"It was the best apple I ever had," Eve recalls fondly.

Her husband, Adam, speaks "perfect Hebrew-with an Eden accent."

And God, who shows up in a three-piece white suit and blue boutonniere, assures both of them, "Of course I love you - but somebody's got to be te boss."

That the roles of Adam Eve and God are played by Walter Matthau, Carol Burnett and Edward Asner-three comic actors as dependable as daybreak-makes "This Side of Eden," a light comedy produced as part of the public service "Insight" series, an especially endearing little parabale. Channel 5 (WTTG) will show he half-hour tape, directed by TV ace Jay Sandrich ("The Mary Tyler Moore Show"), Sunday at 6:30 p.m.

Writer Lan O'Kun approacehs the Garden of Eden with reverential irreverence and more inventive good humor than Carl Reiner showed in his tediously overpraised movie comdey "Oh, God." Matthau makes a wonderfully rumpled and self-indulgent Adam, still naming animals willy-nily ("Mon-goose'. I really like that. Mon-goose. Mongoose. Mongoose"). And Carol Burnett as Eve looks all set for an uncountable number of oppressive centuries to come. Asner's God is as friendly but insistent as an old-time door-to-door salesman.

Together they act out a tale of guilt, forgiveness and realignment. "Excuse me, God," says Burnett when she accidentally bumps into Him-of course, this is something God would have to get very accustomed to hearing.

Ellwood Kieser, the Paulist pries who is executive producer of te weekly "Insight" series, again demonstrates his ability to bring top talent together at scale wages for what we would call a "worthy endeavor," if the phrase weren't entirely too stuffy. Father Kieser, you are boffo once more.