Friday, May 30, 2008

Comic Harvey Korman Dies At 81

Harvey Korman as Hedley Lamar in "Blazing Saddles"

Award-winning comic Harvey Korman, whose versatility was showcased on "The Carol Burnett Show" and in numerous other TV and film appearances, has died at the age of 81. According to his family, Korman died after suffering complications from the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm he suffered four months ago.

Before the days of "The Love Boat" and "Fantasy Island", "The Carol Burnett Show" was must-see TV for many of us on Saturday night. One of the main attractions was the work of Harvey Korman. Along with the comedic skills he showed in such skits as "Ed and Eunice" and "Old Folks At Home", it was fun to watch Harvey try to prevent himself from laughing during the skits he appeared in with Tim Conway. For his work on "The Carol Burnett Show", Korman received 7 Emmy nominations (winning 4 times) and 4 Golden Globe nods (taking home the award once). Korman appeared on "The Carol Burnett Show" for the first 10 seasons (1967-1977). He left to star in his own series, ABC's "The Harvey Korman Show" (1978). Appearing as his daughter in the short-lived sitcom was a young Christine Lahti. "The Carol Burnett Show" didn't fare any better without Korman than he did without it; it also left the air in 1978.

Among his other famous roles were providing the voice of the Great Gazoo on "The Flintstones" and the villainous State Atty. General Hedley Lamar in the 1974 film "Blazing Saddles". In recent years, Korman made guest appearances on such programs as "ER", "Suddenly Susan", "Ellen", and "Diagnosis Murder". He also toured the country with his former co-star in "Tim Conway and Harvey Korman: Together Again". Korman is survived by his wife and four children.

Below is a skit from "The Carol Burnett Show". Starring Korman and Burnett, it's titled Funt and Mundane (a spoof of the acclaimed acting team Lunt and Fontanne).


The Rock Chick said...

So sad. I used to love The Carol Burnett show. I remember the whole family would gather round and watch it and Harvey Korman was a riot. I remember scenes where he and Tim Conway would just bust out laughing while doing them.

X. Dell said...

I'm just hearing about this now, from you. Sad. He was so funny.

pjazzypar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pjazzypar said...

"I'm so glad we had this time together" was a Saturday night mantra for most of my adolescence and early adulthood. Funny stuff! I wish they would run these sorts of reruns so that younger generations could see some genuine comedy. I mean, who hasn't seen every episode of "I Love Lucy" at least 20 times. Let's give other good shows like "The Carol Burnett Show" a chance. RIP Harvey.

Malcolm said...

Thanks to all who commented. "The Carol Burnett Show" was the last great primetime variety show. Those cast "bust ups" used to crack me up as well. A few years ago, TV Land was showing reruns of "The Carol Burnett Show". I wonder if they took it off because of low ratings or if their contract expired.

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