’s mom would be awesome!

      You are so right, Glee and Chuck both are fantastic with casting.

    • erf

      Betty White as someone’s grandmother on Glee!

  • D

    And just when I wrote off this show due to my disappointment in the second half of season 1, they real me back in with this immaculate casting decision. applause applause Glee!

  • Lorie

    Fantastic news! Glee’s casting director deserves a bonus.

  • Anna

    This is so freaking awesome its beyond double rainbow.

    • Maureen


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