Friday, May 30, 2008

R.I.P. Harvey Korman

I grew up watching the Carol Burnett show, the last of the great TV variety shows. In the midst of the madness was always Harvey Korman. Korman passed away yesterday from complications following an aneurysm. He was 81 years old.

Korman was vital to the comedy of two of the great physical comedians of the 20th Century - Carol Burnett and Tim Conway. A truly great straight man will never get the credit he deserves. Korman was one of the greatest straight men of all time. He brought a suave, smooth presence to the outrageous work of his co-workers. It was clear that Harvey was up for just about anything.

Korman's career began in 1960 and stretched into last year. He was nominated for six Emmys and won four. He was also nominated for four Golden Globes and won once. Next to his work on The Carol Burnett Show his best known and loved work was in the movies of Mel Brooks. Hedley LaMarr from "Blazing Saddles" is a role worth watching over and over again. As always Harvey's character is the closest thing to a sane center to be found in the swirling insanity of a Brooks film.

But my favorite moments were when Harvey and Tim Conway worked together. You waited to see who would crack first. These are classic moments(And I'm not alone. Korman and Conway have spent the last couple years on tour together just being the kind of fall down funny silly they raised to a high art)

Thank you Harvey for so many laughs. What better way to remember him than a classic Harvey and Tim sketch "The Dentist Sketch"

1 comment:

StLouisJohn said...

Ah, the Carol Burnett Show...

"The Fastest Hour On Television."

Now THAT was real comedy! Yes, Harvy Korman will be greatly missed! Remember their soap opera "As The Stomach Turns" and his role as Mother Marcus?

Good, clean HILARITY!

Great post, JP, thank you!