Harvey Korman

Discussion in 'Life After Brown' started by moreluck, May 29, 2008.

  1. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    When Harvey Korman & Tim Conway worked together it was always non-stop laughs. What a great loss.

    Harvey Korman dead at age 81

    Comic actor Harvey Korman, who co-starred on the U.S. television classic "The Carol Burnett Show" in the 1960s and 1970s and in "Blazing Saddles" and other Mel Brooks movies, died on Thursday at age 81.
    Korman died of complications from a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm he suffered four months ago, according to a statement issued by the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center.
    "It was a miracle in itself that he survived the incident at all," his daughter, Kate Korman, said in a statement.
    "Everyone in the hospital referred to him as 'miracle man' because of his strong will and ability to bounce right back after several major operations. Tragically, after such a hard-fought battle he passed away," she added.
    Starting off in small roles on Broadway, the tall, lanky actor first gained notice as a featured performer on "The Danny Kaye Show," a CBS musical variety series where he perfected his talents as a sketch comedy artist.
    In 1967, he joined the cast of another popular CBS variety hour, "The Carol Burnett Show," and spent the next decade as Burnett's leading sidekick in an ensemble of comedy regulars whose chemistry turned the show into a prime-time classic.
    Regular bits included the "Ed & Eunice" sketch, in which he and Burnett played an unhappily married couple who were at each other's throats as much as they were with Eunice's elderly mother, played by Vicki Lawrence. A spin-off series based on the sketch, "Mama's Family," ran on NBC several years later.
    Korman also was famed on the show for his pairings with frequent guest star and eventual cast member Tim Conway, who had a knack for getting Korman to break from character and succumb to fits of laughter in the middle of their act.
    Korman earned four Emmy Awards for his work on the show, but left the series in 1977 to pursue other projects, though he never quite achieved the same level of success.
    In motion pictures, he played a prominent supporting role as the domineering character Hedley Lamarr in the 1974 western spoof "Blazing Saddles," and appeared in two other Brooks films, "High Anxiety" and "The History of the World: Part I."
    He also appeared in two "Pink Panther" sequels in the 1980s as a character named Professor Auguste Balls.
    Korman was known, too, for his voice-over work, providing the snooty voice of "The Flintstones" character the Great Gazoo, the diminutive, green helmeted alien who referred to Fred and Barney as "dum-dums."
    In more recent years he provided voice-overs for the children's TV cartoon series "Hey Arnold!" and as the character Dictabird in the 1994 live-action feature film "The Flintstones."
    (Reporting by Steve Gorman and Jill Serjeant; editing by Steve Gorman and Eric Walsh)
  2. dilligaf

    dilligaf IN VINO VERITAS

    That's to bad. He was a great comedian. I loved the Carol Burnett Show.
  3. cheryl

    cheryl I started this. Staff Member

    My mom loved the Carol Burnett show. Our family used to watch it every week. Tim Conway and Harvey Korman were a crack up...
  4. DS

    DS Fenderbender

    Your MOM! geez now I feel old...I loved it too!
    I cant figure out how to imbed youtube videos anymore,how do I do it?Korman bits

  5. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

  6. cheryl

    cheryl I started this. Staff Member

    Aw DS, that's not what I meant, my statement was misleading: My mom was a big fan who loved Carol Burnett. I really liked Carol Burnett too but my mom would make absolutely sure that she was home and in front of the TV when that show was on. It was my mom's favorite show, in a very serious way...

    Her level of intensity about watching that show was pretty strong. I think if we talked to Mrs. DS she might compare it to your interest in hockey. :funny:
  7. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    Your comment above reminded me of a program I saw several years ago on PBS where they assembled a panel of comics to discuss comedy. It's been a while but I think among the panelist were Alan King, George Wallace and others but it also included Buddy Hackett and Tim Conway who has a Korman/Burnett connection. I just remember Tim and Buddy so well because of what I'm about to tell you.

    Buddy during the discussion made a point that to be funny these days you had to resort to vulgar/very adult themes at which point Tim Conway objected. A discussion went back and forth as Hackett and several others argued for the off color stuff while Conway insisted you could make people laugh without offending or sending the kids out of the room.

