Thursday, May 29, 2008

Harvey Korman, RIP


....from Ape Comments written after the first TV Land Awards...

for a long time I’ve been wanting to see
Harvey Korman get the recognition he so rightly deserves. I’ve long been miffed about the fact that Tim Conway overshadows Harvey Korman on every reunion of The Carol Burnett Show. Conway even shared the nomination with Harvey Korman in this ‘Second Banana’ category. They are not quite equals in the comedy chops department, however. Tim Conway, although hilarious in his own right, has essentially a smaller bag of tricks. Basically, a bag of baboonery. How many times can he fall up the stairs or mug with absurd idiocy? His Mr. Tudball is the exception that proves the rule: a truly different and defined character. Many of the rest of Conway’s characters are just too similar. They pack a big punch but are basically annoying dolts. Korman, on the other hand, has long been under appreciated for his comedic deftness. His range of emotions and characters span from debonair snob to rural twit to everyday Joe to impersonations of classic movie characters from Little Foxes to Gone with the Wind where he does a very funny Clark Gable. His characters range from upper-class British thespian to the low-brow Ed in the Eunice sketches. Every characterization is flawless. Classic Carol Burnett episodes, of course, include the Conway/Korman crack-up bloopers, but Korman’s stealth art of comedy can be seen in almost every Carol Burnett Show sketch. He didn’t over use the same ole same ole bag of mugs. Tim Conway makes me laugh, no doubt, but Korman was simply more versatile. And he appeared in Mel Brooks movies to boot (see High Anxiety, Blazing Saddles).

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