Harvey Korman turned to directing when variety shows became scarce

"I can't wait around."

Like any other animal, there are mediums in show business that aren't meant to last forever, and will inevitably go extinct. Think about it: When was the last time you saw a VHS Tape? Your answer is probably more than a few years ago, considering things like DVDs and streaming have rendered it useless. 

In other situations, some mediums of entertainment simply fell out of favor with their audience. While vaudeville once reigned supreme, once the movie theater was invented, it was looked at by many as old news. This left many performers to follow in the dodo's footsteps and lose their performance career, or adapt to these new entertainment mediums as best as they could.

For a period of time, there was a well-performing variety show on every major network, and then some. Sketch performers like Harvey Korman were up to their ears in television appearances before suddenly, interest shifted to the sitcom instead. Instead of drowning in nostalgia for the way things once were, Korman took action and began working as a director to ensure that he still had work to do in show business.

Korman told The Hanford Sentinel, "Look, variety could be like Vaudeville. It may never come back. I can't wait around. I have a reputation as a sketch comic. Now that's gone, where do I go, what do I do?"

He confessed, "The anonymity of directing doesn't bother me. I don't feel any ego loss. I don't need acknowledgment for seeing my ideas work out for another actor, and it's not any less fulfilling for me. In fact, I get a bigger kick out of getting something to work well for another performer than I did for myself."

Korman commented that there was a dimension to directing that was more appealing than being an actor. He said, "My own timing and pace are not the same as the actors I'm directing. So I use their rhythms to fit in the larger picture. Sometimes I'm not all that patient, but it's working out."

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yilburger 1 month ago
Love Harvey Korman! Just listened to Carol Burnett on the Conan O'Brien Podcast. She mentioned that Harvey Korman mentored the young Vicky Lawrence on the Carol Burnett show and look how awesome she turned out to be! There is no one like him in today's comedy! Who doesn't love the Great Gazoo!!!!
WordsmithWorks 1 month ago
Korman was outstanding in Blazing Saddles. And it was hard to stand out in that cast of comic icons. "Not Heddy, Hedly!" "Give the Governor 'harrumph'"
Runeshaper 1 month ago
Korman was a FANTASTIC actor! I'm sure he was a solid director.
MMitchellMarmel 1 month ago
I have a VHS tape or two knocking about on the bookshelf next to my desk. Even have some Betamax tapes in the garridge! ;D
We have dozens of VHS and DVDs at our cabin.
cperrynaples 1 month ago
Actually, Harvey didn't do much directing! His biggest credit was the first 2 seasons of Mama's Family! However, he did direct an episode of The New Dick Van Dyke Show!
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