    Conway then made a challenge to Buddy that he could have 3 minutes to say or do whatever he wanted and then he (Tim) would get a minute and not utter a word and have the audience laughing just as much. So Buddy accepted and Buddy was funny but it wasn't kid friendly and it might well offend some adults even. But then Tim stepped up and I mean I was in the floor after about 30 seconds and so was the audience and he never uttered a word. Tim proved beyond a shadow of doubt in my mind that you can be rib busting funny and still have everyone in the room to enjoy it and that also was the whole premise and what made the Carol Burnett show such an iconic force. It was the visual comedy that really made people laugh. Remember the overdone, overblown characters the Burnett crew would dress up as. I mean you start laughing the moment they hit the stage and before they said a word. How many time did Korman, Burnett, Vicki Lawrence or others for that fact have to turn away from the camera laughing as Conway not saying word but his visual actions just had you rolling. People loved that because it showed they were human too. They also could laugh with ya and have sense of humor. These were friends, not actors.

    Back in the day (1970's) when we were all about rock and roll, drugs, sex, etc. we were also in droves flocking every week to watch the Carol Burnett show with the family and when Blazing Saddles came out, we knew Korman because we knew Burnett. First night I saw Blazing Saddles when it was released was at a mid-night movie which was always a magnet for the heads. The lights go down and like a rock concert, certain brands of smoke began to be lit up, if you catch my drift.:wink2: But as the movie went on amongst all those "Hippie" types, the one occuring statement you heard made during the movie was, "I love watching Korman on Burnett" and again I think that goes to the very heart of what Tim Conway was making a point of. Tim, Carol and Harvey could literally make everyone laugh and as a result bring everyone, even if for just and hour, bring everyone together.

    My wife and I in 1978' went and saw Red Skelton live and other than having sore ribs from laughing, it has to be one of the greatest and most cherished 3 hours we ever spent for entertainment. And that's saying something from someone whose seen a lot of great bands including Hendrix!

    IMO Conway proved his point and to further add to it, Red Skelton once said of Eddie Murphy that he was a great comic and would be even greater if he dropped the vulgar material. Red may have been proven correct as Eddie gained even more fame when he started making more family friendly movies. Tim, like Red. pointed out that humans naturally are funny to being with. Day to day we go about life doing stupid and funny things that at the same time are not vulgar or offensive. A good comedian can take those events, overblow them for effect and have the entire room on their knees just as we laugh our :censored2: off at each other and with each other when we do something stupid. It's sad that the artform for doing that seems to be drawing to a close as the many great ones depart us.

    Harvey, thank you for all the many laughs, thank you for taking all forms of racial stereotypes in Blazing Saddles and blasting them while making us laugh as you did it. Thanks again for giving us those together moments in the midst of the turmoils of Vietnam and Watergate. The lines at the gas pumps in the 70's and the other day to day problems we faced. For that one hour every week, you granted us a time of peace and forgetting all our cares. But fret not, you've been replaced by American Idol!

    Let that sink in America!
  8. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    wkmac.....your very last sentence is so true (yes, I read 'til the end).

    Most of today's TV programs couldn't stimulate a boulder. What have we come to when Simon Cowell sits in judgement of us all?

    Where are the intelligent sit-coms ?

    Even Hollywood movies are resorting more & more to remakes of old movies because they can't come up with a fresh idea.

    The last 'fresh' movie I can recall was Sixth Sense" and that's been awhile because Haley Joel Osment is all grown up now and getting DUI's of his own.

    The Tim Conway & Harvey Korman types are a dying breed (literally).

    As kids, we watched Tim Conway on local shows.....I think he's a Cleveland or Parma boy. When he was with Harvey, they set each other off and we all felt personally involved in their shennanigans.
  9. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    Yeah, Sixth Sense was a good one in that when you realized the truth, you asked "how in the world did they do that?" hide who Willis' character really was. You had to watch it again and again just to see the clues you missed. Who needs a sequel when you can cause the viewer to want to see the same movie multiple times.

    Point well taken about today's movies although I'm looking forward to the remark of the sci fi movie Fahrenheit 451 but after watching the Andromeda Strain remark I'm kinda worried. The Andromeada Strain original IMO was lots better and the new one they over did it with to much political stuff, not that I don't like that subject! Mancheck is best left a small supporting figure rather than a major player as he is made in the remake.
  10. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND


    Why dont you tell us exactly how you feel on the subject!:happy-very:

    One thing that I found interesting is that for some people, regressing to vulgar language or actions to get a laugh is one of the lowest forms of humor. Doing so the way Conway and others have done, Skelton included, is real talent. I think they (the new breed) are trying more for shock or to be outragous than to actually be funny.

    It is my belief that everything comes in cycles. The roaring 20's were quite simular to what we have today. I just wonder what the next few decades will bring.

  11. DS

    DS Fenderbender

    another try here