Monday, February 9, 2009

The Single Funniest Moment in TV History (updated, to remove the dumbass)

If you don't recognize these four people, I don't want to know you.

These four people were simply brilliant together.

Update: Um, you know, if you're going say something stupid, you should go big. Just saying. Up above I said if you don't recognize the four people in the first video, I don't want to know you. Implying, of course, that the four people were the utterly brilliant Carol Burnett, Vicki Lawrence, Tim Conway, and, of course, Harvey Korman - and, obviously, everybody should recognize that.

One problem, as that rat bastard, Mensely, pointed out in the comments - it's not Harvey Korman, it's Dick Van Dyke.


Don't get me wrong, Dick Van Dyke was a regular on The Carol Burnett show and is at least as funny as anybody in the business has ever been - if not funnier (as an aside, his brother Jerry Van Dyke is also hysterically funny - Jerry plays one of my favorite characters in the best John Wayne movie evah - McClintok!). I'll admit I actually thought briefly about attempting to play it off - ah hah! Mensley is the only one who actually got it! See, I meant Dick Van Dy....no?

Yeah, that's the problem with writing for smart and intelligent folks.

So, you know, feel free to throw the ridicule pie. Just make sure it's chocolate.

Anyway, here's Conway and Korman, at their insane best.


  1. Thank heavens I know who they are. Pass the popcorn.

  2. Tim Conway is one of the funniest human beings ever to walk this planet...


  3. I love it when good comedians crack each other up. It's even better when great comedians crack each other up.

  4. OK Jim, That hurt.

    First I turned it on while I was proctoring a test at UAA. The sound was off, but I remembered the skit so well from when I was a kid that I could still hear them in my head. I had to stop before the Siamese elephant bit because I knew I would explode with laughter in front of a full room of college students.

    Then I went home and showed it to my teen son, who had no idea what to expect. At the crucial moment we both burst into uncontrollable spasms, he cried, I nearly fainted.

    That scene was the foundation of my entire life's sense of humour.

    Tim Conway is my hero!

  5. Basil, yeah, I can hardly watch it - Carol Burnette and Harvey Corman trying not to just utterly lose it absolutely makes me lose it.

    And if I do manage to control myself, when Conway casually drops the "when one sneezed the other one's eyes got real big..." line I damn near piss myself.

    And then Vicki Lawrence's utterly dry "...that little asshole..."

  6. I will not click on this until I am at home later. I wonder if my 6 year-old will appreciate it?

  7. I needed that today! I love Tim Conway, and loved "The Carol Burnett Show." But Vicky Lawrence at the end of that clip was the best. Sadly, you couldn't have aired that back in the day.

  8. True artistry at work. We were always home for the Carol Burnett show.

    I still think her "Gone with the Wind" send up is THE BEST of all time!! Poor Harvey, he never saw it coming!
    "oh, it's just a little thing I saw in the window and I just had to have it..."


  9. The Dentist skit with Corman and Conway - still the best after all these years.

    Nobody has ever topped the Carol Burnett Show.


  10. I grew up on that show, pretty much.

    And I agree with Cassie--the dentist sketch is unbelievable.

  11. Jim, isn't that Dick Van Dyke, not Harvey Corman?

    (wandered over from Whatever a while ago... first time commenting)

  12. Mensley, Oh sure. Show up and correct me on your first comment. Thanks.

    You are, however, correct - that is Dick Van Dyke and not Harvey Korman.

  13. "rat bastard"?

    Damn! I would have felt honored to be noticed at all, much less be *welcomed* like that! You almost move me to contribute regularly.

    Speaking of which, in the interest of Honor, Jim, I'll have to cop to the fact that I was just simply asking a question. The hilarious, and in retrospect, delicious, irony completely and utterly passed me by.

    *sigh* Wish I'd been in on the gag, but happy to play a part.

    I suspect that the level of conversation here is better than facebook, which I started last month and am tempted to drop.

    I kinda agree with Wendy about the Gone With the Wind bit, but let's call that the Funniest Sight Gag in TV History and move on, yes?

  14. Well, Mensely, in general we try to keep the conversation around here a couple of notches above the 4-chan/IMDB comment thread level.

    But between you and me, the problem is Random Michelle, that girl has a major potty mouth issue. But then again, every once in a while she sends me chocolate, so we put up with her.

    mmmmm, chocolate.

