Monday, August 20, 2007


If Annie comes home tomorrow to find me dead, you can blame Tim Conway -- he made me laugh so hard (again) that I almost choked to death.

See, earlier tonight Fox aired a program called something like "Television's Funniest 30 Moments", which from the premise alone you know is guaranteed to piss everybody off when their favorite moment doesn't make the cut. And sure enough, I got pissed.

Because for my money, you won't find a funnier five minutes in the history of television than the following blooper outtake from "The Carol Burnett Show" involving an unscripted elephant story by the consummate funny man, Tim Conway.

The setting features the popular sketch "The Family" (which later got spun off into its own show called "Mama's Family"), one of the recurring bits on the program. Tim Conway's character just got an answer about elephants wrong in the game they were playing but Tim, never content to leave a script as written, jumps in with an ad-libbed story. How he holds his composure throughout is a true mystery, but what's really remarkable is that he manages to crack up Carol Burnett herself, legendary for her iron will and control.

You'll see Conway do his riff twice. I'm not sure if the first is from the regular broadcast and the second is from the West Coast feed (I think they used to shoot and air the entire show twice), or if it's a rehearsal or re-take, but they're both hysterical. Be sure to watch all the way to the end for Vicki Lawrence's fantastic zinger that literally sends them all falling off the couch laughing.

If you can't make out her line at the end, it's "Reckon that little ass-hole is just about through?"


Anonymous said...

I watched this segment not a week ago, and laughed so hard, I was crying! I watched about five or six of the segment, and they are just as funny now as when I saw them the first time. Great call, Jeff! We must be on the same wavelength because, seriously, I just went to You Tube and watched five or six of the clips from the Carol Burnett show, especially the one where the horse poops on the stage! -- Denise


Allen said...

Thanks for the trip in the way back machine. When I was a kid my parents let me watch very few shows but (for whatever reason) the Carol Burnett Show was one of them. The more "adult" themes went right over my head at the time but now when I see those clips I laugh twice as hard.

"When one would sneeze, the other one's eyes would get real big!"

carlsonjok said...

Awesome. For my money, they don't get much funnier than Tim Conway. I recall one skit where he was playing that doddering old man. I think it was set in a dry cleaner with one of those automated clothes carousels. The skit fell apart when the old man managed to get himself hooked on the carousel and going back and forth between on the carousel. Poor Harvey Korman couldn't keep his composure and was laughing so hard he was crying. Classic.

Jeff Hebert said...

I sometimes think the cast was mostly intent on making Harvey Korman laugh. And apparently, they were very, very good at their job because he can't keep a straight face to save his life. I wish I could play poker with the guy.

carlsonjok said...

Speaking of comic genius, we shouldn't forget the late Don Knotts. The following link shows Don at his best.

Don't get mad about the tinyurl. It points to

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you mentioned Barney Fife. He's the all-time favorite in the Hebert family. I have a Barney Fife coffee mug -- "Mayberry's Finest," courtesy of my family in Virginia, and we quote Barney all the time, especially the rules at "The Rock." Be sure and watch Andy explain the Preamble to the Constitution. If you want a true lesson in life, watch "The Bully" and the episode when Opie shoots a mama bird with his slingshot. I have the DVD collection of the first three years of the Andy Griffith Show and I receive the Silver Bullet, an e-mail about the survivors of the show. Thanks for reminding me about Don Knotts, the greatest sidekick ever in television history. And you cannot watch this one about the dogs and the giraffes without sniffling. -- Denise