Carol Burnett Reveals the Celebrity Surprises That 'Blew Her Away' in 90th Birthday Special (Exclusive)

The legendary icon admits to ET it was both 'wonderful and embarrassing' to be celebrated by her famous friends.

Carol Burnett was feeling the love ahead of her 90th birthday special. Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter + Love celebrates the legendary icon's storied career on her birthday and features a slew of A-list friends, performers and colleagues, such as Bernadette Peters, Katy Perry, Julie Andrews, Cher and more, as they pay tribute to Burnett. 

The beloved icon sat down with ET's Nischelle Turner ahead of Wednesday's two-hour special, which was filmed in March at the Avalon Hollywood in Los Angeles, where she reflected on the joyous celebration in her honor.

"It was wonderful and embarrassing at the same time. It was so sweet and loving and I had so many good friends there and I was so touched by everything they said," Burnett said in the exclusive sit-down interview. "You're going to have my chum, Julie Andrews, next to me. She flew out to be with me... and that was such a thrill. The wonderful musical guests, my performance."

"I didn't want a birthday bash with a cake and confetti and all that and I didn't want a roast. What I wanted was a variety show," she added. "I wanted a show with live entertainment, music, comedy, we would show funny clips. We had a 19-piece orchestra and to have all of those friends come. They were so funny and so beautiful to see. To see Bernadette Peters and Kristin Chenoweth and Billy Porter and Jane Lynch and Sutton Foster and... Katy Perry come and perform, it was just [great]."

While Hollywood surely turned up to give Burnett the 90th birthday she deserved, the comedian acknowledged there were several surprise celebrity appearances that rendered her speechless.

"There was several videos that they ran wishing well and everything, and I was very touched by the show. That kind of blew me away. But all of them, everybody -- I mean, President [Joe Biden], Dr. [Jill] Biden, if I could go on and on, Dolly Parton, Oprah, Steve Martin, Marty Short, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert," Burnett revealed. "Those I weren't aware that I was gonna have all those videos. So those surprised me."

Asked what part of the celebration stood out to her, Burnett admitted "all of it" was a highlight.

"I teared up a bit when Bernadette and Kristen Chenoweth singing to Julie Andrews [and I] the 'Old Friends' Stephen Sondheim song, and Julie got a little teary-eyed," she shared, reflecting on her best friendship with the Sound of Music legend for 62 years.

Burnett recalled how she and Andrews first became friends, when Andrews' manager, who knew the executive producer of The Gary Moore Show, suggested they both meet. "She came with her manager to see me in Once Upon a Mattress and then we had a dinner date afterwards with the two gentlemen," Burnett said of their dinner companions. "Those two poor men never got a word in edgewise. And that was 1959."

"And then Julie came on The Gary Moore Show as a guest and we did a finale together that rocked the house down," she praised. "It was the first time I'd ever seen a studio television audience do a standing ovation. And so, the idea was born that we should do a special together. And we wound up doing three specials over the years. We did one in 1962, another in 1972 and another 10 years after that."

As for what she hopes her legacy will be, Burnett said she hopes people remember how good "our show made them feel. That's important."

Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter + Love airs Wednesday, April 26 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.