  15. Thanks brother, I am now cleaning Gatorade off the Mac.

  16. That's what Mac's are for, Sparky. Well, that and the whole boat anchor thing.

  17. I'll so totally not get in the middle of that, but here I am logging on with my blogger info. Which I've not updated since evacuating Katrina. Happy to know you folks. Guess I'll have to update that page.

  18. HEY!

    Win one lousy "Jim Wright is an Asshole" contest and you're marked for life as a potty mouth!

    You're just mad you had to make your wife cookies.

  19. Welcome to Liberty Hall, Mensley. you may spit on the mat and call the cat a bastard.

    But don't touch the chocolate or the Irish whiskey or I'll run your body through the leaf chipper and feed you to the sled dogs.

    Hi, Michelle, where you been all day? Over at Scalzi's place no doubt. (she's a bit of an internet tart, Mensley)

  20. It's not *my* fault you don't get up until the day is half over!

    I was at a Lyle Lovett and John Hyatt show. So ppfffttttt!

  21. Mensley, don't let them scare you off. They're actually a pretty ok bunch to hang out with on the web.

    You just never know what they will come up with.

    And I think we should try the choclate pudding recipe that Michelle posted yesterday. It looked yummy.


  22. If I had my way, I'd get up a lot later.

    Unfortunately, I've got to take the kid to school and then I've actually got to look like I'm writing today.

    Also, I need coffee, like right now. Stupid slow coffee pot.

  23. Wendy, it doesn't just *look* yummy, it IS yummy.

    Mmm.... chocolate.

    And pretty easy too, for all that it involves the stove.

  24. Okay, finally got a chance to play both with the sound on. The Carol Burnett Show was the hardest TV show to do, because they did lose it so very often. And it wasn't like Vicki Lawrence just had to speak, she had to speak in Momma-speak. And when she did, it was perfectly in character. As for the dentist bit, I'd not seen that one before. I would've been out of that chair right when he was reading the directions! (grin)

    Thanks for spawning another big coughing fit.

    Dr. Phil

  25. I was never a big fan of Vicki Lawrence by herself. I never thought she was particularly funny, and I hated the whole Mama's Family deal - though I admit a fondness for The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia.

    However, as a dry witted foil to Conway's ab lib genius, Korman's over the top bombastic everyman, and Burnett's rubber faced utterly warm and genuinely funny brilliance - Lawrence was perfect.

    As an ensemble, the four of them were nearly perfect.

  26. I think it's hard for the straight man (or woman) to do it solo. Lawrence is a pretty brilliant straight woman. On her own--it's like listening to a song with the lead vocal removed and just the harmony vocal left in; sometimes it works, sure, but most of the time it fails pretty badly.

    The four were nearly perfect, tho' I have to point out that the late Harvey Korman's finest moments evah were without the rest of the troupe, in Blazing Saddles.

  27. Well, Blazing Saddles is in a special humor class all by itself. Like the clips above, Saddles is a movie that just absolutely reduces me to hysterical laughter.

    Gene Wilder's ...little bastard shot me in the ass is one of the all time great dead pan deliveries.

    And Slim Pickens? Brilliant. Especially the scene where the the posse is looking through their pockets for dimes at the toll booth.

  28. OH, and Korman's Oh shut up, you Teutonic twat kills me. Kills me, but then he and Madeline Khan were perfect together.

  29. Madeline Kahn was perfect with everybody she graced the screen with, and vice-versa. She was one of those performers who brought out the best in everyone she was ever on screen with. I'm not sure we'll ever see her equal again.

  30. I still say her finest role was Young Frankenstein.

    Speaking of brilliant and hilarious casting: Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Madeline Khan, Cloris Leachman - and Gene Hackman being basically Gene Hackman. Just wonderful.

  31. And Kenneth Mars, in his funniest role since The Producers.

    Yeah, I adore Young Frankenstein. Brooks did Frankenstein and Saddles in the same fucking year, and hasn't come close to topping himself since. (I love Silent Movie and High Anxiety, mind you, but they're not even close. And I really hate Spaceballs and everything he's done since.)

    Young Frankenstein... with young Teri Garr... rrrrrowr.

  32. I don't care how many times I watch 'The Elephant Story' because it will never get old. I cry laughing every single time!


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